Postfeminism: Cultural Texts and Theories

By Stéphanie Genz; Benjamin A. Brabon | Go to book overview

4
Do-Me Feminism and Raunch Culture

OVERVIEW

In this chapter we consider a highly sexualised version of power feminism, so-called ‘do-me feminism’, that sees sexual freedom as the key to female independence and emancipation. Female sexual objectification and pornography have long been the subjects of feminist debates, from the 1970s onwards, with critics vigorously defending both anti- and pro-pornography stances. Advocated by cultural theorists like Camille Paglia, pro-sex feminism emerged as a response to the late 1970s anti-pornography movement – virtually synonymous with the work of Andrea Dworkin and Catharine MacKinnon – that put pornography at the centre of feminist explanations of women’s oppression. In many ways, pro-sex feminism can be linked to 1990s expressions of do-me feminism – also referred to as ‘bimbo feminism’ and ’porno chic’ – which addresses women as knowing, active and heterosexually desiring subjects. An important element of do-me feminism is its acceptance and use of irony as a space of playfulness and ambiguity. The increasing sexualisation of female representations in popular culture has been criticised by a number of commentators who are suspicious of the notion of sexual subjecthood. Dismissing the idea that this is a bold new face of feminism, Ariel Levy condemns the rise of ‘raunch culture’ and the emergence of (what she terms) ‘female chauvinist pigs’ who deliberately ‘make sex objects of other women’ and of themselves (4). Raunch culture and do-me feminism blend the sometimes conflicting ideologies of women’s liberation and the sexual revolution by heralding sexually provocative appearance and behaviour (including exhibitionist stripping) as acts of female empowerment. We will

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Postfeminism: Cultural Texts and Theories
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgements vi
  • Introduction- Postfeminist Contexts 1
  • 1 - Backlash and New Traditionalism 51
  • 2 - New Feminism- Victim vs. Power 64
  • 3 - Girl Power and Chick Lit 76
  • 4 - Do-Me Feminism and Raunch Culture 91
  • 5 - Postmodern (Post)Feminism 106
  • 6 - Queer (Post)Feminism 124
  • 7 - Men and Postfeminism 132
  • 8 - Cyber-Postfeminism 145
  • 9 - Third Wave Feminism 156
  • 10 - Micro-Politics and Enterprise Culture 166
  • Afterword- Postfeminist Possibilities 178
  • Bibliography 180
  • Index 196
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