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By Stéphanie Genz

The 1st introductory textual content on postfeminism, this booklet offers an critical consultant that either surveys and seriously positions the most concerns, theories and modern debates surrounding the time period

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Postfeminism’s focus in girlness and youthful femininity – most vividly expressed in 1990s versions of Girl Power – has been criticised by commentators as a historicising and generationalising strategy that disempowers feminism: ‘the new female subject is, despite her freedom, called upon to be silent, to withhold critique, [in order] to count as a modern sophisticated girl’ (McRobbie, ‘Post-Feminism and Popular Culture’ 258, 260). Girl Power thus presents itself as youthful and energetic while installing an image of feminism as ‘old’.

As Fernando de Toro observes in ‘Explorations on Post-Theory’: Something has happened. In the last two decades, before the end of this [twentieth] century, we have witnessed the emergence of the Post. This is a symptom of a society and a culture unable to name what is taking place in the very crux of its activity. The Post, then, comes to replace that which we know is there, but which we do not quite manage to signal. (9; emphasis in original) According to de Toro, ‘Western culture has entered a New Age, one which is still searching for its name’ and he defines these new times as ‘posttheoretical’ in their introduction of a new strategy and awareness and in their ‘search for a “beyond”, a third theoretical space’ (9, 10).

There is still an emphasis on the right to self-determination and the right to choose but it becomes increasingly difficult to prescribe in advance the answers to questions about how to live and how to navigate those choices. ) Identities’ 21) As Budgeon writes, ‘the problem of difference within the category “woman”’ has revealed that ‘there are as many ways of becoming a feminist as there are of becoming a woman’ (23). Added to this escalation of difference between women is the fact that many feminist ideas have become part of the mainstream and common sense of today’s consumer culture to the extent that, at times, those ideas are expressed in a form that does not necessarily correspond with ‘traditional’ feminist methods and critiques.

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