Feminism: A Postfeminist Analysis

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While First Wave feminism emerges in the nineteenth-century, fighting for women’s rights by advocating for equal economic, educational and political opportunities, Second Wave feminism arises in the 1960s maintaining the idea that “the personal is political.” Second wavers such as Betty Friedan and Kate Millet react against the discursive practices of the patriarchal society, which subjugate women. However, looking at mainstream feminism in contemporary Western societies, Mary Hawkesworth observes that “a strange phenomenon has accompanied the unprecedented growth of feminist activism around the globe: the recurrent pronouncement of feminism’s death” (qtd. in Rachel Blau DuPlessis and Ann Snitow xi). In the 1990s, a younger generation of feminist…show more content…
Dawning on Stéphanie Genz and Benjamin A. Bradon, the debated concept can be defined in different ways, owing to how women scholars have approach the post-ing of feminism. First, relying on its literal meaning, the prefix ‘post’ functions as a marker of time as it “invokes a narrative of progression” that signals the aftermath of feminism (Postfeminism: Cultural Texts and Theories 3). Postfeminism, in this way, designates a total break with feminism which is perceived as “ended, done with [and] obsolete” (Amelia Jones 8). In other words, such a speculation allegedly assumes that young female scholars not only become nonchalant of the movement’s project but also miss consciousness of persisting inequalities and, therefore, they are no longer interested in and concerned with the feminist cause. This prescriptive denotation purports that the postfeminist generation of the 1990s “renders feminism homeless and groundless, redrawn[ing] the boundaries of the viable […] to exclude any feminist presence” (Hawkesworth 157). While “signal[ing] the ‘pastness’ of feminism,” some female scholars believe that the feminist activities and projects have attained tremendous achievements, succeeding in fulfilling gender equity (3). Women’s exposure to media during the 1980s convinces them that they “had it all” and “made it” and thus, feminism becomes out-dated. Tasker and Negra (2007) concede with this point of…show more content…
In her seminal book Feminism Without Women: Culture and Criticism in a Postfeminist Age, Tania Modleski explains that many feminist critics do not perceive postfeminism as a cultural and political movement that steps into the shoes of feminism but rather as a retrograde action that jeopardizes the feminist project: “proclaiming or assuming the advent of postfeminism, are actually engaged in negating the critiques and undermining the goals of feminism-in effect delivering us back to a prefeminist world” (qtd. in Gamble 37).In her book Backlash: the Undeclared War against American Women, Susan Flaudi further explains the idea that the 1980s designate a depressing period in the history of feminism that starts witnessing a sharp retreat from many goals of the movement. While defining postfeminism as an anti-feminist movement which entails a “wholesale rejection of feminist ideals, an attempt to demonize women’s liberation and to return women to the subordinate roles of a bygone era,” Faludi launches a fierce reaction against the women’s movement as it turns back the hard-won and laborious accomplishments that the feminist activity has achieved for women and re-inscribes conventional models of domesticity, femininity and motherhood (qtd. in Bonnie J. Dow 87). Faludi’s definition explains that postfeminist
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