Review of McRobbie’s “The Aftermath of Feminism”

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Writing over at Sociological Imagination, (Sociology, Warwick UK) reviews The Aftermath of Feminism  by Angela McRobbie (Communications, Goldsmiths, Univ. of London):

Through the book, McRobbie explores contemporary society of the United Kingdom and argues that we are currently witnessing a post-feminist condition; a condition that sees feminism taken for granted in the belief that gender equality has been achieved. McRobbie states that feminist values have indeed been incorporated into governmental policies and popular culture, but those values that have been incorporated stem from liberal feminism, which has eroded feminism(s) related to social criticism.  * * *  Slogans such as “woman have made it” or “freedom of choice” are contested by McRobbie, who instead argues that contemporary society has created a ‘successful and individualistic female’ who is able to compete in education and work as a privileged subject of the gender mainstreaming policies adopted by the UK’s New Labour Government. * * *

This new form of gender power is particularly insidious, as it takes place under the pretence of “women’s own choice”. Furthermore, McRobbie states that the post-feminism masquerade also works as a mechanism of exclusion and helps  re-establish colonisation by restoring whiteness as the cultural dominant discourse. * * * [W]hile women have progressed in education and employment, the global fashion and communication complex make sure that white, masculine hegemony is reassured. In this case, these industries work to re-establish racial hierarchies by undoing multiculturalism – in the case of Black and Asian woman – and, instead, advocate integration and assimilation into white dominant society.

The full review is here.

-Bridget Crawford

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