Empowerment without Feminism? Sexual Objectification Post-feminist Style
Ashley Mckay, Shannon Moore, Wendee Kubik

In our contemporary post-feminist media culture, new forms of constraint and regulation emerge through a seeming proliferation of female “freedoms” that are adopted by advertisers using the surface terminology of feminism to sell products. Rosalind Gill has addressed a significant shift in ads, where women are no longer presented as passive sexual objects, but are seen as active, desiring sexual subjects, who enthusiastically participate in practices and forms of self-presentation that earlier generations of feminist scholars considered to be forms of sexism and subordination. In our contemporary post-feminist media culture, post-feminist ideology adopts discourses of feminist “resistance” in order to reinforce patriarchal norms. Thus, women are only “empowered” to make choices insofar as they do not disrupt patriarchal norms that govern marriage, motherhood, consumerism, female beauty and female sexuality. This paper will address the ways in which “empowerment” is utilized as a part of an ideological agenda to direct women‟s attention away from the fact that they have not gained equality, with particular attention being paid to media representations of female beauty and female sexuality.

Full Text: PDF      DOI: 10.15640/ijgws.v7n1a9