Yvonne Tasker and Diane Negra
Introduction
Feminist Politics and Postfeminist Culture
P
ostfeminism broadly encompasses a set of assumptions,
widely disseminated within popular media forms, having
to do with the “pastness” of feminism, whether that supposed
pastness is merely noted, mourned, or celebrated. Crucially for
us, postfeminism suggests a more complex relationship be-
tween culture, politics, and feminism than the more familiar
framing concept of “backlash” allows. Feminist activism has
long met with strategies of resistance, negotiation, and con-
tainment, processes that a model of backlash—with its implica-
tion of achievements won and then subsequently lost—cannot
effectively incorporate within the linear chronology of social
change on which it seems to be premised. What appears dis-
tinctive about contemporary postfeminist culture is precisely
the extent to which a selectively defined feminism has been so
overtly “taken into account,” as Angela McRobbie has noted,
albeit in order “to emphasize that it is no longer needed.”1
The limits of the kind of gender equality enacted within
contemporary popular media culture are profound: they are
marked by the valorization of female achievement within tra-
ditionally male working environments and the celebration of
surgical and other disciplinary techniques that “enable” (i.e.,
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