“The lady is a closet feminist!: Discourses of backlash and postfeminism in British and American newspapers
This article examines news reports of the second-wave feminist movement during its most active political period (1968–82) in British and American newspapers, and specifically focuses on the ways postfeminist discourses were constructed and deployed. While most accounts of postfeminism relate to American cultural texts from the 1990s to the present day, they ignore (or are unaware of) the ways such discourses were constructed before this, or in different cultural contexts. In this article, I argue that postfeminist discourses are evident throughout the 1970s, during the height of the second-wave feminist movement, and that many of these discourses differed between the countries as a result of unique socio-cultural contexts, and the ways the women’s movements evolved. That postfeminist discourses emerged early on indicates the extent to which patriarchal and capitalist ideologies contested feminist critiques from an early stage, demonstrating that notions of feminism’s eventual illegitimacy and hence its redundancy were not constructed overnight, but took years to achieve hegemony.
Citation : Mendes, K. (2011) “The lady is a closet feminist!: Discourses of backlash and post-feminism in British and American newspapers”. International Journal of Cultural Studies, 14 (6) pp. 549-565
ISSN : 1367-8779
Research Group : Media Discourse Group
Peer Reviewed : Yes
- Leicester Media School