We Were Feminists Once

We Were Feminists Once

From Riot Grrrl to CoverGirl®, the Buying and Selling of A Political Movement

Book - 2016
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Feminism has hit the big time. Once a dirty word brushed away with a grimace, "feminist" has been rebranded as a shiny label sported by movie and pop stars, fashion designers, and multi-hyphenate powerhouses like Beyonc�. It drives advertising and marketing campaigns for everything from wireless plans to underwear to perfume, presenting what's long been a movement for social justice as just another consumer choice in a vast market. Individual self-actualization is the goal, shopping more often than not the means, and celebrities the mouthpieces.

But what does it mean when social change becomes a brand identity? Feminism's splashy arrival at the center of today's media and pop-culture marketplace, after all, hasn't offered solutions to the movement's unfinished business. Planned Parenthood is under sustained attack, women are still paid 77 percent--or less--of the man's dollar, and vicious attacks on women, both on- and offline, are utterly routine.

Andi Zeisler, a founding editor of Bitch Media, draws on more than twenty years' experience interpreting popular culture in this biting history of how feminism has been co-opted, watered down, and turned into a gyratory media trend. Surveying movies, television, advertising, fashion, and more, Zeisler reveals a media landscape brimming with the language of empowerment, but offering little in the way of transformational change. Witty, fearless, and unflinching, We Were Feminists Once is the story of how we let this happen, and how we can amplify feminism's real purpose and power.
Publisher: New York : PublicAffairs, c2016
ISBN: 9781610395892
Branch Call Number: 301.412 Zeis
Characteristics: xvi, 285 pages ; 24 cm


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Oct 18, 2017

Excellent overview of feminism and media. Well-written, witty, engaging. Highly recommend it!

Jun 15, 2017

I truly liked many aspects of this book, but I have a particular aversion to the use of the term "garbage person" so I just can't give it more than two stars.

Oct 20, 2016

Ziesler's book puts into words the things that have bothered me for years about the development of feminism. Her expression "marketplace feminism" sums up the problem perfectly, and I now see examples everywhere I look. A great, intelligent take on the co-opting of feminism.

Jul 28, 2016

From the co-founder of "Bitch" magazine, a timely look at the newest wave of feminism, which Zeisler calls "marketplace feminism." Like Thomas Frank, Zeisler writes with humor, intelligence, controlled anger, and an ability to cut through b.s. Touching on the history of feminism, but concerned with where the movement is right now, Zeisler looks at images of feminism in pop culture (Beyonce, television, "Mad Max," advertisement) and politics. One of the most important books of the year.


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