The Study Sessions are a series of informal reading and discussion groups. Join discussions and read about transnational feminism, gender representation in the media, transgressing stereotypes, queer theory and more. See other sessions here>>
Feminism and the politics of gender in contemporary media culture
By Jilly Kay
This study session will explore some of the key questions and most pressing contemporary debates in feminist media studies. The gender politics of the media has long been a central concern for feminists; misogynistic, reductive and stereotyped media images of women have been understood as inextricably connected to broader forms of gendered oppression, inequality and violence. At the same time, the media is so deeply and intimately entwined in our culture that it is not possible to simply disengage from it - and so the mainstream media has necessarily been a crucial site for activists to reach wider publics and to raise and galvanise feminist consciousness. We very often derive pleasure from, and form deep attachments to, television programmes, films, and other media texts whose representations of gender are highly problematic. This session will therefore explore the highly complex and ambivalent relationship between feminism, gender politics, and the media. Using feminist media theory, we will consider the ways in which contemporary media culture so often perpetuates ideologies of postfeminism – or the idea that feminism is anachronistic and no longer necessary – as well as promoting highly restricted beauty ideals and gender norms. At the same time, in the #MeToo era, we will ask how feminists can negotiate both the constraints and possibilities of contemporary media culture to work for progressive change.
*Please note that places for these sessions are very limited, to avoid disappointment please reserve a place emailing Mercè at [email protected]
Free. Booking essential
Jilly Boyce Kay is a Lecturer in Media and Communication at the University of Leicester, with teaching and research specialisms in feminist media studies, cultural studies, and feminist theory. Her published work includes histories of women’s talk on television, the gender politics of reality TV, and representations of the suffragette movement. She is currently writing a monograph on gender, media and voice, and is also co-editing a book on the gender politics of weddings in contemporary media culture.