Monday, January 23, 2017

Book 1: Cupcakes, Pinterest, and Lady Porn

TITLE: Cupcakes, Pinterest, and Lady Porn: Feminized Popular Culture in the Early Twenty-First Century
AUTHOR: Elana Levine, ed.
STARTED: December 18, 2016
FINISHED: January 7, 2017
PAGES: 285
GENRE: Non-Fiction

FIRST SENTENCE: Picking up a gossip magazine to read the latest on that reality celebrity divorce, entering pregnancy symptoms into a smartphone app, searching social media for recipes and fashion blogs for clothing inspiration while downloading bestselling erotic romance fiction to an e-reader.

SUMMARY: [From Amazon] Media expansion into the digital realm and the continuing segregation of users into niches has led to a proliferation of cultural products targeted to and consumed by women. Though often dismissed as frivolous or excessively emotional, feminized culture in reality offers compelling insights into the American experience of the early twenty-first century. Elana Levine brings together writings from feminist critics that chart the current terrain of feminized pop cultural production. Analyzing everything from Fifty Shades of Grey to Pinterest to pregnancy apps, contributors examine the economic, technological, representational, and experiential dimensions of products and phenomena that speak to, and about, the feminine. As these essays show, the imperative of productivity currently permeating feminized pop culture has created a generation of texts that speak as much to women's roles as public and private workers as to an impulse for fantasy or escape. Incisive and compelling, Cupcakes, Pinterest, and Ladyporn sheds new light on contemporary women's engagement with an array of media forms in the context of postfeminist culture and neoliberalism.

THOUGHTS: Parts of this book were a bit dense or, alternatively, stretches of research, but overall I found this to be a fairly decent look into feminized parts of popular culture. It was a bit much to read as a whole book, but I'm glad I did because I liked some of the insights the authors offered. There was wide ranging discussion of what it means to be a woman and/or a feminist in a culture that does not necessarily like or admire either of those things.

RATING: 7/10 [Very Good]

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