‘It’s what Emmeline Pankhurst would have wanted’: Celebrity Big Brother: Year of the Woman (2018, UK) and negotiations of popular feminism(s)

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Abstract

Feminist scholarship has invested attention in popular culture as a terrain upon which understandings of feminism are circulated, contested and explored. This is particularly so in the contemporary moment in which feminism appears to have achieved a new ascendency. But whilst popular culture and feminism are recognised as inextricably enmeshed, there remains the implicit or explicit assumption in feminist scholarship that popular media culture could do ‘better’, and that there is a more ‘authentic’ form of feminism waiting to find representation. In response to this context, this article undertakes an analysis of Twitter responses to Celebrity Big Brother: Year of the Woman (2018) in order to explore the ways in which a popular media text provides an arena for the negotiation of popular feminism. Rather than positioning reality TV and celebrity culture as a site of ‘ideological ruin’ for feminism, this article explores how CBB is discussed in relation to feminism as popular television, and the ways in which this may offer affordances and limitations. The article concludes that feminist media scholars need to give due attention to the complexities of popular feminism as articulated by popular media culture.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)545-562
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Gender Studies
Volume28
Issue number5
Early online date4 Dec 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2019

Keywords

  • Popular Feminism
  • Postfeminism
  • Popular
  • Reality TV
  • Television

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