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Feminism and Pop Culture

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  678 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
Whether or not we like to admit it, pop culture is a lens through which we alternately view and shape the world around us. When it comes to feminism, pop culture aids us in translating feminist philosophies, issues, and concepts into everyday language, making them relevant and relatable. In Feminism and Pop Culture, author and cofounder of Bitch magazine Andi Zeisler trace
Paperback, 208 pages
Published October 14th 2008 by Seal Press
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Jan 24, 2013 Anna rated it liked it
This book would be a good pick for the first week of class in an intro-level course. There's nothing major that I find wrong with it, but it does lack both (1) depth and (2) a strongly voiced point of view. I can read more incisive pop culture commentary every day on Jezebel. When it does have a point of view, it's a rather banal one: "You wouldn't know it now, but MTV used to stand for Music Television." How cutting! Also, some of her aside jabs are reductive to the point of being absurd; I don ...more
Feminism and Pop Culture by Andi Zeisler had what I imagine was an unintended effect on me. Yesterday I sat down and read my first ever Wonder Woman comic book. Okay, it was a "graphic novel" entitled Love and Murder, and the storyline was written by Jodi Picoult--yes that Jodi Picoult, author of so many sob-stories she practically has her own section at Borders.

I haven't finished that yet, but the fact is that this relatively thin text has been incredibly inspiring and infomrative for me. I've
Jan 18, 2013 Megan rated it liked it
This is a really good primer on approaching tropes in pop culture from a feminist perspective, and provides some really useful background on television before the 1970s that I actually hadn't encountered before. If you've taken gender studies and read a lot about pop culture already, you'll find repeats here, although I think it's always good to build on that knowledge, and who doesn't need a reminder of how barbaric the rise of reality TV often was to women in the late-90s/early 2000s? As a per ...more
Nov 05, 2012 Lea rated it it was ok
Even though it was published in 2008, it is a bit dated, not on the issues per se but on the references. It can be quite grating to read a book about pop culture mentioning Paris Hilton, livejournal and myspace. Were they even relevant anymore in 2008?

All in all, one does get the impression that the author's forte is pre-00's. It would be interesting to have an updated edition, touching on subjects such as the "geek girl" debate, women in comics and fantasy novels, women in comedy, rape jokes, J
May 04, 2009 Margaret rated it did not like it
Shelves: feminism
Save yourself the time and netflix "Killing Us Softly". No new info or groundbreaking discoveries here.
Elevate Difference
Jan 29, 2009 Elevate Difference rated it really liked it
No matter how sophisticated you believe yourself to be, consuming pop culture is often inevitable in modern life. From reacting to coverage of major news events to understanding how advertising permeates our media landscape, chances are most self-identified feminists have considered how so-called low culture affects our perceptions of our selves and our world. As the lines between high and low culture have increasingly blurred over the past several decades, feminists – both polished academics an ...more
Lauren Alexander
Feb 26, 2015 Lauren Alexander rated it really liked it
“We should also keep in mind that we probably wouldn't even be thinking about what life would be like with new lips or perkier breasts or shapelier inner thighs if it weren't for a long-standing cultural ideal that rewards those who adhere to it with power that often doesn't speak its name, but is instantly recognizable to those who don't have it.”

Feminism and Pop Culture is a great introduction to Feminism and the role it has played throughout the history of Western pop culture. At many points
Sep 17, 2013 Matt rated it liked it
A sharp, breezy introduction to the history of feminism as it relates to pop culture. Ziesler's collection reads like a tighter survey than the work of someone like Susan Douglas, but the trade-off involves a lack of depth and analysis of any of the events. This book is a quick read, which makes it perfect for someone who wants to become aware, but not necessarily knowledgable on the subject. The strongest chapters are the first and the last - Here, Ziesler is able to stray from the script and o ...more
Dec 03, 2010 Nicki rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: feminist-lit
This was an incredibly fast read, first of all.
I think this book is very introductory - it'd be great for individuals who have an interest in feminism and pop culture and it offers some guidance on where to begin in learning about the topic.
I don't really fall into the "beginner" category so for me, this book could have been much more thorough. It didn't really offer detailed criticisms or new insights, but it did point me into the direction for further reading and research.
All in all - if you'r
Apr 15, 2013 Chris rated it liked it
Well, it is good in a general way. Yet it is also limited because it is general. It is a good overview or general introduction. But I have to wonder why Palin’s treatment at the hands of the media wasn’t also included with Clinton’s during the discussion about women and political races. It’s not like Palin’s the poster child for intelligence and what not, but the way some media outlets treated her was like they treated Clinton. So why not mention that? Because Palin is idiotic and a republican?
Nov 18, 2010 Nicki rated it it was ok
Shelves: feminist-lit
This was an incredibly fast read, first of all.
I think this book is very introductory - it'd be great for individuals who have an interest in feminism and pop culture and it offers some guidance on where to begin in learning about the topic.
I don't really fall into the "beginner" category so for me, this book could have been much more thorough. It didn't really offer detailed criticisms or new insights, but it did point me into the direction for further reading and research.
meredith ann
Jan 31, 2009 meredith ann rated it really liked it
i enjoyed this book but it is much more suited to someone who is just beginning to learn more about feminism & popular culture. most of what's featured in the book, i've learned about in classes or read about in books (or in bitch, which the author co-created). still, it is a book i'd like to give people who want to know more about the relationship between feminism & pop culture but don't know where to start.
Mar 02, 2014 Amanda rated it really liked it
This book is well-written, well-researched and absorbing. The only reason I didn't give it five stars is I felt that a lot of the information and even examples have been covered by other mainstream feminist texts, such as "Manifesta," "When Everything Changed" and of course Bitch Magazine (of which Zeisler is a co-founder). However, this is a great primer for anyone developing an interest in feminist critique of pop culture.
Apr 05, 2013 Arna rated it liked it
This raised a number of interesting points - although nothing new. Clear and concise, excellent references. My main criticism, and I suppose it is to be expected that "pop culture" was American culture, and other than a passing reference to Bridget Jones and the Spice Girls, the rest of the West was ignored.
Apr 21, 2010 Kim rated it really liked it
Really fun book to read! Talks about how feminism influenced pop culture and vice versa. I particularly enjoyed learning more about what pop culture was like in the 40s-70s (I feel like I have a decent grasp on 80s-present) and the different cycles in which we see women in media (one might expect the progress would be linear, but it actually wasn't)
Feb 07, 2013 Aubrey rated it really liked it
Everyone consumes pop culture and it is our responsibility to think about it critically and through a variety of eyes. It's a reflection of our society.

If you enjoy Bitch magazine, you'll dig this title. It's a good, easy to read introductory to how and why women are presented in specific ways within pop culture throughout the decades.
Cel Red
May 05, 2016 Cel Red rated it liked it
Shelves: feminismo
Sirve como un acercamiento a la cultura pop desde el punto de vista feminista y aunque trae muchas citas y buenas discusiones le hace falta profundidad. La parte fuerte es la de los 40s y hasta los 70s, la más floja es la actual.

Eché de menos alguna discusión sobre Disney, porque no se puede negar la gran influencia que tiene en la cultura pop.
Jul 28, 2012 Nikki rated it liked it
Feminism and Pop Culture is an introduction to both feminism in general and how women are treated/viewed in pop culture. The book is informative and, I believe, a type of book important for any woman to read. However, the book is extremely dry and I found myself incredibly bored through parts.
Mar 30, 2014 Laura rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, feminist
An easy and fascinating non-fiction read. An in-depth look at how women's have been represented in pop culture. If you are interested in media studies or feminism (or both), this is a great starting point.
Nov 16, 2011 Jamie rated it really liked it
Zeisler discusses feminism through the lens of American popular culture. If you dig Bitch: Feminist Responses to Pop Culture, the magazine Zeisler co-created, you'll similarly dig this easy to read book from the Seal Series.
Aug 03, 2009 Joslyn rated it it was amazing
A great primer on how feminism relates to what we take in every day. Also a great explanation of why pop culture should matter to feminists.
Sep 18, 2013 Sarah rated it liked it
Shelves: tossed, ebook
A highly readable examination of the history of the current women's movement as seen through the eyes of the pop culture of America.
Sep 05, 2014 Stephanie rated it really liked it
An excellent and insightful overview.
Feb 12, 2010 Alex rated it really liked it
A basic but thorough overview of feminism and popular culture. Accessible and doesn't go into too much depth on any one topic, but I still got a lot out of it.
Feb 08, 2010 Holly rated it really liked it
Recommended to Holly by: Lisa Maria Hogeland
Excellent, thoughtful, highly readable analysis of American pop culture from a feminist angle. Could use more multicultural analysis. Eminently accessible for the young adult and adult reader.
Feb 16, 2013 Shambhavi rated it it was amazing
A very well put-together book. I loved every bit of it. Wish I'd had it when I was in high school, it would've done me a world of good.
Feb 09, 2012 Angelica rated it really liked it
I am in a FRENZY over this book. Definitely checking out some of the recommended reading at the back of this book for more background info.
Hara Joy
May 08, 2017 Hara Joy rated it really liked it
I would give this a 3.5 rating. It is a great introductory read into pop culture analysis through a feminist lense, complete with thought-provoking questions for discussion and quite a large bibliography on various subjects at the end. However, it could do with a bit more nuance, particularly concerning the representation of women of colour in pop culture across the years (e.g. tropes around black women in cinema).
Mar 26, 2017 Bri rated it really liked it
A quick, fun and informative read on feminisms impact on pop culture from the 1940′s until now, written by the founder of Bitch Magazine!
Sally Sugarman
Sep 06, 2016 Sally Sugarman rated it it was amazing
Feminism and Pop Culture – Andi Zeisler
This is a concise and informative account of the way in which feminism has been depicted in popular culture and how feminism has had an impact on popular culture. Using specific examples, Zeisler shows how the male dominated media has disparaged feminism. However, there have been changes in the depiction of women thanks to feminism. One early incident that Zeisler reports, was enlightening. In protesting the Miss America contest in 1968, the women got a hu
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Andi Zeisler is a co-founder and creative/editorial director of Bitch Media, a nonprofit feminist media organization based in Portland, Oregon. Zeisler's writing, which focuses mainly on feminist interpretations of popular culture, have been featured in a variety of publications including Mother Jones, The San Francisco Chronicle, Utne Reader, The Women's Review of Books, and Ms. She is a former p ...more
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