quarta-feira, 29 de julho de 2015

You call me a ‘bitch’ Like it’s a bad thing: Animal liberation in Feminist Media

by Juawana Grant

Contemporary feminist media, such as Bust Magazine, participate in spreading the messages of progressive social movements at the street level by packaging easily digestible articles with glossy photos and celebrity covers. My research is concerned with how contemporary popular feminist media foster a new politics of consumption as a way to represent feminism’s coexistence with animal liberation movements. Further, I examine how this hybrid alt-ideology is currently situated between a feminist counterpublic and mainstream popular culture. Using textual analysis as my primary methodology, this paper provides an analysis of the representation of animal liberation movements within one popular feminist media organization. This analysis is then situated between theories of subculture and cultural capital to address how feminist media fosters intersectional social change discourse in publics and counterpublics. Feminist media has a history of peppering their content with other social change messages and connecting them with the reinforcement of a feminist identity. Many scholars have noted the link between feminism and animal liberation throughout history, such as during the suffrage and antivivisection movements in the 19th century; in the ecofeminist scholarship beginning in the seventies and gaining traction in the nineties; and in the riot grrrl zines of the so-called third wave, many of which became popular feminist magazines still operating today. What is less explored is how the animal liberation intersection plays out in the counterpublics that feminist media occupy. Neither has it been explored, particularly in contemporary popular feminist media, how they are blended with a subcultural DIY aesthetic and are positioned within the rise of both the creative classes and the mainstreaming of feminism and veganism in the popular. I use a blend of theories in subculture, cultural capital, and public sphere to interrogate the position of animal liberation messages within contemporary feminist media in an effort to identify how they function together in the space between alternative and mainstream publics. The rise of feminism and veganism in popular culture could be directly related to the mainstreaming of creative classes/DIY aesthetic which often share progressive social movement ideals. The question is: will it be reabsorbed or will the blending of spectacular subcultures and social movements as represented by alternative media create a new space and more effective, sustaining counterpublics which promote both feminist and animal liberation agendas that create a lasting disruption in dominant ideology?

Juawana is a Master’s Candidate in Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies at the University of British Columbia Okanagan. She returned to university after 5 years as a social worker and activist in Las Vegas and Seattle. Her research and activist interests lie in the intersections between human and animal justice movements. Her thesis explores how animal liberation is represented in alternative and mainstream media. She is also a co-director of Animals at UBCO, a student-led animal activism project on campus. She also organizes and promotes events in the spirit of ICAS with the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia branch.

Areas of Interest:
1. Feminist Theory and Activism
2. Cultural and Media Studies
3. Radical pedagogy
4. Commodification of Vegan and Feminist Social Movements

Contact: Juawana@gmail.com

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