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Overloaded: Popular Culture and the Future of Feminism Paperback – 1 Mar 2000

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: The Women's Press Ltd (1 Mar. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0704346176
  • ISBN-13: 978-0704346178
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 15.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 599,903 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Amazon Review

Imelda Whelehan's Overloaded: Feminism and Popular Culture looks at various aspects of popular culture: men's magazines (Loaded, Maxim, GQ); tv shows (Ally McBeal, Sex in the City, Men Behaving Badly) and novels (Bridget Jones' Diary). She finds a "nostalgia for the 'old order' of babes, breasts and uncomplicated relationships", disguised and aided by modern "ironic" attitudes that allow sexist representations to go unchallenged.

The discussion of feminism is dominated by the idea of a "backlash" of more or less unconsciously internalised hostility towards women's success and against feminist ideas--reminiscent of Susan Faludi's book of the same name. Armed with this overarching and somewhat amorphous idea, Whelehan discusses not only popular culture but also recent publications on the state of modern feminism by Natasha Walter, Ros Coward, Christine Hoff Sommers, Rene Denfield and Katie Roiphe. Whelehan stands herself with feminists such as Germaine Greer and Faludi, whom she sees as relatively uncorrupted by the "backlash" mentality and thus implicit defenders of the academic establishment.

Although one of Whelehan's chief intentions is "to show how reductive the accusation of totalitarianism lodged by some 'new' feminists can be", she fails to present the case for the prosecution and, like Faludi before her, dismisses legitimate criticisms as evidence of a "backlash". Disappointingly, any criticisms made of feminists or any sympathy shown for the plight of men is not taken up on its own terms but rather is glossed over and/or ignored completely. Those interested in discovering why prominent feminists are under attack in and out of the American academy should read Christine Hoff Sommers well-researched and accessible book Who Stole Feminism? How women have betrayed women. While never pedantic, ultimately Overloaded is underfilled with the thorough analysis contemporary feminist criticism needs.--Larry Brown

From the Publisher

Read this book and make up your own mind.
Controversial books, by definition, touch a nerve. When The Women's Press published SIZEABLE REFLECTIONS edited by Shelley Bovey in January of this year - a collection of essays by large women celebrating the successes of their lives regardless of fat prejudice - the coverage was wild, angry and opinionated. People had views on the subject and texts (and subtexts) were visible in their comments. So it has proved with Imedla Whelehan's excellent and timely study, OVERLOADED ... people (of both gender) feel strongly about what this book is doing and how well it does it. Reviews in the press have also taken issue with Whelehan's analysis and comments. Other books have been mentioned and compare. What is undeniable, however, is that this book has been published at exactly the moment when the debate required it and that the author has laid down a definitive statement on an important cultural phenomenon. You must read it for yourself to decide whether the analysis is complete etc. And while you are doing that, it's always a good idea to hold other people's (i.e. reviewers') opinions in suspension. Where are they coming from ? And why ? And what would the author have to say about their contribution ?

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Format: Paperback
This is one of the best books I've read about contemporary media culture. It is well-written, witty and up to date. Whelehan uses loads of examples to talk about lad magazines, celebrity culture and the pseudo-empowerment that abounds in today's media. It is quite an angry polemical book which is just what we need!
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book purely for my dissertation on female role models. It did help in its own way, and it got quite interestingtowards the end, but after the entertaining beginning, I found it a bit hard going and seeing as I wouldn't describe myself as afeminist, I got a bit fed up of having it constantly rammed down my throat. Nevertheless, it is a very educational book, but there was a whole chapter on politics, which i did read, although I must admit I find politics a bit boring and having it in this book made it worse. If you are going to but a book like this, then I can't recommend any others and it goves a true portrayal on the rise of feminism and females, but please check that it is actually what you want to read about.
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