On Feminism and Postmodernism Essay

On Feminism and Postmodernism Essay

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On Feminism and Postmodernism

It seems fitting that the 'marriage' of feminism and postmodernism is one fraught with both difference and argument. The fact that these disagreements occur within the realm of the intellectual undoubtedly puts a wry smile on the face of either party. While feminism and postmodernism share several characteristics, most notably the deconstruction of the masculinised western ideology, feminism chooses to place itself within the absolutism of the modernist movement. While feminism argues for the continuation of the subject/object dichotomy, aiming largely to reverse the feminine position of the latter to the former, postmodernism would have the modernist movement deconstructed in its entirety, including all such metanarratives.

Postmodernism also champions the fragmented self, the idea of a unitary 'whole' existing only within a fictitious reality. This idea is one which feminism has taken up in recent years. In this era of postfeminism, new avenues are being sought to spread the ideals of feminism and the potential of possible vehicles, such mass media, are being realised. However, when using mass media, such as television, in such a fashion, the intellectualizations of the highbrow modernist/feminist movements have been largely stripped away, leaving little but an easily digestible skeletal foundation.

The aim of such a method is to target a younger demographic than traditional critique would usually focus upon. The television program Buffy the Vampire Slayer is such a vehicle, presenting feminism in a postmodern form 'for the masses'. While this works to reveal an 'acceptable', albeit feminist, perspective of gender and identity, following such an avenue problematises both feminism and ...

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..."Vampires, Postmodernity and Postfeminism: Buffy the Vampire Slayer", Journal of Popular Film and Television, vol. 27, no. 2, Summer 1999, pp 24 - 31.

Vint, Sherryl, "'Killing us Softly?' A Feminist Search for the "Real" Buffy", Slayage, The On-line International Journey of Buffy Studies, http://www.slayage.tv/essays/vint.html, accessed 15/4/2002, 9.05 am.

Whedon, Joss, Audio Commentary: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season One, Welcome to the Hellmouth & The Harvest DVD, 2001.

Wilkinson, Sue ed., Feminist Social Psychologies: International Perspectives, Open Universities Press, Buckingham, 1996.


Smith, Charles Martin, Welcome to the Hellmouth, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Episode 1.1, 1997.

Kretchmer, John T., The Harvest, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Episode 1.2, 1997.

Whedon, Joss, The Gift, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Episode 5.22, 2001.

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