In Conspicuous Feminism on Television: Gender, Power and #MeToo, Anna Marie Bautista examines how the impact of the #MeToo movement on the larger cultural discourse has not only prompted a critical scrutiny of gender and power on television, but has also leveraged its popularity to commodify both oppressed and independent women. This book delves into how the pervasive misogyny exposed by #MeToo has generated configurations of conspicuous feminism in shows like Big Little Lies, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Insecure, and The Handmaid's Tale. These fictional depictions emphasize feminist themes relating to misogyny and abuse, the silencing and deceptions that are preserved in order to uphold gendered power relations, the challenging of established gender roles and identities, and the integration of intersectional perspectives. Bautista explores how these representations indicate a more complex awareness of systemic misogyny in popular television series than in previous eras, reflecting the impact of #MeToo's aims to uncover and confront gendered inequality. Scholars of television studies, gender studies, and popular culture will find this book of particular interest.
Anna Marie Bautista is lecturer in american studies, gender studies, and comparative literature at the University of Hong Kong.
Table of Contents
List of Figures
Introduction: #MeToo and Conspicuous Feminism: Manifesting Activism and Commercialism
Chapter One: Negotiating Feminism on Television
Chapter Two: Exposing Abuse and Misogyny – Big Little Lies
Chapter Three: ‘Something Other Than A Mother or Housewife’ – Challenging Notions of Gendered Space on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Chapter Four: mIncorporating Intersectionality and Inclusivity – Insecure
Chapter Five: Resistance and Retaliation – The Handmaid’s Tale
Chapter Six: Conclusion: Advocating and Commodifying Female Empowerment in Conspicuous Feminism
About the Author
This timely treatment of prestige TV series from the past decade brings the concerns of the #MeToo movement into conversation with contemporary patterns of conspicuous consumption in the digital age. Using the term "conspicuous feminism," Bautista merges Veblen’s concept of "conspicuous consumption" with Banet-Weiser’s designation of "popular feminism," which emphasizes highly visible political support in the mass media and commodity spheres that ultimately falls short of meaningful challenges to the deeper structures maintaining a status quo of gendered power relations. After a chapter on the televisual history of feminist issues on TV beginning in the 1960s, the book studies the prestige streaming series Big Little Lies, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Insecure, and The Handmaid’s Tale. Bautista meticulously examines the plot and characterization of each show to demonstrate its intervention in feminist politics. Bautista lauds these shows for their commentary on the persistence of gender oppression. However, she worries that the commodification surrounding the shows and their need to appeal to straight, white, middle-class viewers results in a toothless critique that fails to meaningfully challenge the dominant power structures perpetuating all women’s oppression. Recommended. Undergraduates through faculty and general readers.
8/24/23, ChoiceReviews: This title was included in a roundup of “The Top 75 Community College Titles: August 2023 Edition”Link: https://www.choice360.org/choice-pick/the-top-75-community-college-titles-august-2023-edition/