Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies

Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies
School of Sociology and Social Policy
Social Sciences Building
Leeds, LS2 9JT
UK

Tel: +44 (0) 113 343 3770
Fax: +44 (0) 113 343 4415
gender-studies@leeds.ac.uk

Thanksgiving: the relationship between sport, society and oppression (4/6)

By Kay Phoenix Nacto

On October 23, 2017 Justin Timberlake (with the assistance of his friend and entertainer Jimmy Fallon) announced that he will be performing at the upcoming Super Bowl Halftime show. One question began to circulate social media and many conversations surrounding the upcoming game: what about Janet Jackson?

February 1st 2004, the Super Bowl XXXVIII Halftime show would change lives and the internet drastically. Janet and Justin put on a show that was both entertaining and memorable but would become infamous for all the wrong reasons. Somewhere amid the performance Justin accidently revealed Janet’s breast and the wardrobe malfunction (a phrase which was introduced to the pop-culture vernacular because of what happened) would not only be recorded, but replayed, and reviewed on a mass scale due to TiVo, which changed the way people watched tv at home. It would also be the reason that YouTube was created. Jawed Karim (one the 3 founders) has stated in many interviews that his idea for what became YouTube sprang from two very different events in 2004: Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction,” during a Super Bowl show, and the Asian tsunami.

The broadcasted incident garnered CBS a fine from the FCC and backlash for Justin. More importantly, the Grammy revoked privileges for Janet that year, as well as a series of events that some would call a blackballing within the entertainment industry. Nipplegate became the coined phrase for the situation because everyone wanted to know, “whose fault was it really?”

Janet Jackson is a multiplatinum selling artist. She is an icon. She is a part of the Jackson family legacy. She is a black body performing in front of the white dominated male world.

When thinking about bodies, materiality comes to mind, but it is not that simple. The body is subjected to perception. The body is raced, gendered, and classed. This intersection and the body’s intersectional existance is why one body appears as more important than another. For instance, the ways black women’s bodies are viewed as spectacles in the public is rooted in the intersections of power, privilege, and oppression. Black bodies suffer from both invisibility and hypervisibility and it was ever so present during the unpacking of the halftime show.

Janet’s body was replayed and dissected on both live TV and in private homes, just as the body of Sara Baartman, a South African woman who lived in the 1800s, was in public arenas and private hospital rooms. There is no doubt that Janet has agency over her body, but there is much to be said about the blame that was placed on her at the time, and how it was claimed that the “accident” was a stunt that she created to get attention. Her music, her platform, and her image changed. Black female bodies have always been at the pleasure of the public and that mean they can be policed and controlled. As with women who have been sexually assaulted there tends to be a spotlight on what she was wearing, what did she do to bring the unwanted attention, how could she have avoided the situation.

The very idea about invisibility and hypervisibility is what made Colin Kaepernick take a knee. He highlighted the injustices of black bodies regarding police brutality, in return his own black body has become a target for multiple conversations surrounding sports and politics. The Super Bowl Halftime show might seem trivial in comparison, but it is relevant nonetheless. Perhaps amid Justin’s performance, Janet may show up and that could be a small means of reparation for what happened back in 2004.  However, it will not be a conclusion to the necessary, although often silenced, ongoing conversation about whose body matters.

This entry was posted in Blog.

Thanksgiving: the relationship between sport, society and oppression (5/6)

By Karen Throsby

Sport, or at least some sports, enjoy extraordinarily privileged status. At the level of elite sport, national pride, vast sums of money, the passionate belonging of team loyalties and the spectacular feats of extraordinary bodies create a privileged domain which can dictate TV schedules, mark holidays and capture national headlines. At the amateur level, sport provides a means of demonstrating bodily discipline through practices normatively coded as healthy and is a source of pleasure to many; the sporting subject is the good citizen par excellence.

But the public endorsement of sport and its subjects is also premised on exclusions that should give us pause for thought. Sport remains determinedly demarcated on gendered lines, with men and women rarely allowed to compete directly with each other. The boundaries between men and women’s sport are closely regulated and policed, with women at risk of exclusion if their hormonal or genetic profiles exceed arbitrarily defined boundaries of acceptable femininity. And even when women can compete, they still experience systematic exclusion and discrimination: women’s sport receives only a tiny fraction of the media coverage that men enjoy, women are frequently limited to fewer and shorter events and they receive lower rewards in prize money and sponsorship. Other exclusions persist alongside the rigorous and hierarchical gendering of sport: sporting participation is constrained for many by lack of access to facilities, prohibitive costs, the absence of childcare or the failure to accommodate the needs of disabled athletes. And for some, participation in sport is simply too shaming a possibility to face; it is hard to be a fat body, for example, in an environment so strongly oriented towards the elimination of fatness, and where access to size-appropriate equipment and clothing may not be available.  Race also serves as an axis along which discrimination persists, with ideas of sporting ‘fit’ closing off opportunities and limiting choice. For example, the whiteness of my own sport of swimming remains mired in notions of the incompatibility of blackness and swimming, and in particular, the myth of higher bone density as a precluding factor; it is a prejudice of significant consequence when we realise that young black boys are far more likely to drown than their white peers.

Sport, then, can be understood both as a mirror of the social and a means of its reproduction. Attempts to figure sport as outside of politics (for example, in the Olympic movement, or in recent debates about ‘taking a knee’) obscure its status as an intensely political site, not only in national and international settings, but also at the level of individual bodies as they variously challenge and sustain what counts as the ‘good body’ in contemporary society.

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Thanksgiving: the relationship between sport, society and oppression (6/6)

By Rodanthi Tzanelli

Football mobilities: Between the Scylla of ethno-racism and the Charybdis of neoliberalism

Football rituals are embedded in contemporary Gesellshaft structures (a-la Tőnnies), constantly updating the mechanisms with which societies change from within and without. Football is the maiden of globalisation: it instigates multiple mobilities of ideas, humans, emotions and technologies. This becomes even more evident when we look closer at the ways individuals and whole imagined communities use the sport to negotiate their place in globalised ethno-racist contexts.

It was football the ensured black migrants’ upward social mobility in postcolonial contexts such as those of Brazil, where originally black workers were seen as less human than white populations (hence not suitable to become professional players). Notably, their professional entry into the sport was equated with an entry into civilised Western modernity, thus bringing together questions of global class and racial hierarchies. Today famous players such as Pelé embody the Brazilian nation’s participation in Western and European mobilities, now supported by global corporations and international organisations. At the same time, such football ‘tokens’ of civility fuel nationalist clashes to promote individual nations in regional contexts – take for example how conflicts between Argentinian and Brazilian fans during matches are filtered through the worship of national players (Pelé  vs. Maradona – Carmo, July 7, 2014).

If historically football is an aspect of soft colonialism (the English invented and imported the sport in the ‘developed’ world), its contemporary role in world societies as an arbitrator of (in)justice is far more ambivalent. As a technology of the body, it ‘flags’ the player’s (and his nation’s) ethno-phenotypical fixities, but as a technology represented, interpellated or simply mediated by other technologies (TV and internet industries), it places players and their nations on a global neoliberal map. And there is more: in more recent decades, players such as Pelé, used the power of neoliberal mobilities to also turn themselves into independent brands, thus allegedly escaping harmful ethno-racial stereotyping (as cosmopolitan professionals).[1] It seems that at least for black football players, the sport offers an either-or interpellation of agency: ethno-racialized or neoliberal.

Such interpellations have serious consequences in ritualist terms, both liberating and fettering. Take for example the loud disapproval of Colin Kaepernick’s ‘taking to one knee’ during the national anthem when he played for the San Francisco 49ers, in protest of police brutality against black Americans. Likewise, at the day’s first football game at Wembley Stadium this year, twenty-seven players from the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Baltimore Ravens dropped down and took a knee on the field to the sounds of the anthem (St. Félix, September 24, 2017). This ritualised performance, which both negates and worships the ‘nation’, transfixes audiences and fans: as a transgressive act in front of the camera, it asserts the players’ individualistic identity vis-à-vis that of a national collectivity. Note the tweet by Trump (ironically, a proponent of neoliberal risqué individualism) about the ‘son of a bitch’ N.F.L. players who ‘disrespect’ the ‘Flag (or Country)’ (ibid.) with their bizarre genuflection. This reaction missed the point: ‘there did not appear to be any white players taking a knee’ (Ingle, September 24, 2017). Hence, such defiance could also be read as a sign of deep respect to the ‘nation’, despite its historical and contemporary contributions to racial inequality – a need to both be a cosmopolitan individual and belong. It is as if, on and off the field, football’s ritualist ambivalence bears the mark of black strangerhood (a-la Simmel): never accepted entirely as part of the imagined community, it allows the player to move across semantic fields as a stranger or citizen, who, during the process is often appropriated by global audio-visual markets and turned into a mobility token.

References 

Carmo, M. (July 7, 2014) Canção de “Maradona maior que Pelé” foi “ensinada” a argentinos um dia antes da estreia na Copa, BBC Brasil. Available at www.bbc.co.uk/portuguese/noticias/2014/07/140707_argentina_musica_wc2014_hb_mc.shtml.

Ingle, S. (September 24, 2017). Donald Trump defied at Wembley as Jaguars and Ravens kneel for anthem. The Guardian. Available at https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/sep/24/donald-trump-defied-wembley-jaguars-ravens-nfl-kneel-anthem.

St. Félix, Doreen (September 24, 2017). What Will Taking the Knee Mean Now? The New Yorker. Available at https://www.newyorker.com/culture/annals-of-appearances/what-will-taking-the-knee-mean-now.

Tzanelli, R. (2013). Olympic Ceremonialism and the Performance of National Character: From London 2012 to Rio 2012. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

[1] ‘Pelé is known in print-capitalist circuits through his best-selling autobiographies, his starring in several successful documentary and semi-documentary films, and his composition of numerous musical pieces, including the soundtrack for the film Pelé (1977). In 2009 he cooperated with Ubisoft on arcade football game Academy of Champions: Soccer for the Wii in which he voiced-over the coach (Scullion, 2 June 2009). His sign value in global industrial systems makes him both a national and a transnational good – a new cosmopolitan subject’ (Tzanelli, 2013: 116).

 

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The unseen hazards of researching sugar

by Karen Throsby

A few weeks ago, as part of my ongoing research on the social life of sugar, I set myself the task of watching a series of anti-sugar, and by extension, anti-obesity, documentary films. How do they tell the story of sugar in contemporary society? What evidence do they draw on? What imagery do they use? Who are the authoritative voices of anti-sugar? How do gender, race and class figure in those narratives?

Over just a few days, I watched Cereal Killers, Run on Fat, The Big Fat Fix, What the Health, Fed Up and Carb-Loaded. I watched each one twice; the first viewing was to get a general sense of the film, and during the second, I took detailed notes. It sounds leisurely and entertaining to watch films for research, but by the time I got to What the Health – an anti-sugar, anti-dairy documentary promoting a whole-food, plant-based (WFPB) diet – I started to feel inescapably sad at the overwhelming fat-hatred that runs through the films. I took stock and revisited my notes. They recorded over and over again the use of what fat activist, Charlotte Cooper calls the ‘headless fatty’ images – fat, headless torsos, thighs or backsides, often with hands clutching packages of fast food, from which we are supposed to deduce a lifetime of poor choices and devastatingly expensive health problems. A parade of ‘experts’ – predominantly white, male, middle class professionals – proclaim the catastrophe of the fat body, and especially in the case of children. In Fed Up, we meet 12 year old Maggie, who cries in despair and shame because she hasn’t lost any weight. Only her body size matters to the filmmakers, and the commentary ignores how articulate she is, how insightful, or how much fun we see her having in clips of her swimming and kayaking with her friends. These ‘failed’ bodies are contrasted with the ‘good’ bodies of predominantly male athletes whose lean, able-bodied physicality signal the normative self-control of the disciplined subject. None of the films talk about the constraining effects and pressing demands of poverty, or the gendered labour of shopping for and preparing the fresh, whole food they recommended.

The fat-phobia of the films started to weigh heavily on me. The films are hate narratives parading as entertainment and they are stained with contempt for the fat body. I felt poisoned by them, and in spite of my very critical understanding of fatness, I had inadvertently made myself a target of their fat hatred simply by virtue of watching the films. It was dispiriting; a concentrated encounter with the hatred that the visibly fat encounter every day, and one that brought my enthusiasm for my new project temporarily to a grinding halt.

So what’s a researcher to do? Clearly, leaving the films unwatched and unexamined is not an option, so instead, I instigated an anti-sugar film self-care regime. The first step was to abandon my binge-watching strategy and pack away the films; I took a whole week off from watching and instead burrowed my way through a pile of feminist technoscience studies gems that restored my faith in the world and in my research. The second step was to move to a schedule of no more than one film per week; and then finally, to follow each film immediately with a book of such incisive and feminist potency that the fat-phobic stain simply couldn’t withstand its force. The take away lessons from this experience are: (1) pace yourself, especially with potentially upsetting material; and (2) never underestimate the restorative power of feminist literature.

Karen Throsby is researching the sociology of sugar. Read more about the project here:

 

 

 

 

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My Degree Explained: Gender Studies MA

By Olivia Morris

@Oliviamorris14

When I tell people that I’m studying an MA in Gender Studies, I’m typically faced with some pretty poor and misinformed reactions including: “Eh? Gender Studies? Is that just a bunch of women sat around complaining about men?” “Are you going to be able to get a job with that?” “There can’t be that many people on your course…” “Are there any boys who do it?” and so on…

The amount of students on the course offered at the University of Leeds almost doubled from 2015 to 2016 with an additional 12 students taking the MA. There are a variety of people on the course who represent various gender identities, come from all kinds of different backgrounds and cultures, and between us there are more than 19 different languages spoken, including a student who can sign-language.

Students with a masters in gender studies go on to do a wide range of careers including: teaching, working for NGOs, campaigning and activism, further study, journalism, law and many more.

The research, analysis and communication skills that the course provides you with means there are plenty of options for students to go on to do. The course in general provides us with an overview of the gendered inequalities that we face in society both in the past and now, and what we can do to tackle these issues.

So what exactly is a MA in Gender Studies, and why is it becoming more popular? With the help of some fellow students and lecturers, I want to bust a few myths about Gender Studies at Master’s level, explaining what it’s really about and why it’s so important, from those who actually do the course.

Francesca Taylor, Student

“In September 2015 I began volunteering for a local women’s charity Support After Rape and Sexual Violence Leeds. It was through delivering frontline women’s services as a helpline volunteer, supporting survivors of sexual violence, that I fully realised the extent of gender discrimination and the necessity for more conversations and studies about gender inequality.

“Flash-forward a year on and I’m studying for my M.A in Gender Studies at Leeds with a view to work for a gender based charity in the future.

“The course offers an in-depth insight into feminist, queer and postcolonial theories (among many others); ways that we might research gender in a sensitive, effective way; and discussions revolve around important relevant examples relating to gender in the changing, technological world in which we live.

“If you are interested in how gender is experienced differently and want to learn from other’s experiences by having important conversations, then I would wholeheartedly recommend studying gender at master’s level.”

Karen Throsby, Associate Professor

“An understanding of gender relations in society has never been more important, locally, nationally and globally. Courses like those at CIGS (Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies), and those run by other feminists across the country, enable students to think critically and reflexively about gender relations in all their complexity, and in ways that enable them to engage politically with the social world.

“These programmes also enable students to form alliances with feminists from around the world that will endure well beyond the degree programme itself.

“In a moment when the future president of the United States can talk unashamedly about sexually assaulting women and still be elected, I can’t think of anything more important than trying to understand gendered power relations and our own complicated relations to them, as well as seeking out points of intervention and resistance.”

Georgie Oi, Student

“I applied to do an MA in Gender Studies because I had been working in the public sector for sometime and wanted to specialise in sectors where a knowledge of gender issues would be useful. For example, working with survivors of domestic violence.

“On a personal note, I have experienced sexism all throughout my life and I wanted to empower myself to challenge this.”

Joyce Yi, Student

“The reason why I choose gender studies is because I’ve seen loads of gender inequality issues in our everyday lives. Some women are suffering from the ideal female gender roles.

“The most horrible thing is that they blame themselves if they do not fit the ideal image of women. Men can also be victims under the typical gender stereotypes. So I’m really curious how those roles and ‘truth’ are established in the society; what things we can do to help ourselves and others to live more freely.”

Current students on the course at Leeds took a wide range of undergraduate courses including English, Theatre, Music, Sociology, History, Psychology, Politics, International Relations and many more.

In a world that is becoming ever more uncertain, it is imperative that the students of today equip themselves with the tools and knowledge to challenge what faces us.

 

This article first appeared on Kettle on 2nd April 2017.

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Sugar Rush: Science, Obesity and the Social Life of Sugar

by Karen Throsby

@thelongswim

After decades of warnings about the perils of dietary fat, in recent years, sugar has stepped into the limelight as the public health bête noir. You can barely open a magazine, newspaper or social media feed these days without encountering dire warnings about the threat to health posed by sugar, or the proffering of programmes to help you quit the white stuff. It’s a concern that resonates at the global level. In 2015, the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended that we limit free (or added) sugars to 10% of our daily intake – less that the amount contained in a single can of Coke. And in 2016, the WHO called for the global taxation of sugary drinks to tackle obesity and type II diabetes, particularly in relation to children. Health entrepreneurs have hopped on board, and there is a proliferation of anti-sugar popular science texts, low carbohydrate dietary plans and first person and how-to guides to giving up sugar, available for purchase or via subscription access. Giving up sugar has also become a site of charitable fund-raising. For example, in February 2017, the Cancer Research Fund launched “Sugar Free February”, and in March 2017, the British Heart Foundation recruited over 16,000 participants for its sponsored “Dechox” fund-raising initiative.

With the exception of those commercially invested in the sugar industry, there is widespread agreement that the high consumption of sugar, and its almost universal presence in processed and packaged foods (approximately 75% of supermarket stock has added sugar), constitutes a public health issue. However, debates rumble on among scientists, clinicians and policy makers about what counts as sugar (all carbohydrates? Added sugars?), on the feasibility of sugar consumption in moderation (an argument favoured by the sugar industry, perhaps not surprisingly), and the relation of sugar to the familiar dietary enemy, fat. These contestations sit at the intersection of anti-obesity ideology, professional status and the authority of science, and the vested and commercial interests of ‘big sugar’ and its allies, and are central to the ways in which sugar is understood and made meaningful in contemporary society. They are also inextricable from generational, gendered, raced and classed assumptions about who the primary consumers of sugar are, how food habits and tastes are produced and sustained, the meanings of food across different contexts and how changes in food behaviour occur.

The current rush to position sugar as what anti-sugar researcher and popular nutritional science writer, Robert Lustig, describes as the “Darth Vader of the Empire” is the focus of my new project, entitled “Sugar Rush: Science, Obesity and the Social Life of Sugar”. The research, which is supported by a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship, will begin from the question: “What are the social meanings and practices of sugar in the context of the ‘war on obesity’? I plan to explore this by gathering together an assemblage of discourses and materialities through which sugar is made meaningful, and through which the social life of sugar is enacted. This accumulated archive will include: policy documents, parliamentary statements; professional medical association statements; published scientific research; popular texts; websites; media reports and other sources that both reflect and produce the contemporary social meanings of, attachments to, and repudiations of sugar. I hope that the subsequent analysis will facilitate a greater understanding of the ways in which sugar is operating as node through which our anxieties about food, health and bodies are made meaningful.

My interest here is not to determine the ‘truths’ of sugar or to dictate what people should or should not eat. Instead, I want to use the rush to sugar to explore the intersection of key sites of social inquiry including: scientific knowledge production, validation and popular appropriation; the role of generation, gender, race an class in the production of embodied citizenship; the politics of food, particularly in the context of austerity; and the contemporary panics around health and body size.

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Seminar: ‘Anyone can edit’, not everyone does: Wikipedia and the gender gap

On 15th March 2017, 12:00-13:30, Dr Heather Ford will discuss her research on Wikipedia and gender.

‘Anyone can edit’, not everyone does: Wikipedia and the gender gap

Feminist STS has long established that science’s provenance as a male domain continues to define what counts as knowledge and expertise. Wikipedia, arguably one of the most powerful sources of information today, was initially lauded as providing the opportunity to rebuild knowledge institutions by providing greater representation of multiple groups. However, less than ten percent of Wikipedia editors are women. At one level, this imbalance in contributions and therefore content is yet another case of the masculine culture of technoscience. This is an important argument and, in this talk, I examine the empirical research that highlights these issues. My main objective, however, is to extend current accounts by demonstrating that Wikipedia’s infrastructure introduces new and less visible sources of gender disparity. In sum, my aim here is to present a consolidated analysis of the gendering of Wikipedia.

Time and Location Details

15th March 2017

12:00 – 13:30
Room 12.21 and 12.25,
Social Sciences Building,
University of Leeds,
Leeds,
LS2 9JT.
This event is free to attend and no booking is required.

This entry was posted in Events.

Seminar: Dr Rosemary Lucy Hill – Persuasive Data: the use of data and visualisation in abortion campaigning

On 1st March 2017, 12:00-13:30, Dr Rosemary Lucy Hill will discuss her research on abortion-related data visualisations in campaigning contexts.

Persuasive Data: the use of data and visualisation in abortion campaigning

Data visualisation has been argued to have the power to ‘change the world’, implicitly for the better, but when it comes to abortion, both sides make moral claims to ‘good’. Visualisation conventions of clean lines and shapes simplify data, lending them a rhetoric of neutrality, as if the data is the whole story. It is imperative, therefore, to examine how data visualisations are used to shape women’s lives. This article draws on the findings of the small Persuasive Data. Google Image Scraper was used to locate abortion-related visualisations circulating online. The images, their web locations, and data use were social semiotically analysed to understand their visual rhetoric and political use. Anti-abortion groups are more likely to use data visualisation than pro-choice groups, thereby simplifying the issue and mobilising the rhetoric of neutrality. I argue that data visualisations are being used as a hindrance to women’s access to abortion, and that the critique of such visualisations needs to come from feminists. I extend discussions of how data is often reified as objective, by showing how the rhetoric of objectivity within data visualisation conventions is harnessed to do work in the world that is potentially very damaging to women’s rights.

Time and Location Details

1st March 2017

12:00 – 13:30
Room 12.21 and 12.25,
Social Sciences Building,
University of Leeds,
Leeds,
LS2 9JT.
This event is free to attend and no booking is required.

 

This entry was posted in Events.

Seminar: Dr Clarissa Smith – Talking about pornography in everyday life: what can be learned from talking to audiences?

On 22nd February 2017, 12:00 – 13:30, Professor Clarissa Smith (Sunderland) will be speaking in the School of Sociology and Social Policy:

Talking about pornography in everyday life: what can be learned from talking to audiences?

Despite the heat of debates about pornography – its meanings and impacts – we still know very little about the quotidian consumption of porn. In this presentation Clarissa will draw on findings from a complex online questionnaire into the meanings and pleasures of pornography, which garnered more than 5,000 responses.  The data suggests that pornographic materials have intricate meanings in respondents’ everyday lives and multiple significances for their senses of themselves as sexual subjects.

Time and Location Details

22nd February 2017

12:00 – 13:30

Room 12.21 and 12.25,
Social Sciences Building,
University of Leeds,
Leeds,
LS2 9JT.
This event is free to attend and no booking is required.

This entry was posted in Events.

Two new books by CIGS members

Immersion by Karen Throsby

Immersion by Karen Throsby

Karen Throsby‘s Immersion is about the extreme sport of marathon swimming. Drawing on extensive (auto)ethnographic data, Immersion explores the embodied and social processes of becoming a marathon swimmer and investigates how social belonging is produced and policed. Using marathon swimming as a lens, this foundation provides the basis for an exploration of what constitutes the ‘good’ body in contemporary neoliberal society across a range of sites including charitable swimming, fatness, gender and health. The book argues that the self-representations of marathon swimming are at odds with its lived realities, and that this reflects the entrenched and limited discursive resources available for thinking about the sporting body in the wider social and cultural context.

The book is aimed primarily at readers at undergraduate level and upwards with an interest in sociology, the sociology of the body, the sociology of sport, gender and the sociology of health and illness.

 

Gender, Metal and the Media by Rosemary Lucy Hill

Gender, Metal and the Media by Rosemary Lucy Hill

Rosemary Lucy Hill‘s Gender, Metal and the Media examines the tension between being a rock music fan and being a woman. From the media representation of women rock fans as groupies to the widely held belief that hard rock and metal is masculine music, being a music fan is an experience shaped by gender. Through a lively discussion of the idealised imaginary community created in the media and interviews with women fans in the UK, Rosemary Lucy Hill grapples with the controversial topics of groupies, sexism and male dominance in metal. She challenges the claim that the genre is inherently masculine, arguing that musical pleasure is much more sophisticated than simplistic enjoyments of aggression, violence and virtuosity. Listening to women’s experiences, she maintains, enables new thinking about hard rock and metal music, and about what it is like to be a women fan in a sexist environment.

 

You can read her blog about the book here: http://gender-studies.leeds.ac.uk/category/blog/

 

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