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New girl heroes : the rise of popular feminist commentators in an era of sexualisation
journal contributionposted on 2012-05-01, 00:00 authored by Claire CharlesClaire Charles
The level of public interest in what has variously been called ‘raunch culture’, ‘pornification’ or more broadly ‘sexualisation’ of culture, has created new opportunities for enterprising women. In recent years, a number of immensely popular books have emerged raising concerns about girls and sexualisation by female authors across Western nations such as the USA, Australia and the UK. Here, I explore the media work of two prominent Australian media commentators on girls and sexualisation, Melinda Tankard Reist and Dannielle Miller. I explore how, in their educative work designed to empower girls and free them from the stifling, damaging aspects of sexualised popular culture, these commentators may be citing and performing other normative dimensions of contemporary young femininity that go unremarked upon and are thus reinscribed as normal and expected.