By Geraldine Harris Elaine Aston
Relocating around the obstacles of mainstream and experimental circuits, from the affective pleasures of commercially profitable indicates similar to Calendar women and Mamma Mia! to the feminist probabilities of new burlesque and stand-up, this booklet deals a lucid and available account of renowned feminisms in modern theatre and function.
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Extra info for A Good Night Out for the Girls: Popular Feminisms in Contemporary Theatre and Performance
However, those kinds of connections have been hidden by the media stereotyping of both the WI and feminism. As Maggie Andrews observes, ‘[a]t first glance nothing could be further apart than the notion of the Women’s Institute Movement as all about “Jam and Jerusalem”, and the popular tabloids’ perception of feminists as “hysterical shrews” or “Dungaree Dykes”’ (1997: ix). Laying claim to the Women’s Institute Movement as ‘intrinsically linked with feminism’ (ibid), Andrews, as the title of her study signals, argues the WI as ‘the acceptable face of feminism’.
In The Aftermath of Feminism while Angela McRobbie discusses ‘the dismantling’ of feminism within the academy and the erosion of the socialist or materialist feminism that was once a dominant dynamic in that sphere, she associates this ‘rhetoric’ primarily with a postfeminism that has ‘adapted some features of identity politics’ as part of the ‘disarticulation’ of feminism inside popular culture (2009: 29, 26). This ‘disarticulation’ refers to the devaluing, dismantling and negating of ‘alliances across the spectrum of left, feminism and anti-racist movements’ (ibid: 29), with the effect of ‘dispersing women across divisions of time and space, age and class, ethnicity and sexuality, so that those who otherwise might have found some common cause together are increasingly unlikely to do so’ (ibid: 52).
Over a period of several months they bond, fall out and bond again. The show climaxes with a pole-dancing event, put on by the women to raise money for a breast cancer charity. This is in support of one of the group, ‘Sarah’ (Pauline Fleming), who has already had a mastectomy and suffers a reoccurrence of this cancer during the course of the narrative. As confirmed by the Grand’s theatre manager Ellie Singleton, on the night I saw it out of the 460 available seats approximately 446 were occupied by [white] women.
A Good Night Out for the Girls: Popular Feminisms in Contemporary Theatre and Performance by Geraldine Harris Elaine Aston