Sunday, January 28, 2024

Pg. 99: Kim Hong Nguyen's "Mean Girl Feminism"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Mean Girl Feminism: How White Feminists Gaslight, Gatekeep, and Girlboss by Kim Hong Nguyen.

About the book, from the publisher:
White feminists performing to maintain privilege

Mean girl feminism encourages girls and women to be sassy, sarcastic, and ironic as feminist performance. Yet it coopts its affect, form, and content from racial oppression and protest while aiming meanness toward people in marginalized groups.

Kim Hong Nguyen’s feminist media study examines four types of white mean girl feminism prominent in North American popular culture: the bitch, the mean girl, the power couple, and the global mother. White feminists mime the anger, disempowerment, and resistance felt by people of color and other marginalized groups. Their performance allows them to pursue and claim a special place within established power structures, present as intellectually superior, substitute nonpolitical playacting for a politics of solidarity and community, and position themselves as better, more enlightened masters than patriarchy. But, as Nguyen shows, the racialized meanness found across pop culture opens possibilities for building an intersectional feminist politics that rejects performative civility in favor of turning anger into liberation.
Learn more about Mean Girl Feminism at the University of Illinois Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Mean Girl Feminism.

--Marshal Zeringue