IIPC Debate 31 January

IIPC Debate 118

IIPC Debate 118, Tuesday 31.1. 14-16. Online:

Passcode: 825708

Feminisms in mediated popular music

Associate Professor Ann Werner (Södertörn University, Sweden)

Feminists have always performed, recorded and listened to popular music but in the 2010’s feminist messages and self-proclaimed feminist artists increasingly influenced the mainstream of popular music. Successful artists claimed to be feminist and feminist issues were thematized in popular music through lyrics, music videos, #MeToo activism and artist personas. But what kind of feminisms have been popularized in the music industries? Feminist politics and feminist theory are fields with large internal differences, and battles. This paper is based on Werner’s recent book Feminism and Gender Politics in Mediated Popular Music (Bloomsbury 2022) and investigates how postfeminism, gender equality feminism and intersectional feminism have taken place in mediatized popular music. It does so through examples of music documentaries on Netflix by Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift, a music industry #MeToo petition, Keychange, a project aiming to put minority genders on stage and gender mainstreaming efforts by music streaming services. The examples are, in this presentation, discussed as influenced by different types of feminisms, with different gender political results.


Ann Werner’s dissertation in Cultural Studies examined teenage girls’ uses of popular music. Her research interests are in gender, music and media and she has published widely on dancing videos on YouTube, streaming and algorithmic culture, gendered uses of music, and gender in the music industries drawing on feminist theory and cultural studies. She has previously co-authored the book Streaming Music (Routledge 2017) and published in academic journals such as Popular Communication and IASPM Journal. She is currently employed as Associate Professor in Gender Studies at Södertörn University and as Senior Lecturer in Musicology at Uppsala University, Sweden.


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