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Splattered InkPostfeminist Gothic Fiction and Gendered Violence$
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Sarah E. Whitney

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040467

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040467.001.0001

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A Woman Might as Well Be Brave

A Woman Might as Well Be Brave

Susanna Moore’s Ambient Fright

(p.59) 3 A Woman Might as Well Be Brave
Splattered Ink

Sarah E. Whitney

University of Illinois Press

This chapter looks at how novelist Susanna Moore critiques the postfeminist ethos of “empowerment.” She problematizes the Teflon nature of contemporary popular culture's “warrior woman” icon through her accounts of gendered asymmetries of power. The question of female vulnerability, Moore has noted in an interview, “is the only thing that interests me.” Women, she continues, “are completely disadvantaged—despite what men will say. It is not a fair fight. … My only method of survival is in taking it…on, facing it, thinking about it.” Most controversially, Moore assails the overreach of postfeminist narratives that fetishize “choice,” and she suggests that in reality, the world is far from a free marketplace. As a whole, her work connects the realities of women's physical, social, and sexual disempowerment—all of which are written on the bodies of her broken heroines—to the false promises of postfeminism.

Keywords:   Susanna Moore, women's empowerment, women's disempowerment, postfeminist narratives, shadow feminisms, sexual violence, broken heroines

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