Mum’s The Word:
Voicing the Female Experience in Popular Culture
The discourse of the female experience within popular culture aims to defy the limitations of socio-normative values and stereotypes. Where the female identity is often denied agency in areas such as the Catholic tradition in Ireland, women can become agents of power in popular culture and can be seen to be an agent of change for women in structural, political and religious institutions. In relation to the expectancy of femininity, popular culture transgresses such ideological implications through the creation of subversive female characters who exude strong agency. It parallels experiences of the ‘New Woman’, and her movement from the domestic domain into the male-dominated sphere. This conference aims to explore the realm of popular culture through the lens of gender analysis, examining the changing female status, as the subjugate ‘Other’. Rather than traditionally highlighting women as victims, popular culture increasingly portrays women as agents and as more independent figures, while at the same time, interrogating the ethical implications of such agency. The female subject will be put forward as the creator of meaning rather than only been seen as the supplier of meaning. Through the analysis of such texts and characterization, the female is granted a voice – a weapon of equality, strength, and resilience.