This article offers a theorization of the politics of politically inspired musical performances in the twenty-first century. The two examples, Peaches’ “Dick in the Air” and Rose McGowan’s “rm486,” both released in fall 2015, offer two very different approaches to contemporary feminist and popfeminist body politics. These songs with their accompanying video and multimedia releases, offer the temporal and auditory frame for reflections about how gendered and racialized bodies are impacted by their surroundings and how, in turn, we impact these surroundings, to the local and the global, to neoliberalism and its discontents. These performances are not acts of provocation, but suggest ways to imagine social futures by creating spaces for relations, shared response, and political intervention.
Maria Stehle is Associate Professor of German and faculty in Cinema and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. She is the author of Ghetto Voices in Contemporary German Cultures (Rochester, 2012), co-author of Awkward Politics: The Technologies of Popfeminist Activism (Montreal, 2016), and has published widely in the fields of German, cinema, media, and gender studies.