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Clockwork RhetoricThe Language and Style of Steampunk$
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Barry Brummett

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781628460919

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2015

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781628460919.001.0001

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Liberation and a Corset

Liberation and a Corset

Examining False Feminism in Steampunk

(p.38) Liberation and a Corset
Clockwork Rhetoric

Mary Anne Taylor

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter will explore feminist possibilities presented through steampunk, and negotiate the complexities of gender empowerment through Victorian style. Although not a universal sentiment, many would argue that steampunk exists as an egalitarian ideal, where gender dichotomies are blurred. Accordingly, this chapter will investigate feminist claims and attempt to reconcile the notion that “Victorian” can also be feminist, or at the very least, feminist in style. In order to explore this thesis, the chapter draws on several resources in steampunk fashion, as well as the representation of women on fan sites, and in media portrayals. The critical analysis in this chapter will examine the comic Steampunk Palin as the primary text, and argue that claims of feminism and an egalitarian ideal are premature.

Keywords:   Feminism, Victorian, Style, Corset, Steampunk Palin, Fashion, Gender Performance

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