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Gendering Oil

Gendering Oil

Tracing Western Petrosexual Relations

(p.244) 13 Gendering Oil
Oil Culture
Sheena Wilson
University of Minnesota Press

This chapter examines the ways that contemporary commercial photography uses constructs of femininity to promote the continued expansion of domestic oil industries, delegitimize women’s anti-oil activism, and derail post-Deepwater protests against offshore drilling. Focusing on contemporary women’s environmental activism and a range of industry advertising and press imagery, it illuminates the relationship between human rights, gender, racial equality and the petro-discourses that are newly oriented around ecology. It also considers how women’s relationship to oil, to the environment, and to the petrocultures of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries in the West is portrayed in the mainstream media in a limited number of largely superficial ways: first, through embedded feminism and women’s rights as they intersect with human and ethnocultural rights; second, through consumerism; and third, through the recuperation of the female body as a canvas on which to spectacularize politics—largely with explicit consumer aims.

Keywords:   commercial photography, environmental activism, women, offshore drilling, advertising, human rights, gender, oil, petroculture, feminism

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