#Shebelieves, But Does She? Examining The Impact Of The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team’s Empowerment Campaign On The White Woman Millennial
Brice, Julie Elizabeth
Andrews, David L
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In 2015, the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) launched the #SheBelieves campaign encouraging young women to continue believing in their goals and dreams (“WNT Launches #SheBelieves Initiative,” n.d.). #SheBelieves is thus an examplar of a promotional discourse which utilizes ideas of female empowerment in a manner that contributes to the constitution of the postfeminine, neoliberal, millennial subject identified by numerous scholars (Genz, 2009; McRobbie, 2009; Rottenberg, 2014). However, much of this scholarship ignores the fluid, and oftentimes contradictory, nature of subjectivity, and fails to acknowledge complexity of the 21st century woman’s lived experiences (Blackman, 2008; Weedon, 2004). Therefore, this thesis uses semi-structured small group interviews to answer to what extent, and in what ways have young white women experienced, and been interpellated by, the empowerment rhetoric and idealized postfeminine-neoliberal, millennial subjectivity, embedded within U.S. National Women’s Soccer #SheBelieves campaign? The results are mixed: women did exhibit elements of postfeminist and neoliberal sensibilities with regards to their personal engagement with U.S. Women’s National Soccer; yet, the women also showed significant resistance, and thereby considerable agency, to aspects of the #SheBelieves discourse.