Post-Feminism’s “New Sexual Contract” and Electronic Dance Music’s Queered Femme Voices


  • Robin James UNC Charlotte



post-feminism, Sia, bottoms, Decon/Recon, queer


Angela McRobbie argues that post-feminism’s “new sexual contract” grants otherwise privileged white women the things traditionally denied women as a class, namely, economic success and self-ownership of their bodies as sexual property (McRobbie 2004). Because voice is commonly used as a metaphor for self-possessed agency, this article considers three ways white women and femme musicians across EDMC use vocal and authorial voices to reimagine post-feminist practices of self-ownership and property-in-person. Brooklyn band bottoms, Berlin techno collective Decon/Recon and Australian-American pop star Sia, all use voice to craft femininities that deviate from post-feminist gender norms and its “new sexual contract”: bottoms perform femininity as self-dispossession, Decon/Recon’s anonymous collective authorship centers women and femmes while de-centering private property, and Sia disconnects her voice from her person so that her performances of sonic resilience (James 2015) don’t labor upon her body and turn it into private property.

Author Biography

Robin James, UNC Charlotte

Associate Professor of Philosophy