While popular music has indulged male power, it has exploited female desire. Its performances of controversial identities smash social norms, but also help to create new ones. Its lyrics encourage freedom and rebellion while business interests cash in on its hope. Female artists are the biggest selling in the world, yet the realm of popular music undermines their power by manufacturing and focusing on feuds between them. From Cynthia Plaster Caster to Rihanna, Centre lecturer Dr Rebecca Sheehan examined the ways in which women navigate the pleasures and dangers of popular music.

This talk was part of the Raising the Bar series of events in Sydney.