Stuck Between a Gimmick and a Token: Female DJs Negotiate Binaries

My Vagina Weighs a Ton

By Maren Hancock, PhD Candidate (ABD)
Department of Women’s Studies, York University



This study was initially presented at the PCA/ACA National Conference in San Antonio, Texas, February 2011.

Gimmick: something which is not serious or of real value that is used to attract people’s attention or interest temporarily, especially to make them buy something [1]

Token: a member of a group (as a minority) that is included within a larger group through tokenismespecially:  a token employee [2]

This study examines how professional female DJs in North America are often considered to be either tokens or gimmicks, both within DJ culture specifically, and the public imaginary in general. In demonstrating how female DJs are imagined according to the token/gimmick binary, I also seek to emphasize some resulting strategies that female DJs employ to either use each stereotype to their advantage, or reject them both altogether. This research…

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