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An Oceanic revolution? Stella and the construction of new femininities in Papua New Guinea and the Pacific



In August 2012, a new magazine for women was released in Papua New Guinea (PNG). Entitled Stella, the magazine provides an ideal opportunity to analyse shifting constructions of gender among educated, employed women in PNG and elsewhere in the Pacific. Drawing on interviews, surveys and readers’ letters, this article discusses Papua New Guinean women who, because they display ‘modern attributes’, are maligned and discredited as ‘inauthentic’. It then goes on to document the ways in which Stella is enabling such women to assert themselves anew. Arguing that the publication of Stella marks the arrival into the public sphere of a group hitherto consigned to the margins of Pacific societies on the basis that they represent an ‘inauthentic minority’, the article makes an important contribution to scholarly discussion about the emergence of new femininities in PNG and the Pacific.

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