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pixiedust
Ok...I mentioned this in the forum and it was agreed that we could start a thread about how feminism is portrayed in pop culture. I am starting it with a lecture Mr. Pixie was emailed in his online literature class in grad school.

There are a lot of different angles in feminist literary theory, so I'm going to give you the basics for this week's discussion. One thing I want to clarify right now, A FEMINIST IS NOT A MAN HATER. A feminist is a person who thinks people should be treated equally regardless of gender. Most of the men I know are feminists. Many women are angry about the idea that they are inferior because they are women, but they do not represent the intellectual attitudes of feminism. In fact, these women are sexist pigs. So I hope to avoid any shrill invective in this discussion. Let us look at the book intellectually, not emotionally.

All of this information is from Bressler, Charles E. "Literary Criticism: An Introduction to Theory and Practice." 3rd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2003. 142-156.

The basic premise is that while sex is determined biologically, gender is determined socially, and women have been oppressed for millennia. Various feminists have tried to figure out exactly how women have been represented in literature, and that is the gist of feminist theory.

Kate Millet (1960s-70s) noted the following treatment of women in canonical literature:
1. In literature of the past, women have been considered "the Other." This means that the literature is written from the male point of view and that women are not men; therefore, they are "other" than men.
2. Women are stereotyped as "sex maniacs, goddesses of beauty, mindless entities, or old spinsters"
3. Few female authors appeared in literary anthologies, so women's writing was overlooked
4. The roles of female fictional characters were limited to secondary positions, more frequently than not occupying minor parts within the stories or simply reverting to the male's stereotypical images of women.
5. Female scholars were ignored
6. It was assumed by male literary scholars that all readers were male, so women reading these works were unconsciously duped into reading as a male.

Elaine Showalter concentrated on uncovering examples of misogyny (hatred of women) in texts. There is plenty of misogyny to be uncovered.

Gilbert and Gubar identified two types of women in fiction: the angel in the house and the madwoman in the attic. In Victorian fiction, the angel in the house was the wife who spent all of her energy making sure that her husband's house (it was not her house) was a refuge from the horrors of industrial society. It is this idea that we see in 1950s TV shows, where the loving wife brings his slippers and pipe to her husband after he gets home from a long day at work. The madwoman in the attic is an idea from Bronte's Jane Eyre where Rochester's first wife is locked in the attic because she has gone insane. Gilbert and Gubar maintain that she is actually a liberated woman who doesn't ascribe to the angel in the house model, so people thought she was insane. Bressler says: "Gilbert and Gubar assert that either of these images--the angel or the madwoman--are unrealistic representations of woman in society. One canonizes and places the woman above the world, while the other denigrates and places her below the world. Further, the message is clear to all women: If you are not an angel, then you are a monster" (151).

NOTE: The word "canon" indicates that books and women are made into saints or are superior to the common mold. Canonized books are those that are studied often because they are considered to be the best. Canonizing a woman makes her a saint.

Bressler gives some questions for analysis of a work according to feminist theory:
1. Is the author male or female?
2. Is the text narrated by a male or female?
3. What types of roles do women have in the text?
4. Are the female characters the protagonists or secondary and minor characters?
5. Do any stereotypical characterizations of women appear?
6. What are the attitudes toward women held by the male characters?
7. What is the author's attitude toward women in society?
8. How does the author's culture influence her or his attitude?
9. Is feminine imagery used? If so, what is the significance of such imagery?
10. Do the female characters speak differently than do the male characters? In your investigation, compare the frequency of speech for the male characters to the frequency of speech for the female characters.

Thoughts or discussion?

faerietails
Those questions at the end of your post are great ones to keep in mind, pixie.

Um, I'm not exactly sure where to begin with this thread, though the topic is one that ceaselessly manages to fascinate me.

During my undergrad I put together a website about people's perceptions of feminism. A lot of it was backlash, so I also included stuff on anti-feminism. There are mostly quotes from different (female) music/movie celebrities regarding feminism, though I'd love to look at literature as well.

It's pretty basic, but it might also serve as one of the jumping-off points.
pixiedust
yeah...The questions are what they had to address in their discussion about the book they read. I don't remember what the name of it was, but He thinks he might do his semester paper over that book because he was so fascinated with the role of women in literature. He'd never considered all this stuff before and I think maybe he "get's it" now.

I am not your sterotypical feminist. I am a Christian republican. I married right out of high school and my biggest hope in life was to have a home, family, and lots of children. I wanted to be June Cleaver. But 8 1/2 years of feeling oppressed, and second class to my ex, I finally realized that feminism is not a dirty word. SO many people think feminists are out to be better than men...I don't think that. I think we want to be equal, and it is still not happening. I lost my first job after my divorce because the guy I was working with was 50ish and though woman should simper and play secretary and receptionist. My title was Office Manger, and he didn't like me trying to make decisions about the office. Amusngly enough, I sat next to him waiting for my bankruptcy hearing last year. Karma?
erinjane
I think this is a really interesting thread. I'm not sure if this is intended more to be the portrayal of feminism in pop culture, or just feminism in pop culture. What I mean is, I recently took a course called Gender and Film and it was all about feminism analysis of Film Noir. It was really fantastic and really opens your eyes to the way you interpret things in past movies and films of today.

It was extremely interested analyzing the portrayal of women as the femme fatale and seeing how they always had their downfall at the end. We read some interesting articles on race as well, some by bell hooks, and one called "The Whiteness of Lilian Gish". It's scarier how the women who weren't white, or were '1/2 white' were portrayed as 'evil' or sexual deviants.

Starting in September I'll be taking Girls, Women, and Pop Culture as well as Mass Communication and Pop Culture. I think given my age (early 20's) I find issues like this especially interesting. I also have a 3 year old niece who I want to keep informed of the ways that the media portrays women/feminism.
lot49
Great new thread!

faerietails, I love what I've read on your site so far (I haven't read through anti-feminsm links yet). What an interesting project.

and pixie, what a great outline for a class discussion! The first course I took in literary theory in college was on feminist literary theory, and it was an almost total waste for me. The professor started the class with "What is feminism?"And then proceeded to tell those who offered answers that they were wrong. I don't even remember what her definition was....some complicated mess of critical discourse... I would so have preferred a discussion like that one.

Not much else to contribute tonight, but looking forward to seeing where this one goes.

pixie, in light of you mentioning that you're a Christian republican, I wanted to add that I feel like a complete dork for posting something about how I much I look down on republicans and religion in the Confessions thread yesterday. I put it in the confessions thread because I don't like this snobby streak in myself, and think it generally harms the causes that I believe in more than helps them...I don't know if I'm saying this well...open mouth, insert foot.
pixiedust
Don't worry Lot..I saw the post yestersday, but I knew it wasn't directed AT me specificly.And I don't blame you for your views. Too many people make you r feelings justified. That is why a certain troll really gets under my skin because he is damaging the very thing he pretends to be. And I am tired of not being able to mention God on here without him swooping down on the thread. God Bless ignore lists!

This can be any kind of thread we want it to be. I started it because Mr. P had this great lecture that made a difference in his perception of feminism and I wanted to share. So many of the questions at the end I had never really considered before. Why are independant, strong willed women, always plain or homely?
thingsarenice
I love reading but I get so sick sometimes of how female characters are always so two-dimensional, or how women are written about as these mysterious objects to do things to as opposed to as people who do things.. Portnoy's Complaint comes to mind, particularly the scene where he's thinking of masturbating onto this girl who fell asleep on the bus. It's not just the misogyny that bothers me, either, but the racism, too. If you're lucky enough to find a book written before 1970 that refers to women as actual human beings odds are that any reference to non-whites will be just as offensive as the misogynist crap you had to put up with in the last book you read.
punkerplus
With things I read I don't see these things so much. I read books mainly by female authors, and while in my early teens this was a conscious decision, now it comes almost naturally.

My boyfriend made the point recently that most of my cds are by female artists, and same for my books and thats when I realised it is because I enjoy them more, because I can relate to them.

I am going to keep a copy of those questions though and use them when I read.

Also I'm about to start "Cinderella's Big Score : Women of the Punk and Indie Underground" so I shall let you all know if that brings up any good points.
chibi
Hi all,

I am new and not sure where would be the best place to post this...I have just finished reading Ariel Levy's Female Chauvinist Pigs and are wondering if any of you all have read it too, and if so, what you think of it. (if this is not the right place for this sort of thing, please redirect me)

Thanks
anarch
just discovered this thread. Comics readers might be interested in Karen Healey's
Rules for Writing Female Comic Characters (that won't piss off vagina owners) [via Metafilter]
mermaidgirl13
Not sure how this fits but while I was at the movies over the weekend, I saw a preview for Monster House and it made me think about how girls in movies for kids are either stupid and superficial (a bimbo character), mean as hell (like Angelica in Rug Rats) or brainy but not liked by boys in that way (like Hermione).

Even more frustrating than the brainy vs. pretty thing was the fact that when there's a group of kids, there's always one dumb boy (as in this Monster House preview). I guess it's the one-dimensional-ness of it all that irks me so. Kids can deal with characters who have more than one trait, who are smart, but occasionally make funny, silly mistakes.

I feel like if I ever have kids, I have no idea what there will be for them to watch that's acceptable to me.

Certainly not Disney movies - I hate the way Disney portrays male and female. Female characters with big lips adn long eyelashes, even when their clams or fish. Why do fish characters need a gender at all?

I know you didn't mean for this to be focus on kid's pop culture, Pixie, but it's what came to mind when I read all the comments so far.
pixiedust
I love all the comments so far. This thread is meant to be pretty general...how feminism is portrayed in any facet of our society and pop culture.
I agree with you mermaidgirl. It starts young. I think that is why feminism is so important. We need to start chenging th eattitudes for young girls. The cycle needs to be broken. We need to move past the June Cleaver and Roseanne Barr mother steroetypes.
punkerplus
chibi, I've read FCP and I thought it was extremely interesting and made me examine some of my own behaviour. It definitely gave me a different perspective on the sexual model that girls and women are meant to follow today.

But I do think the other side still exist, which we can see with the "silver ring thing" and those father pledge things which were discussed in feminist outrage a while back.

Sexually speaking, its still very hard to win when it comes down to other peoples opinion of you.
erinjane
Bump! I'm starting a pop culture and media course next week so i'm hoping to have more contribute.
thereshegoes
what do people think of "ugly betty"? besides the obviously over the top orthodontia, the america ferrara pic in the promos looks like most of my friends. do people think this is positive, or negative (giving "real" women air time, but having to label them "ugly").

and i LOVED female chauv. pigs. i do thnk some of the stuff she wrote about queer sexuality was a bit off (misunderstood), but in general, i liked it, and it made me feel a lot better about not being a "girls gone wild" type. i think theres a big difference between women doing burlesque and annie sprinkle stuff and wearing a playboy tee-shirt in a wet tee-shirt contest at a frat...
not that i'm doing either.
maddy29
hey-that book "female chauv. pigs" was recommended to me by my roommate when I was talking to her about my frustration with the "porn/cock-blocking feminism" thread. Now I'm going to have to read it!

I do agree that we're stuck between a rock and a hard place, or whatever. I feel like we still have to choose between virgin and whore.

ok, i thought i had more to say but i guess not:) maybe after i read that book.
venetia
Hmm maybe I should read it...
designtx
The Amy Pohler interview in the current issue talks about this funky place girls are in today where there aren't any normal, attainable female role models in comedy or pop culture. That they're calling the show "Ugly Betty" makes me so angry (haven't seen it yet). America Ferrera is beautiful and REAL and wonderful. She's her curvy self in "Real Women" and "Traveling Pants", and she has friends and stands up and gets love from cute guys. Exactly the kind of person girls should be seeing as a film role model. Now, while it's exposure and a great opportunity for fame, how have they not relegated her to the O.F.F. role permanently?

There are a slew of dichotomies out there: you can't be fat/curvy and sexy or get the guy; you can't be pretty and brilliant without being turned into a sex object whose mind is a neat bonus for the guy; you can't be successfl by accomplishment alone if you're pretty--there's no way you would have gotten it without the sex appeal and some flirting. Seems like most of the female characters who stand outside of these with their groovy, quirky selves aren't in American film/TV. Would Amelie have been nearly as wonderful if it had been remade here for the percieved American audience?

Is there even a middle ground that's acceptable, where we aren't forced into a series of either/or definitions? Gender is a spectrum, but it seems that there is little grey area for those that identify as women when it comes to defining themselves and their role in society. Why do we have to defend ourselves to each other when we prefer something between the extremes?
anna k
QUOTE
you can't be pretty and brilliant without being turned into a sex object whose mind is a neat bonus for the guy; you can't be successfl by accomplishment alone if you're pretty--there's no way you would have gotten it without the sex appeal and some flirting.


I hate that. "She's hot! And smart too!" I like being brainy, but I don't like flirting or acting sexy to hook in a guy. I tried before, and it felt tiring and like a charade.

I liked that Amy mentioned the female comics/comic actresses of the 1970s who were more normal-looking and less "hot." Madeleine Kahn, Diane Keaton, Gilda Radner. I like to look nice, but I never felt like I was a hot and sexy girl, always a nerd inside. Even when I've been told that I was pretty or beautiful, I still felt like a nerd inside, not in the "hot babe" club.
xexyz
http://www.leenks.com/link51842.htm

Satire or thinly veiled sexist drivel? I've watched it several times (mostly because I think it's really funny) and want to think that it's satire, given the exaggerated acting and laughtrack, but I ask myself what exactly is being satirized?

Or am I thinking too deeply about an irreverent comedy sketch?
erinjane
I dunno, I found it sort of funny at first, but I didn't like the route it took in the middle and towards the end. It just kind of pissed me off. It may have been going for satire but it came off as more offensive in the middle.
stargazer
yeah, i caught a little of that show with america ferrera. i don't watch much tv. i don't like to watch the parade of anorexic, plastic types of women. i kinda got the point in the few minutes i watched. i guess with most media things....there are limitations....so i don't get my hopes up for this show being that radical. but, it is cool that a latina is in a lead role challenging stereotypes. makes me think of margaret cho's show. but, i think she was too ahead of her time unfortunately. i love margaret cho.

i still have an issue with how sexuality/sex is being used as a feminist issue by some women in the entertainment industry. i guess since my interest is in music...this area is where i see it. blah...women magazines in general. another pet peeve...i guess this topic is for another thread.
nickclick
America Ferrara is way too cute to be Ugly Betty, if ya ask me. what's up with not-so-ugly women playing ugly characters? they didn't ug up a hottie to play Napolean Dynamite, you know? they needed a dork, so they found a dork. when they need a black character, they cast a black actor. but when they need a fat/ugly/dorky female character, they find a hot actress and put her in glasses and/or a fat suit. and that's besides the stereotypes the characters are usually perpetuating in their roles. I WANT TO SEE DORKY GIRLS HAVING REGULAR LIVES!
thingsarenice
I don't know, John Heder's way less nerdy than Napoleon Dynamite. For one, he doesn't wear tucked-in pegasus t-shirts and he has better hair. But I know what you mean--like how Charlize Theron had to gain 40 pounds and put on a ton of uggo makeup instead of them just hiring someone whom at least had the 40 pounds already. And that pisses me off about adding glasses to make someone ugly--I have glasses, and they are totally hot. Plus, if I did not wear them, I would run into things even more often, and that's just not sexy.
WalterDogOfAction
Hey ladies smile.gif

I didn't know where else to post this and I couldn't start a new thread. Anyway, my husband wrote this short about Ms. Pac-Man as a feminist icon. If you like it, please forward it along!

- Betsy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dA1PY8YVk7I

petitmains
QUOTE
Lily Allen writes about her (and women's) treatment by NME


Interesting observation from LA about the double standard concerning drug use (or even joking about drug use) among male musicians and female musicians. I hadn't thought of it. I've been eh on her music from what I've heard - to me, it's not as innovative lyrically or production-wise as Nellie McKay or even Princess Superstar from a few years back (why yes, I'm old and need to quit living in the past). But her ideas have always been pretty admirable.

On an unrelated note, did anyone else read Camille Paglia's comment on the Madonna/Britney kiss a couple years ago? I don't have the exact linki, but it's on The Fix on Salon. I think the majority of women under 30 in show business actually do a pretty good job of promoting feminism (even if they don't call their actions that) as far as work ethic goes. But then you only hear about the Britneys and Lohans and Hiltons and all the vagina flashing and it paints a nonrepresentative picture.
spiderella
Like mermaidgirl, I've been thinking a lot about sexism in cartoons. If I ever had a child, I have no idea what I'd let them watch. There are so many things I watched as a little girl that disturbed me and taught me terrible things. Most of it had to do with sexist sexuality.

One example is the common scenario of the male villain kidnapping and wanting to marry the princess/leading lady. This always really freaked me out. I don't think the writers of cartoons realize how scary that scenario actually is from the female standpoint (for them, this is just a reason for the hero to be heroic and save the girl). Even though I was a kid, it didn't take long for me to realize, "If he's going to marry her against her will, then that means he's going to have sex with her against her will!" Which was horrible. I didn't want Princess Allura to get raped. But, because that was the only sexually charged situation I was allowed to see, that became my whole idea of what sex was.

Princes and heroes in kid's cartoons don't usually seem to be sexual beings - in Disney cartoons, the attraction between prince and princess seems to be so chaste. I wonder if this is because people think that little girls don't want the prince to be a sexual being, because that's "scary." Which, I guess, is why the villain is a sexual being - that's why he's villainous. But then sex really is scary when the villain is forcing it on someone. It would be so much better if the prince/hero got to be a friendly sexual image. I just don't get why little boys are allowed to drool over female characters made specifically for them to drool over (i.e. - most female comic book characters). They don't get taught that sex is scary. Why should we?

My other beef is with live-action comedies - I saw a lot of "funny" situations where men/boys were spying on a lady undressing, or stealing her underwear, or grabbing her ass. I would see that, and then I would see all the adults (even my mother) laughing. And I would and think to myself, "I would feel horrible if that happened to me! That would be so humiliating! But if that happens to me, nobody is going to care how I feel! They're just going to laugh." And like the first example, this became part of how I came to view sex. All the sexual content (overt or subliminal) I had seen had been acts of violation, and so I came to think that sex was necessarily an act of violation. When I thought about sex, I didn't think as much about princes on horses as I did about perverts and villains. I mean, I was having masochist fantasies about the bullies on Power Rangers (who were totally gross, not even attractive in a bad boy way, but my disgust was part of the fantasy). This is why I don't really believe that sadism/masochism is "natural" or inborn - most of my own tendencies are directly traceable to things I saw and things I was taught by the media. Which is why, if I ever have a daughter, I'm going to take a sledgehammer to the TV... happy.gif
ellenevenstar
Hmmmm.... perhaps that's why many women are attracted to the 'bad boy' in adulthood, because they equate sexuality with the 'baddie', not the 'goodie'. Very interesting.

I agree with you spiderella but at the same time, elsewhere in popular culture, young women are being taught that sex is fun and friendly in music videos and advertising... a little too fun and friendly, perhaps???

On the topics of sexism (but not sexuality) in cartoons, I remember in 1999 (not so long ago!) I saw this episode of The Flintstones, where Wilma got a job outside the home. She didn't have Fred's dinner made on time and the cleaning wasn't up to scratch so Fred trashed the joint, smashed furniture up and stuff! I still can't believe they broadcast that!

So what DO people have their children watch?? Miyazaki films are quite cool in terms of their representation of female heroes etc... what else is good?

By the way spiderella, I like your avatar. It reminds me of Shirley Manson from Garbage: it was an awakening the first time I saw her perform live, that's for sure!!!
spiderella
QUOTE(ellenevenstar @ Dec 13 2006, 01:35 AM) *

I agree with you spiderella but at the same time, elsewhere in popular culture, young women are being taught that sex is fun and friendly in music videos and advertising... a little too fun and friendly, perhaps???

The stuff directed at adults is a little different. For girls/adolescents, female characters in teen dramas and such are told again and again that sex is this path fraught with danger, that somehow your life is going to be ruined if you have sex. There's this idea that young women are innocent and don't know what they're getting into. That comes along with this assumption that she's doing it for the guy, or being manipulated by the guy, etc - the idea that a girl would actually come up with the idea herself is totally inconceivable.

Also, I think most music videos and advertisements are directed at men. Women dancing on cars and getting champaigne poured on them seems fun and friendly...for men. It's not really meant for female consumption, even though women watch them. And yeah, young women will look at that and go, "yeah, that looks fun," but that's because they're engaging in the male gaze. *feminist jargon* biggrin.gif

QUOTE
On the topics of sexism (but not sexuality) in cartoons, I remember in 1999 (not so long ago!) I saw this episode of The Flintstones, where Wilma got a job outside the home. She didn't have Fred's dinner made on time and the cleaning wasn't up to scratch so Fred trashed the joint, smashed furniture up and stuff! I still can't believe they broadcast that!

Yeah, a lot of the old Hannah Barbara cartoons are really messed up in that department! I remember an episode of the Jetsons that was all about how the mother was a terrible driver - why? Cause she's a woman. And every time she cut somebody off, some man in a car would say, "Ugh! Lady drivers!" (I remember an episode of the Munsters that had the same theme - the mother sucked at driving, and people would complain, "Lady drivers!") It is hard to believe they're still broadcasting that stuff.

QUOTE
So what DO people have their children watch?? Miyazaki films are quite cool in terms of their representation of female heroes etc... what else is good?

My little sister watches this show called something like, "My Life As A Teenage Robot," about a robot girl named Jenny. It's great - she's got super strength and she saves the boys. There's another one my sister likes called "The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy," about a boy and a girl who keep the grim reaper as a pet. The girl, Mandy, is a great character - she's a tough little cookie in a pink dress who's not afraid of anybody. I think someone here has an icon of her? And I've always thought the Power Puff Girls were cool.

QUOTE
By the way spiderella, I like your avatar. It reminds me of Shirley Manson from Garbage: it was an awakening the first time I saw her perform live, that's for sure!!!

Thanks. And Garbage rocks! biggrin.gif
ellenevenstar
Oh yeah, I love the powerpuff girls.. (except for their baby voices).

Yeah "fun and friendly... for men" is true, sadly. I am a teacher in a girls' school and my students just don't get that male gaze idea. They are taught on one hand that it is a kind of power to perform for men in that way, but they don't seem to see the objectification they are buying into. At school dances they mimic/replicate the moves being projected by the VJ. Of course the guys love that. Even women's magazines look like they are directed at men half the time.
stargazer
i've just been terribly annoyed with the invention of this show "the bad girls club" or whatever it is called. it is on oxygen from the creators of the real world. it is basically making money off of women being catty with one another. i know there are other shows similar. but, this show just grates on my nerves.
nickclick
a great quote from this NY Times article , titled "Doctors Fault Designers’ Stance Over Thin Models " :

“Their response looks like a P.R. cover on a real problem,” Ms. Grefe said. “It is like saying tobacco advertising does not cause lung cancer.”

tommynomad
I don't really have much to add to any of this--I think spinderella's very insightful about cartoons--except that all of it is the reason why I don't own a tv. If i did, I'd chuck it as soon as my kids were born.
femmespeak
"I didn't know where else to post this and I couldn't start a new thread. Anyway, my husband wrote this short about Ms. Pac-Man as a feminist icon. If you like it, please forward it along!

- Betsy"

Hey Betsy!! I totally saw this on Girlistic's blog awhile back. I nearly peed my pants laughing at that last part about her maiden name.

Fantastic!!!!
greenbean
(cross-post with "Bustie of Color")

I have a question for you ladies, but first I have to give some background:

Besides Bust and Venus, I don't buy any "women's" magazines. I think they are stupid and generalize women as blind sheep and rabid consumers. I do remember hearing (and it has become quite obvious) that women's mags practically never have a woman of color on their covers because "they don't sell". I also realized that when dark girls win America's Next Top model, they get featured inside a mag but don't get the cover, yet Nicole and Caridee (white girls that won) DO get a cover. What the hell is that!?!

Because this pissed me off so much, I started to purposely buy any major mag that had the guts to use a woman of color as their cover girl. I got a TeenVogue with a black covermodel a while back, and recently bought Lucky cuz Rosario Dawson was on it. I skimed through the mags, and I felt lobodimized! The content was sickingly vapid! So it made me ask myself if I had the right decision. Does buying these mags when they have a dark covergirl really making a difference? Or am I just supporting these stupid magazines by buying them at all? I'm really interested in other opinions.

ETA: (by the way, I lurve that Lily Allen article)
anna k
In Jane magazine. they published a bunch of positive letters about using an Asian model in a fashion layout. I thought the model was beautiful, but didn't think of her as a Asian girl being used as a statement, just a pretty model. It seemed funny how the letters were praising Jane for using an Asian girl, when it shouldn't be that unusual.

I've seen Eva Pigford on the cover of a magazine, I don't remember which one. I never saw Danielle on the cover of ElleGirl or Seventeen.
i_am_jan
Is anyone else getting tired of hearing young blonde celebrity women being talked down constantly?

Why is it okay to constantly scrutinize their bodies, their personal choices, whether it be marriage, divorce, pregnancy, what they wear, the color of their hair, who they go out with?

Why does this same thing not happen to young male celebrities? I mean with the way things go, you would think Ryan Phillipee, Nick Lacheey, Justin Timberlate, Jake Gyllenhaal, whomever would be ripe for the picking (on).

It seems to me that talking these women down makes it okay for us to be judgmental of women in everyday life. And for men to be as well.

Why do we act as though women are not capable of making good decisions? Or as though we have some right to be all in their business about the ones they do make?

Do men follow our lead? Is one of the reasons men feel it's acceptable to pick us apart and disrespect us because we allow this to go on? We set an example?

I mean ~ what's up? If you ask me, this is totally a feminist issue.
neurotic.nelly
QUOTE(i_am_jan @ Dec 14 2007, 10:53 AM) *
Is anyone else getting tired of hearing young blonde celebrity women being talked down constantly?

Why is it okay to constantly scrutinize their bodies, their personal choices, whether it be marriage, divorce, pregnancy, what they wear, the color of their hair, who they go out with?

Why does this same thing not happen to young male celebrities? I mean with the way things go, you would think Ryan Phillipee, Nick Lacheey, Justin Timberlate, Jake Gyllenhaal, whomever would be ripe for the picking (on).

It seems to me that talking these women down makes it okay for us to be judgmental of women in everyday life. And for men to be as well.

Why do we act as though women are not capable of making good decisions? Or as though we have some right to be all in their business about the ones they do make?

Do men follow our lead? Is one of the reasons men feel it's acceptable to pick us apart and disrespect us because we allow this to go on? We set an example?

I mean ~ what's up? If you ask me, this is totally a feminist issue.


My opinion is that "young blonde celebrity" (I'll ad very thin) women are put on a peddlestool, while also being tore down from that peddlestool through constant scrutiny. This constant scrutiny comes with the territory of being a celebrity. It happens to male celebs too. Unfortunately, women are targeted more frequently because we live in a sexist society and the media reflects that. If you are a young woman celebrity, especially white, your body is under more scrutiny from jump. Everything else that can be scrutinized, will be.

"Do men follow our lead? Is one of the reasons men feel it's acceptable to pick us apart and disrespect us because we allow this to go on?" Yes. Whateva you give out, except, and deem as normal is what you will get back. Unfortunately.

"It seems to me that talking these women down makes it okay for us to be judgmental of women in everyday life. And for men to be as well." In some ways, the media is one big loud gossipy woman just giving us what we want.



i_am_jan
neurotic nelly: yep. I agree completely. (I love the metaphor of media as a loud, gossipy woman). It also seems oddly pornographic to me though. Like talking these women down and making them laughing stocks. They're all dressed up looking sexy and then the media looks like a loud group of ___??___ doing a big gossipy circle jerk over them? I mean, aren't these the very same women who are the "most searched" women on the internet for photos?

But my real question is: where do we draw the line? I mean...

next thing we know it's spread to Katie Couric, and now that there's a woman doing a big news show, she's talked down...

then, Maxim magazine does an article on the 5 UNsexiest women...and Sarah Jessica Parker and Madonna make the top 5?
neurotic.nelly
QUOTE(i_am_jan @ Dec 15 2007, 01:26 PM) *
But my real question is: where do we draw the line? I mean...

next thing we know it's spread to Katie Couric, and now that there's a woman doing a big news show, she's talked down...

then, Maxim magazine does an article on the 5 UNsexiest women...and Sarah Jessica Parker and Madonna make the top 5?


Can you explain further? I don't get what you mean here?

i_am_jan
I just mean that it seems to be a fire that's fueled to the point where it's getting out of control. I guess I'm just sick of it. People at work ask me if I heard the latest on Lindsey ? whomever and I just go "who? I'm sorry, I don't know her" then when they persist I go "I'm sorry, I don't know who you're talking about." And it just sounds ignorant to me...for instance, my (retired, senior citizen) dad informed me on a visit with him recently that it was B Speers' birthday. I was like "huh?" I mean, I was raised in a *very* conservative and "christian" household...do we really have to talk about Hollywood here in Ohio? Really I'm just venting... peace out all~
neurotic.nelly
QUOTE(i_am_jan @ Dec 18 2007, 04:32 AM) *
I just mean that it seems to be a fire that's fueled to the point where it's getting out of control. I guess I'm just sick of it. People at work ask me if I heard the latest on Lindsey ? whomever and I just go "who? I'm sorry, I don't know her" then when they persist I go "I'm sorry, I don't know who you're talking about." And it just sounds ignorant to me...for instance, my (retired, senior citizen) dad informed me on a visit with him recently that it was B Speers' birthday. I was like "huh?" I mean, I was raised in a *very* conservative and "christian" household...do we really have to talk about Hollywood here in Ohio? Really I'm just venting... peace out all~

Yeah, I hear you. I say burn hollywood to the f*cking ground and keep it out of, not just ohio, but every household around the globe because we all don't need it invading our con(sub)sciousness. It's a prop to keep certain patriarchal, classist, racist, sexist, nationalist, and maybe impeding fascist agenda in place. And/or simply to just keep people dumb down and oblivious.
Luckily I do not work with people who ask me about the latest celebrity news. Although, I do oogle at it on my comcast homepage, which keeps me up to tempo with the rest of pop culture just enough to bullshit with people from time to time. And that's nice--to be able to shoot the shit with people who I might otherwise have nothing to talk about with.
katiebelle2882
haha peddlestool.
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excellent post, spiderella.
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I would be lying if I said I never followed any sort of celebrity news but I understand that it's absolutely problematic. It's no coincidence that the lives of females are scrutinized no matter what they choose to do or how they choose to look. The men in Hollywood are never given as much criticism. Men can gain or lose weight without the same implications put upon women.
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