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> Pop Culture Feminism, a place to discuss womans place in our pop culture
ellenevenstar
post Dec 13 2006, 12:18 AM
Post #21


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From: terra australis


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!!!
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spiderella
post Dec 12 2006, 02:45 PM
Post #22


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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
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petitmains
post Dec 8 2006, 03:25 PM
Post #23


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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.
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ellenevenstar
post Dec 8 2006, 01:43 AM
Post #24


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From: terra australis


Lily Allen writes about her (and women's) treatment by NME
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WalterDogOfActio...
post Nov 15 2006, 02:43 PM
Post #25


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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

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thingsarenice
post Oct 20 2006, 11:59 AM
Post #26


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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.
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nickclick
post Oct 18 2006, 08:05 AM
Post #27


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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!
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stargazer
post Oct 8 2006, 07:15 PM
Post #28


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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.


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erinjane
post Oct 6 2006, 09:55 PM
Post #29


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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.


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xexyz
post Oct 6 2006, 01:05 PM
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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?
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anna k
post Oct 2 2006, 07:52 PM
Post #31


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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.
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designtx
post Oct 1 2006, 09:32 PM
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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?
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venetia
post Sep 24 2006, 03:57 PM
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Hmm maybe I should read it...
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maddy29
post Sep 12 2006, 08:20 AM
Post #34


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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.
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thereshegoes
post Sep 11 2006, 08:23 PM
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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.
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erinjane
post Sep 3 2006, 04:09 PM
Post #36


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Bump! I'm starting a pop culture and media course next week so i'm hoping to have more contribute.


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punkerplus
post Jul 26 2006, 05:07 AM
Post #37


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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.
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pixiedust
post Jul 25 2006, 12:20 PM
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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.


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mermaidgirl13
post Jul 25 2006, 11:42 AM
Post #39


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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.
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anarch
post Jul 24 2006, 02:03 PM
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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]
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