A classic work on gender culture exploring how the women’s movement has evolved to Girls Gone Wild in a new, self-imposed chauvinism. In the tradition of Susan Faludi’s Backlash and Naomi Wolf’s The Beauty Myth, New York Magazine writer Ariel Levy studies the effects of modern feminism on women today. Meet the Female Chauvinist Pig—the new brand of “empowered woman” who wears the Playboy bunny as a talisman, bares all for Girls Gone Wild, pursues casual sex as if it were a sport, and embraces “raunch culture” wherever she finds it. If male chauvinist pigs of years past thought of women as pieces of meat, Female Chauvinist Pigs of today are doing them one better, making sex objects of other women—and of themselves. They think they’re being brave, they think they’re being funny, but in Female Chauvinist Pigs, Ariel Levy asks if the joke is on them. In her quest to uncover why this is happening, Levy interviews college women who flash for the cameras on spring break and teens raised on Paris Hilton and breast implants. She examines a culture in which every music video seems to feature a stripper on a pole, the memoirs of porn stars are climbing the bestseller lists, Olympic athletes parade their Brazilian bikini waxes in the pages of Playboy, and thongs are marketed to prepubescent girls. Levy meets the high-powered women who create raunch culture—the new oinking women warriors of the corporate and entertainment worlds who eagerly defend their efforts to be “one of the guys.” And she traces the history of this trend back to conflicts between the women’s movement and the sexual revolution long left unresolved. Levy pulls apart the myth of the Female Chauvinist Pig and argues that what has come to pass for liberating rebellion is actually a kind of limiting conformity. Irresistibly witty and wickedly intelligent, Female Chauvinist Pigs makes the case that the rise of raunch does not represent how far women have come, it only proves how far they have left to go.
First published in 2008, Donna Freitas's Sex and the Soul revealed what college students -- at institutions large and small, public and private, secular, Catholic, and evangelical -- really think about sex, dating, religion, and spirituality. Based on face-to-face interviews with students across the country, Sex and the Soul achieved national acclaim, illuminating the as-yet-unexplored struggles of college students navigating the lines of faith and sexuality. Now, in this updated edition, Freitas reflects on the hundreds of conversations she has had with students since the book was first published in an all-new afterword, and offers practical advice for young people struggling with issues of sex and spirituality and for the adults giving them guidance.
At a time of significant change in the precarious world of female individualization, this collection explores such phenomena by critically incorporating the parameters of popular media culture into the overarching paradigm of gender relations, economics and politics of everyday life.
Pundits and politicians often opine on the irrelevance of feminism and the women's movement today. Some commentators describe the state of feminism as "post-feminist," alongside equally questionable claims of Barack Obama's election as signaling a "post-racial" America. Modern Misogyny examines contemporary anti-feminism in a "post-feminist" era. It considers the widespread notion that the feminist movement has ended, in large part because the work of feminism has been completed. In fact, the argument goes, women have been so successful in achieving equality, it is now men who currently are at risk of becoming irrelevant and unnecessary. These sentiments make up modern anti-feminism. Modern Misogyny argues that equality has not been fully achieved and that anti-feminism is now packaged in a more palatable, but stealthy form. This book addresses the nature, function, and implications of modern anti-feminism in the United States. Modern Misogyny explores the landscape of popular culture and politics, emphasizing relatively recent moves away from feminist activism to individualism and consumerism where "self-empowerment" represents women's progress. It also explores the retreat to traditional gender roles after September 11, 2001. It interrogates the assumption that feminism is unnecessary, that women have achieved equality, and therefore those women who do insist on being feminists want to get ahead of men. Finally, it takes a fresh look at the positive role that feminism plays in today's "post-feminist" era, and how feminism does and might function in women's lives. Post-feminist discourse encourages young women to believe that they were born into a free society, so if they experience discrimination, it is an individual, isolated problem that may even be their own fault. Modern Misogyny examines that rendering of feminism as irrelevant and as the silencing and marginalizing of feminists. Anderson calls for a revived feminism that is vigilant in combatting modern forms of sexism.
If the burlesque stripper, with her bawdy spirit and unruly insubordination, has emerged for many as a new 'empowering' model for the sexually aware woman, then she also strikes horror in the heart of second wave feminism. Embodied by high profile artistes such as Dita von Teese and Catherine d’Lish, the explosive revival of striptease, burlesque and overt female sexual performance has proved no less alluring to a new generation of women artists familiar with the provocative work of 70’s performance artists such as Hannah Wilke and Carolee Schneeman. Eloquent on ‘prettiness’ and power, desire and ‘knowingness’, money, sex and class, and with an extensive knowledge of burlesque’s rich tradition, Willson raises long overdue questions about women’s erotic expression within a ‘postfeminist’ condition. The ‘new burlesque’ demands above all a response - this fresh, brazen, provocative book at last provides it.
From domestic goddess to desperate housewife, What a Girl Wants? explores the importance and centrality of postfeminism in contemporary popular culture. Focusing on a diverse range of media forms, including film, TV, advertising and journalism, Diane Negra holds up a mirror to the contemporary female subject who finds herself centralized in commodity culture to a largely unprecedented degree at a time when Hollywood romantic comedies, chick-lit, and female-centred primetime TV dramas all compete for her attention and spending power. The models and anti-role models analyzed in the book include the chick flick heroines of princess films, makeover movies and time travel dramas, celebrity brides and bravura mothers, ‘Runaway Bride’ sensation Jennifer Wilbanks, the sex workers, flight attendants and nannies who maintain such a high profile in postfeminist popular culture, the authors of postfeminist panic literature on dating, marriage and motherhood and the domestic gurus who propound luxury lifestyling as a showcase for the ‘achieved’ female self.
Key cultural shifts have enabled a "new sexualization" of women. Neoliberal, consumerist, and postfeminist media culture have shaped ways of understanding female sexuality, embodied by the figure of the choosing, empowered, entrepreneurial consumer citizen-woman, whose economic capital determines feminine success (and failure). Informed by older constructs of privilege such as class, sexuality, race and (dis)ability, this version of sexiness also constrains by folding contemporary femininity back into previous panics about youth, excess, "bad" consumption, and appropriate feminine behavior In Technologies of Sexiness, Adrienne Evans and Sarah Riley identify how current understandings of sexiness in public life and academic discourse have produced a "doubled stagnation," cycling around old debates without forward momentum. Developing a theoretical and methodological framework, they expand on the notion of a "technology of sexiness." They ask what happens and what is lost when people make sense of themselves within the complexities and contradictions of consumer-oriented constructs of sexiness. How do these discourses come to "transform the self"? This book provides a framework for understanding how women make sense of their sexual identities in the context of a feminization of sexual consumerism. The authors analyze material collected with two groups of women: the "pleasure pursuers" and "functioning feminists," who broadly occupy positions across the pre- and post-Thatcher eras, and the changes brought about by the feminist movement. As one of the first book-length empirical studies to explore age-related femininities in the context of what "sexiness" means today, the authors develop a series of insights into various "technologies of the self" through analyses of space, nostalgia, and claims to authentic sexiness.
From the clamshell razors and homemade lye depilatories used in colonial America to the diode lasers and prescription pharmaceuticals available today, Americans have used a staggering array of tools to remove hair deemed unsightly, unnatural, or excessive. This is true especially for women and girls; conservative estimates indicate that 99% of American women have tried hair removal, and at least 85% regularly remove hair from their faces, armpits, legs, and bikini lines. How and when does hair become a problem—what makes some growth “excessive”? Who or what separates the necessary from the superfluous? In Plucked, historian Rebecca Herzig addresses these questions about hair removal. She shows how, over time, dominant American beliefs about visible hair changed: where once elective hair removal was considered a “mutilation” practiced primarily by “savage” men, by the turn of the twentieth century, hair-free faces and limbs were expected for women. Visible hair growth—particularly on young, white women—came to be perceived as a sign of political extremism, sexual deviance, or mental illness. By the turn of the twenty-first century, more and more Americans were waxing, threading, shaving, or lasering themselves smooth. Herzig’s extraordinary account also reveals some of the collateral damages of the intensifying pursuit of hair-free skin. Moving beyond the experiences of particular patients or clients, Herzig describes the surprising histories of race, science, industry, and medicine behind today's hair-removing tools. Plucked is an unsettling, gripping, and original tale of the lengths to which Americans will go to remove hair.
Romantic Comedy offers an introduction to the analysis of a popular but overlooked film genre. The book provides an overview of Hollywood's romantic comedy conventions, examining iconography, narrative patterns, and ideology. Chapters discuss important subgroupings within the genre: screwball sex comedy and the radical romantic comedy of the 1970s. A final chapter traces the lasting influence of these earlier forms within current romantic comedies. Films include: Pillow Talk (1959), Annie Hall (1977), and You've Got Mail (1998).