Monday, January 31, 2011

Response to Douglass, Baumgardner and Richards, and Walker

I think the thing that caught my attention most when reading through these chapters and articles was the critical eye that feminists seem to have. I was interested that some women so systematically broke down certain television shows that I always have just considered mindless entertainment. The analyses of 90210 and Murphy Brown were really interesting examples. I, too, had never seen 90210 but I assumed it was similar to a show like The O.C. which I watched religiously throughout all the seasons. Now that I have heard the critique of shows like this, I can very clearly see how The O.C. portrays girls in a really negative way at times. It makes all their struggles and issues look trivial and their lives of parties, boys, and shopping look somewhat ridiculous. However, I never before thought of this as a means to push forward anti-feminist ideals. I only ever thought of it as entertainment. Yet, if this is what the media is showing us, it is hinting to girls that to be popular and pretty and to have boys like you, you have to be a certain way.
Murphy Brown was another good example of strong critique, however, I felt like the show also pigeon-holed women in a negative way as well. It implied that in order for a woman to be successful in business, she has to be cut throat and aggressive and not want a family. It's great that there is a role for a woman who does want those things on television, but I feel like most women aren't willing to cut that out of their lives completely. I was surprised that feminists were so against the idea of Murphy having a child. I understand that it may have seemed to convey the message that she wasn't complete until she had procreated, but it could also just have been a way to show that women could have strong careers and families too.
The last thing I wanted to touch on was Rebecca Walker's piece. I was really intrigued by her story of becoming a feminist. However, I felt like at the end of her piece she was being very radical in her condemnation of men. I agree that it's important to find men that support women's rights, but one of her last sentences, do not vote for them, do not have sex with them, do not break bread with them, seemed a little extreme.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Blog Summary: Douglass: Chapters 1-3 Rebecca Walker: “Becoming the Third Wave” Baumgardner and Richards “Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and...

Chapter One: Get The Girls
This chapter focuses a lot on how teenagers started to play a more important role in consumerism and society as a whole during the 90’s. Douglass talks a lot about the show Beverly Hills 90210, which became the most popular show for young women during the 90’s. She goes on to talk about other very popular TV shows, such as Melrose Place and Murphy Brown. The chapter looks at how enlightened sexism was in American society, and especially in these popular TV shows. The women in the show fall into different categories of being either “like a man”, power-hungry, superficial, and always beautiful. Douglass also mentions magazines that became popular, and especially the magazine Sassy. She is a fan of Sassy because the magazine portrayed a stronger woman who was true to herself. The chapter looks at how adolescents are seen by society, “if they behave like true adolescents, they can’t be feminine, and if they adopt the mantle of femininity, they aren’t really adolescents.” (53).

Chapter Two: Castration Anxiety
Chapter two looks at how there was a heightened level of anxiety surrounding gender roles. The worry was of men being emasculated, and females in power were dangerous. Douglass writes that men worried that women were trying to strike back now, and they were coming for the men. She talks about the popular TV shows and books that pictured dangerous women who were going against men. Much of the chapter focuses on Amy Fisher, the young teenager who shot her lover’s wife. Douglass looks at how Fisher was exploited and viewed by the media and society as a whole. It was such a popular case because it made society look at certain taboos, such as the one of teenage girls being violent. Douglass also looks into other popular cases like the treatment of Janet Reno and Anita Hill.

Chapter Three: Warrior Women in Thongs
In chapter three, Douglass explores different popular media devices whose main character was a beautiful woman who could beat up anyone and anything. One such TV show she looks at is Xena. As the youngest of three girls in my house I can personally attest to watching Xena, but normally my mom would tell me it was too old for me. Douglass writes that with the premiere of Xena “we saw the proliferation of a new kind of heroine, a sexy, mouthy, physically violent ass-kicker whose duty it was to save the entire world from really monstrous evildoers.” (77). Also chapter three talks about how the goals of feminists in the 70’s were different than feminist in the 90’s. Douglass thinks these strong women such as Xena were too good to be true, but the fact that they were so accepted by society is a good thing.

Rebecca Walker:
Walker describes her personal revelation that leads her to becoming a feminist. The interrogation of Anita Hill sparked Walker’s angry over her treatment and how women are generally treated. She also retells a story of her being on a train and men being very rude to her, and the others in the train car with her. She calls for women to not cooperate at all with men, unless they work for women. She thinks that women should not be in any contact with men until they prioritize women’s rights. At the end she proudly proclaims herself as the Third Wave.

Baumgardner and Richards:
Baumgardner and Richards are both Third Wave feminists and together they wrote a thirteen-point agenda, which lists out thirteen different goals that they want the Third Wave to complete. The goals were really interesting to read, because most of them were not as direct as women wanting the right to vote. One of the goals seemed to be talking about the right to have an abortion, but there were other goals like “to bring down the double standard in sex and sexual health.” (425). The agenda is short, but very difficult to complete, I believe.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Follow Up Post: Douglas, Walker, Baumgardner and Richards

I found the chapters in Enlightened Sexism to be extremely interesting.  For instance, when Douglas breaks apart the various television shows she clearly demonstrates how the media has portrayed women.  Concerning 90210 it becomes evident that the show focused on the pleasures that result from physical appearance, consumerism and attention from men.  Although I have never seen this show, I can relate it to many other shows, including numerous reality shows that focus solely on appearance or male approval such as Bridalplasty or The Bachelor.  Both these current shows are still portraying the importance of appearance and men in order for women to feel accomplished or even complete.  Women are clearly sexual objects in these shows. 
            Douglas also picked apart the show Murphy Brown, one that I have never seen.  Her evaluation is often positive as the show portrays a successful and confident woman as the lead role.  However, Douglas also explains that the show was criticized for allowing Murphy to have a child rather than representing the childless yet still fulfilled woman.  Critiques like this at times seem very analytical.  The show is still in the business to make a profit and keep an audience.  When deciding the plot the writers are clearly thinking of a storyline that can keep the show interesting and keep the audience engaged.  It seems likely that not all groups of people will be happy with a specific storyline or event in a show.  I question exactly how writers can remedy this without sacrificing the rest of their audience or advertisers.  I definitely agree with some of the criticism concerning the depiction of women as victims or inferior to men.  However, I do believe that some other disapproval is somewhat unrealistic.
            Another topic worthy of discussion is the idea that Janet Reno was dismissed by the general public due to her refusal to conform to accepted gender roles and norms.  This is extremely concerning and even upsetting.  Clearly an independent and career-driven women, Reno was somewhat bullied for acting in a “masculine” and “unsexy” way.  Rather, I believe that Reno should have been applauded for her work in such a high position; as such a successful women, she could have been portrayed more beneficially as a role model to younger women.  

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Blog on Dubois, Stanton, and Truth

The three different feminist writers represent very different point of views. Dubois is in favor of women not interacting with men at all because of pervious experiences. Stanton wants men and women to work together to give women equal rights. Truth does want men to be in the picture, but she is unique from the other two feminist writers because she is a black woman.

Dubois’s Feminism Old Wave and New Wave represents a radical view of feminism. She writes of the injustices done to the women’s movement by men very passionately. I think that she is very angry with the abolitionist movement for abandoning women’s rights. Understandably, Dubois considers the abolitionist movement to be similar to the feminist movement. She considers it a betrayal when the women’s rights movement is left in the dust after black men are giving the right to vote. It is not only the abolitionist movement that she is angry with though, she is mad at all men for allowing women to be treated unfairly. Her solution is to work without any men, and to create a new future for women without any male help.

Stanton and Truth both argue passionately for women’s rights as well, but think that men should be included in that fight. I think it helps that Stanton has a very supportive husband, even though she does think that marriage is not very good women then. She writes, “He has made her, if married, in the eye of the law, civilly dead.” (59). I have to wonder what her husband thought of that line… but still she is just representing the reality of marriage for women at that time. Both authors have suffered greatly under the laws of the day, Truth herself was a slave for forty years, and as she says has never enjoyed true freedom because she is always oppressed in some way.

One of the things that I noticed while reading was the mention of religion. I wonder what religion the feminists of the day considered to be right. Truth and Stanton, both mention God (and Truth mentions Jesus) so it would seem when they say religion they are thinking of is Christianity. However, I am not sure if Dubois would agree with Christian teachings because some of them are very patriarchal. Would these feminists mind different religions as long as they supported the women’s movement?

Summary Post: Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Ellen Dubois, and Sojourner Truth

I found Ellen Dubois' article to be extremely enlightening, especially after our discussion on Tuesday. Dubois chronicles the history of the 1st wave of feminism in light of what was currently going on in the 2nd wave. She ends the article by saying that, although the 1st wave wasn't enough, "Perhaps two waves of feminism will be enough to set us free (4)." This is particularly depressing because we are now in the 3rd wave of feminism and at least to me, it seems nowhere close to solving all the issues women have. During the 1st wave of feminism, Dubois describes women getting involved politically in civil rights movements. They were abolitionists who truly wanted to make a difference. Dubois says that although "The New Left had dedicated itself to equal justice for all...right in its midst women felt that they were not quite being treated as political equals (1)." This feeling of inequality was only heightened when the Grimke sisters were scolded for speaking publicly against slavery, and the idea of the "woman question" was finally raised. Stanton and Motts had a similar experience when they were told that they could not attend an abolitionist convention in England because it might offend the men and were forced to listen through a curtain barrier. Their outrage caused them to host the Seneca Falls convention, officially starting the women's movement. The frustration that women felt was only heightened by the passing of the 14th and 15th amendments. They stated that citizenship and couldn't biased against color, race, or previous condition of servitude and the same restrictions were placed on disfranchisement. Women were outraged that there was absolutely no mention of sex. They were continuing to be completely elbowed out of any rights despite their hard work to achieve civil rights.
Stanton uses her own version of the Declaration of Independence to voice her issues with the oppression of women. Her grievances seem to be mainly against men and society in general. She believes that it is the right of anyone who is oppressed by the government to refuse allegiance to it until they have equal rights. She says that men have continually usurped women of their natural rights and destroyed their confidence and self respect until they believed that all they could do was lead a dependent life. They also have no voice in politics and no representation, making it completely impossible for their concerns to be raised and they are closed out of most educational opportunities. Stanton believes that women have an equal right by the Creator to have the same status as men. She also states that women have a duty to seek out these equal rights, speak out on issues of morality, and not be satisfied with subpar citizenship they have been given. Stanton also argues that it is not only a woman's responsibility to fight for these rights, men should be helping to throw over the monopoly as well so that women can participate with their brothers in all subjects.
Sojourner Truth argues some of the same points as Stanton, but in a different style. She highlights the fact that she did just as much work as a man during her time as a slave. She wants to "answer for the deeds done in my body just as much as a man (64)," and as such believes she should be compensated with the same rights as the men are getting. She says that if black women do not receive the same rights as men, they are just being entered into another form of slavery with a different oppressor. It would be easier to use the momentum of the civil rights movement to receive equal rights for women as well. I thought her ending quote was one of the strongest. She says, "You have been having our right so long, that you think, like a slaveholder, that you own us. I know that it is hard for one who has held the reins so long to give it up; it cuts like a knife. It will feel better when it closes up again (65)." Giving women there equal rights would feel uncomfortable and painful at first, but would be better for all in the long run.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Follow Up to Tira's Post

I found Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s “Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions” to be a very interesting piece.  First of all, I found it both creative and smart of Stanton to re-create a document based on the Declaration of Independence.  The Declaration of Independence relates specifically to Americans and exemplifies a document of social and political change.  It was therefore useful of Stanton to recognize this and draft another document based on the same style. 

Within the document I was impressed with the strong words used to describe women rights.  Stanton relates being a women to being in slavery, as men are depicted as masters while women are deprived of rights and clearly subordinate.  Furthermore, she uses the phrase “absolute tyranny” to emphasize the strength and power that men held at the time over women.  This strong vocabulary may have been radical but it definitely makes her points clear.  I believe that part of her intense description and rhetoric simply helps in persuading other women that action is necessary.  For instance, Stanton describes men saying that “He has endeavored, in every way that he could, to destroy her confidence in her own powers, to lessen her self-respect, and to make her willing to lead a dependent and abject life.”  This sentence alone provides a deeply upsetting view of the state of women in general.  Furthermore, it is interesting that Stanton clearly blames the issue of women inequality on men.  Her extreme ideas for the time period clearly demonstrate that she found the need for great change, an overthrow of traditional roles, rather than slight amendments.

It also caught my attention that in “Two Speeches”, Sojourner Truth associates being female to being a slave.  I think that it is especially telling that a former slave for forty years is now relating being female to her feeling of oppression in slavery.  Simply being a certain sex has led her to feel so inferior that she could even relate it to her likely terrible experiences of slavery.  Clearly, she feels that being a woman at that time was awful and conditions needed to change.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Levy, Echols, Friedan and de Beauvoir

I thought that the most interesting and interconnected part of all the readings was that different women see feminism so incredibly differently. It means such distinct things to different classes, races, and even women of the same technical class or race. Echols quotes one African American woman as seeing women's liberation movements as a white woman's business. Washington says, "It seemed to many of us...that white women were demanding a chance to be independent while we needed help and assistance which was not always forthcoming (32)." It continues on to mention that while white women were seen as "sex objects" when they were fighting for the movement, black women were seen as "one of the boys." I think it seems like part of the reason the feminist movement struggles so much is because there are such vast differences among women and underlying competition.
In Levy's article, I believe that many women who had such vehemently strong issues with pornography would be against the CAKE organization that is described. While some women find pornography and their sexuality to be liberating, others said it was just another form of oppression and that the intention was rape. The CAKE parties really reminded me of the enlightened sexism theory. It seems to assume that we have come further with the feminist movement than we actually have and can celebrate our equal sexuality. In reality though, it seems like the CAKE parties, with half naked girls dancing on tables, only encourage men to think of women as a lower class.
As Friedan talks about in the "Feminine Mystique" men have been quietly oppressing women for years. When women didn't understand why they didn't feel fulfilled, men tried to quiet their concerns. In Echols article as well, she mentions that women were recruited to the New Left movement and men acted like they thought they were smart and had great ideas but would slowly demote them to "girlfriends, wives, note-takers, and coffeemakers (49)." I think this is a really strong example of how society allows women to slowly fall out of the workforce and make them believe it was their decision all along.

Molly’s Blog on “The Future That Never Happened” (Levy), “The Re-Emergence of the Woman Question” (Echols), “The Feminine Mystique” (Friedan), and “Th

Molly’s Blog on “The Future That Never Happened” (Levy), “The Re-Emergence of the Woman Question” (Echols), “The Feminine Mystique” (Friedan), and “The Second Sex” (de Beauvoir)

I thought that the readings were all very interesting. Each made a different point, but often the authors had similar beliefs. One of the articles that really struck me was the excerpt from “The Feminine Mystique” by Betty Friedan. She talked about how housewives found themselves unhappy because a lot of them did not feel fulfilled with being a housewife. Despite that, “The ‘woman problem’ in America no longer existed” these women were not happy trying to find the ‘true’ feminine fulfillment (273). One of the parts of this article that really struck me was how suburban housewives were taking tranquilizers “like cough drops.” (277). Instead of admitting that there was a real problem with these women, they were given medical drugs. It is ironical that the suburban housewife was considered the envy of the western world, but suburban housewives were so unhappy. Friedan makes a great point that for some of these women being a housewife was exactly what they wanted, but others wanted something different, and this difference does make one more of a woman than the other.
An issue that I knew little to nothing about before reading Echols’s article on “The Re-Emergence of the Woman Question” was of how women (both white and black) dealt with each other in the SNCC. I think it is really sad that these women were divided against each other. If these women worked together than their goals could have been accomplished so much earlier. This issue reminded me of what de Beauvoir bemoans when she writes, “The reason is that women lack concrete means for organizing themselves into a unit which can stand face to face with the correlative unit.” (257). Echols writes about how black and white women were fighting for the same cause to get voting rights, but were divided by their skin color and not united by the fact they were all female.
The issue of women not uniting with each other has already come up a lot in the readings. I think many feminist writers recognize that if women stop fighting with each other and start to unite more than the feminist cause would be served better. I am not saying that if women stopped fighting that sexism would disappear, but I do think that if women were more united about eradicating sexism than more would be done.

Summary of Articles by Levy, Echols, Friedan, and de Beauvoir

Ariel Levy “The Future That Never Happened”

This article describes the history of the changing feminist movement.  Ariel Levy describes the women’s liberation movement through its various goals and ideas.  Levy emphasizes both women’s liberation and the sexual revolution as primary movements in during the seventies.  Feminists worked to advance women’s sexual pleasure and even at the time, Hugh Hefner worked with feminists by funding abortion cases and the legalization of birth control.  Still, Hefner expressed a double standard, as he believed that it was moral for men yet immoral for women to enjoy this type of sexuality and promiscuous lifestyle. 

Furthermore, Levy explains the controversy of how to represent sex.  Especially in the eighties, anti-porn feminists opposed sex-positive ideals expressed by other feminist leaders.  The question of what exactly freedom and independence meant played a huge role in leading to this division.  The movement has seemed to move in an anti-sex direction to some feminists such as Candida Royalle.  Furthermore, in more recent history, rather than remaining a cohesive and unified group, feminists now often express opposing views and ideas.  For instance, Levy introduces CAKE, a feminist group that emphasizes the new sexual revolution with a very sex-positive perspective.  Levy criticizes the group explaining that the ideals seem to revert back to the objectification of women and thus seem to be making no progress. I agree with this point, as the group seems to take the idea of sexual revolution too far.  It seems to focus on one’s body and beauty over one’s independence, intelligence and freedom.  Now, the feminist movement sees fewer women involved.  Many believe that things such as competition for male approval and impractical beauty standards have seemed to taken the place of feminism. 

Alice Echols “The Re-Emergence of the Woman Question”

Echols also tells the history of the women movement, especially emphasizing its relationship to the civil rights movement and the new left.  Through groups such as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and Students for a Democracy Society (SDS) women viewed many powerful black women as role models.  Through the movements women learned skills and began to question their conventional subordinate roles.  Once whites were somewhat expelled from the civil rights movement they focused on resisting the draft, which resulted in a feeling of alienation by women who eventually began to organize by themselves.  In 1967 at a SDS convention, women expressed the problem of sexual inequality within the movement.  Still facing the opposition of men, women issued a manifesto.  It was motivated by the black power movement’s strategy to organize their own movement as the oppressed group.

Betty Friedan, Excerpt from The Feminine Mystique

Friedan emphasizes the issues and history associated with the mystique of feminine fulfillment.  She includes evidence of the decline of women attending college and pursuing careers outside of the home.  Furthermore, she brings up “the problem” associated with being an American housewife.  Feelings of emptiness and desperation, accompanied by a sense of feeling trapped, were becoming common during the 1960s.  Friedan explains how women need to find their identity and discover ways to be creative in order to achieve fulfillment.  She also introduces steps such as doing housework quickly and efficiently, not over-glorifying marriage.  The idea of a national education program is also emphasized as a possible way for women to continue their education.  This seems to be an appropriate pathway, as many women felt unfulfilled and desired education yet still did not want to cause issues within their marriage or with their children.

Simone de Beauvoir, Excerpt from The Second Sex

The idea that women are viewed as the “other” or second sex is apparent in this excerpt.  De Beauvoir makes a point to show that women are defined only comparatively to men, rather than on their own.  She also describes her ideas about the history of the women effort, explaining that they have been unable to “take” anything for themselves.  She explains this to be due to the poor ability of women to organize themselves into a united group.  There is little cohesiveness between them and in addition, they are deeply associated to their male oppressors.  Still, de Beauvoir begs the question of wonder women should stay inferior to men.  Clearly she questions the status quo, yet at the same times asks how exactly women can conquer the obstacles they are faced with in order to achieve their own success and independence. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

In Adrienne Rich's, "Claiming an Education," the part that struck me the most was the idea that it was a women's responsibility to fight and earn the things she wanted. I think many people believe that women should automatically be given the same rights as men. While that doesn't seem like a lot to ask for, in some ways I think women make decisions that make it less plausible to have complete equality. Like Rich pointed out at the top of page 4, women need to make the hard decisions that may be less comfortable. She says that "Responsibility to yourself means that you don't fall for shallow and easy solutions." I think, sometimes, women are sucked into the easy choices that give them an excuse for not making the harder decisions and doing the difficult work. She uses examples like getting pregnant and marrying early to avoid things like starting a career or moving higher in the ranks. In order to make our way up to equality with men, we have to make sacrifices and have the courage to push ourselves to the top.
This relates to the part that I found interesting in Douglas' intro as well. She mentioned that there is still a wage gap and that women only earn 75 cents to every mans dollar and it continues to get worse when we bring in race and age. The jobs for women are also much less prestigious than they are for men. I think this relates very well to what Rich is saying because in order for women to expect to change things they must first reach the positions of power. It requires sacrifices like potentially not being at home with your children all the time or not being able to marry until later, but men make those same sacrifices, we just tend to ignore them because we don't consider that to be their role in the family. It's obviously not fair that women are paid less than men, but in the same vein, there is a high chance that women will be less reliable in the workplace just because of their role in the family that society expects of them.
Like Douglas was saying, if we want things to change, we have to realize that something is wrong and not accept the enlightened sexism that is so popular in the media. We can't accept that sexism is a big joke that everyone is in on and that we're in control. As Douglas points out, we are clearly no longer in control. The fact that women are seen to be on top is an illusion.

Follow up: Responding to Molly’s Post

I found Adrienne Rich’s speech “Claiming an Education” to raise many good points.  There are still obvious issues concerning women in education.  I think one of the main points that Rich spoke about was the importance of women to be active rather than passive.  This, I believe can be applied to all parts of life.  In education, athletics, politics, and other career paths women need to assert themselves.  Personally, I believe that only once a woman is able to acknowledge her own worthiness will she possess the strength or desire to speak up for herself.  A female student who is surrounded by intelligent males, and facing a male professor, may feel inadequate which in turn will likely impede her ability to participate or express original ideas to the class.  In general I think that anyone, whether male or female, must have enough pride or feelings of worth in order to stand up for what he or she believes is correct.
            I believe that another issue that accompanies this is the reality that the media has reinforced a stereotype of women that focuses on physical and passive attributes.  Rich brought up this issue as well, explaining that rather than teaching girls to be proud of their intelligence and respect their minds, the media teaches girls to look, behave and think in a specific manner.
            I think that it is thus most valuable to teach girls at a young age their adequacy.  Women need to gain pride as well as confidence in their ability to think for themselves.  One place to implement these values, that I would consider appropriate, would be in elementary or middle school systems.  The only type of women’s education that I attained during this time period, or even high school, was of sex education.  I do not remember any lesson on the power of women or the pride that should be associated with being female.  This may have been because I was at a public, coed school.  There may not have been the funding or desire to create a separate curriculum designed to teach women to respect themselves.  Still, I question if there are courses like this nationally, and whether these courses have positive outcomes.  Personally, I think it would be interesting to see how elementary or middle school curriculums similar to this could affect a women’s respect towards herself and feelings of worth. 

Summary of “Claiming An Education” and “Fantasies of Power”

“Claiming An Education” by Adrienne Rich

Rich argues for students to not just accept education, but to take it. She is speaking to a group of female students at a women’s college. Rich argues not only to “claim” an education, but to also be responsible. She calls for her audience to be assertive and responsible so that they, together, can change women worldwide.

In “Claiming An Education” there is a focus on education. Rich speaks about how education is dominated by “how men have perceived and organized their experiences, their history, their ideas of social relationships, good and evil, sickness and health, etc.” (2). She wants people to recognize this fact and also to change it. By claiming an education she hopes that women will also make a claim on how education is taught too. She speaks a little about women studies programs at colleges, and stresses their importance, but for the most part she calls for women to take responsibility to take themselves seriously.

Being responsible to yourself means not to just not being afraid of challenges, but to seek them out. Rich tells her audience to become responsible enough to be proud of who they are and what they think and want. By being responsible women, Rich, believes that it will empower other women as well.

In the end Rich calls for her audience to work together to create smart, responsible women who will not allow women’s potentialities to go to waste.

“Fantasies of Power” by Susan J. Douglas

Douglas argues that women have not come as far as we think in today’s society. She (humorously) calls for girls to come together and to recognize that the feminist movement is far from unnecessary.

I found “Fantasies of Power” really interesting. She argues very convincingly for people to recognize that while women have come far, the journey is not finished. For most of the introduction Douglas focuses on the media and how the media effects how we view feminism. At the heart of her argument seems to be a desire to unite women to fight for their rights together.

The media’s role in how women are viewed today is large. Douglas accuses the media of giving women fantasies of power. She points out that the media seems to be sending some mixed signals. On one hand women like Dr. Baily in Grey’s Anatomy, who are powerful and intelligent are shown on the same channel that on the other hand offers viewers the chance to watch twenty-some women fight over one man in The Bachelor. I had never thought that The Bachelor was degrading because I laughed at those women who hit, cry, and scream at each other over a man who, in fact, barely sees them. Yet I agree with Douglas’s argument after reading the introduction that it is hypocritical for the media to portray women so differently. It makes you wonder what message exactly is the media sending? If women are so capable of being brilliant doctors than why should they fight over one man who they do not even know?

Another argument that Douglas makes is that feminism has now become partly about owning your sexual prowess by wearing sexy clothes. Douglas writes, “how much reversion back to the glory days of prefeminism should girls and women accept—even celebrate—given that we new allegedly ‘have it all’” (1). As the introduction continues Douglas shows how women do not “have it all” at all. That women still make less than men I knew, but I did not know that the top jobs for women had not changed from 1999 to 2007. It is definitely thought provoking that women apparently “have it all” when they still do not have as much as men.

Douglas passionately argues for women to recognize the importance of feminism and its need today. She wants women to stop fighting each other and start fighting inequality.