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.
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.