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.

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