Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Thoughts on Enlightened Sexism Chapters 4 and 5

“The New Girliness”
In this chapter Douglass explores how there was a turning point for feminism during the 90’s, which continues today. She begins with the beginning of the “chick flicks” and Clueless. I have seen Clueless multiple times and have to say that I personally like the movie. The girls on it are superficial, but I think most teenage girls are at least somewhat superficial. I feel like Douglass can be very critical of all of the popular TV shows or movies she talks about. Clueless was never meant to represent something deep, and the girls on the show do have some depth to them. Cher is spoiled, but she generally truly cares about others. Maybe saying that Clueless was not suppose to be a thought-provoking film does not excuse how it encourages consumerism and trying to be pretty, but I do not think that the film is very hurtful at the same time.
The new girliness that Douglass writes about focuses on women looking critically at men while at the same being obsessed with figuring out how to please them. She makes an interesting point that the new girliness came on the scene at the same time of Xena and other warrior women. It is a curious juxtaposition that society was showing. Another thing interesting about the warrior women shown on TV is that often they ended up finding a fulfilling relationship(s). For Buffy the Vampire Slayer I know she has multiple romantic interests, while she is also going around slaying vampires. So I feel like society tells women that to be powerful is great, but you probably need a relationship too.

“You Go, Girl”
The fifth chapter mainly looks at how black women are treated by society and the media with regards to feminism. The difference with how black women and white women are treated is very fascinating. I think that black women are separated from black men and white women make a really interesting insight to our society. So a black woman not only has to deal with sexism but also racism. It makes me wonder which group faces more adversity: black men or white women?
Douglass writes that she worries that the way the media portrays black women will take away from the fact that there are many real issues that black women have to deal with. This worry is very significant. I think that the media often can downplay a situation that actually is very important and should not be made less of. There are women like Oprah Winfrey out there in the world, but they are the exception not the norm and it critical that we remember that.

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