Book: The Rise of Enlightened Feminism – How Pop Culture Took Us from Girl Power to Girls Gone Wild
Author: Susan J. Douglas
Chapters: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
- 1. How has the experience of feminism changed in the last 10 years?
The experience of feminism the last 10 years has changed dramatically. As Betty Friedan puts it is has been “ the problem with no name”. Women today are all about empowerment. They believe they can be whoever they want to be and are not scared in trying so. Today this generation is looked as the girl power generation where girls all over the world believe that they can be just as good as men and should not be discriminated for anything. They have learned not to take shit from anybody. Through these chapters that Susan writes about she focuses on how women have gotten where they are today but yet how they are still being discriminated and how this movement of feminism is being looked at a lot closer. Susan quotes in her book, “ What the media has been giving us, then, are little more than fantasies of power. They assure girls and women, repeatedly, that women’s liberation is fait accompli and that we are stronger, more successful, more sexually in control, more fearless, and more held in awe than we actually are.” This quote right here that Susan identifies is exactly what the generation in which women are living in right now has become. We believe that women can be CEOS, run for president, or be a part of church without being discriminated. Women through feminist movements are doing everything in their power to become who they want to be.
- 2. How have these changes effective communication (interpersonal, mediated, institutional?)
How the changes of feminism come about throughout the last 10 years has dramatically changed the way of effective communication. Through interpersonal communication it has allowed women to identify with one another in the way they perceive themselves. The media has influenced women all over the world by the way how women should dress, wear clothes, make up and the roles they should become. We can identify with other women by the way they identify themselves. In today’s generation women have been able to express their own individuality way more than they did before which has created a whole new dimension in the way women can express themselves in today’s generation. Media has also established this new girl power revolution through movies such as Mean Girls, Clueless, Sex and the City to name a few. When girls are discriminated for their looks or other attributes they look to each other for help. Women today are more liked to stand up for their selves which empowers others to do the same. Even song artists to day such as Taylor Swift has been empowering young women across the globe for years now. She allows young girls to identify themselves with her through love and the troubles of men. This type of communication I believe is the most powerful for women as it allows them not to feel alone. The communication with women has become so much more effective and even though it has been positive through artists, like Taylor Swift, it has also become a negative as well. An example Susan J. Douglas points out in through Victoria Secret. Victoria Secret uses women as not only objects but a way to communicate to women that this is how women should look and what men really want. However, this is hurt girls around the world where this is not the reality and starving yourself is not what will make you become the life of a Victoria Secret model and that is how the institutional society has become to perceive women through media communication.
- 3. What communication events came to mind while reading? Be specific about the context here and the usefulness of your illustrations?
A communication event that came to mind while reading was in chapter 4 when Douglas discussed how the movie Clueless became a huge girl phenomenon. It allowed girls and women in America to gain empowerment through the things they indemnified themselves with and the products they used. The movie communicated to women that if you buy the right products, wear the coolest clothes, girls will become the forefront of culture and will be able to hand anything that comes between them. Through this movie it allowed more movies such as Legally Blonde, Miss Congeniality, and Mean girls to identify what girls were really all about. In some ways it was a good thing and in others it didn’t perceive them in the best way. For example in the movie, Mean Girls, the way Caty was much more of a tom boy and wanted to become party of the popular crowd showed to girls that it can really hurt relationships. It told girls around the world that they didn’t have to be part of the “popular crowd” to identify with their own sex.
This article talks about how Victoria Secret has become a do-it-yourself guide for women all over the world as a means of identification.
I thought this Taylor Swift 20/20 interview with Catie Couric was really interesting. She talks about how she uses her music to express herself and how she doesn’t even look to the media with what is being said yet uses her own unique ways that girls yearn to identify with.
what I like about this clip from Mean Girls is that is effectively communicated to Regina that rules are rules and that sweatpants are not allowed on Mondays. This communicates to other girls around the world that these types of situations are not taken lightly and can really hurt others.
1.) How will the role of feminism possibly change throughout the next 10 years?
2.) Has communication through events such as media and movements been more beneficial than in the past? Or will it continue to become worse as the years progress?