Analysis So Far…

From what I’ve had the chance to explore so far when it comes to popular feminism and the media, I’ve formed new opinions and learned a lot. One thing I’ve found to be true that has really stood out is that there is definitely more things in the media that LACK female empowerment and do the opposite, than there are things that express female empowerment and actually support popular feminism.

The only form of feminism/female empowerment in the media I have posted so far was the Christina Aguilera Video. This video made the point that we and women should not back down. We should voice our opinions, and be aware of the double standards that do exist and try to conquer them. This was the most modern/recent form of popular feminism I came across, and it probably the reason it was the most empowering for women, since in this day and age we have actually come along way in terms of equal rights for both sexes in such. That progress is shown in this video, but still makes the point that somethings still need change.

The other two ads were clearly oppressive of women (or at least the feminist movement). For example, the Yorkie bar was “Not for Girls.” This ad is just silly, because why shouldn’t a women be able to handle a candy bar? Not only that, but in order to relate and advertise to the target group of men, they have to make it seem like it’s too “manly” for women. The Clorox ad was just shocking. They took a popular feminism icon and tried to place it into the same category as stereotypical housewife work. By doing this, the company minimizes the importance and meaning of the icon, which is sad.

What I want to leave you with, is to think about how many there are ads out there that LACK female empowerment. Because this is definitely what I thought about and have been critically thinking about at this point in my blog. The amount of examples in the media that lack popular feminism easily outnumber the amount that support it. My goal at this point is to really tear apart all of these ads that try to place women into certain roles of society, as well as try to find more ads that actually do possess traits of female empowerment.

“Rosie the Riveter” and Clorox?

This ad is interesting because it makes use of a U.S. cultural icon, as well as a feminist icon.  This icon is “Rosie the Riveter,” who represented women who worked in the factories during World War II.  It is empowering to women and applies to the feminist movement, because during this time period, many women were housewives.  When these women went to work in the factories, they were assuming typically male jobs, and ended up replacing many of the male employees in the military.  This ad tries to combine this icon which is supposed to be empowering to females, with the old fashioned housewife/house cleaner role for women.  Instead of taking the “We Can Do It” slogan to mean “we can go out and get jobs and be successful like men”, it takes the slogan and turns it into “we can be successful at our jobs as housewives by using Clorox and cleaning better.”

Nestlé’s Yorkie Candy Bar Ads

This ad  is obvious as to why it has to do with feminism.  It blatantly has a “no girls” iconic sign posted on the front of it!  This specific candy bar was launched in the 1980s.  in 2001, the advertisement campaign for the candy made the slogan “It’s not for girls!”  This particular bar was made chunkier than the other chocolate bars and made for men as a target.  Therefore, Nestlé associated chunkier with “manlier,” and something girls just “couldn’t handle” like men, if you will.  The slogan for this bar caused lots of controversy, as you could imagine.  In 2006, there was a special edition Yorkie bar that “was for girls” and was wrapped in pink (the most feminine color, basically). For those who aren’t familiar with UK slang, “birds” is slang for women.  Also, it tries to say that women are not good drivers, and therefore should not waste their time with a Yorkie bar, because they cannot handle it, and have better places to spend money.  Honestly, this idea/ad is shocking to me, not to mention offensive.

“Can’t Hold Us Down” Christina Aguilera Music Video as Female Empowerment

This is the music video of the Christina Aguilera song “Can’t Hold Us Down” that came out in 2003 and was very popular, and played on MTV and the radio.  The title of the song gives a good idea of the point that Aguilera is trying to get across through her music, and is most definitely an example of feminism in the media.  She puts a lot of emphasis on “double standards” between men and women in society, one being how men are allowed and accepted to “get around”, and women are not.  She also describes how society doesn’t typically like when women have opinions.  What I got from the song is that even though society does not accept women being loud about their opinions and such, we should still speak up, because women should not just step back and let society oppress us.  Another thing that stood out to me in this video was the choice of wardrobe.  It is almost like the women dressed up in such a way to “exploit” themselves, so that they could get people’s attention.

Introduction!

     Feminism is “1: the theory of political, economic, and social equality of the sexes; 2: an organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests” (Merriam-Webster).  Even in this day and age, gender is a part of our everyday lives.  This idea of gender differences is portrayed to us constantly in the media.  Female empowerment is an important movement, still going strong, to create gender equality.  From women gaining the right to vote, to fighting to eliminate double standards, it is an important idea in our society.  However, the way the information exposed to us through the media affects this movement in positive or negative ways is an important thing to really sit back, and critically think about.

     To give a bit of background, feminists and scholars have divided the feminist movement’s history into three “waves” according to Wikipedia.  The first wave refers to the earliest period of feminism in the nineteenth and early twentieth century.  It was focused on legal rights, political power, and women’s suffrage.  The second wave occurred in the 1960s and 1970s, and was focused with more issues of equality and ending discrimination, especially in education and the workplace.  Feminists of this wave encouraged women to “understand aspects of their personal lives as deeply politicized and as reflecting sexist power structures” (Wikipedia).  The second wave is said to coexist with the third wave.  The third wave of feminism came about in the 1990s, and was a response to “percieved failures” of the second wave, such as specific initiatives and movements.  The third wave also seeks to challenge the ideas of the second wave in terms of the over emphasis of white, middle class women, and ignorance of lower class women, minorites, and those of different cultures.  The substypes of the feminism ideology go on and on, including, but not limited to: liberal feminism, radical feminism, individualist feminism, black feminism, socialist feminism, marxist feminism, post-structural and post-modern feminism, post-colonial and third-worl feminism, ecofeminism, and post-feminism.  Also, it is often thought that only women practice feminsim, but men can practice this, as well.

     This topic interests me because, well, I’m a young women.  Equality of genders is very important to me.  I’m constantly taking in everything media is telling me about my role in society, and how to feel empowered, or not be empowered.  As I build this blog, I hope to learn more about myself, as well as how infotainment and popular feminism go hand and hand to impact society.

     During the course of my blog, I will give example of feminism in the “infotainment.”  What is meant by that, is the information and media we are exposed to in one package.  I will use examples from movies, news broadcasts and articles, video clips, art, music, and other various types of media.  I will begin with the examples that I am most familiar with and are most obvious, and then dig deeper, and find deeper meanings of other examples of popular feminism in infotainment I come across.

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