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Death or “Promiscuity”? May 20, 2007

Posted by jsaffold in HPV vaccine, in the news, sexual power, women's health.
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Vaccination pictureIn a country with a national agenda in support of cancer research and treatment, the controversy that has erupted around the release of the HPV vaccine seems counterintuitive. The invention of a vaccine that protects against 70 percent of the strains of HPV that are known to cause cervical cancer seems like it should be regarded as a great stride not just in the world of medicine, but in the world of women’s health. Some states have tried to make the vaccination a requirement amongst preteen girls (Virginia is the only one who has actually done this), but as this MSNBC article explains, a move to require the vaccine under Georgia law was shot down after “religious conservatives” aggressively opposed the law. (more…)

What is Girl Power???? May 19, 2007

Posted by Melissa in Girl Power, Spice Girls.
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I recently read a blog in which Geri Halliwell, better known as “Ginger Spice,” said that girl power was coming back with a vengence…what she failed to mention was that “girlpower” (read: the Spice Girls) would only be coming back for the low low price of 5 million pounds! After reading the piece, I got to wondering what “girl power” really was. Is it some internal sense of control and actual power in being a female, or is it a commodity that is sold to the female public so as to distract women and girls from the harsh realities facing women by making them believe they can do anything simply by chanting “girl power.” This was just a question I had, what do you think?

Early 90’s Girl Power Anthem? May 18, 2007

Posted by Liz in Miss America, Random Bits.
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Absolutely bizarre singing entrance at the 1990 Miss America Pageant… enjoy

Bom Chicka Wah Wah! May 17, 2007

Posted by jsaffold in commercials, male gaze, Pussycat Dolls, sex sells, sexuality, stereotypes, tv.

Early this morning, I was dreaming about being on an airplane and the person next to me kept saying “Bom Chicka Wah Wah.” And then I woke up and realized that there was one of the new Axe deodorant spray commercials on t.v. and it was entering my consciousness and incorporating into my dream. See it for yourself… (more…)

First Female Gondolier May 16, 2007

Posted by kblack10 in Alexandra Hai, female gondolier, sexism.
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This week Venice announced that it would permit a female gondolier, as courts ruled to end a 900-year male domination of Italy’s esteemed waterways. A German who has lived in Italy for eleven years, 35 year-old Alexandra Hai has said that she is continually experiencing sexism and that her boat is often being vandalized. Other male gondoliers (there are 425 in the city) are said to be being incredibly vulgar and crude towards her, as they clearly object to her presence. She failed the mandatory test to be an actual gondolier three times, and while she says that it was sabotage and that the governing body and other gondoliers simply do not want her to succeed, the city official’s comments very unsupportive. He said, “We gave her two chances to pass the test every time…We can no longer accept that she hides behind the fact that she is a woman and a foreigner.” Regardless of her skill, ability, or whatever trickery may be involved, I simply say hats off to her for being the first female to break such a long standing “tradition”!

More Revenge Music Videos. May 16, 2007

Posted by ajaramillo in Aventura, betrayal, Blu Cantrell, controversy, domestic violence, Ethics, Female Power, morality, music video, Power, video.
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I wanted to continue Melissa’s point about the popularity of the “revenge narrative” in music videos, yet a complete avoidance of domestic violence issues. It made me think of Blu Cantrell’s video “Hit ‘Em Up Style.” It is exactly how Melissa explained it: Blu’s man cheated, so therefore it’s OK to get back at him by destroying his property. Not only does she damage all of his possessions and spend his money, she encourages other women to do it too! It becomes a catchy girl power anthem.

Unfortunately, I also couldn’t find any other videos with women addressing the issue of domestic violence first-hand. However, it seems that we hear about women’s struggle from an unlikely source (more…)

2007 tv pilots May 16, 2007

Posted by sindhub in "the gaze", motherhood, opting out, race, The TV Set, tv, women in television.

I was looking at TV pilots for the 2007-2008 television season, and I was struck by how many pilots related to ‘girl power,’ especially the idea of a supermom who balances work and family.  It’ll also be interesting to see how many of them actually get picked up by the networks, and if the number that are picked up is proportional to how many were created.  Here are some examples (there are probably a lot more, but I thought these were particularly relevant):


  • Mr. and Mrs. Smith: based on the blockbuster movie
  • Cashmere Mafia: “Sex and the City creator Darren Star is back to New York in this new dramedy pilot, about four female executives, friends since college, who support one another through the trials and tribulations of work, family, and everything else life in New York City throws at them.”
  • Women’s Murder Club: “A series of mystery books by James Patterson was the inspiration for this new series, which tells the story of four women who work together to solve some of the most confounding murder cases out there. Their jobs as a homicide detective, a medical examiner, a newspaper reporter, and an assistant district attorney give them a formidable range of skills, and their strong friendship provides basis for the teamwork that’s necessary to crack each case.” (more…)

Music Videos and Revenge May 16, 2007

Posted by Melissa in Before he Cheats, Carrie Underwood, controversy, Dixie Chicks, domestic violence, Eve, Kelly Clarkson, music video.

I wanted to continue our discussion of music videos and our earlier discussion of the “revenge narrative” by looking at two hugely popular videos released by Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood. Both women came to fame as winners of the American Idol competition and have subsequently built their careers in both the pop and country music markets. Clarkson released “Since You’ve Been Gone” in 2005; Underwood’s single “Before He Cheats” was released a year later in 2006. In their videos’ both women exact revenge on philandering partners by destroying property both men cherish. (more…)

Lady Sovereign: Does Being Anti-Feminine Still = Girl Power May 15, 2007

Posted by Rob Anne in Uncategorized.

As I watched this video, I can’t help but wonder if Lady Sovereign’s statement that “just being herself” really is the meaning behind girl power. She rejects the feminine, the conformity of female-hood and adopts a more androgynous or mannish look. But her message is still girl power to me – the “I can be anything I want to be” girl power that the Spice Girls kick-started. What do you think?

Facebook: Who are we posing for? May 15, 2007

Posted by lindamc in "the gaze", Attractiveness and age, Facebook, female perfection, Female Power, female relationships, feminism, humor, sexual power, sexuality.

So, in normal Amherst fashion, I was procrastinating my finals work by searching around on facebook and looking at this weekends edition of fun and fabulous pictures. I started to see a theme: girls pose differently then guys: ok I know “WOW!” what a find! Shocking, but in thinking about the male gaze, it is really easy to notice that women pose for men in their pictures: particularly on drunken Saturday nights. Many groups even do it for their girl friends, even at other schools: so that they can look at the pictures and say: “oh look how cute so and so looks out with her friends in their little langerie!” I think that this might be something that is different then a few years a go. Facebook and Myspace have allowed for internet stalking and picture posting, and allowed each and every member to create a little album of themselves for the opposite sex or for their friends to get jealous from. Specifically relating to girls: do we really think about how and who we are posing for when we take pictures? (particularly those on drunken or wild nights) So is it always the confusing: women like to see men looking at them, or is it women like to see other women looking at men who are looking at them….or even worse: women like to see anyone looking, as long as their being looked at!