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Bush or Backlash? May 9, 2007

Posted by lindamc in 911, Bill Clinton, class, controversy, Dixie Chix, Female Power, feminism, G W. Bush, Girl Power, nationalism, politics, Power, relationships with men, sexual power, sexuality, Shut up and Sing.

I can’t remember who made the comment about the post 911 reversion into a sort of white-boy southern American pride on Sunday’s class, but watching Shut up and Sing really got me thinking about Bush’s influence on aspects of our popular culture, and specifically the change in how girl power is viewed in the past five or so years. I understand the argument that there is a possible backlash occurring to the strong feminist movements of the 80s and earlier, and how they went too far and so women are fighting back against that unattainable standard of female power (aka: we still need men and want men to want us, etc and girl power was pushing away from that). But, in the documentary, it seemed really interesting that just as the war was coming, the Chix’s comments’ about Bush caused this crazy response specifically from their “crowd”” or fans who consist of conservative white-boy southerners. Their power was just beginning to rise, and they didn’t want any negative energy being spilled at their “winning horse.” It seemed as though they didn’t care what was said, they were shocked by this left-sided female views and felt that now it was ok to call these women stupid bitches, etc. Some of those signs said things about them be dumb ditzes who didn’t know what they were talking about, etc. Those phrases were shunned in the early wave of girl power, and had been sort of phased out, at least in some venues, however with this new shock of power to one of their own: G.W., the masogonistic power of white-boy America reared it’s ugly head to shoot down the dumb women. Is it Bush in power that has caused this rise in southern values, and therefore the reversion in acceptability of calling women dumb bitches and whores who should just shut up because they don’t know what they’re saying? Or is it just a backlash to a feminist movement gone too far? Taking it further, is Bush really the cause of this new over the top sexualized view of women: those who dress preppy but are really naughty (This may be harsh, but like a stuck up republican family?) How much does politics weigh on popular culture? Did having a democrat in the white house like Clinton in the 90s help fuel the girl power craze? Anyway, this could be too far a tangent, but I do think the first comment someone made has something to do with it. 911 and the “war on terror” has influenced popular culture…and it’s interesting to think about exactly how.

On another note, who got a laugh out of the cover of the NY Times today? There was a picture of the Queen of England walking with George Bush on the front page, but Bush’s head was 1/2 cut off on the top of the page which made him only slightly unrecognizable. The heading for the picture read: Queen Elizabeth with American escort. That just made me smile. Sorry, but I couldn’t find a link…


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