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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…)

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.
2 comments

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…)

“Girth and Nudity, a Pictorial Mission” May 12, 2007

Posted by ajaramillo in "the gaze", bodies, books, controversy, Fat Feminism, in the news, magazines/photography, sex sells, sexuality.
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I just came across this article in the New York Times about Leonard Nimoy (yes, Spock) and his new book, “The Full Body Project.” His book features nude, obese women in provocative poses.  He says that the project is a direct response to the pressures women face in being a size 2…

“The women are interested in fat liberation. Their self-esteem is strong. They will tell you that too many people suffer because the body they live in is not the body you find in the fashion magazines.”

He also has a show of photographs, and guess where it is… the photographs are on view at the R. Michelson Galleries in Northampton, Mass., through June!
So what do you guys think? Is this girl power or just another, albeit very different, form of the male gaze?

cindy sheehan and the social vs. the political May 10, 2007

Posted by sindhub in 911, bill o'reilly, cindy sheehan, controversy, female politicos, Female Power, G W. Bush, gender, in the news, iraq war, jersey girls, jersey widows, morality, motherhood, nationalism, news stories, politics, Power, rush limbaugh, the state, wartime politics, women and war.
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I wanted to talk a little bit more about something I brought up in class today, about how women’s traditional gender roles in the U.S. involve upholding social and cultural mores, and possibly aiming to ‘better society,’ but never being explicitly political about it.  I realized after class what I meant by ‘explicitly political’: placing the blame on someone.  Politics is very much about finger-wagging, appeasing constituents, and placing the blame for something on somebody or something.  Traditionally, it’s been more socially approved for women to try to ease society’s ills, e.g. the temperance movements of the late nineteenth century.  Although women took on leadership roles in these organizations and argued in favor of women’s right to vote, their main focus was on maintaining the ‘traditional’ family structure (the Women’s Christian Temperance Union is strongly against same-sex marriage), not shaking up society.  However, and I think this has something to do with us living in the post-9/11 era, when a woman blames someone explicitly for breaking up the family (and not just alcohol), there can be a severe backlash.  Even flippantly critical comments like Natalie Maines’ can do that, but I think the best example in the current Bush presidency is Cindy Sheehan.

I’m sure you’ve heard of her; she’s the mother whose son died in the Iraq war, and became an anti-war protester, going so far as to camp outside President Bush’s Crawford, Texas ranch for five weeks, insisting on speaking with him personally (which he never agreed to, though he did send top officials).  I remember when this happened in the summer of 2005, and it just being all over the news.  Surely a mother’s grief for her lost son is newsworthy.  But Sheehan’s story only took the vitriolic, polarizing turn that it did, dominating the nightly news for the summer, because she took her traditionally social role as a mother and used it politically.  Antiwar groups rallied against her because she was so beneficial to their cause, and Bush’s supporters criticized her for being ‘treasonous.’  Her critics didn’t question what she was saying–that the Iraq war wouldn’t make us any safer, and that she herself would fight to protect the country–rather, they questioned her. (more…)

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.
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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 (more…)

The fight over the veil May 7, 2007

Posted by Wasik in bodies, careerwomen, controversy, fashion police, Female Power, feminism, ideology, in the news, iran, islam, morality, nationalism, politics, religion, the state, The Terrorist, Uncategorized, women and war.
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[This started out as a comment to sindhub’s post on Women’s Bodies and Ideology, but then quickly became very long so now it is a normal post. But sindhub– thanks for bringing this topic up!]

The debate about traditional islamic dress for women– loosely referred to in Western discourse as ‘the veil’– is probably the most complicated, intricate and endlessly controversial way in which, as you mention, nationalist and religious (though the two are often inextricably tied) movements use women’s bodies to enforce ideology.

In Western media and popular culture, the issue is often presented very one-sidedly, ignoring the nuance involved which has perpetuated this debate for so long. I distinctly remember one episode of “Seventh Heaven” in which taking up the veil was seen as an absolute tragedy to be lamented; throughout the episode, Mrs. Camden was haunted by visions of her daughters veiled and oppressed, and the end of the program featured many of its actors speaking out against the treatment of women in states under sharia law. (more…)

Washington D.C. Madam May 4, 2007

Posted by Melissa in bad girls go..., careerwomen, controversy, Deborah Jeane Palfrey, gender, general considerations, in the news, new york times, news stories, politics, sex sells, sex trade, sexuality.
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I just read this article in the New York Times about Deborah Jeane Palfrey, a “suspected madam” running her business in Washington D.C. I’m not sure how I feel about this just yet, but I thought it was something important we should open up to discussion. More thoughts on this to come later…

Elitism in the Feminist Movement May 4, 2007

Posted by Melissa in class, college, competing feminism, controversy, ECCSF, Female Power, female relationships, general considerations, Girl Power, Harvard, Higher Education, in the news, Ivy league, Judith Rodin.
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I just read an article that described the recent gathering of female presidents of the top Ivy League universities and their discussion the changing roles of women in education and the administrative side of college politics. The group, including Judith Rodin- the first woman to lead an Ivy institution, stressed that in spite of the progress, there was still a lack of women represented in the faculty and a lack of gay, black, and Hispanics in leadership roles. While nothing in the article really surprised me, I am struck by the elitism inherent in the gathering. Only Ivy league universities were asked to attend this meeting, leaving female leaders at smaller schools and public universities out of the conversation- ergo feeding back into the problem of the lack of socio-economic diversity they also complained about during their conversation. (more…)

Gender Equality in Israel May 1, 2007

Posted by Melissa in bodies, careerwomen, controversy, female executives, female politicos, female soldiers, G.I. Jane, gender, general considerations, Girl Power, in the news, Israel, nationalism, Spain.
3 comments

I found this article earlier today about the status of gender equality in Israel. I don’t find the statistics surprising, women have been paid (more…)

Cosmo Magazine May 1, 2007

Posted by Melissa in bitch, bodies, careerwomen, competing feminism, controversy, cosmo, general considerations, Girl Power, Helen Gurley Brown.
2 comments

I had a conversation with a friend recently when I let slip my secret obsession with Cosmo Magazine. Over the next 30 minutes she berated me for buying the “trashy” magazine and wasting my money on nothing but useless information (mostly advice about the body, sex, and relationships for the career woman). On looking back at the conversation I can’t help but feel bothered by such harsh criticism of a magazine I feel deserves much more credit than it currently receives…. (more…)