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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?

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Back-up Singer Blues? May 15, 2007

Posted by rachaelg in Destiny's Child, Dixie Chix, Dreamgirls, En Vogue, female relationships, Girl Power, Pussycat Dolls, Shut up and Sing, Spice Girls, the Supremes.
2 comments

Though it’s peripheral to the main plot, one comment struck me while I was watching Shut Up and Sing.  They’re all in the recording studio and Martie brings up the common phenomenon of a band-mate’s envy of the lead singer.  She talks about how bandmembers will feel unappreciated and angry, but how the lead singer can threaten to go solo.  After a while, Natalie (the Dixie Chicks’ lead singer) jumps in (more…)

man wins presidential election; world is shocked May 10, 2007

Posted by sindhub in 2007 french presidential election, careerwomen, class, female politicos, Female Power, female voters, feminism, france, gender, Girl Power, Hillary Clinton, in the news, International, jacques chirac, motherhood, new york times, news stories, nicolas sarkozy, politics, Power, segolene royal.
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As you may know, France’s presidential election took place recently.  In a runoff between rightist Nicolas Sarkozy and socialist Segolene Royal, Sarkozy was chosen to replace Jacques Chirac, 53 to 47 percent.  What’s relevant to ‘girl power’ is that Royal is a woman.  I found this article, “France’s female voters shun Segolene Royal,” which makes the situation sound pretty bad.  But the female vote for Royal wasn’t much different from the overall vote, with a 52 to 48 margin in favor of Sarkozy.  Although Royal focused part of her campaign on appealing specfically to female voters ‘as a mother’ and promising greater equality (only 12% of French lawmakers are female), apparently female voters thought she focused on it too much.  Some of the women interviewed say that they didn’t vote for Royal just because she’s a woman, because they didn’t think she was going to do anything for them or because she didn’t share the same vision for the country that they did.

There are two conflicting ways to look at the situation.  On one hand, isn’t this what we want, for women to be seen as individuals (as ‘human’) and not just as women?  But, do we really want that when it doesn’t work in their favor?  Especially when it might not be working in their favor because the political system is still biased against them?  And it seems that while Royal was criticized for showing too much identification with one demographic, that being women, she’s also criticized for (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…)

Cheetah Girls- the new spice girls? May 4, 2007

Posted by Melissa in bodies, Cheetah Girls, Female Power, female relationships, feminism, gender, general considerations, Girl Power, marketing gender, Pussycat Dolls, Spice Girls, tween market.
4 comments

During a recent conversation with my little sister, she mentioned that her favorite music group at the moment was the Cheetah Girls. Intrigued, I looked them up online to discover that they were a disney creation, and hugely popular in the tween market. The group advocates sisterhood and girl power, much like the Spice Girls. What is noticeably different about this group however, is that this is the only group that advocates girl power being marketed toward the tween market that is age appropriate. (more…)

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.
1 comment so far

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…)

“New” girl power??? April 30, 2007

Posted by kelly in alias, bodies, controversy, Female Power, feminism, Girl Power.
2 comments

I just read this article from New Zealand, it’s called “Sass to Sleaze: new girl power.” The author, Kevin Airs, writes of a significant shift from the Spice Girls brand of girl power, to the recent more sexualized versions of Beyonce, Christina Aguilera, and Lindsay Lohan. (more…)

April 17, 2007

Posted by Liz in G.I. Jane, Girl Power.
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        An interesting point was made in the article “No Pain, No Jane” by Charles Taylor of Salon.com regarding the big problem faced by G.I. Jane and, in fact, all military training movies. The gist is that the essential element of a military training movie, the degradation and abuse, psychological and physical, that a military trainee must go through to achieve success, inherently contradicts the qualities that we the people hold near and dear in our “standard” Hollywood hero- “independence and instinct and distrust of authority.” I think that Taylor’s point is an interesting one, and that the contradiction that he describes may be even more relevant to the case of the female military trainee. The Oxford English Dictionary defines Girl power as “a self-reliant attitude among girls and young women manifested in ambition, assertiveness and individualism.” When a person goes through military training, at least as it is depicted by Hollywood, he or she is stripped of many of the cornerstones of “girl power”, most distressingly individualism. For in order to succeed, a woman in such a situation must conform, must fit in (to some extent). So though female characters like Lt. Jordan O’Neil do triumph at the end, it is difficult to call they victories displays of girl power.