In this paper, I am interested in the relationship and connections between pop culture’s presentations of women and girls and the depiction of feminism through the lens of pop culture. There’s a need for feminism, but not as a highfalutin, political movement but as a part of everyday life. Young women and girls need to be aware of how they are represented in public and how they see themselves through that representation.
There are many feminist Issues that seem more Immediately vital than whether television shows or movie characters are reflecting the lives of real women, with the continuing gap between men’s and women’s wages, of glass ceilings and sex discrimination against girls and women and promote sexual autonomy. Not to mention the questionable fact that the Equal Rights amendment, first proposed In 1 923, still hasn’t been ratified by united Stated Congress till this day; assuming that under the U. S constitution women are not equal to men.
But, like the disappearing line between high culture and low culture, the distinctions between political and pop have Just as well disappeared. I believe that pop culture Is an alternative way to Inform us at first glance, about our understanding of the political Issues and how It may have nothing to do with pop culture, but it also makes us see how something meant purely as entertainment can have every little bit to do with politics. Defining pop culture Is up to each and every Individual’s perspective and the time period of definition.
Hence, popular culture could be defined as any cultural product that has a mass audience. In ours’, it’s everything from MET hits, to Breaking Bad to Mile Cyrus. But historically, pop culture derived from the lower classes and the “low” culture, the exiled counterpart to “high” culture. High culture was considered to compose of art, literature. And classical music created by and for the most prestige. Over time “pop ultra” slowly began to replace the phrase ” low culture,” pop culture or low culture was defined by what it wasn’t; elegant, refined, high culture, than rather by what it was. Mass culture.
The masses looked for entertainment and distraction, soon enough It was assumed for pop culture to simply just amuse. However, pop culture can never be dismissed as being “just” entertainment or for “only’ amusement. Television networks are continually expanding their programming slates, and many in the past have switched to a year-round programming schedule that makes the phrase “summer return” basically absolute. On every channel, in every magazine, every darken theater, we see the way pop culture limits women’s role- girlfriends, victims, hookers, corpses, sex bombs, and “teases,” but why?
Television, for most 1 OFF represented. And for quite a while, they didn’t see much besides the loving wife, the dutiful daughter, gossiping girlfriends, fashion models, and the occasional maid, granny, or nanny. In Where the Girls Are: Growing Up Female with the Mass Media, author Susan J. Douglas wrote of the postwar pop culture and feminism, “Here’s the contradiction we confront: the news media, TV shows, magazines, and films of the sat four decades may have turned feminism into a dirt word, but they also made feminism inevitable. In addition, without pop culture’s limited images of women, many women in the real world might not have been inspired to actively fight for more and better representations of themselves. A lot of women today, especially younger women, feel the need to always be looking their “best”. To accomplish this we go through tons and tons of beauty products; for our hair, our face, or our skin. We spend hours getting ready for the day, and for what? Is it for the opposite sex to notice you and gaze upon your beauty?
But, what is the male gaze? Well it’s the idea that when we look at images in art or on screen, we’re seeing them as a man would, even as a woman we are looking through the eyes’ of men, because those images are created and put together, especially for men to see. John Burger’s 1972 fine-art monograph Ways of Seeing didn’t coin the phrase, but it did describe the gendered nature of looking this way: ” Men act and women appear. Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at.
This determines not only most relations between men and women but also the relation of women to themselves. The reveler of women in herself is male: the surveyed female. Thus she turns herself into an object and most particularly, an object of vision: a sight. ” Laura Mulled took this concept further in what has become a well-known work of psychoanalytic film theory, “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema. ” She criticized the way narrative films reinforce the gender of the film’s viewer, by using a sequence of “looks. She wrote that the male unconscious, according to Fraud’s theories, is consumed with a fear of “castration,” deals with that fear by seeking power over women, who apparently represent the “castrating figure. Therefore by positioning women as nothing more than objects to be looked at, socialized, and made vulnerable. The male conscious then reassures itself that it really has nothing to fear from women. As Mulled puts it perfectly: ” In a world ordered by sexual imbalance, pleasure in looking has been split between the active male and the passive female.
The determining male gaze projects its phantasm on to the female figure, which is styled accordingly. In their traditional exhibitionist role women are simultaneously looked at and displayed, with their appearance coded for strong visual and erotic impact so that they can be said to note to be-looked-at-news as sexual. Woman displayed as sexual object is the elite- motif of erotic spectacle: from pin-ups to strip tease, from Ziegfeld to Busby Berkeley she holds the look, plays to and signifies male desire. What Laura Mulled is trying to say, is the way that images of women onscreen and on television seek to align viewers of any gender with the “male gaze. ” If you grow up only able to see images of girls and women that way men do; the images of themselves will be simply constructed in that way as well. From the start of the modern women’s liberation event, the members understood that activism doesn’t happen in a vacuum and that in order to make change; it’s often necessary to put idealism in the most accident that some of the greatest profile actions of the second wave movement involved popular culture.
From the 1968 protest in Atlantic city of the miss America pageant; a 1970 sit-in at the offices of prescriptive women’s magazine Ladies’ Home Journal; a “nude-in” held at Grinning College in 1969 to protest a speech by a representative of Playboy. These cases demonstrated that pop culture does matter, and disassembling the pop products, or remaking them to actually reflect real omen’s lives, was an imperative part of women’s liberation.