Enlightened Sexism: The Seductive Message That Feminism's Work Is Done
Women today are inundated with conflicting messages from the mass media: they must either be strong leaders in complete command or sex kittens obsessed with finding and pleasing a man. In Enlightened Sexism, Susan J. Douglas, one of America's most en ...more
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What a fabulous examination of that great monster we all know as the MEDIA, and its relation to feminism. Do we "have it all"?
Oh, of course not. And Susan J. Douglas is here to tell you why.
Wondering why I took off that star? Same reason I detract ...more
Douglas did a great job of unpicking what happened with popular media in those years to end us up here, in the world of Jersey Shore and Real Housewives, where "girls have learned to be enforcers of their own opression" (p. 237), ...more
I first encountered Susan J. Douglas 20 years ago when I read Where The Girls Are: Growing Up Female with the Mass Media. Back then, Douglas’s chatty, irreverent approach to her subject matter was a breath of fresh air in a field which seemed to attract the stodgiest of academics.
The Rise of Enlightened Sexism follows on from Where The Girls Are, charting the media’s response to growing female empowerment, and how it is pitting women and girls against each other. As Douglas explains:
So, I'm all about Feminism. In fact - as imperfect as I may be - I oft feel as though I'm keeping it alive all by myself. I thought that this book would help give me specific examples to use as alliterations during my various discussions with the masses.
What did I get instead? One woman’s pitiful excuse to watch and critique various sitcoms, movies, music videos and the like from the ‘90’s. I flukin kno that "entertainment" (television in general) is sexist. Believe me, the cons ...more
Douglas, in an extremely funny and 'I'm gulity of it too' voice dicusses how modern televison is sexist, just in more subtle (in some cases) ways then in the first place. She also examines why some shows worked and some shows didn't. Wonder why the Bachelor is still on tv, this will tell.
I do have to admit, howver, that I would have liked to see inclusion of both The Wire and Homicide as they bucked some of the trends that Douglas talked about.
Brenda R. Weber
Enlightened Sexism: The Seductive Message That Feminism’s Work Is Done
By Susan J. Douglas
GIVEN ITS DEPRESSING TOPIC— the media’s insidious contribution to
the waning influence of feminism— Enlightened Sexism is a delightful
read. Douglas had me laughing out loud as she made her irreverent
but persuasive case against a popular culture that promises girls
and women they can be whatever they want as long as they don’t want
the wrong things. This “empowerment” ...more
I highly recommend this one.
Overall, though, I did not like the style of this book. It had the feeling that the author was trying to be lighthearted and sarcastic but she just couldn't make it stick. Where as when I read Jessica Valenti the words just seem to flow, this writing was jarring at points due to grammar and failed attempts either to be "cool" or funny.
The author even ...more
Looking back, well, my view was clouded by the NOW. I think as you get older the NOW has less of a hold on most of us, but that's a separate issue. When I was young, I guess I just thought the world was getting tackier. It was happening around me. The envelope was being pushed, more sex everywhere. Reality TV.
Citing examples from popular TV shows, retail, magazines, and news media, Douglas provides several examples of enlightened sexism and backs it up with plenty of research. It’s written simply but is still very intelligent and doesn’t pander to the reader (a less than easy tightrope). It’s dense and a littl ...more
Well, this book made it perfectly clear why so many people call me a 'femi-nazi' and harass me online when I speak about feminism. I am very ...more
I hoped ENLIGHTENED SEXISM would be the new WHERE THE GIRLS ARE. I don't think it will be. Douglas' writing is as conversational, engaging, a ...more
Susan J. Douglas is a Professor of Communication at the University of Michigan, and she uses all of her skills to analyze feminism and sexism from the nineties to the present. Through her study of television, magazines, and music, she illustrates the way in which the powerful feminist impulses of the early nineties (such as the Riot Grrrl movement) were co-opted and emptied of meaning through co ...more