Wed May 16, 2012, 10:31 AM
kpete (50,054 posts)
Farewell to the Gargoyle Feminist?-How the ‘war on women’ quashed feminist stereotypes
The image of the feminist as a mirthless, hirsute, sex-averse succubus is a friendly-fire casualty of the Republican “war on women.” It’s a grave loss to conservatives, who have used this faithful foot soldier as a comfortably grotesque stand-in for the real people whose liberties they have sought to conscribe: women….
Painting those with a commitment to gender equality as brutish killers of buzzes and babies has been a useful tactic, not only in distracting the public from anti-feminist policy, but in sending messages to young people. Generations of kids, including my own 1990s cohort, have prefaced feminist statements with, “I’m not a feminist, but . . .” Sarah Michelle Gellar, who played girl-power icon Buffy Summers, once told a reporter that she hated the word “feminist” because it “brings up such horrible connotations and makes you think of women who don’t shave their legs.”
In activism, an image problem becomes a structural problem: Twisted but resonant stereotypes make women hesitant to identify with the movement to expand their rights. And if women won’t organize and advocate on their own behalf, the work of anti-feminists is done.
But the recent Republican incursions against women’s rights have been extreme enough to make women finally see beyond the wraith, to recognize that this battle is in fact about them. As presidential candidates sparred over birth control and state legislatures enacted punishing restrictions on reproductive rights and opposed equal-pay protections, newly vocal feminists resisted publicly. By doing so, they transformed the stereotype, putting youth, sex and humor on the side of the long-denigrated women’s movement. Conservatives such as Limbaugh, Foster Friess and Rick Santorum, dealing in sexual censoriousness and musty utterances, suddenly looked like the sexless relics of a bygone era, while the women shouting back at them presented a new, cool model of feminism — young, funny, socially nimble and appealing….
6 replies, 1540 views
Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Farewell to the Gargoyle Feminist?-How the ‘war on women’ quashed feminist stereotypes (Original post)
|Uncle Joe||May 2012||#4|
Response to kpete (Original post)
Wed May 16, 2012, 06:18 PM
BlancheSplanchnik (14,086 posts)
5. Shaming women for looking like ordinary people has always been a control tactic.
But as the famous phrase says, "the personal is political" ( Carol Hanisch’s 1969 essay ‘The Personal is Political’----which I now see I need to read!)
Now, women everywhere, and young women who thought feiminsm had nothing to do with them, and even some conservative women are finally seeing the real life impact of the repukes' hostility---and their exploitation of women's lives in order to create "morality" uproar that will deflect attention from the Corporatists' and Big Religionists' legislative tinkering.