Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Advertising and Feminism: The Great Deception.

First and foremost, I love the topic. As a feminist fanatic myself, I enjoyed researching and exploring the journey from the mainstream beginngings of feminism of the 60s and the aspirational Cosmo girl, to today's empowered post feminist icon. After, and during writing my dissertation I realised how relevant my study was, the topic of "what is feminism today" constantly debated in women's magazines. Now, modern woman are not only confused of their role, but are confused with the identity of feminism. I found in my third chapter, there was a backlash against feminism in the 80s, which branded feminism as outdated and restricting. Basically feminism was now seen as unfashionable, to say you were a femininst was assioatated with being a man- hating hairy lesbian! I personally think this is sad, as while modern women distance themselves away from the label of feminism simply stating "equality has now been achieved", women who have freedom now forget that without the early feminists we as women today would not have the right to vote, to have equal pay, to be sexually liberated. To be a feminist should be seen as a positive thing, even if it is now seen as over. Perhaps modern women simply do not call themselves feminists as they feel they do not have the right. Alientated and distanced from the active movement of feminism in the sixties, many feel they cannot connect to the label of feminism.

So, how about the so called New Feminism of the 90s? Several books have surfaced discussing the new "power feminism" the modern take on feminism. Personally the "aspirational" post feminist figures of Katie Price as empowering for young women, just don't ring in true for me. How can posing for men, using your sexuality to essentially please men be empowering?
Many young women I know, see pole dancers and the like as "empowering strong figures" but perhaps unfashionably so, I just don't see how. In my study I argued the infamous influx of WonderBra advertisements which were portrayed as confident, assertive images of desirable women who were in control of their sexuality, were merely sexually objectifying images of women targeted at the male gaze. Not so different from the past sexual objects for men to look at that feminist fought so hard to resist. Now women, are openly welcoming the male gaze and sexual expolitation under the post feminist guise that they are "pleasing themselves" not men. Sexy is now cool, and it is a sign of your "sexual liberation" to show you are comfortable with your sexuality, to make an objection backwardly brands you as "uptight" and evidentbly an old fashioned feminist.

I discovered however what with the backlash of feminism, it ulitmately allows advertising and generally culture to provide sexist images under the guise that it is now "post feminist" as women are no longer exploited- but are actively choosing to be sexual objects. This is worrying as it represents a deeper and higher form of expolitation as women are actively choosing, there is no objection and advertisers can freely present sexist images, without critque.

Feminism has ulimately turned full circle. Whilst triumps of feminism include women now being heavyweights in their careers being just as successful as men and can choose their own lifestyle. Many young women today, the Katie Price's of the noughties, choose to regress back to the passive sexual objects for men's admiration.

If this is the "new feminism" I'd rather be part of the old one...

Oh wait, that means I'm a big hairy lesbian right?!

P.s as you can see I find this issue heats me up, and would love either to doo further studying in Women's Studies, anyone know what Uni's do it? Or would generally love to rant in articles as a journalist. X

Oh and the big D. Abit of a success!

Before in previous posts, you may of heard me mumbling and groaning about the big D...otherwise known as the dissertation!
Turns out all that hard work and slaving away was worth it as I got a 1st! Daa Daah. Literally was one of the best days of my life finding out my mark (72) oh yes! It just goes to show you if you put enough effort in, the skys the limit. And thats generally my motto, people said oh arent you lucky- no I'm not lucky I just worked my arse off for it! Sometimes I think it doesnt matter how clever you are, or how much you think your good at something it turns out sheer hard work will get you the grade :)
Turns out those few hellish months were worth it, as the disso concreted my overall result of a 2:1- get in!
Looking back, my crazed love (or obsession) with books, you would often find me trawling across town with a bagload of books, helped secured my 1st. In my next post I will discuss the in's and outs of the, now, treasured disso ;) X

They think its all over..well it is now!


Soo before I was contemplating the idea of finishing Uni forever, and most of all FREEDOM.
And as much like i thought its not so much freedom, but being poor, working your way out of debt, or at least trying to earn a few pennies, and most importantly wondering what you are going to do with yourself for the forseeable future!

Alot of people are jokily saying they are experiencing a premature "mid life crisis", for the first time you are out of full time education, and your life is in your hands. I could say I'm in the same boat as all the other graduee's, yet I don't feel scared. (perhaps I should?!) With no concrete plans as of yet, I'm just happy to be home after a hellish third year and enjoying the summer :)
(I didn't realise how much I missed home- cooked food, and am eating like a horse! )

July has been a busy month for mee. What with 21sts, a trip to London- Camden Town (Koko) which I loved, and declared "I love London why don't we all get a flat and live here?" to my bemused uni friend. Then the following a trip out in Guildford, just as pricey, not as exciting. And of course the biggun- GRADUATION. Yes, the day, well the week finally dawned. Graduation ball complete with chart topper Plan B, a slilent disco and all my fav pals looking grand in their frocks/suits- it was night to remember :) Then the actual day, a loong day starting at 6.30! eek and ending at 4pm...trooper! Alot of standing around in hot robes, mine felt like it was strangling me, but overall the feeling of elation is unique. Standing on the guildhall steps, throwing your hats into the air with parents proudly looking on- loved it. Advice for fellow graduates, try not to have a bad hair day as literally you will never have so many cameras pointing at you, from all angles, ever again. (Unless you become famous, or perhaps on your wedding day!)

I must admit, after all the photos have been taken, posted on facebook and stories regaled I did feel a sense of emptiness. Back to work I went sigh, and realised I must up the ante for my desired internship. If before, I wasn't ready I sure am now, and starting to want it more than ever. The sad reality that my life as a student of Portsmouth Uni is over, no more babylon, no more late night kens, most of all i will miss my uni friends who i feel i have just got closest to.

But hey, as they say "they think its all over..well it is now!" isn't the end of the world, it's the beginnging of a new chapter. If you think optismically the "world is your oyster" (I keep being told this) soo don't look back, but rather forward to your chosen careers and the next step, as although its scary the...

"future's bright". X