Susan Douglas's seminal 1995 book Where the Girls Are: Growing Up with the Mass Media explored how woman see and are seen in pop culture, tracing feminism in
pop culture from the 1950s and '60s through the 1980s. Her newest book, Enlightened Sexism: The Seductive Message That Feminism's Work is Done, revisits the subject of women's representation in the mass media, and finds a troubling series of mixed messages, empty "empowerment," and consumer imperatives masquerading as postfeminist power.
As longtime fans of Douglas's wit, irreverance, and spot-on critique, Bitch is thrilled to feature the epilogue of Enlightened Sexism. It's after the jump, as is an interview with Douglas by Andi Zeisler.
I am just so proud that the Academy Awards gave the man who said "if you don't want to be pitied for being a cripple in a wheelchair, don't come out of the house" a humanitarian award for being so good and giving to those wretched disabled children! I do hope that everyone gives money to a man who said "You might as well put a gun in your mouth" after you find out you have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (that's ALS- Lou Gehrig's Disease). And heaven knows that money goes to really important stuff - like a CURE! - because things like wheelchairs and accessible transportation and helping families get their homes renovated to be fully accessible would be a total waste of that money, right? Why help people with disabilities now when in the future, they may have a CURE!
When i was growing up in the ’60s and ’70s, it didn’t matter that my parents were some of the earliest feminist leaders on the East Coast, that I grew up watching their activism from up close, or that I saw them live (not just profess) equality between the sexes. It didn’t matter that I was a girl hooked on Ms. magazine from the very first year it was out, that I regularly flipped through my mom’s copy of Our Bodies, Ourselves, or that I ravenously collected Wonder Woman comic books.