Friday, July 2, 2010

Grab Bag Feminism (from Emily)

I was looking through some of my saved post drafts, and I realized that I've shelved some pretty cool links. So, here we go:

First up, I want to comment on this ad from Dove:

While I'm pretty skeptical of any beauty product ad campaign, I have been impressed by Dove's "Be your own kind of beautiful" campaigns. Instead of scaring women by implying "you're ugly and worthless and only buying this product will make you pretty again," the Dove ads operate under the logic of "Take care of your body because it's beautiful." Well, now they're painting a really positive picture of masculinity. If I recall correctly, this ad came out shortly after a bunch of misogynistic anti-marriage Super Bowl ads. I find this portrayal of masculinity much more realistic and positive than any portrayal that pits women and men against each other. This ad addresses the very real pressures that men face, but it does so without demonizing women or making men seem like stupid slobs.

Next, here's an article from feministe that discusses the difficulties female feminists face when they try to date men who are not feminists. Her post is actually discussing someone else's post, and the earlier author describes the phenomenon of being a trophy feminist. I'd also like to draw your attention to one of the comments, where a reader wonders if people who are turned off by feminist bloggers are turned off by political discussions in general.

I think it's true that a lot of people are turned off by these discussions. I still remember how disappointed I was on my first date with Carl The Open Minded Chauvinist, when instead of talking about all the cool topics he'd talked about with me when we first met, he only wanted to talk about standard, I'm-getting-to-know-you date topics. On the second date he kept apologizing for talking about politics, but I was just feeling relieved. Finally, a fun date conversation! So, the good news is, there are people out there who enjoy debating and talking about politics as much as people like Erica and I do. Who find these conversations thrilling and exhilarating. But when we're around people who do consider these topics taboo in social situations, what do we do? How can we be ourselves, as people are always recommending, if talking about feminism over dinner makes others squeamish?

1 comment:

  1. I think what would make people less squeamish is recognizing that feminism has the potential of being more than just a discussion of how evil men are and how superior women are, but rather an examination of gender roles/expectations on both sides. The more I've studied feminism, the more I think men can be just as boxed in by society's definition of masculinity as women.