Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Core Post #5: TV & Postfeminism

It’s interesting to be posting on the topic of postfeminism on International Women’s Day. Feminism is a word that is continuously tossed around in conversation and on social media. Postfeminism on the other hand is not always directly talked about because for many it has been put into the same context on feminism. All the articles talked heavily on postfeminism, popular culture, and inclusion of all women. This idea of inclusion of all women is a concept that seems to be continuously overlooked when it comes to talk about feminism and postfeminism. Jess Butler’s article, “For White Girls Only? Postfeminism and the Politics of Inclusion”, touches on a lot of the thoughts many women of color have when it comes to postfeminism.

Whenever there is talk of anything related to feminism or postfeminism, most women of color agree with the ideas behind them, but at the same time know that it doesn’t always benefit them. As Butler says, many scholars have come to the conclusion that “postfeminism works to exclude women of color and reproduce racial inequality by reinstituting (Western) whiteness as a dominant cultural norm” (47). Whiteness has been the standard in many areas for years, so it comes as no surprise that it’s the same with postfeminism. A movement that is meant to include all women finds a way to exclude women, but I wouldn’t say it’s on purpose. Butler finds this notion of women of color not appearing in postfeminist popular culture as unfounded by giving examples of some shows, films, and music icons that embody postfeminism. I have a problem with the choice of shows she chooses but at the same time I’m not surprised by the choices. All the shows she picked are reality shows that are meant to entertain and as Springer argues, add a form of spice and “seasoning that can liven up the dull dish that is mainstream white culture” (50). Personally I’m not a fan of many of them, especially Love & Hip Hop, because even though it teaches women that they can be comfortable in their skin it at the same time reinforces the idea that music careers is the best path.

Maybe I’m not completely understanding the concept of postfeminism, but what I’ve gathered from it is that women learn to be comfortable with themselves and embrace who they are regardless of society’s standards for what women should be. If that's the general idea behind postfeminism, then including all women, regardless of race, ethnicity, or sexuality, shouldn't be an issue.

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