Media-Tions: Forays into the Culture and Gender Wars

Media-Tions: Forays into the Culture and Gender Wars

Media-Tions: Forays into the Culture and Gender Wars

Media-Tions: Forays into the Culture and Gender Wars

Synopsis

Feminist media critic Elayne Rapping takes such varied pop culture artifacts as soap operas, Madonna, and Amy Fisher to uncover a new paradigm of feminism's interface with the media.

Excerpt

As I write this Introduction, in the summer of 1993, we are at the end of the Reagan/Bush era, a long dry period of rightwing ascendancy and political reaction that, understandably, has left liberals and Leftists alike feeling depressed and pessimistic. For women, especially, the 1980s and early 1990s have been experienced— and almost universally labeled—as an age of "backlash," in which the cultural and material advances made by feminists in the 1960s and 1970s were vigorously and hostilely driven back by the forces of white, male supremacy.

In women's meetings, conferences, and casual political conversations, in the last few years, I have often felt weighed down by the despair and powerlessness engendered by the so-called "backlash." One might think—to listen to growing numbers of women— that we are no better off today than when the Second Wave of feminism began in the 1960s: that feminism has had no real or lasting effect on American life.

I am puzzled by the backlash rhetoric. I came of age in the . . .

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