The Traditional Media Is A Mixed Blessing For Feminists

3028 Words13 Pages
Brenda Nguonly
Professor John Baker
HN 110, Section 012
30 October 2014
The traditional media is a mixed blessing for feminists; on one hand, they educate the American public about issues like wife-beating and the gender gap, and on the other, both synthesize feminism into a homogenous mold and reinforce “post-feminist” repudiation of feminist wins. Traditional mass communications impose a gender dualism that made no room for gray - “bad” feminism versus “good” masculine norm - ignore marginal (feminist) voices, distort feminism, and delimit the spread of feminist principles (Beck 140). Media backlash typically follows women’s efforts to make significant strides towards independence and equality - perpetuating binaries of bra-burning “dykes” and subservient (and thus attractive) women, likening philosophical disagreements amongst feminists with “catfights” and mud-wrestling women (Beck 144). This portrayal causes women’s hesitancy to own their own movement, which is then perceived as petty and confrontational. The media ignores the fact that feminism is multi-faceted and thus subject to internal disagreement, and instead sells the entertainment value of fighting women while maintaining the status quo of cool-headed and right male codes (Beck 142). They pass cultural codes - generally white and heterosexual male - for ‘raw’ reality. Reality is never a universal concept; the basic concept of “woman” is riddled with cultural codes conveyed and interpreted in media texts. There

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