Thursday, February 21, 2008

Faludi Chapters

As Jake mentioned, Susan Faludi's Backlash is outdated in 2008, sixteen years after she published it in 1992. Perhaps it is this fact that pushes me to read Faludi's text with a grain of salt, or maybe it is my own (self-proclaimed) progressive stance on feminist/womanist/race issues. Growing up largely in the 1990s, and on into the beginning of the 21st century, my own particular experiences and surroundings have oriented my opinions/beliefs toward this progressive, female-positive (I hope) stance. Contrary to Faludi, I DO believe that the womanist/feminist movement has made some strides, though I realize that it is not yet over (and in this respect, I agree with Faludi), and perhaps it will not be over for a long time. With that said, I must reiterate what Jake says in his post and add my own personal examples: The TV landscape has changed in respect to depictions of women. I have grown up with shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charmed, Everwood, Felicity, Jack & BobbyRebaUgly Betty, LOST, and so on, and these shows have/had strong female leads/co-stars playing women in charge, women with clear, nonconforming ambitions, and women who mesh well with an ensemble cast of strong, free-willed characters—male and female alike.

As for specific textual references, the following passage is interesting/ludicrous to me: "A guest columnist in the Baltimore Sun even proposes that feminists produced the rise in slasher movies. By making the 'violence' of abortion more acceptable, the author reasons, women's rights activists made it all right to show graphic murders on screen" (Faludi xi). This quotation features just one example of Faludi's strong use of examples/paraphrases/quotes. The quote piques my interest because of its absurdity, its distortion of logic. I cannot fathom how abortion's (small amount of) acceptance can be used to justify the depiction of "graphic murders [and violence]" (Faludi xi). How is a quiet, relatively private (re: unseen) abortion the same as a gore-filled on-screen murder where the camera never even tries to "look" away? Slasher films depict sensationalism at its "finest," while abortion is nothing to publicize. It seems a woman would want to just get it over with and NOT sensationalize/publicize it. Thus, I think I can see Faludi's point here, and in other instances, but as Jake said, her statistics and citations leave something to be desired (plus, the text is quite "old"/outdated).

1 comment:

Roger Market said...

Oh, I just wanted to point out that the characters in the abovementioned shows DO, of course, have their flaws. Sometimes, they are weak, but the overall message is that they are NOT, and/or at least that they are "real."