N E W S L E T T E R F O R T H E S E X amp G E N D E R S E C

N E W S L E T T E R F O R T H E S E X Amp G E N D E R S E C-Free PDF

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Letter from the chair continued from page 1, cil My thanks to them for their dedication to the section For to serve on committees and urged someone you know to join. the last time we pulled names at the business meeting to elect our section We are more than 1000 members strong again. our new student reps Allison Crossley and Mary Robertson making us one of ASA s largest sections. Beginning in 2013 we will be electing our student reps too. I look forward to serving as your chair for another year. By all reports our program at the 2012 meeting in Denver was Please let me know if you have any ideas about how the sec. a success This newsletter includes a report from the session on tion can better serve its membership. Cecelia Ridgeway s Framed by Gender The invited session I. organized drew more than 100 people for a lively discussion of Betsy Lucal. the future of gender scholarship My thanks to all who organ Professor of Sociology. ized sessions presented papers and attended our sessions My Interim Chair Department of Sociology and Anthropology. thanks as well to all of you who proposed sessions volunteered Indiana University South Bend. blucal iusb edu,Feminism at the Movies,By Jean Anne Sutherland and Kathryn Feltey. If asked what makes a mainstream film feminist how would fall into those eight criteria. you respond What blockbuster films have you watched where. you noted there were feminist images dialogue and or char The same consensus is not found with the issue of power For. acters What would a film need to warrant the label feminist some power specifically means the kind of personal em. We are interested in the ways feminism has infiltrated main powerment found in films such as Under the Tuscan Sun. stream media particularly films that are viewed by mass audi Waitress and Stella Gets her Groove Back In these power. ences What messages are being promulgated How do these to movies a woman sheds her past including weighted. align with principles of feminist thought Given the diversity expectations and forges a happier life of her own choosing. of feminist approaches which versions of feminism show up For others power means a collective coming together of. on the film and which are left on the cutting room floor or. women power with to enact real social change Exam,never enter the studio in the first place. ples include North Country Nine to Five and Antonia s Line. Both kinds of power are in accord with feminism One. In our research we ask what qualifies a film as feminist We. shows the micro level story of change in the lives of indi. also look for examples of feminist films respondents have seen. Our preliminary analysis suggests using one or more of the. viduals The other shows the macro social structural. following eight criteria when deciding whether or not femi change e g sexual harassment laws. nism shows up on screen, Still others also note a different kind of power the kind. Strong leading women along with themes of female em that we call power over These are the kick ass movies. powerment like Teeth Kill Bill Vol I and II and the much heralded. Women portrayed as independent and self determined. Thelma and Louise In these films there is typically the. theme of revenge where a misogynist man is badly injured. Women working with other women to create social, or killed by women who use violence to give as good as.
they get While there are cheers when the villain is taken. Critical commentaries on intersectionalities of race class. down this kind of violent revenge counters feminist ideals. sexuality and gender, of progress and equality It also alludes to the point so. Reflection on women s issues policies and laws,poignantly made by Audre. Challenges to established notions of gender Lorde that the master s tools. Furthers understanding of the women s movement and will never dismantle the mas. feminist social change in history ter s house,The representation of gender based oppression. In addition there are also, The characteristics people look for in feminist films align with trends found throughout the. the general tenets of feminism When asking academics and decades The 1970s movies. non academics what makes a feminist film responses tend to during the second wave. SEX AND GENDER NEWS,OCTOBER 2012 PAGE 3, women s movement tend to be blatantly political e g An Unmarried Woman and Alice Doesn t Live Here Anymore The 1980 s pro.
duced some significant films Born in Flames Private Benjamin but the political edge was lost during what some have called the jiggle. era The 1990s brought numerous films that challenged established notions of gender and women s relationships Fried Green Toma. toes and The Joy Luck Club Many feminist films from the 2000s tended to emphasize power to especially for white middle and upper. class women Little Children and The Squid and the Whale while others brought us global stories of empowerment Frida and Whale. Nothing seems to capture the extent to which feminism in film is reflective of the times more than the. two versions of The Stepford Wives The 1975 original is a creepy horror movie about the silencing of. women The men plot to transform their wives into robotic stereotypes of the uber housewife where. the women telling one another It s not so bad really There is nothing the least bit funny about the. destruction of the women In the movie their transformation was permanent In the 2004 version. the tension is replaced by frivolity The villain turns out to be a woman and we really have noth. ing to fear because in the end all is made well Juxtaposed these two films speak volumes about Hol. lywood s treatment of the politics of feminism in the 1970s and the 2000s While the original. A scene from the 1975 version of The, closely aligns with the eight criteria above the re make is camp And not even particularly funny. Stepford Wives, There are also cohort trends in terms of the identification of feminist films For the most part. older respondents tend to note films that reflect power to and power with It is the younger. cohort that tends to praise kick ass movies like e g Foxfire and Ittty Bitty Titty Committee Does. this tell us something about second and third wave feminism. While many films contain a few of the eight listed criteria there are few that contain them all A. couple do come close Norma Rae captures much of the criteria but does not make a critical com. mentary on intersectionality The Color Purple covers the range of feminist ideals but the focus is. on personal transformation as Celie escapes an abusive marriage into a life where she realizes. A scene from the 2004 version of The, her own power the movie version of the story safely avoids the lesbian relationship that devel. Stepford Wives, ops between Celie and Shug and is key to her self discovery. Perhaps it is not important for a film to contain all eight criteria As we know Hollywood has a narrative and that formula is not neces. sarily conducive to feminist ideals consider the popularity of the romantic comedy that tends to sprinkle suggestions of empowerment. over tired women waiting for her prince storylines. What can we really expect to see at the movies when so few women are behind the scenes Research from the Geena Davis Institute on. Gender in Media tells us that in terms of family movies women make up 7 percent of directors 13 percent of the writers and 20 percent. of the producers http www seejane org research Certainly men can tell a feminist story and women can tell non feminist stories. but those percentages explain a lot in terms of the stories we do see Who gets to tell the story and what kinds of stories would main. stream audiences flock to see, Given that mainstream movies reach broader audiences we believe feminist portrayals of women s lives can contribute to a more politi.
cized understanding of sex and gender As we continue to consider feminism in film we would love your input Take a few minutes to. answer our questions here http www surveymonkey com s F2ZTMSX. Dr Jean Anne Sutherland left is a professor in the. Department of Sociology and Criminology at the Uni. versity of North Carolina Wilmington Dr Kathryn,Feltey right is a professor in the Department of. Sociology at the University of Akron You can E,mail them at Sutherlandj uncw edu and. felteyk uakron edu,Marriage Too big to fail,By Jaye Cee Whitehead. Probably now more than ever the legal recognition of same tiveness and perks are questionable at best Yet marriage. sex marriage appears inevitable Following the recent in the United States is one of few avenues for providing. passage of same sex marriage in New York Washington security and care Unlike any other industrialized country. State and Maryland along with the recent second U S Cir marriage in the United States remains the essential gate. cuit Court of Appeals decision to strike down the Defense way to untaxed retirement and death benefits health in. of Marriage Act DOMA there appears to be a renewed surance as well as bereavement and family leave. sense of optimism and momentum within the movement. Of course underlying a general sense of confidence that And it is a downsized model of care that makes individuals. same sex couples will soon have equal access to the rights responsible for social problems it outlines responsibilities. and responsibilities of marriage is an equally optimistic without providing resources for families who struggle to. sense that marriage is an institution worth supporting or afford adequate health care or who pledged to be there for. at least that it is too big to fail richer or poorer yet do not have the economic capital to. supplement the family income when one wage earner be. As a sociologist studying marriage activism during the comes unemployed At least from the progressive point of. Great Recession I am struck by the logic and ethic of risk view this is a sleight of hand it is the role of the state to. underlying both moments The logic of risk appears to neu manage social phenomena that individuals themselves. tralize efforts to challenge marriage and finance capital at a cannot adequately address in an advanced industrial soci. fundamental level even though both institu ety As sociologists we know neither individu. tions appear vulnerable to criticism The als nor couples have the power to manage large. bailout embodied the belief that the public scale structural forces such as the number of. ought to shoulder the burden when the bet jobs that provide a living wage the availability. doesn t workout but must hand over the of affordable housing and access to medical. profits when it does Similarly as a form of technology and expertise. governance marriage offers couples an, equally shady deal by providing a mecha Thus the marriage question is properly con. nism for regulating risks associated with textualized with discussions more obviously. family economic insecurity without actually connected to our current economic instabili. increasing access to resources that would ties including health care reform minimum. make risk management possible or address wage and even unionization Just as state su. ing the underlying inequalities that produce preme courts have reiterated the state s inter. economic insecurities est in marriage as a way to reduce state expen. ditures by relieving the public s obligation to, In my book The Nuptial Deal I extend the feminist and care for those who cannot support themselves the recent.
queer literature that puts a damper on the promise of mar attempts to eviscerate public unions and dissolve mini. riage to enhance equality I explain how the fight for mar mum wage requirements offer to improve state budgets as. riage equality parallels neo liberal efforts toward privatiza if fiscal discipline ought to be primarily shouldered by the. tion and the reduction of the public sphere I argue that most vulnerable In a similar sense challenges to marriage. marriage becomes more important in a political economic cannot be shouldered by gay and lesbian families who are. context characterized by an ever weakening social safety among the most vulnerable by virtue of being denied ac. net far from acting as the last barrier to social equality for cess to official avenues of care and responsibility. gays and lesbians marriage threatens to consolidate class. and symbolic privilege among the most advantaged gays Debates over same sex marriage are intrinsically con. and lesbians and legitimate neo liberal logics of govern nected to concurrent trends towards privatizing profits. ance while socializing risk a theme that should be fresh in the. minds of Americans after public tax dollars provided a. But as I found in my fieldwork the consolidation of marital safety net for the same Wall Street firms that have signed. privilege is not the intent of most involved in the marriage on for marriage equality as a way to enhance the corporate. equality movement moreover for many marriage defec talent pool In both cases a social safety net is quickly ex. tors with little economic capital like those highlighted in tended for those who are too big to fail but retracted if. Melanie Heath s book One Marriage Under God its effec. Marriage Too big to fail continued from page 4, not completely absent for vulnerable Americans who must and personal meanings for individuals living their private lives. cobble together a patchwork of personal strategies to deal but it also functions as an ar. class women Little Children and The Squid and the Whale while others brought us global stories of empowerment Frida and Whale Rider Nothing seems to capture the extent to which feminism in film is reflective of the times more than the two versions of The Stepford Wives The 1975 original is a creepy horror movie about the silencing of

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