Welcome to Bennett's Study

From the Author of No Land an Island and Unconscionable

Pondering Alphabetic SOLUTIONS: Peace, Politics, Public Affairs, People Relations




UNCONSCIONABLE: http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/ http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/author/ http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/book/ http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/excerpt/ http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/contact/ http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/buy/ SearchTerm=Carolyn+LaDelle+Bennett http://www2.xlibris.com/books/webimages/wd/113472/buy.htm http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/08UNCONSCIONABLE/prweb12131656.htm http://bookstore.xlibris.com/AdvancedSearch/Default.aspx? http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-000757788/UNCONSCIONABLE.aspx


Saturday, June 2, 2012

“Feminists fighting corporate media NOT Right Wing policing sex”—Dines and Long

Fighting against narrow image fights for democratic media

Do not confuse “Feminists fighting corporate media with right wing attempts to police sex” Feminists Gail Dines and Julia Long.
Editing by Carolyn Bennett

Gail Dines is an academic and “a radical feminist activist … involved in organizing against the pornography industry.” She is co-founder of the National Feminist Anti-Pornography Movement and “sees her teaching as a way to create in students a radical vision of the unlimited possibilities of progressive social change in individuals, communities, and societies.”  Dr. Dines is Wheelock College professor in Sociology and Women’s Studies and department chair in American Studies. Her research centers on the ways media images shape gender and racial identities in the United States. Of particular interest to her is the role played by pornography “in legitimizing violence against women and children.”

Julia Long is a feminist activist and academic who is active with the women-only London Feminist Network and with OBJECT, a UK-based group that campaigns against sex object culture.  Dr. Long’s doctoral dissertation focused on the re-emergence of feminist anti-pornography activism in the United Kingdom.  Her book scheduled for release this year is Anti-porn: the Resurgence of Anti-porn Feminism.

This is an edited excerpt from Long and Dines’ article “‘Moral panic,’ No: We are resisting the pornification of women” published late last year in the Guardian.

“The left has a long history of fighting capitalist ownership of the media,” they write. From German philosopher and socialist Karl Marx to Italian Communist and political theorist Antonio Gramsci to Jewish American philosopher and linguist Noam Chomsky, thinkers on the political left have understood that corporate media is “the propaganda machine for capitalist ideas and values.”

Corporate-controlled media, mainstreaming ideologies of the elite, “have shaped our identities as workers and consumers.” Media sell an “image of success and happiness tied to consumption of products,” consumption that generates enormous wealth for the elite class.

“Alternative views are at best marginalized, at worst ridiculed.”

Though no one in progressive circles would suggest that criticism of corporate media is moral panic or that critic Noam Chomsky is a “moral entrepreneur” — the feminist politically progressive struggle against media’s narrow and limiting image and those who organize against the corporations that churn out sexist imagery are disparaged, “regularly dismissed as stirring moral panic.”

Sexualized culture: man’s gain, woman’s loss

Women’s self-loathing is big business and supports a global capitalist system that, ironically, depends heavily on the exploitation of women’s labor in developing countries. Insult compounds injury as underpaid sweatshop women spend large portions of their wages on skin-whitening products that promise social mobility out of sweatshops.

An industry-engineered image of femininity dominates western society and crowds out alternative ways of being female, Professors Long and Dines write. Girls who refuse to conform to images of “acceptable feminine appearance [pay] real social penalties.”

Clothes, cosmetics, diets, gym membership, trips to hair, waxing and nail salons add up to a lot of money. Even in these dark economic times as women experience the most severe financial hardship, the beauty business booms. Western countries’ increasingly normalized use of cosmetic surgery (face lift, breast augmentation, labiaplasty) illustrates the depth of “a sexualized culture.”

Warping development of the young

Women demonstrating against
Dutch plans to ban the burqa

Feminists should back off the burqa bashing” 
“We construct our identities through complex processes of interaction with the culture around us,” the sociologists write; and the dominant hyper-sexualizing images in today’s culture exact wide-ranging costs for women and girls. The emotional cost of conforming to hyper-sexualizing is enormous for girls and young women who are in the process of forming their gender and sexual identities.

Researchers in psychology have found that hyper-sexualizing culture negatively affects girls’ “cognitive functioning, physical and mental health, sexuality, and attitudes and beliefs.” Among its consequences are “risky sexual behavior, higher rates of eating disorders, depression and low self-esteem, and reduced academic performance.”  In addition, there are no easy avenues for girls who reject or wish to reject “Beyoncé, Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, Rihanna or Britney Spears.”

Far from a right-type moral alarm, Dines and Long conclude, theirs is a fight against the increasingly narrow and limiting image of femininity and “is inextricably connected with the progressive fight for democratic ownership and control of the media.”

This is a political struggle about which feminists are correctly concerned. But “we are not panicking. We are organizing.”

Sources and notes

“Moral panic? No. We are resisting the pornification of women — Don’t mix up feminists fighting the corporate media with rightwing attempts to police sex” (Gail Dines and Julia Long), guardian.co.uk, Thursday 1 December 201, http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/dec/01/feminists-pornification-of-women
© 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies All rights reserved.

Professor Gail Dines is coauthor of Gender, Race and Class in Media and Pornography: the Production and Consumption of Inequality; and author of Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality. http://www.wheelock.edu/academics/faculty-and-administration/dines-gail

Julia Long has been a sixth form teacher, manager of an HIV / AIDS support charity, and a central and local government adviser on a gender equality policy. http://www.opendemocracy.net/author/julia-long

London Feminist Network

The London Feminist Network (LFN) is a women-only feminist networking and campaigning organization that is based in London, UK. This network of more than 1,600 members “was formed in 2004 to unite London-based feminist groups and individuals in action!” http://londonfeministnetwork.org.uk/

Hyper-sexualized mass media projected images
Biographical notes from Wikipedia

Beyoncé  (Beyoncé Giselle Knowles also known as Sasha Fierce), b. September 4, 1981, Houston, Texas, U.S.; Genres: R&B, pop, soul, hip hop; Occupations: Singer-songwriter, record producer, actress, dancer, choreographer, model, fashion designer

Miley Cyrus (Destiny Hope Cyrus), b. November 23, 1992, Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.; Genres: Pop, country pop, dance, electropop, teen pop; Occupations: Actress, musician; Instruments:
Vocals, guitar, piano

Lady Gaga (Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta), b. March 28, 1986, New York, New York, U.S.; Genres: Pop, dance, electronic; Occupations: Singer-songwriter, performance artist, record producer, dancer, businesswoman, activist; Instruments: Vocals, piano, keyboards

Rihanna  (Robyn Rihanna Fenty), b. February 20, 1988 (age 24), Saint Michael, Barbados; Genres: R&B, pop, dancehall, reggae, hip hop, dance; Occupations: Recording artist, actress

Britney Spears (Britney Jean Spears) b. December 2, 1981, McComb, Mississippi, U.S.; Genres: Pop, dance; Occupations: Singer, songwriter, dancer, actress, record producer, author, fashion designer, video director; Instruments: Vocals, piano


We’re not ugly; we’re not beautiful; we’re angry
But throughout its 60 year history, the beauty competition has attracted ...

OBJECT: women not sex objects
... woman formerly in lap dancing and MPs Lynda Waltho, Fiona Mactaggart, ...

Article excerpt with image
“Feminists should back off the burqa bashing”

“If a woman walks down the street in a mini skirt and someone calls her a slut, feminists will be quick to object.  However if a Muslim woman walks down in a burqa then many feminists are happy to concede that she is oppressed, submissive and brainwashed.

“Unfortunately many feminists still believe that no Muslim woman could ever choose to wear the veil of her own free will.

“As a Muslim feminist I find this infuriating, condescending and patronizing.

“Such ideas are even more alarming when they are insidious, rather than outwardly, honestly expressed. Feminists argue that Muslim women ‘say’ they choose to wear the hijab but these women could have only reached that position through cultural influence; that they didn’t have the intellect or gumption to stand up.

“This is just as offensive as claiming that any woman who chooses to engage in heterosexual relationships has been duped by the patriarchy.

“That we either have no free will and if we do we are doomed to never be able to exercise it.…”

“Clearly oppressed? A woman demonstrating against Dutch plans to ban the burqa.” [Pic: AP / File]

Bennett's books are available in New York State independent bookstores: Lift Bridge Bookshop: www.liftbridgebooks.com [Brockport, NY]; Sundance Books: http://www.sundancebooks.com/main.html [Geneseo, NY]; Mood Makers Books: www.moodmakersbooks.com [City of Rochester, NY]; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center: www.enlightenthedog.org/ [Buffalo, NY]; Burlingham Books – ‘Your Local Chapter’: http://burlinghambooks.com/ [Perry, NY 14530]; The Bookworm: http://www.eabookworm.com/ [East Aurora, NY] • See also: World Pulse: Global Issues through the eyes of Women: http://www.worldpulse.com/ http://www.worldpulse.com/pulsewire http://www.facebook.com/#!/bennetts2ndstudy


No comments:

Post a Comment