Whither feminism (part deux) : The thin pink line


3 comments posted

First, thank you for quoting my paper on Madonna; I was flattered to see it included in your comments.

I agree with you that Madonna was embracing feminism and reclaiming it, but that does not preclude the idea that she was also sending up the perceived femininity of young adolescent girls' mothers. Girls at that age are trying desperately to separate from their mothers, and they do so partly by making fun of their mothers' perceived affectations.

And I'm sure you know this, but there was never any bra-burning. The media made it up. And I didn't know very many women who stopped wearing makeup and who dressed down for the sake of the women's movement (though there certainly were some). It was a really difficult time: Bad things were done to all of us, but the benchmark event--just to illustrate how terrible it was-- occurred when Screw Magazine ran a nude Gloria Steinem (a woman who didn't dress down) look-alike photo with the caption "Pin the Cock on the Feminist," and then provided penises so that readers could attack the photo.

Diane's picture
Posted by Diane (not verified) on 17 January 2005 - 4:15pm

I agree about Madonna. The irony in her message is hard to miss. I think the effect she had on us fans, however, was less the irony and more the devil-may-care attitude about sexuality. I was speaking more to the perceptions, the social pressures -- the feminist memes of the '70s (and '80s) for us kids. We -- or at least I -- really had no perception of reality.

I confess, Larry Flynt has been something of a schmucky hero to me for his First Amendment cases. It's so easy to forget what a total ass he is.

Thanks for the response!

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 17 January 2005 - 6:36pm
Yes. No bra burning

What happened was that bras were thrown in the trash and as far as I know, none was publicly burned in protest. Since a lot of the energy of Female Liberation spun out of the Anti-war Movement, where men were burning their draft cards, the media seized on the idea that women were burning their bras - and all the while the ghettos were burning.

Glad someone remembers the days.

Matsu's picture
Posted by Matsu on 20 January 2005 - 12:56pm