Archive for the ‘feminists’ Category

Pop Culture’s Ingenues: Really What Feminism Wants?

December 17, 2008

They may not follow their grandmother’s brand of feminism, but it’s empowering nonetheless. By going their own way, ingénue  made it the year of the young and female in pop music.

By Ann Powers
The Los Angeles Times
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Young women are often treated like the empty calories of American culture – they’re as hard to resist as a forbidden sweet, as guiltily denied and as easily forgotten.

This truism applies to this suddenly very serious year as much as it did in the teeny-bopper-dominated 1950s and the flapper-fueled 1920s. As the more significant stories of a historic election and disastrous economic collapse unfolded, the buzz in the background was often generated by undone ingénues and excitable tweens, from Lindsay Lohan and the Spears sisters to the fans behind the Jonas Brothers and “Twilight.” (And then there’s pregnant Bristol Palin, now out of sight but not forgotten.)

Lohan at the Calvin Klein Spring 2007 Fashion Show Afterparty
Lohan

The pop history now being recorded in year-in-review essays and lists are mostly focused on other forces: rock’s commercial savior, Coldplay; hip-hop’s new jack king, Lil Wayne; indie’s sensitive souls, Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes. But in a moribund year for pop, young women provided much of the spark.

Katy Perry released the most talked-about single, the bi-lascivious “I Kissed a Girl.” Jordin Sparks had the sleeper with her Chris Brown duet, “No Air.” Miley Cyrus transcended her Hannah Montana character with her summer debut, “Breakaway.” Taylor Swift crossed genres with “Fearless,” the album of the winter. In R&B, 20-year-old Rihanna was unstoppable, and 21-year-old Jazmine Sullivan emerged as the genre’s hottest new voice.

Cyrus with her dog, Roadie
Miley Cyrus

Among critical favorites, retro-soul singers Adele and Duffy both got major Grammy nods, while teen singer-songwriter Laura Marling won blogger hearts. Bassist Esperanza Spalding, 23, made waves in the jazz world, and hard country warmed to Ashton Shepherd, who’s 22 and already a married mom.

More than just ‘it’

Pop culture has never wanted for “it” girls, but the authority these fledgling artists claim is a great sign of feminism’s ripple effects. Swift might play a princess in many of her songs – in fact, the best parts of “Fearless” meditate on the princess myth and how reality subverts it – but in the studio she’s her own boss, writing and producing those fairy tales.

Swift is exceptionally precocious, but cowriting credits are the rule in this bunch, and Svengalis are rare. Whether they’ve actually spent time listening to the Ronettes, the Runaways or Lauryn Hill or not, these women have benefited from their elders’ hard-won lessons.

Yet if empowerment is a given for this new generation, it’s also a hotly debated concept. Women born after 1984 are not only young enough to be the granddaughters of second-wave feminists, their mothers are the ones who took sides in the “culture wars” of the 1980s and, as Sarah Palin and Hillary Rodham Clinton so aptly demonstrated, are still fighting about what it means for a woman to be truly on top.

Read the rest:
http://articles.latimes.com/2008/12/14/calendar/ca-girl14

Cutout of Hillary Being Groped By Obama Speechwriter: What Meaning? Dignity Lost?

December 8, 2008

At the exact moment  Jon Favreau is receiving high praise in pre-inaugural media puff pieces, the 27-year-old chief speechwriter for President-elect Barack Obama (not Jon Favreau, the Hollywood actor/ director) finds himself in a minor mess over a photo from a recent private party showing him groping the breast of a cardboard cutout of  Hillary Rodham Clinton as an unnamed pal wearing an “Obama staff” T-shirt kisses and feeds her beer.

If you haven’t seen it, imagine the early stages of the barroom rape scene of “The Accused” with Jodie Foster. Or think prosecutor Mike Nifong’s graphic (though false) descriptions of the Duke lacrosse party. Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson danced to a similar tune at the 2004 Super Bowl.

Fraternities have been closed for less.

The provocative party pic uploaded to Facebook for a very short time was soon discovered and printed in The Washington Post then disseminated across the Internet and featured prominently on Politico, Gawker and the Drudge Report.

By Andrew Breitbart
The Washington Times

favreauxxx

If the photo had exposed a Republican offender, there’d already be a full-bore media scandal and cascading resignations. MSNBC would be rearranging its schedules for a wall-to-wall 24/7 bonanza. Rachel Maddow would finally have her big story. Barbara Boxer, Patricia Schroeder and other righteous feminists would walk up the Capitol steps, reprising the time they tried to destroy Clarence Thomas – for nothing.

Yet so far there is no groundswell of feminist rage in the District of Columbia. The unnamed co-conspirator thrusting the beer bottle into the mouth of the designated secretary of state isn’t yet a household slur.

Instead, with the accused being a member of the protected Democratic class, we only have a quick peripheral debate. The mainstream media headlines soften the story’s implications: “Obama speechwriter Favreau learns the perils of Facebook” (CNN).

Next time, don’t share your coarseness with the world. It’s the technology’s fault.

The aggressive iconography of two young drunk men taking advantage of a life-size cutout of a woman – especially a powerful one – would bring an elite college campus to a standstill, force a housecleaning of a Fortune 500 company, ground the Air Force Academy and would, in most cases, ruin the career of a Republican staffer or elected official.

Related:
 Love Those Obama Speeches? Meet the Head Speechwriter

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/200
8/dec/08/i-believe-hillarys-cardboard-cutout/