Waves of Feminism
There are three waves of feminism:
1. Suffragettes: mid-nineteenth century to early twentieth century feminism focussed on the fight for social and political equality and was a sometimes violent fight. Women won the vote in 1928 after years of political struggle.
2.Womens Liberation: The second wave took place between the 1960's and 1970's and fought for equal pay, equal rights and equal representation in political bodies as well as liberation from male oppression. Issues such as ****, abortion, domestic violence and child carex were all part of this wave of feminism.
3. Lipstick: The third wave is the period from the 1980's to present and now there is more emphasis on the postive nature of ambiguity, difference and individualism. Key concerns focus on body image, reproductive control, sexual harrasment, violence against women and the politics of transgender sexuality. Feminists are now also trying to fight against the negative sterotypes attatched to the label feminist.
Post-feminism was a "backlash to feminism" that began in reaction to the percieved aggressive tactics used in other waves of feminist activity. Post feminists embrace how far women have travelled and enjoy femininity as well as power.
Sex and Gender
In an hierachically ordered society, men are almost always more dominant, with power and status above that of women.
This imbalance is supported by assumptions that is somehow unnatural. Feminism questions and analyses these assumptions.
SEX is biological
GENDER is about behaviour and attitudes we associate with males and females.
Male Gaze- Laura Mulvay
Laura Mulvay coined the term "Male Gaze" in 1975. She believes that in film audiences have to "view" characters from the perspecitive of a hetrosexual male.
Women are presented for men to look at in a sexual way almost inevitably.
All hollywood is about are men looking at women. Often non-attractive women are funny or get killed off in films.
Disney Princesses especially can be seen as controversial feminist representations.
Snow White- A passive woman, not a lot going for her. She is a housewife to the dwarves- Not a feminist role model, however she is the first disney princess.
Pochahontas- She's an active princess. Rejects an arranged marraige therefore serves as a strong feminist role model.
Sleeping Beauty-Pricks her finger on a spinning wheel. Men and her fairy godmother have to do everything for her. not a good feminist role model.
Cinderella-Was a servant for her family. Acts as a passive character within the story as she is not seen as an equal. The decision is often spilt as she often fits into the traditional domesticated sterotypes of women however then goes on to defy and reject those roles.
Mulan- She protects her father by joining the army. However she must act as a man in order to have this role. Serves as a good feminist icon.
Belle-She rejects a marraige proposal as she doesn't want a normal life. In the end however love makes her more feminine. She is a good feminist icon as she rejects common sterotypes.
Disney Princesses Continued
Merida-She doesn't want to get married and would rather do things which are considered manly. She is not motivated by men or love therefore is a good feminist icon.
Ariel-She saves the prince and therefore mutilates herself as she looses her oice in order to gain legs and be with her love. Not a good feminist role model.