girls gone ANTI-FEMINIST

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					girls gone ANTI-FEMINIST
Susan J Douglas
In These Times; Mar 2010; 34, 3; Docstoc
pg. 16




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Description: This was the Spice Girls moment, and debate: Were these frosted cupcakes really a vehicle for feminism? And how much reversion back to the glory days of prefeminism should girls and women accept - even celebrate - given that we now allegedly had it all? Despite their Wonderbras and bare thighs, the Spice Girls advocated "girl power." They demanded, in their colossal, intercontinental hit "Wannabe," that boys treat them with respect or take a hike. Their boldfaced liner notes claimed that "The Future Is Female" and suggested that they and their fans were "Freedom Fighters." They made Margaret Thatcher an honorary Spice Girl. "We're freshening up feminism for the nineties," they told the Guardian. "Feminism has become a dirty word. Girl Power is just a '90s way of saying it."Not that some of these fantasies haven't been delectable. I mean, Xena singlehandedly trashing, on a regular basis, battalions of stubblefaced, leather-clad, murdering-and-raping barbarian hordes? Or Buffy the Vampire Slayer letting us pretend, if just for an hour, that only a teenage girl can save the world from fang-toothed evil? WTiat about an underdog law student, dismissed by her fellow classmates as an airheaded bimbo, winning a high-profile murder case because she understood how permanents work, as Elle did in Legally Blonde? Or lets say you've had an especially stupid day at work and as you collapse on the sofa desperately clutching a martini (hold the vermouth), you see a man on TV tell his female boss that the way she does things is "just not the way we play ball," and she responds drolly,"Well, if you don't like the way I'm doing things, you're free to take your balls and go straight home"? (Yes, The Closer.) Oooo-weeee.The media's fantasies of power are also the product of another force that has gained considerable momentum since the early and mid-1990s: enlightened sexism. Enlightened sexism is a response, deliberate or not, to the perceived threat of a new gender regime. It insists t
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