Week 6

Both graduate and undergraduate students post comments.

14 thoughts on “Week 6

  1. Jane Flynn

    The paper I really enjoyed in this weeks readings was ‘The Social Organisation of Masculinity’ by Raewyn Connell. I found the discussion of masculinity really refreshing, as it is essential to understand the construction of femininity within society – femininity can only exist in ‘contrast’ (I really dont think contrast is a good word to use in this context, but I can’t think of another word that would explain what I am trying to get at…) to masculinity, and vice versa.

    Of course, then, the “disruption of masculinity” (pg. 261), and hypermasculinity is affecting femininity. The studies of masculinity within feminism is, as Dr Leigh told us, relatively new, and I am very curious to see what implications this has on feminism, particularly as there is currently a “crisis of gender order” (pg. 261) happening. If the gender order is currently undergoing huge changes, I am really interested to see how this will affect divisions of power and wealth in the coming years (granted, it may take decades for the divisions of wealth and power to reflect in a society where women are coming into the work place more, taking up traditionally ‘masculine’ occupations, etc.). Of course, these changes also have implications on levels of crime; are women in the U.S. going to become/ becoming more likely to commit crimes similar to men? I know in the U.K. there has recently been a surge in the number of females being convicted of a criminal offence, although they often do not get sent to prison if they have families to look after. This example demonstrates that although the divisions of gender are now becoming blurred, they will always exist. In the U.K., the prisons are hugely over-crowded, and so this is having an influence on women not being sent to prison – the budget for social work has been reduced, and to place children into care is costly and has an emotionally damaging affect on them. It seems that the financial state of society, as well as an individuals ‘reproductive arena’ (pg. 255), is undoubtably having an affect on gender identities.

  2. Kerra Taylor

    Readings:
    I really enjoyed reading “Queer Eye for the Straight Guise” by Steven Cohan. I never watched Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, but I always thought it looked interesting. The premise of the show is for a straight guy to seek the opinion and complete makeover by five gay men, as Cohan put it, in order to gain “confidence” in his “emotional and domestic needs of a present or potential female partner.”. The five guys are on a mission to transform the straight guy from an unattractive, poor-mannered man into a man of powerful masculinity. The way they promote the show is through consumerism. They will take a man shopping, get him groomed, and teach him how to cook. All of these things are considered feminine qualities and because of this, the straight guys are becoming metrosexual. The show, overall, has attracted large female and male audiences, however, the show is about the mission of helping a straight guy figuring how to become a better man in his relationship(s). It is not about the sexual orientation of being gay, meaning it is all about the heterosexuals- nothing supportive of the gay community. The show does promote equality between sexes, in that the men must overcome the embarrassment of conforming to domestic chores done traditionally by women. All of this is accomplished, of course, by going through a gay man to get what you want. Meaning, we can find another way to bring each community together and coexist appreciating more similarities than differences.

    Media:
    When I think of this show in relation to other shows, I think of Castle. Castle’s character is rich and famous, he can afford anything, women, cars, toy helicopters, lightsabers, and jewelry. He is a man that prides himself on good looks, meaning he goes out and shops, is well-groomed, and knows how to please a woman through dresses, jewelry and fine dining. He is a man of good taste and he is a metrosexual. This show is very opposite of Supernatural. The main characters Sam and Dean are very rough around the edges- always caught up in killing monsters and demons. They get by with fake alias, but they are always willing to save a damsel in distress. They are the epitome of masculinity, but they are what we girls call “bad boys”. They are mysterious and noncommittal to relationships. They are simplistic, yet complicated. They are not about wearing brand names, but rather Good-Will clothing and require the basic of basic materials to get by: food, ammunition, multiple cell phones, several debit cards, and transportation. They are, however, very loyal and protective of family.

  3. Katie Voves

    Having never actually seen an episode of Queer Eye for the Strait Guy, I found some of the things the show seems to implicate interesting. As the chapter states, the gya men on the show are essentially sexless. They have no chance of getting with the strait men on the show, and no indication ever seems to be made the the gay men could be dating each other. However the show seems to implicate that the gay men would, if they had the inclination, be more successful at picking up women than the strait men. If it were not for the constant reminder that the men doing the makeover were gay it would temporarily place them over the strait man they were helping and make them more masculine. This is probably part of the reason they create such a divide between them. It’s also interesting that while the goal is to make the strait men more appealing to whatever woman is in his life, but by taking advise from gay men it also seems like they’re making the strait men more appealing to them, which I imagine is another reason the helpful gay men need to be sexless since strait men seem to hate the thought that other men find them attractive.

    1. Katie Voves

      Over the summer I went to Chicago Comic-con and attended a panel about indie-comic company Big Dog comics. Many of the writers, producers, and artists on the panel and in the company were women which is highly unusual in the comics industry. However both my mother and I found it very off putting that pretty much all of the comics they had for sale, while they had women as main characters, were incredibly scantily clad and well endowed. All of these women would pose when it made no sense or wear mini skirts in a wild west town or string bikinis in a space station. It brought up the question of whether it was more important for women to be involved in the creation of media or for women to be better represented in media. Neither of us had a good answer for this question, though we did decide it was important to support them and bought a couple of their books.

  4. Jay Oetman

    Upon reading our assigned reading of Joyrich for this week, I find myself troubled by the way she (according to a tradition of psychoanalytic theory) utilizes the term feminine. While she does highlight how problematized analyses are for typifying things which are passive as feminine, to a certain extent she uses those concepts to explore her own analyses of film and television and how it is consumed. Shouldn’t we be condemning such a usage of terms. No matter its usefulness to discuss ways in which film and television are consumed and the effects and reflections that has on our society, using the term feminine to describe powerlessness and passivity is harmful.

    Ironically, Joyrich is not aligning with this frame of mind, but in using this lens to view tropes and motifs as presented in filmic media she seems to be conceding to this outmoded and downright inappropriate use of criticism. Maybe I’m missing the mark, perhaps I do not have enough respect for the long lauded tradition of psychoanalytic theory and its way of seeing art and the world, or perhaps I am misinterpreting Joyrich’s overall paradigm as to how psychoanalysis should be interpreted and used; but I think we as scholars should try harder to abandon harmful frameworks and language.

  5. Nick Nylen

    As we’re approaching the finale of the immensely popular series “Breaking Bad”, everyone is talking about it, and it’s on my mind, too, as I read this week’s material. I was particularly interested in some ideas put forth in Connell’s “Social Organization of Masculinity”, specifically in regards to what the author calls “hegemonic masculinity”. Hegemonic masculinity refers to the form of masculinity that holds the most social weight or acceptance. It should be noted that masculinity itself is not a fixed, homogenous thing and therefore all kinds of masculinity can exist at the same time. This creates a kind of conflict amongst the various types, but ultimately one form manages to dominate and push all others to subordinate positions. Breaking Bad’s Walter White can be seen as a tragic character that falls because of his own battle with masculinity. At the start of the series, he is a character that feels like less than a man. He’s wimpy, doesn’t speak with authority, is unable to provide for his family. He has been ’emasculated’ in the sense that he falls short of all the traditional ideals of manhood. His role as provider is particularly diminished by the fact that his promising career hit a brick wall and he spends his days teaching high school chemistry and evenings at a car wash. When he gets involved in the thrill of the drug world, he begins to experience a new empowerment. His addiction to ‘badness’ is really an addiction to society’s prescriptions of masculinity–aggression, authority, being a provider and protector. He’s overcompensating for the masculine lack he felt prior. Being intellectual was once considered an attribute of masculinity, but in today’s mainstream understanding, intelligence is often not considered a primary prerequisite. Therefore, the inferior intellectual man in Walter White loses to the aggressive, greedy, power-hungry man imposed on him by culture. In this light, hegemonic masculinity can be seen as the ultimate antagonist in Breaking Bad.

  6. Alex Wilson

    Along with Nick I also was intrigued by Connell’s article, and found some things that I agreed with, disagreed with, or was confused by. The hegemonic masculinity that she mentions I agree with in that there is a typically “more accepted” form of masculinity, or certain characteristics that are most typically associated with more “masculine overbearing” people. When I think of someone who may fall into the hegemonic masculinity category I immediately think of Hugh Jackman, along with his character Wolverine, both of whom are widely considered to be incredibly masculine. My only question would be, to Connell herself, how would Hughes roll in Les Miserables affect overall his masculinity? To me it doesn’t affect how I view him and his masculinity at all, and I in fact like him even more for being so talented. However from the reading what I gather is it may affect it negatively in that singing/being in a musical are not something typically considered “masculine”. So, really I am unclear as to if other characters of a person may negatively/positively affect the hegemonic masculinity factor in a person and if so, how? Earlier in the reading Connell mentions “gays in the military” and the struggles that were being had. I understood her reasoning for this as the American culture places such an importance on masculinity that having someone who was gay in the military would negatively affect how our armies were viewed, thus causing problems. Obviously this is a personal opinion topic, but if I correctly interpreted what she was saying I couldn’t disagree more. Masculinity had nothing to do with the case, is how I believe she stating it did. Sadly, the issue was with other people in the military having problems with working with gay people or being around them, which in turn hurt the bond in their respective groups. It is very true that the people who had these issues probably had masculinity problems with themselves, but I just don’t agree with her at all with her opinion on the matter (once again assuming that I correctly interpreted what she was saying).

  7. Andrew Wire

    On the Cohan reading:

    I’ve never watched Queer Eye, but based on the reading, my current stance is this:

    The conceit of Queer Eye is a bargaining chip. “Stop oppressing us. We can be of use to you. We can help you get laid.” The Fab Five need to appeal to The Man, or otherwise have their lifestyle rendered more than just distasteful, immoral and sinful, but useless. Somehow it is not enough to demand that patriarchal society acknowledge and respect the gay community. Said community must appeal to base instincts and endorse products while they’re at it.

  8. Ryan Freels

    Wittig, are first writer of the two weeks, points out the “Woman: is very much a constructed gender identity that was meant to go along with the female sex. This a in society’s eyes a “natural group”. Not unlike how it groups together people based on race and such. Examples oh historical proof against this is the existence of lesbian-feminists as well as the fact that black slavery was something that we created by racist colonials and not a natural state of things. You hear that Gone with the Wind? I thought so. Also, the fact that there has ever been matriarchy shows patriarchy isn’t so natural. Wittig believes a proper answer to to this is material feminism is the answer, while this at first might seem scary, to just see people for there parts, what this really is in her eyes is seeing genitalia as just that, genitalia, which completely frees are social identities from them.
    Doane would concur in that the visual is not enough to understand a person. If it was, we would not have psychoanalysis to look inside and see what makes them tick. Cinema is often times guilty of just identifying people based on what is seen. An interesting case would be a show like Neon Genesis Evangelion, which uses psychoanalysis to break down and understand its characters, but is till itself guilty of having seems dedicated to the male gaze. Then again, with the shows Freudian context, this itself might have its own deeper meaning, or lends itself to be purposefully questioned after everything we have seen. Going on, the existence of the veil lends itself to an interesting complex. On won hand, it symbolically can represent that there is something hidden in the female to be on earthed, and emotional, psychological, or philosophical truth. On the other hand, it can imply that all we need to do is look underneath to discover her, and play as erotic teasing to what is underneath.
    Joyrich…sounds like such a happy…name…goes on to point out that television, in societies eyes, is feminizing us in that it penetrates are minds much like how a woman is penetrated, which is problematic because it is defining what is feminine which is something that limits women to one expected idea that is itself invented as pointed out earlier, and it bases that it is feminine on the idea of being “penetrated” which is a really objectifying way to look at women. Also, it antagonizes the idea of taking in new information that we can learn from, or opening up to new interests. Big Brother is a misogynist apparently.
    Connel adds to what Wittig was saying. She points out how invented gender is by saying we have genders in many places, but in some of these places masculinity is not one of them. Hell, social biologists just wish we would throw the idea out. Masculinity only exists in contrast the femininity, another fabrication, and is used for hegemonic power that limits and oppresses people that don’t fit the bill, such as women who are falsely identified as the weaker and over-emotional sex, and homosexuals for being softer men, again a false assumption.
    The people Joyrich talked about would faint when Cohan brings up Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, which he examines if is more positive than negative. The conclusion is, while it may hold on to certain stereotypes, it also makes excellent points. For starters it looks at the professions of the Fab Five, and does not just look at them for there taste in men. Also, it lets loose of the traditional notions of masculinity, and shows us the metrosexual (which makes me think of the coated homosexual in classic cinema), saying it is okay for men to be interested in grooming and their appearance. Further, masculinity is at a contradiction, shown when one macho man admits he would do anything to make his wife happy, honorable, but more sensitive and flexible than the “norm”. Ultimately, which the new wardrobe (costumes) are taken on in the show, it is pointed out that gender is an act ultimately, Even sexuality is related to gender in that we try to identify people by those things. If it wasn’t there would simply sexuality, no hetero or homo added to the front. The realization that we are what we want to be is very freeing, on man even crying, saying it is like he is alive again.

  9. Karsten Burgstahler

    I wanted to address Joyrich‘s essay on television and the feminine gaze. I know we discussed in class on Tuesday, but I think she’s being too narrow in her interpretation. I understand that this article focuses on the advent of television, but perhaps its time scholars went back and reconsidered it, especially the idea of the cinema as male gaze. I use the romantic comedy as my example.
    The romantic comedy genre wasn’t as varied during the ‘50s as it is now. Even romantic comedies like “Roman Holiday” still featured quite a few masculine traits and were written for men and women, so I can see how these points would be valid years ago. However, we now have movies aimed directly at women: “Magic Mike,” which concerned male strippers, had a heavy female audience, and females drove the “Twilight” movies to monumental success.
    While the feminine gaze on film has been around for decades, Hollywood has recognized the female audience a good deal in recent years. Females are given the opportunity to have that gaze that men have had for so long. Television has also made steps forward as well; as shows like “Breaking Bad” move television to a more cinematic state, it should be time to rethink the feminine gaze of television as well. It’s interesting how the times change.

    This past weekend I went on a binge-watching weekend in St. Louis and saw some independent films I had been meaning to watch, as well as a couple of wide releases. Two of the films, “Thanks for Sharing” and “We’re the Millers,” had unique takes on the typical female characters in their respective genres: the dramadey and the stoner comedy.
    “Thanks for Sharing” actually tackles topics of sexuality head on through its premise: we focus on three guys, played by Mark Ruffalo, Josh Gad and Tim Robbins, who are different stages of sex addiction. Gad is new to the 12-step program, Ruffalo is a five-year veteran and Robbins has had his urges under control for quite a few years. But new relationships tug them back into their old vices: Ruffalo begins dating Gwyneth Paltrow, who feels distant from him because he refuses to become intimate. Robbins’ son, a drug and alcohol addict, returns home, claiming that he is clean.
    The interesting thing about “Thanks for Sharing” is that all of these men realize they are broken, except for Gad, who doesn’t admit it until about halfway through. This movie is about recovery, not downfall, so we watch these men as they struggle to stay on the straight and narrow. During the film’s third act Ruffalo begins to spiral out of control and the writers let us in on everything, even when he hires a prostitute. Sex is not glorified here — it’s a serious act that the characters have let get out of control. I’m not saying that sex always needs to be treated like its purely for babymaking; it’s meant to be enjoyable. Robbins, who is Ruffalo’s sponsor, reminds him that he can still have sex in a committed relationship. But if more movies examined the effects sex can have if it overwhelms our lives Hollywood would be a better place.
    The movie features two women, Paltrow and singer Pink, who plays a recovering sex addict. Paltrow doesn’t get to be nearly as progressive as Ruffalo. She struggles to understand why he refuses to let her put on a striptease for him. Okay, I understand it’s difficult for her to understand his mental state. After all, she does ask him “Isn’t sex addiction something men made up as an excuse for having an affair?” But as they grow apart she becomes clingy and jealous. Not the character you’d hope for when the other gender is given breathing room.
    Pink is the opposite. It’s rare that we think of a woman as the sex addict, but she admits that she can’t go a day without sleeping with one of her exes. However, she grows and actually develops a friendship with Gad as they learn to support each other. It’s a nice friendship that, like it would in real life, simply stays that way.
    In “We’re the Millers,” Jennifer Aniston is certainly a topic of discussion. Aniston plays a stripper Jason Sudeikis hires to pretend to be his wife so they can fool the cops into letting him smuggle put across the Mexican border. One scene in particular has audiences (mainly boys) riled up: Aniston performs a striptease straight out of the ‘80s, right down the cord that dumps water on her.
    However, it’s the circumstance that makes this situation infinitely more appropriate. A drug lord is holding a gun to her pretend family, and she’s stripping to prove she’s a liar. In the end it’s up to the stripper to be the strong one as Sudeikis just stands there, slack jawed. While the movie objectifies her body it also gives the scene importance to the plot.
    Aniston’s character clearly doesn’t like her job. Later in the movie after her boyfriend has dumped her, she says “that’s what you get for dating a guy who dates strippers.” She wants something better for her life. It’s funny that instead of progressing to a less, um, revealing job, she decides to take on the stereotypical mom role, an image she picks up after reading a vacuum ad. “We’re the Millers” does a good job of satirizing the nuclear family without the message being too overt.

  10. Evette Brown

    Masculinity (or what I refer to as the patriarchal construction of manhood) is complex, fluid and extremely nuanced in performance. Despite this, the performance of manhood is often viewed and theorized through a binary lens of masculine or effeminate, without considering the vast grey area that exists between the two polar categorizations. The patriarchal construction of manhood dictates specific characteristics innate in “real” men, such as excessive strength; the ability to provide and protect; disregard for meticulous grooming; sexist assumptions of womanhood, etc. Men that don’t suit these rigorous barrier requirements for entrance into manhood are deemed effeminate – or worse, a man with “women-like tendencies.”

    This narrow construction of manhood is often perpetuated through both film and television, which is one of the cardinal reasons I appreciate Cohan’s (2007) analysis of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, especially considering its immense popularity during its five-season run on Bravo. Though Cohan (2007) offers some criticism of the series, especially in contrast to Boy Meets Boy’s blatant incorporation of sexuality, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy was revolutionary because it offered an alternative representation of manhood on television. I agree with his examination the series requiring the approval of heterosexual, cis-gender women and men to retain popularity, but even in this apt criticism, it is important to recognize how Queer Eye’s presence in mainstream public consciousness transformed the notion that homosexual men are incapable of drawing a significant audience.

    It is also important to contextualize Queer Eye in the often whitewashed, heterosexist world of television. The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation found in their 2012 “Where are we on TV” report that the number of gay and bisexual characters on scripted broadcast network television is higher than its’ ever been. The organization found that 4.4 percent of starring or co-starring actors appearing on television during the 2012—13 season were members of the LGBT community. I’d like to trace the uptick in LGBT characters to Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Representation in media is vital to shifting perceptions of what constitutes masculinity and how it can be performed.

    Media Response:

    I’ve never watched a single episode of “The Office.” Though I’ve been informed that it’s brilliant, the comedic staple has never appealed to me. I recognize and appreciate the cult-like following it’s achieved, but I haven’t sipped the koolaid and I won’t be indulging anytime soon. Mindy Kaling was hysterical in her brief role in the 40-year old Virgin, but I had no clue that she was establishing herself as a leading woman comic on “The Office.” In that shunning of the popular situational comedy, I was missing out on Kaling’s funny, feminist wit. Kaling elevated her career when she nabbed a deal with Fox to create and star-in “The Mindy Project.”

    It is the latest in a series of single-camera comedies and stars Kaling as a hapless romantic trapped in an OB/GYN’s body. “The Mindy Project” combines scrubs, love strikeouts and drunken intoxication. In the premiere season, we followed Kaling’s life as she spewed Meg Ryan quotes on date after unsuccessful date in hopes that she would stumble on her Prince Charming. It was a hilarious depiction and subversion of patriarchal expectations of successful women, and the realities of their lives.

    There are unrealistic expectations of whimsical, unconditional love and perfect relationships, which always snags my attention. Mindy is a hapless romantic, who still hasn’t forgone her Cinderella dreams in favor of embracing her relationship realities. She obsesses over romantic comedies and quotes Meg Ryan as black feminists quote bell hooks and Tricia Rose, which reminds me so much of me. That ceaseless optimism is one of Mindy’s most valuable character traits.

    Furthermore, “The Mindy Project” offers a positive promotion of the “independent woman.” Nothing evokes the scholar in me more than the perpetuation of negative stereotypes of women on television. Though “The Mindy Project” is flawed and presents some problematic privilege-power politics within character dialogue, it has risen above the “independence is unattractive trait” that seems to dominate network sitcoms. Mindy is a practicing OB/GYN and she has never had to compromise her intelligence or wit to appeal to male characters. It’s refreshing to watch a successful woman navigating relationships on TV. Women can be successful, witty, single and not in dire need of a male savior.

    “The Mindy Project” also promotes true diversity. Kaling is Indian, but there’s also a British character and several other minorities in co-starring roles. It’s supreme inclusion at a time when women, particularly minority women, are either underrepresented or inaccurately depicted.

    Most importantly, Mindy Kaling is joking her way into the history books. I don’t categorize women as sheroes often, but Kaling has earned her spot in that elite group. She joined “The Office” when she was 24 as a writer and provided a woman’s perspective on a staff of eight. She’s written 22 episodes of the sitcom and has been nominated for an Emmy for her comedic work. Now, Kaling has been promoted to executive producer of “The Office,” and also has an opportunity to write and star in a NBC pilot. If that isn’t historical enough, Kaling, a Dartmouth College alumna, is the only Indian woman in a starring role on network television. Kaling’s shattering glass ceilings, and I’m proud to be able to witness her greatness.

  11. Daniel Sliwa

    Reading:

    I found this week’s readings to be quite intriguing due to the way in which the writers painted the world in black-and-white while tackling issues of masculinity. There is no grey area as they argue what a “real” man is, but there in lies the problem. Isn’t being a “real” man a question that can technically be argued by the physical features of the individual, or their biological mindset? Masculinity is forced into several categories and traits that a real man should portray, if they don’t meet those requirements then they will be viewed as effeminate. Characteristics like ability to provide and protect, physical strength; and if they display these then should the “real” man not care about what he wears, how clean his house is, and whether or not he showers? These are after all the counter to such characteristics that are deemed as feminine.
    I’ve never watched Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, but I found the idea interesting on how a group of homosexuals could invade the life of a typical man and change his habits so he ends up having tendencies suited more towards women. There’s nothing wrong with this however, because such lifestyle choices would be good to have and present one with an image of a handsome individual who will be deemed sexy by women. There in lies the problem of classifying traits as more masculine or feminine. A guy can still be straight and be more feminine. A woman can have more masculine traits and still be feminine. It’s impossible to classify people by this because everyone’s different. Thankfully, the show has allowed the LGBT community to be more present on television and boost minority numbers. Still, it’s so funny to me that people try and build traits for both man and woman, yes most of them do determine, but why should it matter? In the end they’re just creating more stereotypes.

    Media:

    Recently I watched the Batman and Robin movie from the 1960’s and I thought it’d be interesting to discuss that. Even though this show was more of a campy look at the caped crusader, it’s still hilarious that Adam West, a soft guy whose a little more feminine is seen as a superhero when he dresses in a more flamboyant outfit and runs around with a young boy. There has been constant discussion of the two being in a relationship together, due to the two living together, also being around each other, and how Batman doesn’t seem to have much luck with women.

  12. Laura Jimenez Morales

    So I have to say that this week I enjoyed all of the readings, with the exception of the one by Kim Toffoletti. It seems like every week I have a hard time understanding at least one reading, and this week, it was hers.
    The piece I liked the best was the one by Kimberley Springer, mostly because I found that, even though it is written specifically about black women, there was stuff in there I could relate to, because there several similarities in how women of my culture are perceived. I found the stereotype of the welfare queen, for example, to be interesting because it was something that I had always heard of in relation to Hispanic, and not black, women, particularly in the case of Latin American immigrants, who are often accused of having multiple children not only as a way to remain in this country, but also as a way to trick the system into giving them money.
    Another reason the reading resonated with me is that by talking about black women, the author is also talking about working-class women, so a lot of their struggles and situations are applicable to women of color, or women of my race, since we are often working-class. Some of the stereotypes Springer mentions, such as overly fertile, promiscuous, lazy, dishonest, and even that of the single mother, I feel are used not only against African American women, but against women who come from a certain type of socioeconomic background as a whole. This happens not only in American movies and shows, but on those from other countries as well. The concept of retreatism, for example, I found is prevalent in media from my culture, only instead of portraying black women, it portrays women who come from impoverished backgrounds and who, after becoming successful, must eventually go back to their “roots”, like being poor is who they really are.
    One reading that I was pleasantly surprised by was the one by Anna Feigenbaum on punk feminism. I was not looking forward to reading it because I don’t know anything about punk music or culture and I thought I wouldn’t be able to relate to it, but I found it was a good introduction to the subject and also touched upon several interesting concepts, such as selling out. I also figured it wasn’t as unfamiliar to me as I thought, since somewhere in there they talked about a book I used to own when I was a teenager and which I had no idea belonged to this movement.
    I found this week’s readings to be something I can definitely use in my research, particularly because most of them have plenty of movie references, and give examples on how to analyze certain themes. I also found the reading by Janet Stokes to be really helpful in explaining how to analyze moving images, and I like that it explored things we had already touched upon, like semiotics, a little further. The section on typological approaches derived from film studies methods also gave me some new ideas on things I can focus on for my research.

  13. Namrata Sathe

    This week, I found Jane Stokes’ article on analyzing media texts extremely useful for my research. I enjoy deconstructing texts, especially films, and examining them for their ideological content. So the methods of textual analysis that Stokes’ describes in her piece will help me to conduct a more detailed and nuanced analysis of films. I am familiar with genre analysis, but I did not know much about narrative analysis. It was interesting to read about how narratives reflect social and cultural values and to find out that figuring out how a text is “narrativized” can enable ideological analysis.

    Plus, I have always been wary of content analysis – it has something to do with my underlying fear of numbers. But I always thought that CA was only about gathering facts and empty data. I was under the false impression that CA is a way of making humanities disciplines seem more “scientific” and therefore more credible. It was useful to find out that CA can actually supplement textual analysis and make it more objective. I’m not sure if I’m encouraged enough to use it in my own research, but if the need arises, I think I’ll be less resistant to the method after reading Stokes.

    Reading about post-feminism in general and the issues raised in the other readings was very enlightening. I confess I did not know anything about what “post-feminism” really means before I went through all the readings. I always thought that it is a kind of modified feminist ideology that is based on the issues women face in the contemporary age. I was surprised to know that post-feminism actually declares that feminism is outdated and not necessary anymore. This is a strange way to think, especially today when women still face the same issues and discrimination that feminists have been fighting to deal with since ages. Also, I enjoyed reading and watching the two Bridget Jones books/ films, and it was underwhelming for me to read about how they perpetuate a post-feminist ideology.

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