Has anything changed since the feminist movement of the seventies, or are we still fighting the same battles?
In my view, it’s a mixed bag. Women in the West are generally more economically independent and have more varied career opportunities than were available 40 years ago (though most non-western women are not so fortunate). On the whole, I think women are less willing to accept sexist behaviour from their partners and expect them to pull their weight more on the domestic front (though there’s still an imbalance in the division of labour, with women taking more responsibility for housekeeping and childcare).
On the other hand, I feel that we’ve gone backwards when it comes to the objectification of women’s bodies. Back in the seventies we complained about things like the Miss World contest and ads with women draped over cars and motorbikes, but in retrospect that was really tame stuff compared to the commodification of the female body that goes on now. It makes me feel like a prude (and I’m not), but I feel shocked at the way women’s liberation seems to have resulted in sexual images of women being used to sell everything from shoe polish to chewing gum. And the claim is that it’s all an expression of women’s freedom. And don’t get me onto the subject of fashion – especially girls wearing cripplingly high heels and bum-hugging skirts and bare midriffs in deepest winter. And I don’t see much in the way of feminist critiques of all this, so maybe feminism’s moved on and I’m just stuck in the seventies.
What are the issues for todays' feminists?
Still waiting for a reply, Mr. Oryx.
Were Sgt Terris Dewalt-Johnson and Staff Sft. Kimberly Fahnestock Voelz sexist?
Or do you simply apply different standards to men than to women?
Also, a point of clarification...
I did not imply any inequity in the division of labor.
I said: "There is a difference in the division of labor, but it is not an 'imbalance'."
It was the original poster who implied that there was inequity in the division of labor.
She said: "though there’s still an imbalance in the division of labour".
Please read more carefully in the future, and get your facts straight.
Thanks for the steer on the book EWQ - I've not heard of raunch culture before, but it's a great term. Found a second-hand copy on Amazon and looking forward to reading it.
PS Just thought of a couple of other issues feminism could be addressing - (1) women's rights under islam and (2) access to contraception in poorer nations.
I will comment on your topic, directly.
I read Feminist blogs frequently, and the major battles discussed these days appear to be in-fighting. You touched briefly in this in your comment regarding fashions. Is dressing sexy an affirmation of a woman's power, or is it acceding to objectification? Witness the infamous dispute between Jessica Valenti and Ann Althouse, regarding a picture of Valenti where Althouse considered her to be featuring her bust too prominently.
From an outsider's perspective, when a group or movement begins to squabble over such minor details, or begins to splinter along such lines, it is a sign that there remain no significant major issues around which they can unify. If Feminism were still fighting the same battles as the sixties, or the seventies, these divisions of opinion would not be under dispute.