Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Liberation or Defamation?

When the sexual revolution hit the US in the 1960s and 70s-in conjunction with women's liberation I'm not sure that we (women) got all that we reckoned for. As a child of the 80s, I did not participate in the movement and therefore there is a limit to what I am able to say. However, what I am interested in discussing, is the result of that movement 30 years later. Moreover, how is the media impacting visions of women for the next 30 years? Has the perception of women become fragmented, whereas a woman represents both liberation and defamation concurrently?

Some of the acheivements from that era, such as the legalization of oral contraceptives by the Food and Drug Administration in 1960, the legalization of abortion in 1973 with Roe v. Wade, and the beginning of women's sexual expression, still remain today. Although the current administration is slowing tearing away a woman's right to choose and reversing this progress. Regardless, these changes have had a profound impact on women's lives, most markedly their careers. These changes gave women the right to choose when to have children, as well as allowing women to take ownership of their bodies, their sexuality. But recently there has been a backlash against these rights.

My first focus will be the media, since it is able to capture the largest audience, and therefore impact the greatest number of people. Our television shows, our music, our newspapers, though diverse are each a representation of some part of our nation. The media represents the split-personality of our country's populace. In television media (including films and music videos) we are able to see an unquestionable fragmentation of women's role in society. She is both respected and shamed, professional and without skills, made equal and subjugated, clean and dirty, in control and controlled. Her body is both private and public, her own and yet owned.


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