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Über dieses Buch

An exploration of the representations of the women's movement, its members, and their goals between 1968 and 2008 in the British and American press. Examining over 1100 news articles, the book analyses the nuanced ways feminism has historically been supported, marginalized and debated in the mainstream press.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Introduction

Abstract
Forty years after the Second Wave feminist movement took the western world by storm, this excerpt from the UK daily newspaper The Independent, embodies common perceptions of feminism’s legacy. Rather than being celebrated like other social movements of the twentieth century (Civil Rights, gay liberation, the environmental movement), feminism has been turned into a ‘dirty word’ — a euphemism for the old, unattractive, unfeminine and unkempt, which, unsurprisingly, many avidly disavow. Yet, at the same time, it is common to support feminist goals such as equal rights, through the phrase ‘I’m not a feminist, but ...’. As a young woman growing up in this supposedly ‘post’ feminist era — a time when feminism is considered unnecessary or dead — such constructions raise questions not only about why feminism is held in such contempt, but whether this has always been the case. Has there ever been a time when feminists were celebrated in the news, and, if so, what ideologies were used in such accounts? Finally, to what extent are discourses of feminism localized, or do they transcend national boundaries in areas experiencing feminism in similar ‘waves’?
Kaitlynn Mendes

1. Contextualizing the Issues

Abstract
This chapter aims to establish a theoretical grounding for the study through exploring how concepts of ideology, hegemony and representation have been used in the past by feminist scholars to elucidate women’s roles in popular culture. Furthermore, the chapter analyses the constructed nature of news, using the concept of framing to discuss how gender, social movements and the women’s movement have been represented in the press. The chapter will then go on to explain how the research was carried out with the use of both content and critical discourse analysis.
Kaitlynn Mendes

2. Reporting the Women’s Movement, 1968–82

Abstract
The Second Wave feminist movement takes place in the aftermath of the post-war era — a time of ‘home dreams’ (Parr 1995, p. 4) — where the (white) middle-class nuclear family was idealized as the norm after years of war. While many women had gained some semblance of independence and economic freedom when taking over men’s jobs during the war, traditional gender roles were quickly re-established in 1945, when women were kicked ‘out of the work force and into the ranch house’ (Fraser 1997, p. 165). Consequently, the public sphere once again became constructed as intrinsically ‘masculine’, and the private sphere as ‘feminine’ (Macdonald 1995), re-establishing a patriarchal, gendered hierarchy. Despite women’s expulsion from the public sphere, it also became clear that society was changing. Many women who had been in the paid work force during the war effort were unhappy with their postwar eviction (Bryson 2003). They started to recognize that their positioning within the home had more to do with ideology than biology and began to question the division of spheres (de Beauvoir 1989; Friedan 1963). As women’s consciousnesses were raised, they began to organize and agitate for change, recognizing that biology was no longer a plausible justification for job segregation, pay differences and limited opportunities.
Kaitlynn Mendes

3. Reporting Equal Rights, 1968–82

Abstract
Feminists have long sought greater legal, social and economic rights for women. While they recorded many successes throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including the right to vote; own or inherit property; and hold judicial, political or civil office, systemic inequalities persisted in both the US and UK. As a result, gaining greater social, legal and economic rights not only became a major focal point for activism in the Second Wave (Anderson 1991; Bouchier 1983; Bradley 2003; Margolis 1993), but also in how the movement became defined (Bradley 2003). This chapter examines how ‘equal rights’ — defined in the broadest sense — were publicly constructed in The Times, the Daily Mirror, The New York Times, and the Chicago Tribune during the movement’s most active political period, 1968 to 1982.
Kaitlynn Mendes

4. Reporting Feminism in 2008

Abstract
Forty years after the initial surge of Second Wave activism, to what extent is feminism still on the public’s agenda, and how has it been constructed in the press? While some continue to overlook the plethora of feminist activism that has persisted since the 1980s, others have recognized, if not embraced, the presence of this Third Wave movement. Because the current status of feminist activism is highly contested and debated, this chapter seeks to examine how it was constructed 2008, paying particular attention to what it is thought to stand for, who can be considered a feminist and what issues it is thought to combat in contemporary society. As a result, this chapter examines news of feminism in 2008 in eight British and American newspapers.1 While the chapter continues to draw upon the original four publications — The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Daily Mirror, and The Times — four new ones were added to give a broader look at the range of discourses of feminism in circulation. These include the conservative Washington Times and Daily Mail (Bush 2002; Conboy 2006; Edwards 2002), and the more liberal Washington Post and The Guardian (Dean 2010; Decter 2002; Edwards 2002; McNair 2009; Sutter 2001; Taylor 1993).
Kaitlynn Mendes

Conclusion

Abstract
When examining the role of women today, it is clear that much progress has been made in the past 40 years. On the one hand, western women have never before had such great access to as many opportunities — whether in education, the workforce, travel or sport. The possibility of new opportunities was made evident in 2008, when two women made a run for the White House. In Britain, a woman held the Deputy Leader position until 2010 (she now is the Deputy Leader of the Opposition Party). On the other hand, there is continued evidence that both patriarchal and capitalist structures still restrict women’s lives in a number of ways. For example, women working full-time in Britain earn 17.1 per cent less than their male counterparts — a figure that jumps to 35 per cent for part-time workers (Fawcett Society 2009). In the US, women fare worse, earning 22.9 per cent less than men in full-time work (Institute for Women’s Policy Research 2010). For minority and disabled women in both countries, the situation is even worse.
Kaitlynn Mendes

Backmatter

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