Resistance And Feminism

1683 Words7 Pages
Resistance and subversion : the American feminist press in the 1970s Traditional women’s magazines Mass media represent a powerful force in modern societies as they shape public discourse and influence public opinion by transmitting social, political and cultural values. For decades, women’s representation in mediated popular culture has been a central problem because of the gendered ideologies it circulated. From the 1880s to the 1970s, American women’s magazines played a significant role in disseminating the dominant ideology and patriarchal order, perpetuating the myths of female disposability and domesticity, and maintaining traditional images of femininity. Such magazines as The Ladies’ Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, The Woman’s Home Companion McCall’s, encouraged sexual stereotypes limiting women to the private sphere and to their conventional roles. Their editorial content was exclusively concerned with the domestic sphere: family issues, children, health, nutrition and housekeeping, making women queens of domesticity. Thus, the discourse glorifying the domestic sphere and the image of the happy housewife contributed to the social conditioning of women that Betty Friedan called the ‘feminine mystique” in her book of the same name. Published in 1963, The Feminine Mystique laid the basis for the women’s movement by circulating contemporary feminist ideas, and soon became the founding text of second wave feminism. According to Friedan, « The feminine mystique says
Open Document