Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Contemporary Female Issues

Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett and Holly Baxter run a blog called 'The Vagenda' and have been running their blog since 2011. They discuss issues surrounding women in contemporary America and often have a cynical and negative opinion of the expectations that society places on women.
They have recently written a piece for 'New Statesman' ( about the five issues that make up modern feminism. However, 'The Vagenda' covers everything from body issues, how becoming a mother reduces the possibility of a promotion, how female magazines are actually belittling and the horror of being a bridesmaid. One particularly relevant piece is 'The Power of the Selfie'; the selfie is becoming a vital part of the expectations of women (or female teenagers) because they are almost expected to regularly update their profiles with pictures of themselves in order to be stared at and shallowly adored by those around them. 'Vagenda' writes that abut selfies that 'as a woman, I often feel more innately female, more feminine and more attractive, behind the guise of masculinity'.
Now, as a blog supporting the equality of women and trying to move away from the stereotypical representation of women as suppliers of the 'male gaze', the problem that I have with this article is that this is reverting women straight back to that. By posting selfies, women are deliberately posing and asking for people to objectify them, which surely takes us back to where we have managed to move away from. E! Entertainment presenter Guiliana Rancic even took a selfie with a fellow celebrity on the red carpet before a recent awards ceremony, therefore exemplifying the nature of the selfie; a posed and glamorous photo that is supposed to show you in a 'constructed [way]... of identity and self esteem by showing [your] raw and naked face to strangers' but is instead a deliberately constructed posed photograph.
Although I see 'The Vagenda' as supportive of female equality and I appreciate the ways in which they notice that women are still fighting for this equality in a highly objectified society, I still believe that they are not always right with their comments about this society.

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