Friday, January 23, 2009

Insight into Susan Douglas' mind, and a perspective revealed

I started reading "Where the girls are" without any prior knowledge to Douglas and her work. I was pleasantly surprised with the fluidity of her prose, and how many of the arguments she makes resonate and mirror my own practices. In the reading for Jan 21, one passage was very effective and I must quote to give some context: "No one more powerfully or more regularly reaffirmed the importance of the doormat as a role model for little girls than Walt Disney." The preceding paragraph had gone in great detail as to the bipolar persona women had to adopt to harmonize the expectations of society (as far as the media portrayed it) of "...simultaneously, a narcissist and a masochist." (p27). This dichotomy is the subject of discussion in my family, as I have four daughters between the ages of three and fourteen. The constant struggle to help them define their own personalities, their perception of the world and how they in turn are perceived is like containing a radioactive spill!. There's a lot of undoing that goes on as soon as Enchanted, Cinderella, even Shrek or Peter Pan, even Pride and Prejudice finishes playing. The role of women in society, their expectations, are poisoned, I feel when these stereotypes go unchallenged and unexplained.

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