Although I found all of the readings for this class interesting, the one that I feel was the most compelling is “The Future That Never Happened,” following the evolution (or lack thereof) of feminism. One paragraph that I found most forceful says “Many of the conflicts between the women’s liberation movement and the sexual revolution and within the women’s movement itself were left unresolved thirty years ago. What we are seeing today is the residue of that confusion. CAKE is an example of the strange way people are ignoring the contradictions of the past, pretending they never existed, and putting various, conflicting ideologies together to form one incoherent brand of raunch feminism.” I think that we are seeing this played out in the world all around us. From television shows such as Girls Next Door, following the escapades of Hugh Hefner (a “feminist’s”) girlfriends as they plan extravagant lingerie parties, to racy advertisements of naked women, I can’t help but agree that this new feminism is a little twisted. It seems that much of the progress that the feminist movement worked so passionately for has disintegrated when you look at it straight on. Reading further, I do have to agree that this new raunch feminism, as weird and distorted as it sounds, could have a point. If women feel just as empowered through stripping as they do to marching for rights or supporting rape victims, than I am somewhat in agreement that this could be an (albeit strange) new way of demonstrating feminist feelings. I however find it a bit paradoxical that groups like CAKE, who says that their mission is to “change public perceptions about female sexuality” have as their insignia the following:
Similarly, I felt that while reading all of the assignments, most particularly Betty Friedan’s excerpt, that all I could think about was the movie, The Stepford Wives. While this movie is meant to be satirical (in that a new wife to the block becomes suspicious that all of her female neighbors happen to be robots controlled by their husbands), I somewhat think that this is not a matter to joke about; it’s a fairly creepy movie, personally. There are still communities and women out there who are expected by their husbands to wait on them hand and foot. And I do realize that the original novel was written in 1972, and at this time, in the midst of a lot of feminist work, etc. so it could have been comical. However, I maintain that now even knowing much more about the history of the movement, and the fact that two movie adaptations have come out, that it, while supposed to be amusing, it may have had (and still have) deeper implications and undertones than I originally thought—because there is still some resentment from women for having had to act this way, as a housewife, and especially the fact that some women are still expected to be acting this way in the 21st century.