ANALYSIS Analysis of Post Feminism Introduction Douglas and Michaels focus on women’s issues in the so called post feminist period from a very different perspective that Dowd. Douglas and Michaels look at the difficulties women have in living up to the media promoted standards of motherhood, especially if they are also engaged in outside careers…
While society of course has now become much more complex, at least until recently, this role differentiation has not significantly changed. That is, men leave home to be breadwinners, with their wives saddled with the domestic responsibility. While the feminist revolution has freed some women from being captive to their homes, it has also placed additional burdens on them if they work outside, unless husbands contribute to the domestic chores. Therefore there must not only be less role differentiation by gender in the workplace to give women greater career opportunities but also in domestic life, Douglas and Michaels’ Critiques of Dowd’s Perspective If Douglas and Michaels were critiquing Dowd’s perspective, I expect that they would complain that she focuses only on courtship issues involving single men and women. I think they would argue that this is much less stressful than having to live up to media hyped demands of perfect motherhood, possibly while at the same time pursuing an outside career. While career women may have difficulty finding compatible mates because men, used to being in control, are not comfortable with aggressive career women whose achievements rival or exceed their own, they at least have options. They can “dumb down” by hiding their success, pay attention to their appearance in an effort to compete with younger women, or give up entirely on looking for a marriage partner.(Dowd 2005) By contrast, women responsible for their children, especially if the father is absent or not contributing to domestic duties, may feel trapped particularly if they do not have marketable occupational skills. Dowd’s approach is post feminist because it is based on the assumption that women have attained some degree of equality of opportunity in the workplace with men and also the social right to initiate and pursue relationships. Given the sense of entrapment many women feel in having to pursue unrealistic standards of motherhood, I suspect Douglas and Michael would dispute that we live in a post feminist age.(Douglas and Michael p. 5) Douglas and Michael’s versus Dowd’s Understanding of Feminism Dowd describes feminism in terms of women’s legal and social rights that is to have equal access with men to educational and career opportunities, to initiate and pursue relationships, and to dress and make lifestyle choices as they please (Dowd 2005). However, she decries early feminists who felt they had to mimic men’s attire and habits rather than wear sexy clothing and pursue girlish interests(Dowd 2005) Essentially she feels that feminism means women’s right to pursue their own lifestyle and career choices on an equal footing with men and without legal and social impediments. Douglas and Michael argue that we still live in a paternalistic society, and while women may have attained some legal rights, there are still social impediments and pressures hindering their efforts to gain actual equality, and therefore they have yet to achieve the feminist goals of meaningful equality. For example, mothers are bombarded with media messages from celebrity moms instructing them how to be a better mom (Douglas and Michae ...
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