My analysis of Susan Faludi's well writted book, The Backlash
About three years ago, my mentor and feminist friend, Dr. Susan Barber, introduced me to Susan Faludi's book "The Backlash." Faludi discusses the downfalls as women began to progress during the three waves of feminism. One thing Faludi argues is the adversarial images of women in the 80s. During the second wave of feminism, pro-choice and other equal rights were granted to women. Violence against women organizations began to surface, these programs include domestic violence shelters, advocacy NGOs and laws were being modified and implemented. Women were starting to attend college at significantly high rates, and entering male dominated work places.
As women were no longer covert, and were being empowered, the images of women began to unfold. In the 80's, negative imagery of women began to manifest throughout the media. From the many high fashion magazine ads to women being subservient in music videos and lyrics. There were models who were slimming down at an alarming rate. In fact, scholars note that eating disorders among women were big at this time. The image of women being thin, frail, innocent, and "pure"like figures manifested in our pop culture. It's amazing how Faludi eloquently describes the events that lead to the backlash.
As I talked to my lady friends, I noticed that many of us struggle with looking like the airbrushed models and celebrities we see today. Although I believed I had high self-esteem, I hated many parts of my body. When I was younger, I even had an eating disorder. What many friends saw, I did not see. Now that I engaged in women's studies, I, too, feel empowered.So many people ask me "how did you become a feminist? Why would you want to engage in this field, there's no money to be made here." My response is it was natural to become a feminist; to be aware of the gender and racial biases was innate for me. Without it, I don't know what my interests would be. So many women and children struggle with self love, and finding their inner beauty. I hope that my love to love others and admiration to be me, will help strengthen broken families, especially young people. I may not know where I am heading career wise, but I'm now learning what path I am supposed to take : )