Good news, ladies. Tired of being on the front lines in the War on Women? Newsweek just announced that what women really want to do is “surrender.”
For those of you who thought that professional women might be fantasizing about earning the same salaries as their male counterparts, grabbing the reins at more Fortune 500 companies, achieving gender parity in Congress, or sitting at (rather than under) the desk in the Oval Office, think again. Newsweek leased its prime real estate to (post)feminist gadfly Katie Roiphe, who presents the (alleged) feminine fetish for sadomasochistic domination as feminism’s inconvenient truth.
Predictably, the blogosphere has taken Roiphe to task. Should we assume—based on her article—that this is punishment Roiphe (secretly) likes? If so, is Newsweek editor Tina Brown also “asking for it”? And what about the anonymous woman gracing Newsweek’s “link bait-y” cover?
The “working woman” getting so much attention as Newsweek’s eye candy looks more like a working girl (high class—of course). Her financial privilege is suggested by her carefully coiffed hair (note the salon quality backcombing), her elegant bone structure (a sign of good breeding), and the exaggerated bow on her silky onyx blindfold (S&M gear goes haute couture). Although she favors a power color for her lips, her open mouth and the vaguely contorted posture of her body (which leads the viewer to imagine her hands tied behind her back) signals a supposed desire to relinquish that power. Her naked body intimates that this persona is more authentic than her workday self. She is the elemental woman—stripped of pretense and relieved of power.
Ironically, the pesky power from which Newsweek thinks today’s working women needs to be unburdened is the real fantasy. Women still lag in salary, representation, and political credibility. But stereotypes about women (as citizens, voters, and workers) are often enforced visually, which is why the S&M aesthetic is used to sell everything from shoes to suits to booze; it’s even a go-to meme in politics, deployed to try to convince people to vote, go vegan, and stop patronizing circuses. Roiphe and Newsweek would have us believe that this “trend” represents a complicated and conflicted new feminism, but really it’s just the same old patriarchy at work. To be sure, women can be (and often are) participants in and perpetrators of patriarchy (I’m looking at you, Tina Brown).
If Newsweek wants to contribute to cultural understanding of the challenges “working women” face, they should focus on the real battles women wage every day for physical safety, economic security, political representation, and personal autonomy. That’s the war in which women cannot afford to surrender.
—Karrin Anderson
(photo credit: not attributed online)
Visit BagNewsNotes: Today’s Media Images Analyzed
—————
Topping LIFE.com’s 2011 list of Best Photo Blogs, follow us at: BagNewsNotes; BAG Twitter; BAG Facebook; Bag by Email.

Good news, ladies. Tired of being on the front lines in the War on Women? Newsweek just announced that what women really want to do is “surrender.”

For those of you who thought that professional women might be fantasizing about earning the same salaries as their male counterparts, grabbing the reins at more Fortune 500 companies, achieving gender parity in Congress, or sitting at (rather than under) the desk in the Oval Office, think again. Newsweek leased its prime real estate to (post)feminist gadfly Katie Roiphe, who presents the (alleged) feminine fetish for sadomasochistic domination as feminism’s inconvenient truth.

Predictably, the blogosphere has taken Roiphe to task. Should we assume—based on her article—that this is punishment Roiphe (secretly) likes? If so, is Newsweek editor Tina Brown also “asking for it”? And what about the anonymous woman gracing Newsweek’s “link bait-y” cover?

The “working woman” getting so much attention as Newsweek’s eye candy looks more like a working girl (high class—of course). Her financial privilege is suggested by her carefully coiffed hair (note the salon quality backcombing), her elegant bone structure (a sign of good breeding), and the exaggerated bow on her silky onyx blindfold (S&M gear goes haute couture). Although she favors a power color for her lips, her open mouth and the vaguely contorted posture of her body (which leads the viewer to imagine her hands tied behind her back) signals a supposed desire to relinquish that power. Her naked body intimates that this persona is more authentic than her workday self. She is the elemental woman—stripped of pretense and relieved of power.

Ironically, the pesky power from which Newsweek thinks today’s working women needs to be unburdened is the real fantasy. Women still lag in salary, representation, and political credibility. But stereotypes about women (as citizens, voters, and workers) are often enforced visually, which is why the S&M aesthetic is used to sell everything from shoes to suits to booze; it’s even a go-to meme in politics, deployed to try to convince people to vote, go vegan, and stop patronizing circuses. Roiphe and Newsweek would have us believe that this “trend” represents a complicated and conflicted new feminism, but really it’s just the same old patriarchy at work. To be sure, women can be (and often are) participants in and perpetrators of patriarchy (I’m looking at you, Tina Brown).

If Newsweek wants to contribute to cultural understanding of the challenges “working women” face, they should focus on the real battles women wage every day for physical safety, economic security, political representation, and personal autonomy. That’s the war in which women cannot afford to surrender.

—Karrin Anderson

(photo credit: not attributed online)

Visit BagNewsNotes: Today’s Media Images Analyzed

—————

Topping LIFE.com’s 2011 list of Best Photo Blogs, follow us at: BagNewsNotes; BAG Twitter; BAG Facebook; Bag by Email.

Tags #Bondage    #Culture    #Equal Pay    #Equal Rights    #Feminism    #News    #Newsweek    #Photography    #Reproductive Rights    #S&M    #Tina Brown    #Long Reads   

Bag’s Take-Away:
The politics of captions (see below): if you are going to mention Cameron’s marriage (and Obama’s), why not Andrew Sullivan’s?
(That’s more like it.)
via DayLife
(photo credit: Charles Dharapak/AP Images caption:  Andrew Sullivan of Newsweek/Daily Beast, left, and Aaron Tone arrive at the Booksellers area of the White House in Washington for the State Dinner hosted by President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama for British Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha, Wednesday, March 14, 2012.)
Visit BagNewsNotes: Today’s Media Images Analyzed
—————
Topping LIFE.com’s 2011 list of Best Photo Blogs, follow us at: BagNewsNotes; BAG Twitter; BAG Facebook; Bag by Email.

Bag’s Take-Away:

The politics of captions (see below): if you are going to mention Cameron’s marriage (and Obama’s), why not Andrew Sullivan’s?

(That’s more like it.)

via DayLife

(photo credit: Charles Dharapak/AP Images caption: Andrew Sullivan of Newsweek/Daily Beast, left, and Aaron Tone arrive at the Booksellers area of the White House in Washington for the State Dinner hosted by President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama for British Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha, Wednesday, March 14, 2012.)

Visit BagNewsNotes: Today’s Media Images Analyzed

—————

Topping LIFE.com’s 2011 list of Best Photo Blogs, follow us at: BagNewsNotes; BAG Twitter; BAG Facebook; Bag by Email.

Bag’s Take-Away:
The final pic in a Newsweek photo gallery showing posters of Assad. If the pictures are pretty random, this one requires a pause. Just a random wire hanging in the foreground, it’s suggestive of a noose. Call it photographic wishful thinking? 
via: Newsweek slideshow: Big Brother is Watching You.
(photo: Nicolas Righetti / Rezo)
Visit BagNewsNotes: Today’s Media Images Analyzed
—————
Topping LIFE.com’s 2011 Best Photo Blogs — follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Bag’s Take-Away:

The final pic in a Newsweek photo gallery showing posters of Assad. If the pictures are pretty random, this one requires a pause. Just a random wire hanging in the foreground, it’s suggestive of a noose. Call it photographic wishful thinking?

via: Newsweek slideshow: Big Brother is Watching You.

(photo: Nicolas Righetti / Rezo)

Visit BagNewsNotes: Today’s Media Images Analyzed

—————

Topping LIFE.com’s 2011 Best Photo Blogs — follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Tags #Assad    #Newsweek    #Syria    #photojournalism    #Homs    #Idlib    #Syria Uprising    #Syria Red Cross   

Bag’s Take-Away:
D’you ever notice how fast parents disappear once visual media parachutes into a disaster zone?
motherjones:

Neena Sasaki, 5, carries some of the family belongings from her home that was destroyed after the devastating earthquake and tsunami on March 15 in Rikuzentakata, Miyagi province.
(Paula Bronstein/Getty Images, via the Big Picture)

Bag’s Take-Away:

D’you ever notice how fast parents disappear once visual media parachutes into a disaster zone?

motherjones:

Neena Sasaki, 5, carries some of the family belongings from her home that was destroyed after the devastating earthquake and tsunami on March 15 in Rikuzentakata, Miyagi province.

(Paula Bronstein/Getty Images, via the Big Picture)

Tags #Tsunami    #Atlantic    #Newsweek    #Japan    #Japan    #Japan earthquake    #Ja    #Japan quake 2011    #Media    #News p    #News photos    #pho    #photojournalism    #ph    #photography    #disaster photos    #Boston Big Picture