Over the past few years, the question “Are you a feminist?” has become the new litmus test for young female celebrities. Their responses—which vary from Lady Gaga’s “I’m not a feminist. I hail men, I love men,” to Madonna’s “I’m not a feminist, I’m a humanist”—indicate a lack of clarity on what the term means, as well as a discomfort with being perceived as anti-men.
So what exactly do we mean when we talk about feminism? Drawing on television and movies from the past 40 years (although focusing primarily on current and recent examples), media scholar Amy Peloff explores some of the fundamental principles of feminist thought, and asks why we should care about popular culture’s presentation of these concepts. This multi-media and interactive presentation provides an accessible way to learn about both feminism and how to critically “read” popular media.
Funded project of Humanities Washington. Humanities Washington is a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.