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You've Come a Long Way, Baby: Women, Politics, and Popular Culture

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The landmark 2008 presidential and vice presidential campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin brought the role of women in American leadership into sharper focus than ever before. These women and others such as Nancy Pelosi and Katie Couric who are successful in traditionally male-dominated fields, demonstrate how women's roles have changed in the last thirty years. In The landmark 2008 presidential and vice presidential campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin brought the role of women in American leadership into sharper focus than ever before. These women and others such as Nancy Pelosi and Katie Couric who are successful in traditionally male-dominated fields, demonstrate how women's roles have changed in the last thirty years. In the past, the nightly news was anchored by male journalists, presidential cabinets were composed solely of male advisors, and a female presidential candidate was an idea for the distant future, but the efforts of dedicated reformers have changed the social landscape. The empowerment of women is not limited to the political sphere, but is also echoed by the portrayal of women in film, television, magazines, and literature. You've Come a Long Way, Baby: Women, Politics, and Popular Culture investigates the role of popular culture in women's lives. Framed by discussions of contemporary feminism, the volume examines gender in relation to sexuality, the workplace, consumerism, fashion, politics, and the beauty industry. In analyzing societal depictions of women, editor Lilly J. Goren and an impressive list of contributors illustrate how media reflects and shapes the feminine sense of power, identity, and the daily challenges of the twenty-first century. Along with a discussion of women in politics, various contributors examine a range of gender-related issues from modern motherhood and its implications for female independence to the roles of women and feminism in pop music. In addition, Natalie Fuehrer Taylor outlines the evolution of women's magazines from Ladies' Home Journal to Cosmopolitan. The impact of television and literature on body image issues is also explored by Linda Beail, who draws on trendy chick lit phenomena such as Gossip Girl and Sex and the City, and Emily Askew, who analyzes the effects of image transformation in programs such as The Swan and Extreme Makeover. As comprehensive as it is accessible, You've Come a Long Way, Baby is a practical guide to understanding modern gender roles. In tracing the different ways in which femininity is constructed and viewed, the book demonstrates how women have reclaimed traditionally domestic activities that include knitting, gardening, and cooking, as well as feminine symbols such as Barbie dolls, high heels, and lipstick. Though the demand for and pursuit of gender equality opened many doors, the contributors reveal that fictional women's roles are often at odds with the daily experiences of most women. By employing an open approach rather than adhering to a single, narrow theory, You've Come a Long Way, Baby appeals not only to scholars and students of gender studies but to anyone interested in confronting the struggles and celebrating the achievements of women in modern society.


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The landmark 2008 presidential and vice presidential campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin brought the role of women in American leadership into sharper focus than ever before. These women and others such as Nancy Pelosi and Katie Couric who are successful in traditionally male-dominated fields, demonstrate how women's roles have changed in the last thirty years. In The landmark 2008 presidential and vice presidential campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin brought the role of women in American leadership into sharper focus than ever before. These women and others such as Nancy Pelosi and Katie Couric who are successful in traditionally male-dominated fields, demonstrate how women's roles have changed in the last thirty years. In the past, the nightly news was anchored by male journalists, presidential cabinets were composed solely of male advisors, and a female presidential candidate was an idea for the distant future, but the efforts of dedicated reformers have changed the social landscape. The empowerment of women is not limited to the political sphere, but is also echoed by the portrayal of women in film, television, magazines, and literature. You've Come a Long Way, Baby: Women, Politics, and Popular Culture investigates the role of popular culture in women's lives. Framed by discussions of contemporary feminism, the volume examines gender in relation to sexuality, the workplace, consumerism, fashion, politics, and the beauty industry. In analyzing societal depictions of women, editor Lilly J. Goren and an impressive list of contributors illustrate how media reflects and shapes the feminine sense of power, identity, and the daily challenges of the twenty-first century. Along with a discussion of women in politics, various contributors examine a range of gender-related issues from modern motherhood and its implications for female independence to the roles of women and feminism in pop music. In addition, Natalie Fuehrer Taylor outlines the evolution of women's magazines from Ladies' Home Journal to Cosmopolitan. The impact of television and literature on body image issues is also explored by Linda Beail, who draws on trendy chick lit phenomena such as Gossip Girl and Sex and the City, and Emily Askew, who analyzes the effects of image transformation in programs such as The Swan and Extreme Makeover. As comprehensive as it is accessible, You've Come a Long Way, Baby is a practical guide to understanding modern gender roles. In tracing the different ways in which femininity is constructed and viewed, the book demonstrates how women have reclaimed traditionally domestic activities that include knitting, gardening, and cooking, as well as feminine symbols such as Barbie dolls, high heels, and lipstick. Though the demand for and pursuit of gender equality opened many doors, the contributors reveal that fictional women's roles are often at odds with the daily experiences of most women. By employing an open approach rather than adhering to a single, narrow theory, You've Come a Long Way, Baby appeals not only to scholars and students of gender studies but to anyone interested in confronting the struggles and celebrating the achievements of women in modern society.

38 review for You've Come a Long Way, Baby: Women, Politics, and Popular Culture

  1. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    After hearing Lilly Goren speak at The Tool Shed in Milwaukee, I was captivated by her book and the task it tackled. While I didn't enjoy all of the chapters (I felt the one on Chick lit could have been more in depth and with more examples supporting the claims rather than telling me the entire story line of the shows and movies), I think it is a worthwhile read for modern women. Not claiming to know much more about feminism beyond some research in feminist musicology for my graduate studies, th After hearing Lilly Goren speak at The Tool Shed in Milwaukee, I was captivated by her book and the task it tackled. While I didn't enjoy all of the chapters (I felt the one on Chick lit could have been more in depth and with more examples supporting the claims rather than telling me the entire story line of the shows and movies), I think it is a worthwhile read for modern women. Not claiming to know much more about feminism beyond some research in feminist musicology for my graduate studies, this was approachable but scholarly.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nathan

    A diverse, if scattered, collection of entry-level feminist critiques, addressing a range of topics from parenting manuals to news anchors to "Kill Bill". I enjoyed the diversity, but the book gets off on the wrong foot by not defining some key concepts and stumbles by not adding up to a coherent thesis. Any of a number of other books could have taken this one's place. A diverse, if scattered, collection of entry-level feminist critiques, addressing a range of topics from parenting manuals to news anchors to "Kill Bill". I enjoyed the diversity, but the book gets off on the wrong foot by not defining some key concepts and stumbles by not adding up to a coherent thesis. Any of a number of other books could have taken this one's place.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dora

    I read only portions, those chapters that caught my fancy. Though the essays were not earth shattering that were intelligently written and very readable.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lenore

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ruth Klassert

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sally Puth

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ryanmarie

  8. 4 out of 5

    Danine Spencer

  9. 4 out of 5

    Erin

  10. 4 out of 5

    Travis

  11. 4 out of 5

    Laurie

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sara Cable

  13. 4 out of 5

    Madalene

  14. 4 out of 5

    Karen Mcnair

  15. 5 out of 5

    Alexandra Pollard

  16. 4 out of 5

    Shikha

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

  18. 4 out of 5

    Heather jameyson

  19. 5 out of 5

    Liz Gray

  20. 4 out of 5

    Shelley

  21. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

  22. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kristen Northrup

  25. 5 out of 5

    Betsy

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sheila

  27. 4 out of 5

    Clouise

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jodi

  29. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

  30. 4 out of 5

    Diana

  31. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

  32. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Smoot

  33. 5 out of 5

    Kristina Guck

  34. 4 out of 5

    Krissy

  35. 5 out of 5

    Courtney

  36. 4 out of 5

    Sharayu Gangurde

  37. 4 out of 5

    Emily Hide

  38. 4 out of 5

    Mx. B

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