An insightful, witty, and well-written analysis of the effects of mass-media on women in late 20th-century American culture. Douglas cuts through the fluff that spews from the tube with a finely-honed sense of the absurd that can forever change (or minimally, inform) how you perceive the changing portrayals of women by the media. The only book I know of that has been given highest recommendations by Gloria Steinem, The McLaughlin Group, and Amazon.com.
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From Publishers Weekly
In this insightful study of how the American media has portrayed women over the past 50 years, Douglas ( Inventing American Broadcasting: 1899-1922 ) considers the paradox of a generation of women raised to see themselves as bimbos becoming the very group that found its voice in feminism. Modern American women, she suggests, have been fed so many conflicting images of their desires, aspirations and relationships with men, families and one another that they are veritable cultural schizophrenics, uncertain of what they want and what society expects of them. A single image--Diana Ross of the Supremes, for example, or Gidget from the popular sitcom--can send mixed signals, Douglas shows, at once affirming a woman's right to a voice and cautioning her not to go too far. Thus the media is often both a liberating and an oppressive force. Douglas is particularly attentive to the ways pop culture's messages have responded to shifting social and economic imperatives, including the feminist movement itself. While she asserts that pop culture can have a profound impact on one's self-perceptions, she also stresses that women, by the example of their own lives, have changed--mostly for the better--the way the media represents them. Author tour.
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