You may want to read up on first-, second-, and third-wave feminism to understand Wolf’s essay better. Here is a brief article outlining the history of the feminist movement: http://www.pacificu.edu/magazine_archives/2008/fall/echoes/feminism.cfm.
Also, you can read my book review of Sisterhood, Interrupted: From Radical Women to Grrls Gone Wild by Deborah Siegel, a recent book on the history of feminism: 2007_Sisterhood Interuppted_Alter_ Intro (this review appeared in the June/July 2007 edition of Small Spiral Notebook).
Here are, moreover, some images to think about. We will be looking at these in class.
Times’ 100 Most Influential People of 2012:
Forbes’ Most Powerful People:
“The Real Barbie” as a Paragon of Femininity?
When brainstorming about the social constructs of femininity and masculinity (which change through time and vary from culture to culture), you could search Google Images for “femininity” and “masculinity.” What do these images have in common? In what significant ways do they differ?
Here is another example to consider: Theroux says about women writers that they “or rather [their] publicists–must prove [their] motherhood.” Does this apply to female celebrities, as well? Jada Pinkett-Smith had to defend her parenting skills when her daughter Willow shaved her head and explain why she “let” Willow do that. Do you see any parallels here with Wolf and what she says about women’s rights to their own bodies?
When Paul Theroux talks about the President sporting cowboy clothes, he is referring to Ronald Reagan (“Being a Man” was published in 1983). What do these photos suggest about the leader of the US in the 1980s? Sid this image change in the ’90s? In more recent years? How so?
Some more data to consider:
In “To Tell or Not to Tell? How does culture impact corporate disclosure of non-financial metrics?,” Anthony J. Culpepper and J. Goosby Smith (Graziadio Business Review 10.3 ), produce the following graph comparing the dominance of masculinity among different nations. Do Culpepper and Goosby’s data support Theroux’s argument? Are there any other factors at play here?