New series: (Un)Feminist Guilty Pleasures

Introducing a new Feministing series: (Un)Feminist Guilty Pleasures!
In this series we’re going to share a few of our own (un)feminist guilty pleasures. It’s those pop culture things that you love, even though deep down inside you know that they might conflict with your feminist values. Maybe it’s a show that makes your Women’s Studies 101 alarm go off, but you just can’t stop tuning in every week. Maybe it’s a celeb gossip blog, or an immature movie marketed to teen boys, or high-fashion magazines where all the models look half dead. Maybe you’re just human, and humans are complex occasionally hypocritical beings. Maybe you have created your own unique definition of what it means to be feminist that includes all of these guilty pleasures (and much more).
We at Feministing believe there are ways to maintain a critical eye towards these (un)feminist things while still enjoying them. It can even be fun! We think you believe this too and we are psyched to see what guilty pleasures you have to add to the mix. Stay tuned for my first contribution to the series (and the inspiration for it altogether).

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59 Comments

  1. Posted March 21, 2008 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Two words…
    Tom Boonen. *sigh*
    And yes, geek, you have a good point there.

  2. Kmari1222
    Posted March 21, 2008 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    I guess I’m the only one who’s kinda irked by this…
    It’s not the whole “you can’t be feminist if you wear lipstick” thing, cuz that’s ridiculous, it’s the whole hypocritical, indirect support of the things that support the sentiments that we try to fight against. One step forward two steps back?
    Like top model. That show really pisses me off, and it should piss a lot of people off. Unreasonable body standards (size 8 a plus size? are you kidding me?) and the fight for beauty above all else. I just don’t know why anyone would want to support that I guess. Not trying to make anyone feel bad, I’m just kinda confused.
    And I love that 70′s show because Donna is a kick-ass feminist.

  3. gst_scholarship18
    Posted March 21, 2008 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    I agree with Kmari, but Top Model is definitely one of the unfeminist items I critique while viewing. I find the unrealistic ideals horrific, as I do the whole woman pulling women apart. Yet, I do find aspects of it entertaining. Hence why it is so conflicting.
    I have to agree about That 70s Show…Donna is a badass, and the entire show critiques women’s roles in an enlightening way.

  4. Posted March 21, 2008 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    “For me it’s fashion, though I’ll never wear high heels. I love fabric and construction and the tactual, sensual risks taken by designers – and I do not feel guilty about it. ”
    Fashion is my “guilty pleasure” as well, although perhaps I should say *personal* fashion. You’ll never see me reading “Teen Vogueâ€? or any literature and/or watching any television show that tells me what I should be wearing as a woman in today’s society. I love to see women and men break away from popular style and take risks regarding color palette, fabric choices, and design. Vintage fashions, especially from the 50’s and 60’s, also inspire me. At least those designs worked in favor of a woman’s natural figure and in some cases were a form of liberation as well (it’s no coincidence that hemlines and the women’s rights movement rose at the same time). Sometimes I feel like popular, mainstream style today is designed specifically to break down women’s self-esteem and encourage them to attempt impossible “idealsâ€? in regards to their bodies. But that’s a debate for another day, I guess.

  5. marcelle33
    Posted March 21, 2008 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    I just can’t stand to watch women debasing themselves. Millionaire Matchmaker is awful in that way. I hate the “parties” where 20 women battle it out for some wealthy douche bag. It’s so sad to watch, and so humiliating that these men get to pick out women like they are buying socks. This show horribly reinforces the idea of women as objects that is the basis of sexism. Just because the agency is run by a woman doesn’t make it any better for me. It’s almost worse, because it make me feel that one of my own has turned on me.
    On the other hand The Girls Next Door is mostly about women and their relationships, which I find interesting, even if the setting is unappealing. Hef is definitely not in control, and while the “girls” try to please him, they seem much more interested in bonding with eachother.

  6. prairielily
    Posted March 22, 2008 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    I have a few things as well. I watch Entourage, even though essentially all the women are regarded as decorative objects. I read KSK as well, but not everyday. I get waxed, and I have highlights. I love pretty dresses, and I was endlessly entertained by my boyfriend saying he didn’t care what I wore, and then being so obviously delighted when I wore one of the pretty dresses.

  7. Waterpixi
    Posted March 24, 2008 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    HOWARD STERN.
    I love him. I love his show. Sometimes I get skeeved out and turn it off but i always switch it back. I never watched the TV show and I’ve actually never seen his movie either, but I love to listen to him.

  8. theresa
    Posted July 21, 2008 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    Fashion. Sex & The City. The Girls Next Door. How Do I Look?
    Whenever my boyfriend catches me watching The Girls Next Door he says, “How can you of all people, a self-proclaimed feminist, watch that show?” I end up feeling guilty and change the channel.

  9. kelseyfro7
    Posted August 5, 2008 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    I’m gonna have to say Eminem. It’s really bad…but I am probably the last person you’d picture that can rap along with him on some of his most inappropriate, sexist songs.
    Also, porn.

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