Honestly, I’m not sure what you’re talking about. Beyonce is pretty widely celebrated as a feminist at this point. I’d say that claiming that “most of the feminist movement” refuses to identify her a feminist is a pretty big stretch.
I can’t fault brands for keeping the spotlight on these important cultural issues, but many ads employing female-empowering messages, especially the beauty brands, seem to be simply couching their backward-thinking messages in new packaging. For example, Pantene’s “Not Sorry” ad, which has over 13 million views on YouTube, tells women to stop apologizing, assert their strength, and refuse to downplay their opinions and expertise—a meaningful and important message. But it all comes back to beauty, as the description of the ad explains, “When you’re strong on the inside, you shine on the outside. And that’s a beautiful thing.” Along the same lines, Dove’s “Movement for Self-Esteem” seemed to be singularly based on helping young girls boost confidence by making them “feel beautiful”: the brand supported its program with a survey concluding that only 4 percent of women worldwide considered themselves beautiful and, of the 1,200 girls ages 10-17 in the survey, about 11 percent of girls felt comfortable using the word beautiful to describe their appearances. I’m inclined to say “So what? What percent of those girls would use the word smart, fierce, talented, etc, to describe themselves? That seems like a more important measurement of their confidence.”
My point is this: Dove and Pantene continue to equate the pursuit of beauty with the pursuit of happiness and confidence, making a direct connection with exterior appearances and interior fulfillment. According to their ads, “looking confident” and “feeling beautiful” are really half the battle. A woman’s appearance is still a critical component of her strength and authority, and there’s nothing empowering about that message.
For readings on the correlation in horror between puberty and the monstrous, see:
I will add Carol Clover’s Men, Women, and Chain Saws here, although she’s concerned more with identification, monstrous-feminine as men’s horror, and the maternal aspects of possession tales (including a section on possession as oral penetration). Although both Creed and Clover are important feminist horror theorists who work in Psychoanalytical lenses, Barbara Creed talks more about transformation than Carol Clover does. And transformation is key to horror movies about how women are terrifying.
For variations on a theme, watch Ginger Snaps, Carrie, and Teeth together.
(Bonus: here is Kristeva’s Powers of Horror: an Essay on Abjection for free online)
I’m 90000% sure I wrote the text below this but it doesn’t link to (probably ff) anywhere. it’s important to keep sources in posts so that you don’t disorient authors about their own pasts,
How about we don’t give women any labels they don’t give themselves.
Because I am a Woman works hard to bring you original content on all things feminism— but we can’t do it alone. Below you will find a (now expanded and updated) list of resources that we personally recommend listed by subject matter in alphabetical order. You can also find our own work on these topics under our Original Posts tab as well as in some of the sections below.
Anything we’re missing? Feel free to let us know! This list is meant to be an ever-growing and expanding resource for our readers, and input is always appreciated.
Birth Justice And Birth Work
Employment in Sex Ed, Social Justice or Activism
Parenting and Pregnancy
Race, Racism and Racial Justice
Re-Usable/ Eco-Friendly Menstrual Products
Sexuality And Sexual Health
Sexual Pleasure and Sex-Positivity:
To get involved in the causes on this blog: