Online Activism: Yes or No?

Posted: August 8, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

While reading Jamie Keiles blog post titled, Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream: Not Mine, I noticed she like many other individuals, struggle with mainstream music and its lyrical content on women with her feminist view. In other words, social construction, has allowed Keiles the avenue to form a bias stand of what is expected of a feminist and someone who does not relate with feminism. In particular, she notes how much she likes Katy Perry’s song but is still bothered by the lyrical content. Keiles also address Perry’s “California gurl” song by writing “a degrading confection of lollipop licking, naked cloud laying, and low production value.” Now that in it is hypocritical because of her decision to listen to it in her house and not in her car away from people’s critical comments. Two questions: are we as feminists, allowed to like and listen to catchy tunes without deconstructing the meaning of the song? Or are we subconsciously setting feminist standard that most of us do not necessarily abide by?

I have listened, watched and danced to “California gurls.” Now I do not know if I am breaking any female code but I believe that we as feminist are not allowed to just enjoy little things anymore. We have now being constructed to question everything. Which is good but when do stop and actually appreciate little things. I attach this need to “question things” to Patriarchal hegemony because the female gender throughout the years has been constructed to feel like a lesser gender and subjected to various ways of Scopophilia. Objectification like Scopophilia continues to be rampant even in today’s society which I think is one of the problems feminist encumber. There is difficulty in enjoying from the objector what has been forced down as the right thing.

In conjunction to Keiles post, Jessalynn Keller in her text Virtual Feminism writes “online activism also alters traditional understandings of space, allowing for content to transcend some borders with significant ease.” For this reason, Keiles post allowed for her to still appreciate Perry’s music while using online activism to touch on the things that bothered her about the video. I should point out that I disagree with Keiles only because I feel she failed to understand Perry’s lyrics in Teenage Dream. The song basically was about a girl wanting a particular guy to be her teenage dream not that all the events were actually happening. I believe we have come to a junction in life were some feminist even feel wearing a bikini or listening to JayZ’s song is absolutely inappropriate. Why is it that when some women decide to wear certain outfits or sing certain songs, she is still living in a submissive state of mind? Why cant women wear what they want, sing what they want and still be acknowledged as sane and decisive by both men and women especially feminist.

It is important to realize that feminism is a way for people especially women to break down barriers but how can barriers be broken when women tell other women that they cannot do certain things? It takes it all back to Lynn Peril’s “Pink Think” essay . I honestly hope that women are not going to go back to handbooks on how to behave because honestly trying to break free of one master that is male is difficult but having another one show up and control you as an individual is not were feminism should be heading.


Check out this post on: The Lingerie Football League. it is quite interesting.

Moyo A.

  1. Bonny says:

    Until reading Moyo’s blog I never considered the prospects of the double edge sword of feminism–wanting to liberate woman, yet restricting them from enjoying the “simple pleasures” of things that are considered to be degrading to women; as seen in the case of the Keiles article in regards to Katy Perry’s music. Keile even goes so far to write, “In my defense” when explaining why she can’t help but listen to Katy Perry’s music. Why does she even need to defend the fact that she likes the song? I think this article is a great eye opener to the question of, “why do women need to defend themselves from enjoying things that are not considered to coincide with feminists view?” Keile’s point about the use of the word “let” (“let you put your hands on me…”) is very insightful too. I never before considered this word in context to this song (one that i so deeply love to sing along to), but it is true that the context of the word is shaped around this idea of the female being submissive and finally saying “‘fine…we can fuck”’. This article has really opened my eyes to the idea of women not being allowed to just breathe anymore without having to look over their shoulders due to being accused of being a “slut” or “stupid” from buying into things like Katy Perry’s music. Either that, or they are so concerned with anything that could degrade women that they are so uptight and do not allow themselves to enjoy anything that might be taken as a degradation to women. However, I have also heard that there are different streams of feminism now due to this restrictions and some women identify being feminist with being allowed to express themselves sexually, regardless of how “tasteless” or “slutty” it may be.

    Here is an interesting article on how feminism has fought out issues, such as porn, that although not directly related to the topic, we can see that not all feminists are on the same page and defining feminism and what it means to be a feminist is a constant struggle.

    -Bonny M.

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