Category Archives: Female Identity

Canada’s female biathletes an embarrassment

I am so sick and tired of this whole nude female athlete bullshit. Yet again, female atheletes have gone for the nude calendar as a means to raise awareness and money for their training. Screw off girls. As a former downhill ski racer in Canada, as a woman, athelete and feminist, I can say, you are not coming across as the bad ass Olympic hopefulls that you are. You are not raising awareness for your athleticism and achievements, you are cheapening yourselves. Your selling your bodies. Gross…..

And where is the commentary about this? Why do the newspapers make this sound like a juicy little treat? No real commentary, just details on where to pick up the latest piece of sporn. Why do young women think it is totally cool to go naked? Why do they have no problem with objectifying themselves? 

Please, give me a calendar with some bad ass women firing perfect tens out of their actual guns after having busted ass across grueling cross country terrain instead of strategically placed Canadian flags that cover genitals. And hey, maybe they won’t sell as many calendars that way, but isn’t self respect worth anything these days? 

This is so stupid. It cheapens women it cheapens the fact that they are world class athletes with amazing skill and makes them just objects, bodies to be gazed upon. 

In our women’s body obsessed society, our female achievers should be fighting against this, not pandering to it. 

Grow up girls. Take yourselves seriously as athletes and not nude models and maybe others will as well. 

I was super pumped to see the biathlon. But now I’ll pass.

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Filed under Canadian News, Female Atheletes, Female Identity, Selling out, Sexism

Women’s Magazines: The Contemporary Guide to Feminine Subjectivity

It all begins at birth, when a new life emerges and the doctor cries “It’s a Girl!”. The anatomy distinction is the easy part, but what does it truly mean to be a female, born into this world where gender’s association to identity is constantly being negotiated? There was a time when a women’s role was much more defined and her identity was strictly formulated by her environment which taught her most, if not all, that she needed to know in order to assume her cultural role, mainly as wife and mother. Today, in a society of cities where women have taken on a diversity of roles in an environment of opportunity and freedom, identities are much less defined and constructed than before. But what does this mean for a young woman, who is seeking for definition in an environment that no longer provides her with easy, unavoidable access to one?
When I was young, I learned much from my environment about how I should behave, how I should dress, how I should regard my sexuality; but then I learned from the media about what women could act like, look like and be like. Women’s magazines were my primary source. I envied how beautiful and stylish the women looked. I loved to read about the steamy romances and relationship problems. I read all the adds that told me their products could make me beautiful too, and I did all the quizes to see if I was too selfish, or too shy. But most of all, I read all about sex. As young teenagers, my friends and I would hide with a Cosmopolitan or Glamour magazine, a little too old in content for us, and read about how to please your boyfriend, or get lipstick that wouldn’t come off while kissing, or how to know if your man was cheating, and we giggled with excitement about what was to come for us. The magazines showed us the glamourous, sexy women and we wanted to be like them and look like them; have all those fun experiences. Here was a guide to an identity, but not one as a daughter, or a Catholic, or a girl, but one of a girlfriend, a business associate and most of all, a beautiful, sexy woman. So upon receiving a project to write about a method of communication in the light of culture, drawing on my own experiences, I could see no other medium that communicates popular culture and gender definition, of course in relation to the dominant discourses, better than the contemporary women’s magazine.
I would like to explore how, in an increasingly large and disassociated society, where a woman’s identity is less inwardly defined, women’s magazines have managed to become a primary source in the effort to construct a female identity which conforms to the ideals of contemporary culture, and is so determined by consumerism and changing gender roles. Since it has recently been Glamour magazines 60th anniversary, and the magazine is one of the leading magazines in North America, I would like to draw on it for examples of how a woman’s magazine attempts to construct identity in regard to personality, appearance and sexuality. I would also like to discuss the advantages and disadvantages to such a medium and its methods in regard to the construction of a female identity driven by both popular feminism and consumerism.
Chris Weedon, author of Language and Subjectivity, describes that there is a
…common-sense assumption that there is a natural way for girls, boys, women and men to be. This gives rise to a battle to fix particular versions of femininity and masculinity as natural….a struggle to fix meaning temporarily on behalf of particular power relations and social interests. (98 )

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Filed under Female Identity, Gender, Women's Magazines