Intro to Women's Studies 2010

etsu: 2011-2014

Pop Culture Gone Wild/ Jessica Valenti

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This article addresses the way pop culture can make being a woman hard. Pop/porn culture defines what is hot. According to Valenti “Unattainable beauty standards for women aren’t a new thing.” In addition to being beautiful, we are expected to be accessible. She states “we’re only as hot as our willingness to put on a show for guys.”   Valenti then goes on to highlight just how prevalent the porn culture is in our society. She sites magazines like Maxim and Playboy, but she also brings up Girls Gone Wild (GGW). She states that “after all, GGW is where porn meets real life—you don’t have to be a porn star to be in one of its videos. You just have to be willing.”

Perhaps my favorite part of this article is when Valenti addresses pop contradictions. On being a virgin she states “how we expect girls to be sexy but not have sex. It’s the idea of virginity that’s popular, not the reality of being chaste.” This is so true of today. If it is known that a woman has had many partners she is called a whore. But on the same note if one is still a virgin, to be deemed attractive you must take on an identity where it can be assumed that you are ‘experienced’.  Valenti ends this article with a few suggestions to make it easier to develop an authentic sexuality. Don’t do anything you wouldn’t do sober, make sure that you are having genuine fun (rather than doing what is expected), and knowing why you want/do something.


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