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The Impact of Legally Blonde on Women Entering the Legal Profession

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This thesis seeks to understand how the film Legally Blonde has portrayed the interaction between femininity and women. Specifically, this paper will consider how feminism—defined through the context of the era and Legally Blonde—has empowered women to enter male-dominated professional

This thesis seeks to understand how the film Legally Blonde has portrayed the interaction between femininity and women. Specifically, this paper will consider how feminism—defined through the context of the era and Legally Blonde—has empowered women to enter male-dominated professional workspaces—specifically in consideration of the legal profession. The feminism presented in Legally Blonde can be characterized through Elle Wood’s simultaneous displays of intelligence and focus on typical feminine interests: such as marriage, cosmetics, and the like (Marsh, 2005; Lucia, 2005; Hoffman-Longtin & Feldner, 2016). The “third-wave” feminist era surrounding Legally Blonde promotes the duality of women in expressing femininity and holding agentic capability (Dole, 2008). This thesis uses the film’s definition of feminism to consider the changes in women entering the legal profession, the identity of women who connect to the film, and the media’s responses and portrayal of the film. Legally Blonde defines feminism by presenting women as both intelligent and typically feminine—challenging the typical gender role of women in society with her expression of capability and seriousness. While the film elucidates a definition of feminism based on femininity and female agency, some women may not fit into this definition based on the lack of consideration of intersectionality in the film. While the film underlines a changing shift in acceptance of women’s expression of femininity, the film’s message may not apply to all women. Yet, Elle Woods remains a role model for many women to attend law school and her impact is emphasized in popular culture even today.

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2020-05

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Hysteria, Hegemony, and Horror: An Analysis of "The Yellow Wallpaper"

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The goal of my thesis is to examine gender roles and their implications on mental illness in the short story of "The Yellow Wallpaper." The context of this thesis is historical, medical, and literary. The project includes five parts. The

The goal of my thesis is to examine gender roles and their implications on mental illness in the short story of "The Yellow Wallpaper." The context of this thesis is historical, medical, and literary. The project includes five parts. The introduction is an analysis of the various literary criticisms associated with the short story. The second part is research on Charlotte Perkins Gilman and her journey with mental illness. The third part is research and background information on mental illness in the 19th century. The fourth part is research and analysis on the social, political, and economic context of the 19th century in the United States that affected the view of mental illness in the period, such as gender roles. The final part of the thesis is an analysis of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper." The analysis focuses on gender roles of the story and how these relate to the depiction of mental illness. This analysis takes into account the historical background and research when studying the context behind the story. In conclusion, the research and information in this thesis provides a new criticism for readers to consider when analyzing "The Yellow Wallpaper."

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2018-05

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The Evolution of the Public Perception of Feminism

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Over the last 30 years, the public has become somewhat less willing to accept the “feminist” label. However, most Americans indicate support for general feminist ideals. In fact, many of these ideals have become so prevalent in American culture that

Over the last 30 years, the public has become somewhat less willing to accept the “feminist” label. However, most Americans indicate support for general feminist ideals. In fact, many of these ideals have become so prevalent in American culture that they are not considered feminist anymore. This thesis will examine the reason behind this disparity and analyze where public opinion began to shift. The disparity between the definition of feminism and the definition perceived by the public will be explored along with the idea that the American people still want and need a “feminist movement,” but that its current state is not resonating with the majority of the public.

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2019-05

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How to Create a Narrative Poetry Collection: Feminism and Reflection

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Through my research I had considered how feminism and reflection can be used in narrative poetry. In addition to research on narrative poetry, I had self-published a narrative poetry collection titled 100. which I self-published on Amazon through kindle and

Through my research I had considered how feminism and reflection can be used in narrative poetry. In addition to research on narrative poetry, I had self-published a narrative poetry collection titled 100. which I self-published on Amazon through kindle and a hard copy. The study of feminist poetry is looked at in my research in order to further apply feminism and reflection to narrative poetry. The joys of feminism, culture, identity, and empowerment are discussed and explained throughout my poetry collection. There are three waves of feminism, and I focused on writing in the third wave feminism which doesn’t have a cohesive argument, but focuses on sharing stories that are unique to women. As well, third wave feminism discourages patriarchy and encourages socio-political action. Some common, and re-occurring themes include my transformation process during college, spirituality (my faith), and nature. In order to further my poetry collection I had looked at many feminist authors on culture, and narrative poetry collections in order to see how the creative process works, and how I could better benefit my narrative poetry through feminism and reflection on growing up and what it means to be a woman. I had encountered and tried to reflect highly on the unique stories I have encountered being a woman raised of a Catholic identity in Ohio. This collection of poetry is meant as a reflection on my college experience as a female, and sharing the empowerment I have as a woman that I hope to share with others.

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2019-05

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Conceptual Obstacles and Opportunities for Conservative Feminism

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In the midst of our nation's heightened political climate, it seems as if politics is polarized more than ever. Voters witnessed the impact of identity politics in the previous national election. As Facebook and Twitter are flooded with political debate,

In the midst of our nation's heightened political climate, it seems as if politics is polarized more than ever. Voters witnessed the impact of identity politics in the previous national election. As Facebook and Twitter are flooded with political debate, it seems as if the ability to engage in civil discourse has been lost. In the past election cycle, women's issues were a major focal point. Firstly, the country was presented with the potential to elect its first female president. Discussions of workplace diversity, the gender pay gap, and racial divide brought up serious concerns of inequality. Women were infuriated so much so that they organized all across the nation and came out strong, but not unified, in the notable Women's March. The March was arguably politically fueled and perceived by conservatives as an anti-conservative movement. Since the March was purposefully scheduled the day after President Trump's inauguration, the idea of "resistance" was interpreted as "anti-Trump." Interestingly enough, a pro-life feminist population was excluded from being sponsors of the movement. This story received national coverage, and is a topic of debate. The 2018 Women's March proved to be just as political with speeches encouraging people to only vote Democrat in the following elections. The Women's March is a microcosm of our nation's inability to find common ground. This project will explore the ideologies of conservatism and feminism and develop the concept of the "conservative feminist." In this study, we surveyed students studying political ideologies at Arizona State University, assessed results, and then conducted informational interviews to explore those results in greater depth. Accordingly, this thesis explores questions such as: Why did a civil rights movement become seemingly polarized? What are the semantic and conceptual obstacles to "conservative feminism?" The goal of this analysis is to explore the stigma of political ideologies and labels, and to open the discussion for better understanding of feminism, conservatism, and conservative feminism.

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2018-05

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On Islamic Feminism: Feminist Interpretation of the Quran and the Fight for Gender Equality

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In this essay, I discuss Islamic feminism from the point of view of its proponents. By this, I hope to engage Muslims and traditionalists. Islamic feminism is the fight for gender equality, as a challenge to the way traditional Islam

In this essay, I discuss Islamic feminism from the point of view of its proponents. By this, I hope to engage Muslims and traditionalists. Islamic feminism is the fight for gender equality, as a challenge to the way traditional Islam has perpetuated patriarchal power structures in the Muslim world. Today, feminist sentiment is on the rise in the Islamic world as more and more women are becoming engaged in this fight for gender equality. Islamic feminism reclaims the Quran as its justification and involves the struggle for gender equality grounded in this justification. I divulge into two linked claims: a normative one where gender equality is justified in Islam, and a descriptive one which posits that male domination over interpretive powers has distorted the way Islam has been practiced traditionally, thus placing women in a disadvantaged position. Islamic feminists, I have found, seek to reject the widespread patriarchal interpretation of the Quran by first, reinterpreting the Quran as an equalizing force, and then implementing Islamic feminism in the public sphere. I show that they do this by engaging politically and civically through activism, education, and political involvement — this I refer to as civic Islam, highlighting that public engagement is an inherent Islamic duty. For this end, I cite several countries — including Iran, Yemen, Tunisia — in which Islamic feminists have taken up the mantle as activists, and what their impact has been through brief case studies. In the end, I include my reflection on Islamic feminism as a college-educated Muslim woman having grown up in a Western, liberal society.

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2017-05

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Hashtag Feminism: An Analysis of Social Media as a Feminist Platform

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This paper examines the relationship between feminism and social media and evaluates the ability of social media to function as an effective platform for the advancement of feminism's objectives. In the decades before social media became an integral part of

This paper examines the relationship between feminism and social media and evaluates the ability of social media to function as an effective platform for the advancement of feminism's objectives. In the decades before social media became an integral part of culture, the popularity of feminism deteriorated and feminist voices were unsure that it could be revived or popularized again. However, in recent years, women have used social media as a mechanism to communicate and disseminate feminist ideas. The birth of what is called "hashtag feminism" has been a fundamental shift in the way feminism is done and advocated for in modern culture. In light of this dramatic shift in venue for feminist conversations, academic feminists are asking a series of pertinent questions: Is social media good for feminism and the achievement of feminist objectives? What, if anything, has feminism compromised in order to fit into 140 characters or fewer? This paper argues that social media has provided a platform for feminists to share their stories, which has aided in the building of feminist constituencies. This is the most important work of feminism, because it is making society more receptive to feminist principles and ideas, transforming our culture into one that can accept and fight for feminism's objectives. This paper will examine a series of case studies in which social media has hosted feminist conversations. It will analyze the impact of this social media as a venue for feminist narratives and evaluate the use of social media as a feminist platform in the movement to achieve feminism's objectives.

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2015-12

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Wolf Girls and Witches: Women and Feminism in the Films of Hayao Miyazaki

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Japanese animated film director Hayao Miyazaki is famous for his numerous film featuring female protagonists. These protagonists have been examined for their conformance and deviance with regard to widespread stereotypes of masculine and feminine traits. Miyazaki's female characters tend to

Japanese animated film director Hayao Miyazaki is famous for his numerous film featuring female protagonists. These protagonists have been examined for their conformance and deviance with regard to widespread stereotypes of masculine and feminine traits. Miyazaki's female characters tend to exhibit nuanced and varied traits, with a balance of traditionally masculine and feminine characteristics. They also tend to demonstrate and moralize on larger social issues such as environmentalism and gender equality, advancing ideals for both Japanese and Western feminism. The status of these female protagonists as cultural icons is contrary to wider film trends that exclude women from the spotlight except when they conform to rigid gender roles.

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2013-05

Shakespeare's Case For Vulnerability: Giving Voice to Pain and Suffering (Evolution of Woman)

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Shakespeare’s Case for Vulnerability: Giving Voice to Pain and Suffering is a combination of two pieces of work. The research centers around understanding the communication of pain and suffering and how this factors into our everyday lives, in combination with

Shakespeare’s Case for Vulnerability: Giving Voice to Pain and Suffering is a combination of two pieces of work. The research centers around understanding the communication of pain and suffering and how this factors into our everyday lives, in combination with an interview and video project called Evolution of Woman. This project sought to determine the different facets of pain and suffering and how, specifically, Shakespeare communicates these concepts in his work. This work also explores how the representation of pain and suffering was different between male and female roles in Shakespeare’s writing. From this research, questions were developed to interview Shakespearean experts and actors. These interviews explore the details of portraying Shakespeare’s characters and how gender plays a role in the characters’ expression of pain and suffering, as well as what it means to be a female actor in plays that are dominated by male characters.

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2021-05

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Infantalization, Anti-Feminism, and The Female Sexuality of Vivisection in Wilkie Collins's Heart and Science by Mariah Merriam

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In Wilkie Collins’s Heart and Science, gender is handled very carefully and intentionally. The women within this novel are characterized into two categories: sexually inexperienced and intellectually provocative. Women in the novel that represent the ideal English woman, such as

In Wilkie Collins’s Heart and Science, gender is handled very carefully and intentionally. The women within this novel are characterized into two categories: sexually inexperienced and intellectually provocative. Women in the novel that represent the ideal English woman, such as Carmina, are presented as sexually inexperienced and full of compassion for animals. The ideal woman was child-like in her sexual inexperience and naivety towards topics easily understood by men. Meanwhile, women who represented the New Woman, such as Mrs. Gallilee, are presented as intellectually provocative and cruel. The New Woman was a woman who did not conform to societal expectations of women in the 19th century, and Collins’s interpretation of the New Woman as void of compassion reflects the public tensions against the insertion of women into male-dominated fields during the Women’s Rights Movement. This strain is integral to understanding the insurmountable pressures placed upon Victorian women in a society, such that society would dissect her choices and presentation regardless of which category she fell in.<br/><br/> Both the ideal woman and the New Woman in Wilkie Collins’s “Heart and Science” are repeatedly compared to children and animals, exposing the degraded stance of women within nineteenth-century society. Women were viewed as having lesser intellectual and emotional capabilities than their male counterparts, resulting in the association of women with other “lesser” beings. Collins’s negative portrayal of the New Woman and the pedophilic sexualization of the ideal woman represent how the Victorian woman was “vivisected” by patriarchal society. The meticulous and nonconsensual dissection of a woman’s entire being, from her sexuality to her intellectual capacity, resulted in women identifying with vivisected animals and thus resulted in a strong feminine presence in the Anti-Vivisection Movement. <br/><br/>The connection between women, the Anti-Vivisection Movement, and female sexuality provides context for the success of the Women’s Rights Movement. Victorian women stood against vivisection because they understood what it was like to have their bodies be used without their consent, and they understood the battle between men’s desires and women’s rights to their bodies. Women also identified with being picked apart by society, as a woman’s worth lay in her physical appearance and her sexual and intellectual reputation. Through the Anti-Vivisection Movement’s success, women realized that they could insert themselves into scientific conversation and succeeding at helping those who are voiceless. The traction from the Anti-Vivisection Movement carried into the fervor for the Women’s Rights Movement, because women stood together in a way that had never been done before and rejected all preconceived notions of their status in society.

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2021-05