Matching Items (7)

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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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Cooking, Consumption, and Identity Crisis: Communicating Femininity as a 1950s' Housewife

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While there are many characteristics that make up a woman, femininity is one that is difficult to define because it is a communication and expression practice defined by culture. This research explores historical accounts of femininity in the 1950s as

While there are many characteristics that make up a woman, femininity is one that is difficult to define because it is a communication and expression practice defined by culture. This research explores historical accounts of femininity in the 1950s as seen through the exemplar of the white, middle-class "happy homemaker" or "happy housewife." The 1950s is important to study in light of changing gender and social dynamics due to the transition from World War II to a period of prosperity. By using primary sources from the 1950s and secondary historical analyses, this research takes the form of a sociological accounting of 1950s' femininity and the lessons that can be applied today. Four cultural forces led to homemakers having an unspoken identity crisis because they defined themselves in terms of relationship with others and struggled to uphold a certain level of femininity. The forces are: the feminine mystique, patriotism, cultural normalcy, and unnecessary choices. These forces caused women to have unhealthy home relationships in their marriages and motherhood while persistently doing acts to prove their self-worth, such as housework and consuming. It is important to not look back at the 1950s as an idyllic time without also considering the social and cultural practices that fostered a feminine conformity in women. Today, changes can be made to allow women to express femininity in modern ways by adapting to reality instead of to outdated values. For example, changes in maternity leave policies allow women to be mothers and still be in the workforce. Additionally, women should find fulfillment in themselves by establishing a strong personal identity and confidence in their womanhood before identifying through other people or through society.

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Date Created
2018-12

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Heroism in the Integration of Masculinity and Femininity: A Study of Medieval Femininity in the Lives of Empress Matilda, Eleanor of Aquitaine and Margaret Beaufort Compared to Modern Femininity in Western Culture

Description

Between 1100-1500 A.D. England was defining its political and economic power in Europe and as a country. The social expectations of women were based on the general beliefs of femininity that stemmed from physiological characteristics and the religious demands of

Between 1100-1500 A.D. England was defining its political and economic power in Europe and as a country. The social expectations of women were based on the general beliefs of femininity that stemmed from physiological characteristics and the religious demands of the church. Three women of considerable social and political power changed the dynamics of English monarchy and the position of women in power for the rest of history. Empress Matilda, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and Margaret Beaufort each defined their positions at the time, changing the pre-conceived notions of femininity by acting in what their contemporaries deemed a masculine way. Matilda, Eleanor, and Margaret did not only thrive in their positions of power under the stereotypes developed in the medieval era regarding femininity, but also in the study of their histories they bring to light how women in modern social and political positions of power are still faced with the same medieval notions of femininity. Women today face the same stereotypes and cultural expectations regarding femininity and when those expectations are not met, or when the stereotype is breached, a wave of popular rhetoric in the form of slander and criticism towards them is accepted. Today, modern women criticized in their positions of authority face the difficulty of riding the fence between being perceived as feminine or masculine. The journey of a heroine involves the integration of both masculine and feminine.

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Date Created
2014-05

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Necessary Objects

Description

Necessary Objects is a solo painting exhibition examining feminine gender performance through the lens of beauty products and the commercial imagery through which they're sold. Many young girls form a feminine identity through the world of beauty products, their related

Necessary Objects is a solo painting exhibition examining feminine gender performance through the lens of beauty products and the commercial imagery through which they're sold. Many young girls form a feminine identity through the world of beauty products, their related media, and the rituals of makeup application. By using still life and pop-inspired imagery, Necessary Objects reveals how the seemingly innocuous act of "putting on one's face" can result in a complicated, sometimes neurotic, relationship to one's own appearance.

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Date Created
2014-05

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The Case of the Contradiction: Proving the Paradoxes of Nancy Drew

Description

Since her debut in 1930, Nancy Drew has been an extremely popular character and icon for adolescent girls. Created by Edward Stratemeyer and developed by Mildred Wirt Benson and Harriet Stratemeyer Adams, Nancy Drew continues to influence and inspire generations

Since her debut in 1930, Nancy Drew has been an extremely popular character and icon for adolescent girls. Created by Edward Stratemeyer and developed by Mildred Wirt Benson and Harriet Stratemeyer Adams, Nancy Drew continues to influence and inspire generations of readers. Readers are drawn to Nancy Drew's character and her ability to escape into the world of River Heights, away from the tumultuous climate of the Great Depression and ensuing wars. Significantly, Nancy Drew's enduring power and influence stems from five cultural and social paradoxes: child v. adult, masculine v. feminine, independent v. dependent, single v. couple, and classic v. modern. This thesis explores how throughout the series, Nancy embodies each extreme of these dualities, which gives her the power to be everything to everyone. Nancy derives power from these five paradoxes, which by definition are contradictory, but afford her special privileges in her fictional world. In embodying these binaries, Nancy Drew provides adolescent readers with an escape from and a role model for adolescence and future adulthood.

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Date Created
2014-12

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The Greater Part: A Catholic "Feminism" in Service of Christ and Humanity

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During the time when contemporary feminism was gaining ground in the West, the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church promulgated the encyclical Mulieris Dignitatem (1988), articulating the Church's understanding of women to a culture in crisis. More than twenty-five years

During the time when contemporary feminism was gaining ground in the West, the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church promulgated the encyclical Mulieris Dignitatem (1988), articulating the Church's understanding of women to a culture in crisis. More than twenty-five years post-promulgation of the document, complex questions still linger on the international stage in the realm of femininity, motherhood, and the vocations of women in the world today. While several voices compete to answer these questions, the Catholic Church offers her expert understanding of woman \u2014 indeed, of the human person \u2014 rooted in over 2,000 years of Scripture and tradition \u2014 a comprehensive, life-giving anthropology at the service of Jesus Christ and humanity. In the face of a radically relativistic, ever-evolving culture that continuously presents new challenges and questions, we have the responsibility to assimilate St. John Paul II's teaching in Mulieris Dignitatem in order to cross new thresholds, to further a theology of femininity and "feminism" that all persons can embrace. This thesis examines these crucial issues through the lens of the Church's expertise, the example of the Blessed Virgin Mary, as well as the strengths and challenges of the encyclical, arriving at the conclusion that women bear the greater part in redeeming culture through a renewal of authentic femininity.

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2015-05

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Uncovering the Willful Girl

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The horror genre contains a broad spectrum of tropes and archetypes surrounding gender. There is an increasing body of films involving the adolescent girl who embodies the monstrous-feminine, and whose will is tied to supernatural and often destructive powers, which

The horror genre contains a broad spectrum of tropes and archetypes surrounding gender. There is an increasing body of films involving the adolescent girl who embodies the monstrous-feminine, and whose will is tied to supernatural and often destructive powers, which has not been thoroughly explored by feminist film theory. Enough recurring themes exist to merit the definition of a trope, the Willful Girl. Framed using the Brothers Grimm fairytale “The Willful Child,” this trope can be seen in films such as Carrie (1976) and The Witch (2015), among others. Through a close reading of both films, similarities are uncovered. These similarities not only support the trope’s themes, but also provide insight to persistent ideologies, struggles, and prejudices against the adolescent girl throughout the decades. Acknowledging these ongoing issues, and their representation in horror films over the years, challenges the “waves” or “progress” model of feminism and begs the question of how “feminist” films should be defined.

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Date Created
2019