We have met the enemy and it is us

I was listening to the publishers of Bitch Magazine on KQED Forum this morning. I did not catch the whole show. They talked about fashion magazines and TV shows. They were talking about how important pop culture is. The idea that the O.C. is more important to high school kids than the evening news is a powerful idea.

I have read Bitch in the past, but it has been a few years. I am not a huge fan of Feminist Cultural Criticism in general. Like many disciplines it can let agenda and dogma get in the way of what is really happening in the world. The last time I picked up Bitch I did not find it to be different.

I listened to how they railed against pop culture. I wanted to call the show and pull out the old into The old Pogo quote "We have met the enemy... and he is us". The reason that fashion magazines make women feel bad about themselves is because it seems to work. The reason that sitcoms do not have deep female characters is because they do not have deep characters at all. The reason we sell a culture of celebrity of to our kids is because we do not have the discipline to keep it away from ourselves.

Don't get me wrong, I do not like fashion magazines either. I find them to be repugnant for the most part. I think it feeds many of the ills of society. I find magazines like Maxim and Stuff to be much worse that porno mags. Maxim and Stuff are selling a whole lifestyle of sexism and shallowness.

I cannot say I am proud of what the media presents to us. Like any other business the people in the media want to make the most money for their investment. Many times this comes down to appalling the the least common denominator, using ideas that have already been shown as safe, and showing people things they have already seen.

I think the media is just a mirror of who we are. It is a distorted mirror, but a mirror we are happy to look into. If we stopped watching it would go away. They talked about a few woman's magazines that did not make women feel bad about themselves, but those magazines always go out of business. I guess there is not a market there. We might not feel this way, but the people have the power when it comes to the media. It really is our fault for what the media shows us.

Maybe I should give Bitch another try. I might not agree what they say but I should be happy that someone is saying something.


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