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Beautiful and Bad Women: Media Feminism and The Politics of Its Construction in Taiwan
Unformatted Document Text:  12 especially those international magazines emerged in the 1990s, function as the mouthpiece of global capital. Within this global media discourse, the West is constructed as modern and advanced and Western feminism is seen as universal, belonging both to the West, the world, and of course, Taiwan. Consequently, the history of Western feminism is established as Taiwanese feminism. For example, in “Salute to Simone de Beauvoir,” Simone de Beauvoir is constructed as the “foremother” of feminist movement in the world. The major contribution of The Second Sex is: “men and women are equal, therefore they should maintain equal relations. Women should not be men’s slaves” (Editorial). However, “it was Sartre who enlightened her to these ideas and made her into an independent woman” (Non-no, 1986/5). Here, we see that Beauvoir is constructed a man-loving feminist who does not attack patriarchy; consequently, her achievements are written into the history of Taiwanese feminism. In the next section, I will use two examples to illustrate this kind of “good” feminism. IV. Postfeminism Translated In the early 1990s, popular media in the United States proclaimed the death of feminism and the coming age of “postfeminism” with the publications of Rene Denfeld’s The New Victorians (1995) Katie Roiphe’s The Morning After (1993) and Christian Hoff Sommers’ Who Stole Feminism(1994). 3 These three books are written by young, white, well-educated feminists who position themselves within feminist movements and claim to carry the mission of resolving the crisis in feminism. In Taiwan, these books also gained a lot of media attention. The New Victorians and Who Stole Feminism are translated and published by Zhi-ku press and Zheng-zhung press. Women’s magazines and major newspapers not only publish excerpts from these two books but also review these book for the Taiwanese readers. Here, I would like to discuss the excerpts that are translated and published in women’s magazines to talk about how this American postfeminism is denominated, de-particularized, and universalized to represent good Taiwanese feminism. 3 The term postfeminism is used to mean different things in contemporary context. The three most commonly used definitions are: 1. “The era after second-wave feminism, that is, the 1980s and particularly the 1990s—in other words, our present context” (Kim 321). 2. “Postfeminism signifies the backlash against feminism” (Kim 321). Particularly, it refers to phenomenon that many young women believe that there is no need for feminism because women have achieved equality. 3. “A useful conceptual frame of reference encompassing the intersection of feminism with a number of other anti-foundationalist movements including postmodernism, poststructuralism and postcolonialism” (Brooks, quoted in Kim 321).

Authors: Yang, Fangchih.
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12
especially those international magazines emerged in the 1990s, function as the
mouthpiece of global capital. Within this global media discourse, the West is
constructed as modern and advanced and Western feminism is seen as universal,
belonging both to the West, the world, and of course, Taiwan. Consequently, the
history of Western feminism is established as Taiwanese feminism. For example, in
“Salute to Simone de Beauvoir,” Simone de Beauvoir is constructed as the
“foremother” of feminist movement in the world. The major contribution of The
Second Sex is: “men and women are equal, therefore they should maintain equal
relations. Women should not be men’s slaves” (Editorial). However, “it was Sartre
who enlightened her to these ideas and made her into an independent woman”
(Non-no, 1986/5). Here, we see that Beauvoir is constructed a man-loving feminist
who does not attack patriarchy; consequently, her achievements are written into the
history of Taiwanese feminism. In the next section, I will use two examples to
illustrate this kind of “good” feminism.
IV. Postfeminism Translated
In the early 1990s, popular media in the United States proclaimed the death of
feminism and the coming age of “postfeminism” with the publications of Rene
Denfeld’s The New Victorians (1995)
Katie Roiphe’s The Morning After (1993) and
Christian Hoff Sommers’ Who Stole Feminism(1994).
3
These three books are written
by young, white, well-educated feminists who position themselves within feminist
movements and claim to carry the mission of resolving the crisis in feminism. In
Taiwan, these books also gained a lot of media attention. The New Victorians and
Who Stole Feminism are translated and published by Zhi-ku press and Zheng-zhung
press. Women’s magazines and major newspapers not only publish excerpts from
these two books but also review these book for the Taiwanese readers. Here, I would
like to discuss the excerpts that are translated and published in women’s magazines to
talk about how this American postfeminism is denominated, de-particularized, and
universalized to represent good Taiwanese feminism.
3
The term postfeminism is used to mean different things in contemporary context. The three most
commonly used definitions are: 1. “The era after second-wave feminism, that is, the 1980s and
particularly the 1990s—in other words, our present context” (Kim 321). 2. “Postfeminism signifies the
backlash against feminism” (Kim 321). Particularly, it refers to phenomenon that many young women
believe that there is no need for feminism because women have achieved equality. 3. “A useful
conceptual frame of reference encompassing the intersection of feminism with a number of other
anti-foundationalist movements including postmodernism, poststructuralism and postcolonialism”
(Brooks, quoted in Kim 321).


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