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Beautiful and Bad Women: Media Feminism and The Politics of Its Construction in Taiwan
Unformatted Document Text:  16 absent in Taiwanese popular media. Moreover, when these two books are selectively translated and published in women’s magazines, we do not read about these postfeminists’ engagement with the academic world (for example, how feminist teachers teach their students in classrooms), but only their criticism on man-hating feminism. The fear of man-hating feminism conforms to the dominant thinking in Taiwan about feminism. It is no wonder that in women’s magazines or in other media, postfeminism is constructed as the feminism that is most appropriate to the Taiwanese context: “we do not need revolutionary theory… We only need to be conscientious and constantly adjust our individual lifestyles” (Sun Kang-yi, United Daily News, 1995/12/10). V. Contextualizing Beautiful-and-Bad-Woman Feminism, This latte lifestyle feminism (“milk:coffee = 1:1”), or beautiful-and-bad-woman feminism that popular media fabricate does not talk about feminism as a political practice, but a personal lifestyle choice. It is necessary to situate this individualistic, choice-oriented media feminism within the context of media production. In this section, I will situate this Latte lifestyle feminism within the context of cultural production. Because I am dealing with the period from 1985 to the present, I will only choose to talk about the intersections of media feminism, women’s magazines, and Taiwanese women’s movements, which constitute the context of cultural production. The first “commercial” and “international” women’s magazine, Non-no, was issued in 1985. 4 It was also the first magazine to promote its identity as selling “lifestyle” and the first one to use niche-marketing—which targeted 20-35 year-old women as their readers. Before the publication of Non-no, Taiwanese women’s magazines largely denied their profit objective and used the rhetoric of anti-commercialism, such as “improving the mind” and “raising the standard of our culture,” to sell their magazines (Yang 2002). In the 1980s, more and more women entered the workplace as a result of the shift to a consumer service economy in Taiwan. The emergence of Non-no was to provide these working women information about consumption and help them deal with the changing gender relations as these women entered the workplace. Consequently, the issues Non-no dealt with were mostly women’s economic independence and women’s rights in the workplace. 4 In 1985, after the publisher of Non-no failed to negotiate patent rights with the Japanese publishing company which published Non-no, Taiwanese publishers pirated the Japanese Non-no (including its name) and published the first lifestyle women’s magazines in Taiwan. In 1993, with the trend to internationalize, Non-no changed its English name to Citta Belle and was the first magazine in Taiwan to expand its circulation internationally (within the Chinese speaking population) (Yang 2002).

Authors: Yang, Fangchih.
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16
absent in Taiwanese popular media. Moreover, when these two books are selectively
translated and published in women’s magazines, we do not read about these
postfeminists’ engagement with the academic world (for example, how feminist
teachers teach their students in classrooms), but only their criticism on man-hating
feminism. The fear of man-hating feminism conforms to the dominant thinking in
Taiwan about feminism. It is no wonder that in women’s magazines or in other media,
postfeminism is constructed as the feminism that is most appropriate to the Taiwanese
context: “we do not need revolutionary theory… We only need to be conscientious
and constantly adjust our individual lifestyles” (Sun Kang-yi, United Daily News,
1995/12/10).
V. Contextualizing Beautiful-and-Bad-Woman Feminism,
This latte lifestyle feminism (“milk:coffee = 1:1”), or beautiful-and-bad-woman
feminism that popular media fabricate does not talk about feminism as a political
practice, but a personal lifestyle choice. It is necessary to situate this individualistic,
choice-oriented media feminism within the context of media production. In this
section, I will situate this Latte lifestyle feminism within the context of cultural
production. Because I am dealing with the period from 1985 to the present, I will
only choose to talk about the intersections of media feminism, women’s magazines,
and Taiwanese women’s movements, which constitute the context of cultural
production.
The first “commercial” and “international” women’s magazine, Non-no, was
issued in 1985.
4
It was also the first magazine to promote its identity as selling
“lifestyle” and the first one to use niche-marketing—which targeted 20-35 year-old
women as their readers. Before the publication of Non-no, Taiwanese women’s
magazines largely denied their profit objective and used the rhetoric of
anti-commercialism, such as “improving the mind” and “raising the standard of our
culture,” to sell their magazines (Yang 2002). In the 1980s, more and more women
entered the workplace as a result of the shift to a consumer service economy in
Taiwan. The emergence of Non-no was to provide these working women information
about consumption and help them deal with the changing gender relations as these
women entered the workplace. Consequently, the issues Non-no dealt with were
mostly women’s economic independence and women’s rights in the workplace.
4
In 1985, after the publisher of Non-no failed to negotiate patent rights with the Japanese publishing
company which published Non-no, Taiwanese publishers pirated the Japanese Non-no (including its
name) and published the first lifestyle women’s magazines in Taiwan. In 1993, with the trend to
internationalize, Non-no changed its English name to Citta Belle and was the first magazine in Taiwan
to expand its circulation internationally (within the Chinese speaking population) (Yang 2002).


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