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Beautiful and Bad Women: Media Feminism and The Politics of Its Construction in Taiwan
Unformatted Document Text:  22 capitalism… In Geographics’ canvas on global culture, multinationals… are conjoined to progressive agendas of non-Western women’s empowerment. The logic underlying Geographic’s vision of corporate America as agents of Asian women’s liberation from their oppression by domestic Indian corporations morphs into a modern manifestation of colonial discourses that also projected the ideology of Western culture as the savior of non-Western women who endured the abuses of their “barbaric culture” (309-310). Situating Armani feminism within the context of imperialism and neocolonialism—as articulated by Spivak’s “White men saving brown women from brown men”—provides insights into the unequal relationships between the West and the East, and it further points to the ways in which media feminism in the periphery world should be theorized. The articulation of the West as advanced, modern, and civilized and the East as primitive, traditional, and barbaric requires a discourse of allochronism which assigns a distanced other onto a linear temporal order. Women’s magazines in Taiwan largely rely on this discourse to articulate the new media feminism. However, because of the need of global media to localize, Western feminism is translated in quite contradictory ways to Taiwan. As my analysis shows, the second wave in the West is stereotyped to show its inappropriateness for the Taiwanese culture, and is also relegated to the past. This rhetoric is similar to the postfeminist rhetoric in popular media in the United States. However, through international women’s magazines, this postfeminism also gets translated to Taiwan and dressed up as “good Western feminism” and hence, “our feminism.” However, this appreciation and appropriation of a good Western feminism—a feminism that aims to promote the consumption of global commodities—should be situated within a neocolonial context in which Taiwan is forced to deal with the West, economically, culturally, and politically. To conclude, the emergence and popularity of Armani or Latte feminism in Taiwan is closely connected to the rise of consumer culture, Taiwan’s adoption of internationalization policy in the cultural and economic spheres since the ‘90s, and women’s entrance into the workplace en masse as the expansion of capitalism in Taiwan requires women to do service work since the mid-‘80s. The second wave feminist movement in Taiwan also emerged within this context. Consequently, many feminists used women’s magazines as their battleground to spread their ideas. Many Taiwanese feminists from the second wave largely adopted liberal feminism and put their emphasis on legal reforms and women’s rights in the workplace. These measures

Authors: Yang, Fangchih.
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22
capitalism… In Geographics’ canvas on global culture, multinationals… are
conjoined to progressive agendas of non-Western women’s empowerment. The
logic underlying Geographic’s vision of corporate America as agents of Asian
women’s liberation from their oppression by domestic Indian corporations
morphs into a modern manifestation of colonial discourses that also projected
the ideology of Western culture as the savior of non-Western women who
endured the abuses of their “barbaric culture” (309-310).
Situating Armani feminism within the context of imperialism and
neocolonialism—as articulated by Spivak’s “White men saving brown women from
brown men”—provides insights into the unequal relationships between the West and
the East, and it further points to the ways in which media feminism in the periphery
world should be theorized. The articulation of the West as advanced, modern, and
civilized and the East as primitive, traditional, and barbaric requires a discourse of
allochronism which assigns a distanced other onto a linear temporal order. Women’s
magazines in Taiwan largely rely on this discourse to articulate the new media
feminism.
However, because of the need of global media to localize, Western feminism is
translated in quite contradictory ways to Taiwan. As my analysis shows, the second
wave in the West is stereotyped to show its inappropriateness for the Taiwanese
culture, and is also relegated to the past. This rhetoric is similar to the postfeminist
rhetoric in popular media in the United States. However, through international
women’s magazines, this postfeminism also gets translated to Taiwan and dressed up
as “good Western feminism” and hence, “our feminism.” However, this appreciation
and appropriation of a good Western feminism—a feminism that aims to promote the
consumption of global commodities—should be situated within a neocolonial context
in which Taiwan is forced to deal with the West, economically, culturally, and
politically.
To conclude, the emergence and popularity of Armani or Latte feminism in Taiwan
is closely connected to the rise of consumer culture, Taiwan’s adoption of
internationalization policy in the cultural and economic spheres since the ‘90s, and
women’s entrance into the workplace en masse as the expansion of capitalism in
Taiwan requires women to do service work since the mid-‘80s. The second wave
feminist movement in Taiwan also emerged within this context. Consequently, many
feminists used women’s magazines as their battleground to spread their ideas. Many
Taiwanese feminists from the second wave largely adopted liberal feminism and put
their emphasis on legal reforms and women’s rights in the workplace. These measures


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