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Beautiful and Bad Women: Media Feminism and The Politics of Its Construction in Taiwan
Unformatted Document Text:  5 “filling the empty categories of self and other with recognizable representatives,” an echo serves as a “reminder of the temporal inexactness of fantasy’s condensations, condensations that nonetheless work to conceal or minimize difference through repetition” (292). That is, if identity as continuous, coherent historical phenomenon is exposed to be a fantasy, which exists only through complex and diffracted relations to others—through erasures or exclusions of divisions, conflicts, and discontinuities, then, echoes, as real historical subjects, serve to remind us that identity (sameness and selfness) can only be fabricated through its complex relations with the other (and many others). Therefore, Scott agues that we should think of identity as fantasy echo, not just fantasy, and seek echoes—distortions—to subvert the wholeness of fantasy (292). The notion of fantasy echo is proposed to remind feminist historians that women as an identity category is constructed through repetition and reiteration. In this paper, I am dealing with the construction of the identity of a new “feminist”—the beautiful- and-bad woman—in popular media; and this identity is constructed through the making of a fantastic history. In addition to investigating how the fantasy is created, it is necessary to explore the subjects or institutions involved in the writing of this history. Because women’s magazines function as the representatives of transnational capital, they aim to interpellate local, middle-class women into consumers of global products, they have to construct a female subject that is at the same time cosmopolitan and local. Hence, in addressing the fantasy being constructed, it is crucial to put this fantasy back into its context of production, that is, the context of (media) globalization. Similarly, if this particular fantastic history is produced according to the logic of global capital, we have to look for echoes in places that global capital makes invisible. In seeing the historiographic accounts of the beautiful-and-bad woman as fantasy echo, we can better understand the politics of identity construction in popular media, thus opening up a space for thinking about feminist political strategies. II “Beautiful” and “Bad” Woman Look at that half-naked beautiful blond, with her middle finger pointing at us, you know that she is not some nice girl who takes it all. She proves that women can both have breasts and brain at the same time, and have the power and right to decide her own life. It matters not whether these women have made it in their lives, what matters is their courage to ‘be themselves’, to do what they want in life. This is the true evidence for life, and this is the spirit of bitch, and the shrine for bad women. (“Bitch Label: Cheering and Saluting The ‘Be Yourself

Authors: Yang, Fangchih.
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“filling the empty categories of self and other with recognizable representatives,” an
echo serves as a “reminder of the temporal inexactness of fantasy’s condensations,
condensations that nonetheless work to conceal or minimize difference through
repetition” (292). That is, if identity as continuous, coherent historical phenomenon
is exposed to be a fantasy, which exists only through complex and diffracted relations
to others—through erasures or exclusions of divisions, conflicts, and discontinuities,
then, echoes, as real historical subjects, serve to remind us that identity (sameness and
selfness) can only be fabricated through its complex relations with the other (and
many others). Therefore, Scott agues that we should think of identity as fantasy echo,
not just fantasy, and seek echoes—distortions—to subvert the wholeness of fantasy
(292).
The notion of fantasy echo is proposed to remind feminist historians that women
as an identity category is constructed through repetition and reiteration. In this paper, I
am dealing with the construction of the identity of a new “feminist”—the beautiful-
and-bad woman—in popular media; and this identity is constructed through the
making of a fantastic history. In addition to investigating how the fantasy is created,
it is necessary to explore the subjects or institutions involved in the writing of this
history. Because women’s magazines function as the representatives of transnational
capital, they aim to interpellate local, middle-class women into consumers of global
products, they have to construct a female subject that is at the same time cosmopolitan
and local. Hence, in addressing the fantasy being constructed, it is crucial to put this
fantasy back into its context of production, that is, the context of (media)
globalization. Similarly, if this particular fantastic history is produced according to
the logic of global capital, we have to look for echoes in places that global capital
makes invisible. In seeing the historiographic accounts of the beautiful-and-bad
woman as fantasy echo, we can better understand the politics of identity construction
in popular media, thus opening up a space for thinking about feminist political
strategies.
II “Beautiful” and “Bad” Woman
Look at that half-naked beautiful blond, with her middle finger pointing at us,
you know that she is not some nice girl who takes it all. She proves that women
can both have breasts and brain at the same time, and have the power and right
to decide her own life. It matters not whether these women have made it in
their lives, what matters is their courage to ‘be themselves’, to do what they want
in life. This is the true evidence for life, and this is the spirit of bitch, and the
shrine for bad women. (“Bitch Label: Cheering and Saluting The ‘Be Yourself


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