Just a Girl? Rock Music, Feminism, and the Cultural Construction of Female Youth

Topics: Woman, Girl, Gwen Stefani Pages: 1 (402 words) Published: March 31, 2005
Within the broad, yet ever increasing issue of "tween" culture are many causes that are co-related. These sources form the foundation as to why children are becoming more and more desensitized to what once would have been considered a "moral standard" for their age sector. In this particular journal article taken from "Signs", Gayle Wald focuses on the cultural construction of female youth with a spotlight on the music industry. She introduces her readers to the world of female rockers and the way in which they display their femininity and "girlhood". This may be Gwen Stefani in her trademark platinum or Courtney Love's torn up baby-doll get up in order to show that acting "like a girl" promotes cultural visibility of all women. With this said, we are led to see Wald's main focal point of this journal: with these female stars promoting female youth subculture, a culturally expressed resistance to patriarchal femininity emerges in trying to universalize ethnocentric terms. The idea is that women require attention, approval and authority to the degree in which they will act childlike. Ward continues in her argument that this is not only a feministic strategy but one of business and culture. The music industry is one of strategy in using women as innocent sexuality figurines in order to produce images that all girls are youthful and fun. Even overseas in Japan, female rock bands such as Shonen Knife have songs like "Twist Barbie," in representation of articulating a desire for western beauty and femininity. Ward concludes her article by recognizing the ongoing global struggle for women's rights and that girlhood is most definitely not spoken for as a universal right. From this article come a few of my own questions: is this way in which we have created women as childlike and innocent really helping to contribute to the strengthening of their rights? Does this promotion of being "like a girl" not discriminate and single out that only those acting...
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