Sunday, 29 August 2010

Thinking about "new femininities"

Supervisor and I are going to a conference next week to present work from the Geographies of the Body project for the first time. Something that has gone in the paper is a mention of "new femininities" which at first I didn't understand but I'm getting that it means sexy but girly, go getting but male-centred, heterosexed and still in high heels. The Cosmopolitan womanhood I suppose. Recently there was a post at The F Word responding to a piece in a rag by Agent Provocateur about female sexuality where basically they are still prescribing to women a male centred notion of sexual "freedom" but packaging it up as pro-woman. Now women are prudish if they don't wear AP's uncomfy bits of lace. Forgetting that feminism brought the ability for women to say yes to sex. And it reminded me of the new femininities that suggest empowerment but really offer male pleasure still.

New femininities are being discussed in our paper with regard to movie Bend It Like Beckham. I'm unsure whether I find BILB as bad as some people think; it is stereotypical but might offer some girls role models who experience similar tensions between family and football. And the Sikh Indian stereotypes are not the only ones; it is not only the Indian girl who is not considered normal. So I guess the film does attempt to offer a new femininity that is fixed and ideal - western, attractive, not too sexy, still in love with the guy, sporty but in a way that doesn't make your body look "wrong". I've ordered another couple of DVDs of women football films so I'll see what they turn out like.

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