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“This feel-good, hip feminism is about style, attitudes and words, Zeisler argues, not about confronting “deeply entrenched forms of inequality.””

Susan J. Douglas on inthesetimes.com:

Feminism seems to have made a big comeback. In Verizon’s 2014 “Inspire Her Mind” ad, a voice issues patriarchal dictates as a girl defies them: “don’t get your dress dirty” as she stomps through a creek and “hand that [drill] to your brother” as she’s building a rocket. The voice intones, “Our words can have a huge impact. Isn’t it time we told her she’s pretty brilliant, too?”

The feminine hygiene product maker Always vows to “[fight] to empower girls everywhere,” while U by Kotex famouslyfeatured an ad making fun of all those dumb, white-angora-cat-dominated commercials, with the tagline “Why are tampon ads so ridiculous?” Welcome to “femvertising”: advertising that bolsters brands by embracing the empowerment of women and girls.

Then there was the outpouring of you-go-girl reviewsproclaiming Mad Max: Fury Road “the feminist picture of the year” when it hit multiplexes with a ripped, totally badass Charlize Theron as a multi-weapon-wielding hero. You can even get “granny panties”—the supposedly defiant riposte to thongs—with the word “feminist” on the butt. And, of course, there’s the whole Beyoncé-Taylor-Lena-Emma-etc. thing.

The various media and pop culture industries whose bread and butter has rested on making women hate themselves are now not only not insulting them but even celebrating their strength and smarts.

Unequal pay or blaming women when they are raped

Zeisler is the cofounder, in 1996, of Bitch Media, publisher of Bitch, a feminist zine-turned-magazine and website that forcefully challenge the sexism and racism of the media, as well as the public attitudes and policies they reinforce, like unequal pay or blaming women when they are raped. So when, over the past two years, feminism became “cool,” Zeisler asked herself why this was bothering her. Wasn’t it a good thing that transgender people were gaining visibility and acceptance, that accusations of domestic abuse and sexual violence on campuses were front page stories, and that Hollaback!, an initiative to confront racist and sexist street harassment, had gone global?

Marketplace feminism

Well, yes. Feminist sensibilities in pop culture do matter. But what Zeisler also saw was the proliferation of “marketplace feminism,” a “cool, fun, accessible identity” that is, in the end, depoliticized. This feel-good, hip feminism is about style, attitudes and words, Zeisler argues, not about confronting “deeply entrenched forms of inequality.” She has numerous examples of the gap between image and reality.

Rest: inthesetimes.com, emphasis added, of course

‘Marketplace Feminism’ and the Commodification of Empowerment - Susan J. Douglas