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The problem is the prescription of guilt—a guilt that has metasisized into the ability of women to discriminate against other women.It has created a hierarchy that subjugated the genuine slut beneath false slut.
girl both objectifies men and feels ashamed of doing so; hence the woman who reverses this dynamic without this requisite guilt is considered shameless and worthy of judgment.
Mc Mahon mentions early on that the magazine rose to prominence as a source of female empowerment (this is not to say it was universally understood as empowering; it was, and is, a controversial text) only after it came under the leadership/editorship of Helen Gurley Brown who at the time (she was editor from 1965-1997) and changed it’s purpose from a periodical of fiction stories to an extended advice column for the single, sexually liberated woman.
Mc Mahon does describe Brown as someone considered by ’s message too normative to be at all empowering, and as far as I can see its message and method have not changed in the past forty years.
If feminism is about liberating all people, or even only women, from the oppression of “shoulds” regarding gender and sexuality, then has been enormously successful specifically among 20-ish traditionally college age woman, so it must be providing women with a message they want to hear, or find necessary.
This success might indicate first, that when it comes to sex there is no limit to how much people want to hear (Foucault definitely understood this) and second, that there is a strong interest in knowing what sex is “normal”, or what sex should be.
But I think Mc Mahon’s account creates a very accurate picture of the very narrow form of power feminism that is considered by the general public to be Feminism.bell hooks understood mainstream feminism as a straightforward power feminism—Mc Mahon understands this as well, and through the lens of as rooted in the way it addresses relations between subjects (male-female relations) as products of a public market exchange—sex and relationships are explained in terms of winning: men have always been winners, now women need to come and replace men as the winners.The key novelty of this understanding is the implication that women can and should enter into this public sphere where their sexuality is welcome.This is a very classed, white, first wave feminist stance, in which the aim is to liberate women from the home and the “domestic and procreative” understandings of sex that accompany this limited space.Beyond the marketplace metaphor of sex, Mc Mahon finds the “fantasy” depicted in girl, it actually serves to “maintain and even emphasizes conflicts while offering fantasy as temporary amelioration of anxiety or as containment of conflict” (Mc Mahon 384).I think this manufacturing of female anxiety is still a large part of the both manufactures and satiates this need.