Home » Uncategorized » Lipstick Feminism by Hollman Lozano~ A Conversation Part I

Lipstick Feminism by Hollman Lozano~ A Conversation Part I

Hi Janni,

I will love to hear from you on this issue and again, thanks for your time.

As I understand it, one of the biggest achievements of the feminist movement was to point out to the danger and consequences of the objectification of women. Precisely because it was not as evident as the lack of a vote, the debate over women’s objectification required a sustained and articulated explanation into the ins and outs of what objectification actually meant. I do believe that one of core tenets of feminism is equality and there could not be a serious discussion about equality, until objectification is comprehended and properly addressed. But it is precisely the point about objectification what makes me question, or at least remain critic of what has been called ‘lipstick feminism’. If one of the most important achievements of feminism was to point out and show the consequences of objectification, then in a sense ‘lipstick feminism will be a step on the opposite direction.   Perhaps I have a wrong view of what lipstick feminism is, mainly influenced by the reading of ‘female chauvinistic pigs’ of Ariel Levy and Wendy Shalit’s ‘girls gone mild’.

I do understand the context in which ‘lipstick feminism’ appears, namely as a backlash to the negative stereotypes about female sexuality that were created during the second wave, however, one could argue that ‘lipstick feminism’ has gone to the opposite direction. I find troubling to say the least, when women are told to demonstrate that they are ‘independent, active, mature, autonomous, free, feminist’ by flashing their breast on soft porn programs like girls gone wild, or by displaying girl-on-girl behavior in order to attract attention. I see that there is a point at which the exercise of one’s sexuality has a liberator power that not only asserts women’s identity, but also empowers them as they are able to choose within the wide array of options, which one fits them better. However, at which point ‘lipstick feminism moves too far and embodies, or accepts those tenets against which feminism fought.

Perhaps I am being –unaware of it- a conservative dull, who refuses to accept empowered women who take care of their sexuality and exploit it to the best of their benefit, however, I find troubling that magazines like ‘playboy’ are told to be ‘feminist’ because they display naked women an empower them to enjoy, display and live their sexuality. I do realize that at the beginning of Playboy, Hugh Hefner was an adamant advocate of liberties and the like, however, to which extent her daughter is hypocritically using her position to consolidate a view that portrays women merely as objects.

I agree that the term feminism should function like an umbrella term that is able to gather many different understandings of what feminism is, however, my question is, where we draw the line, if there is a line to be drawn. Perhaps we could use a different Aristotelian model and define the things not but what they are, but define them but what they are not.

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