Dear Hollman: This is a great conversation.
The first thing is that both the writers you cite are writers and not feminist writers or feminist activists and Shalit is a known, out conservative, as well. They are coming from a particular viewpoint with their research. And, I have read both books and numerous articles from them. So, I am not just merely disagreeing with the statements. And, I have actually taught sections of Levy’s book in my Women’s Studies courses.
Yes, besides the want for equal pay, naming marital rape and date rape, lots of work detailed the negative consequences with the objectification of women and how this objectification was raced/classed/sizeist/ageist, etc.
Lipstick Feminism is not a real strand or “flavor” of feminism, but rather a critical comment or label lobbed at young feminists. Now the hearts and minds might be in the right place politically, but there also might an attention to consumerism. But, this is part of the generation—one author has referred to youth as consumnivores.
Particular to Girls Gone Wild and other discussions of this nature—in my opinion we’ve witnessed some folks running with language from feminists—agency, empowerment and the like and using it for their own benefit and part of this is the hypersexualization of girls and young women. We certainly don’t see feminist advocates saying that the women on “The Bachelor” are feminists, right?
Let’s continue this…what do you think?