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Feminist in today’s culture

Of the people listed, both fictional and non-fictional, it is Oprah Winfrey, in my opinion, who best describes a feminist in today’s culture. A much-loved television host, a successful entrepreneur, and a dedicated philanthropist, Oprah strove to reach her esteemed position in society through hard work and persistence that broke through the molds of masculine hegemony that, until now, is experienced in this modern age. One of her landmark successes, her Oprah Winfrey Show has become a vehicle for women to address their varied issues without concerning with the limitations of patriarchal standards.

But above all, Oprah serves as a great model for a female revolution that counteracts preconceived societal norms and structures. But, though television gamely depicts women of great successes like Oprah, it also introduces those that uphold this patriarchal rule such as the character of Charlie Harper in Two and a Half Men. He is a chauvinist who, for most of the season, objectifies women and withholds any true respect for them. Page 96 Advertisements in many popular women’s magazines usually portray women (and even men) in their idealized state: they have to be thin, long-limbed, blond, prim and proper or sexy and alluring.

Initially one would think that the formulations of these ads are based on women’s perceptions of themselves, but in reality, this view is generated by our socially constructed patriarchal ideals. These ads tell female readers to look like a particular stereotype in order to satisfy the male gaze that would be their eventual judge. Page 97 Sex and the City is a highly influential TV series that has come to change the portrayal of women in television.

Of the four storylines, it is Miranda Hobbes’ struggle to balance her career and her family life that is most reflective of the woes of today’s working women. She had a blossoming law career that was put in jeopardy because of her unplanned pregnancy. When viewed through Marxist feminism, Miranda’s downfall can be seen in her dual-responsibility. Whereas in a capitalist society men are able to focus on their careers, therefore the “public sphere”, working women like Miranda have to focus on their careers and, when they arrive home, focus on their family.

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