The chapters explore women’s resistance across a wide range of experiences, including: intimate partner violence, casual sex, depression, premenstrual change, disordered eating, lesbian identity, women’s work in male-dominated spaces, rape, and child birth. Each chapter combines theoretical analyses with illuminating first-hand accounts, and elaborates practical implications that provide directions for individual and social change.
Providing an incisive and comprehensive exploration of discourse, oppression and resistance, that cuts across domains of women’s everyday lives, Women Voicing Resistance will be of great interest to students, scholars and practitioners in the fields of psychology, gender studies, women’s studies, sociology, and social work.
The United Nations concept of "harmful traditional/cultural practices" provides a useful lens for the author to advance her critique. She makes the case for including Western beauty practices within this definition, examining their role in damaging women's health, creating sexual difference and enforcing female deference.
First-wave feminists of the 1970s criticized pervasive beauty regimes such as dieting and depilation, but a later argument took hold that beauty practices were no longer oppressive now that women could "choose" them. In recent years the reality of Western beauty practices has become much more bloody and severe, requiring the breaking of skin and the rearrangement or amputation of body parts. Beauty and Misogyny seeks to make sense of why beauty practices have not only persisted but become more extreme. It examines the pervasive use of makeup, the misogyny of fashion and high-heeled shoes, and looks at the role of pornography in the creation of increasingly popular beauty practices such as breast implants, genital waxing, surgical alteration of the labia and other forms of self-mutilation. The book concludes by considering how a culture of resistance to these practices can be created.
A new and thoroughly updated edition of this essential work will appeal to all levels of students and teachers of gender studies, cultural studies and feminist psychology, and to anyone with an interest in feminism, women and beauty, and women's health.