Sunday, September 15, 2013

Media-Tions: Forays into the Culture and Gender Wars

1994, undated later edition, from South End Press
Elayne Rapping
Media-Tions: Forays into the Culture and Gender Wars
Original price $15.00, purchase price $11.99
Worn paperback

I liked this book more than I recalled, even though Rapping does criticize Faludi's Backlash.  (I agree with her criticisms of Wolf's Beauty Myth.)  It's ironic that one of her criticisms is that some of Backlash was then "old news," considering that Rapping includes '70s pieces on soap operas and Tupperware.  And some of what she writes about has already been covered by other books I've read, such as Woody Allen's involvement with Soon-Yi (Goodman's Value Judgments collection from '93).  

Still, it was fun and thought-provoking to get Rapping's views on Amy Fisher, Thelma and Louise, Beverly Hills 90210, and, yes, rapping with a small R.  The other feminist media critics I've looked at mostly haven't addressed (then) modern music, and I like that pre-Baby-Boomer Rapping (born in 1938) found positive things to say about not just Madonna but other aspects of Music TV (little and big Ms, Ts, and Vs).  In fact, this book is sort of the inverse of Smith's Misogynies, in that it's a little too upbeat and positive.  Still, it was a nice change.  And, although a straight mother of two, she addresses gay representation more than her peers.  (One element missing in Douglas's otherwise wonderful Where the Girls Are, an issue I'll be returning to when I get up to Enlightened Sexism in 2010.)

I think Rapping is the first to get the quadruple crown of all my "criticism" tags, since she also discusses romance novels.

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