Douglass Reading Questions

October 4, 2006

1. In the images she describes, she uses descriptions of “womanly” that stem from the traditional societal expectations of what “womanly” is, and how it changes through the decades. For example, the more traditional views of “lady like” or “womanly” behavior it references the stay-at-home wife and mother who happily takes care of her house, husband and children, and who is always supportive and the background. However, once women started working, she shows how this image progresses into adding another role or working wife/mother who then has to come home after work and perform these wifely duties. Along with the duties, Douglass talks about how women must also comform to the ideals of beauty and youth, as through her talks about collagen and buns of steel, in order to be considered “womanly”.

2. According to Douglass, the media is responsible for shaping societal expectations of what a woman’s body should be like. Once it shakes these expectations, then it becomes the near societal norm, thus influencing what women believe they have to do, or have to wear, or have to behave. What could be at stake in this is the individulaity of a woman and her independence of thought based on societal pressures.


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