I’d like to direct my readers to this especially eloquent post by Shakesville about the supposed feminist propensity to “nitpick” misogyny when it ought be ignored.

I’ll admit freely that I happen to roll my eyes from time to time when feminists point and sneer at the misogyny that surrounds them. I’m not annoyed that they draw attention to sexism, but that it seems like that’s all they do. My initial reason for authoring this blog came of a desire to invert the tired mission of Bitch Magazine: Feminist Response to Pop Culture, which focuses overwhelmingly on what sucks about pop culture. The seemingly ceaseless focus on criticism by (some) feminists makes the entire ideology appear to be a joyless cult of flogging cannibalists, chanting in unison “problematic! masculinist! consumer-capitalist patriarchal hegemony!” into the echo-chamber of eternity, without hope for cogent alternatives.

Not exactly a group most people are falling over themselves to join.

The above characteristic is, of course, inaccurate. As Shakesville makes clear, feminists are swallowing more shit than they regurgitate by far. I appreciate the work that blogs/magazines like Feministing, Feministe, The Curvature and Bitch Magazine do. They don’t let glaring transgressions against women’s basic dignity in the politics, society, news and culture slide.

That said, I have made it my task to remind both feminists and non-feminists that this is an ideology of equality (gender, class, racial, religious, etc), which is an ultimate good and has an undercurrent of joy that shines through in the supreme realm of modern culture: pop.

Knowing that the blogs I’ve mentioned (and many more) conduct such stellar work for the online feminist community, I don’t know that I could add much to the conversation should I highlight anti-woman/queer pop. What I can and (I hope) successfully do is open up “feminism” to possibilities of celebration in an inherited mass culture that might be overwhelmingly a corroboration of patriarchy, but doesn’t foreclose the possibility of resistance therein. When there is a subversive moment, figure, or downright movement in popular culture, it is to feminism’s woeful detriment not to exploit it.

What Shakesville noted that I especially liked was her rebut against the notion that feminists somehow ought to ghettoize their critiques to appropriate cultural spheres. Taking this idea in another direction, I feel that feminists similarly ought not ghettoize themselves by carving out a subculture (especially in music and fashion ) that signifies their self-referential ideologies at the expense of recognizing or engaging seriously with mainstream pop media; that is, beyond feminist critique.

I often wonder how many of my readers are self-described feminists. I suspect that most of my readers might call themselves feminists when pressed but don’t rush to associate with the term. First of all, I don’t blame them (given its prevailing characterization) but secondly, I hope that all my readers (however humble that number may be) feel encouraged to join me in opening up the term to more demographics– including, of course, men–and to take a peak at the sharp feminist critiques that can be found at the aforementioned blogs.

Ultimately, if I can play any small role in a reader becoming comfortable with idea that Madonna is a feminist of the supreme order, I really couldn’t ask for more.

Every now and then I feel the desire to reassert my mission here at Pop Feminist. Indulge me.

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