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The Marginalization of Women

Download this publicationThis issue was inspired by a lazy afternoon and a recent episode of Oprah: which I admit to with more than slight embarrassment. The episode was about the "Marginalization of Women" to use Oprah's terminology. Guests included Karrine Steffans (The author of Confessions of a Video Vixen), Pink talking about her new song Stupid Girls, Ariel Levy (The author of Female Chauvinist Pigs), a recruiter for Girls Gone Wild on spring break and the resident psychologist Dr. Robin. My chagrin is not due to the fact I was sucked into the pop culture phenomenon that is the Oprah show, but due to the fact that she initiated a conversation that we should be engaged in as sexual violence professionals and advocates. My first thought was that we should be leading the conversation. I wanted to hear the debate spill out of conference rooms, rape crisis centers, shelters and lecture halls and onto the small screen not the other way around.

We (the anti-rape movement) have hypothesized and theorized regarding the nature of gender roles, the commodification of sex and sexuality and its linkages to sexual violence for over three decades. It is rare, however, for us to draw the masses into our debate. Somehow our analysis has just not been that compelling. We have been known to be overly academic, humorless and a little dry. In order to create successful relevant and effective sexual violence prevention strategies it may be time to revisit and reinvigorate the debates initially inspired by the work of Dworkin & MacKinnon1. It is my hope that this issue will help us to begin to use this debate as a framework to begin to think in terms of protective and risk factors for sexual violence in relation to pop culture and to have a little fun in the process. I know this is a somewhat lofty goal. Particularly since its motivation was afternoon T.V.

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Reviewed: July 11th, 2016