In this book, one of the most accomplished and thoughtful cultural commentators of the day, considers the contradictory nature of cultural relations. Elizabeth Wilson explores these themes through an examination of fashion, feminism, consumer culture, representation and postmodernism. Debates within feminism on the nature and effects of pornography are used to illustrate a particular kind of cultural contradiction. Wilson recognizes that postmodernism permitted the reappropriation of subjects that were not previously considered worthy of attention, or opposed to the idea of emancipation, chief among these was fashion. She shows that the association of an interest in this culturally significant subject with a revisionist project raises doubt
Chapter 4: Feminist Fundamentalism: The Shifting Politics of Sex and Censorship
Feminist Fundamentalism: The Shifting Politics of Sex and Censorship
Debates within Feminism
Almost from its beginnings the feminism of the 1970s was divided between those who saw men as the ‘main enemy’ and those who linked women's subordination to a number of different structures in society, including the state and capitalist production. The first group were labelled – or chose to be called – ‘radical’, ‘revolutionary’ or ‘cultural’ feminists; the second usually, in Britain at least, were ‘socialist’ feminists. In the United States a third category, of liberal or mainstream feminists, existed, identified with the organisation NOW (National Organisation of Women).
These labels were not always helpful, and could perpetuate or reinforce stereotypes. For example, it was sometimes alleged ...