Today's post will be shorter, as the workplace rhythm continues at a fever pitch. So, without further ado, I'll dive right into Janice Winship's selection from her "Inside Women's Magazines" titled Survival Skills And Daydreams. As much as I hate to admit it, that subtitle alone compelled me to select it for my reflection.
The selection opens with a general overview of where men's and women's cultures are at the moment according to publications. Not only does it analyze how gendered lives are "culturally defined in markedly different ways," but also how they are much different in their actuality (334). "Women have no culture and world out there other than the one which is controlled and mediated by men," she writes at one point, and I am inclined to agree (335). Furthermore, when women are afforded media spaces designed for their own pleasure, they and the women are "perennially belittled" by the nation (335).
However, after this interesting content Winshop moves into a topic pretty atypical of media studies: "the woman's gaze" (336). While everyone and their Oedipal mother discusses the male gaze as how cinema's perversion operates, the female gaze operates outward here. There are two types of gaze emanating outward from a magazine, argues Winship, the first being a "provocatively sexual" look into the eyes of the viewer (337). Unfortunately, the spectator still has "the controlling look," choosing to either be aroused or to "turn the page" (337). However, the other sort of gaze is not sexual at all, but encourages "complicity between women" as "the steady, self-contained, calm look of unruffled temper... [she] is the woman who can manage her emotions and her life" (337). Such an interesting duality here, I can't help but write on it!
As a post script, let me mention Winship's writing style. Writing as a woman and addressing her family's own routine is an extremely compelling method, and it works well for Winship.