Beauty and Misogyny: Harmful Cultural Practices in the West

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2014 Hardback NEAR FINE This listing is a new book, a title currently in-print which we order directly and immediately from the publisher. Print on Demand title, produced to ... the highest standard, and there would be a delay in dispatch of around 15 working days. *****PLEASE NOTE: This item is shipping from an authorized seller in Europe. In the event that a return is necessary, you will be able to return your item within the US. To learn more about our European sellers and policies see the BookQuest FAQ section***** Read more Show Less

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"Should western beauty practices, ranging from lipstick to labiaplasty, be included within the United Nations' understanding of harmful traditional/cultural practices? By examining the role of common beauty practices in damaging the health of women, creating sexual difference, and enforcing female deference, this book argues that they should." "In the 1970s feminists criticized pervasive beauty regimes such as dieting and depilation, but in the last two decades the brutality of western beauty practices has become much more severe. Today's practices can require the breaking of skin, spilling of blood and rearrangement or amputation of body parts. Some "new" feminists argue that beauty practices are no longer oppressive now that women can "choose" them. This book seeks to make sense of why beauty practices are not only just as persistent 30 years after the feminist critique developed, but in many ways more extreme. By examining the pervasive use of makeup, the misogyny of fashion and high-heeled shoes, and by looking at the role of pornography in the creation of increasingly popular beauty practices such as breast implants, genital waxing and surgical alteration of the labia, Beauty and Misogyny seeks to explain why harmful beauty practices persist in the west and have become so extreme. It looks at the cosmetic surgery and body piercing/cutting industries as being forms of self-mutilation by proxy, in which the surgeons and piercers serve as proxies to harm women's bodies. It concludes by considering how a culture of resistance to these practices can be created." This essential work will appeal to students and teachers of feminist psychology, gender studies, cultural studies, and feminist sociology at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, and to anyone with an interest in feminism, women and beauty, and women's health.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is without doubt the most sophisticated, well-researched, and compelling book ever written about the ways the ‘beauty’ industry produces and reproduces misogyny. Written from an unapologetically radical feminist perspective, students describe Beauty and Misogyny as transformative and life-changing."– Gail Dines, Professor of Sociology and Women's Studies, Wheelock College, Boston, USA

Praise for the first edition

"Beauty and Misogyny belongs in women's studies and public health classes and on the shelves of academics, clinicians, and parents of daughters. It would benefit any woman who was considering plastic surgery or buying a new tube of lipstick."– Michele Hoffnung, Quinnipiac University, USA in PsycCRITIQUES

"Jeffreys’ mission is to shift women out of their collective complacency. The book’s central theme is an exploration of the use of sexuality by men to dominate women. Jeffreys offers no comfort zone for her readers. Unlike some feminist theorists, she refuses to couch her arguments in inaccessible, academic language, or to accept that feminism has achieved its aims." Julie Bindel, The Guardian

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415351836
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 8/28/2005
  • Series: Women and Psychology Series
  • Pages: 216
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Sheila Jeffreys is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Melbourne where she teaches sexual politics, international feminist politics and lesbian and gay politics. She is the author of 5 books on the history and politics of sexuality, and has been active in feminist and lesbian feminist politics since 1973.

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Table of Contents

Introduction. Chapter 1. The ‘grip of culture on the body’: beauty practices as women’s agency or women’s subordination. Chapter 2. Harmful beauty practices and western culture. Chapter 3. Transfemininity: ‘Dressed’ men reveal the naked reality of male power. Chapter 4. Pornochic: prostitution constructs beauty. Chapter 5. Fashion and Misogyny. Chapter 6. Making up is hard to do. Chapter 7. Men’s foot and shoe fetishism and the disabling of women. Chapter 8. Cutting Up Women: beauty practices as self-mutilation by proxy. Conclusion: A culture of resistance

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  • Posted June 21, 2009

    This woman gives feminists a bad name

    As I read thru this book, I was fascinated by how militant Jeffreys' view is. And extreme. And more than a little ridiculous. She has grouped all Western women into one big lump and sees all of us as mindless drones to the man-dominated culture. Why do I shave my legs? Why do I wear make up or wear skirts or carry a purse? Well, because the man-dominated society/culture makes me do it. Ridiculous. She ascribes every activity a woman does--from putting on lipstick to wearing high heels--to the male-dominated culture that makes women (whether we know it or not) do all these things purely for male sexual gratification. I wonder if she ever actually spoke to real women and asked them why they like make up or skirts. It wouldn't matter if she did because she thinks that women do these things not because we enjoy them (as we might say) but because men make us do it--we just don't know it. She also discusses extreme practices such as castration, penis mutilation, cannabalism, labial reconstruction, etc. as if they were mainstream practices that all women engage in (although I am somehow confused about how castration and penis mutilation was linked to women). Piercing your ears, navel, or getting a tattoo are forms of self-mutilation encouraged by the male-dominated beauty industry to make money and to get women to look the way men want women to look. This woman is crazy. What's ironic is that in her quest to show that men cause women to do all these horrible things to themselves, she also demonstrates that she doesn't respect women at all. She doesn't think highly enough of her own gender to allow women to have the freedom to make decisions for themselves or the intelligence not to do things they don't want to do. She denigrades women as much as she says men do. She doesnt respect women. Jeffreys states in her conclusion that harmful beauty practices need to be eliminated so that women can stop wearing makeup, uncomfortable shoes, skirts, not shave their legs,and not carry handbags. They will be able to be just like men, to go about their business not caring about how they look at all. I find that all very interesting because she describes how she currently looks: stopped dying her hair, cut her hair short, doesn't wear make-up, high heels, or skirts, and no longer shaves her armpits or legs. Coincidence? I don't think so. I think this woman has decided that all women will only be free if they look like her (which seems to be like shlubby men). Ick. So caring about your appearance and not wanting to look like a hairy slob is a bad thing? Men do care about how they look--I know men (non-gay) who shop for clothes they like and want to look good. Are women to blame for this? Or are men being harmed by their own culture? Again, ridiculous. Her research seems shaky to me too. She supports her statements in this book with her own previous research! That is suspicious to me (and not very scholarly). Also, lay off Sex and the City. This a good show and the author didn't understand any of it since it is incomprehensible to her that women would want to wear heels, makeup and skirts just to be sexy and feel good for themselves. And what the metro-sexual craze? She has nothing to say about that. She also insults trans-gender people by saying that they are being forced by (the goverment?) to get those operations. Uh, yeah. Sure they are. That'll be the next scandal on the evening news. This woman is a kook and her research is not to be trusted.

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