Gender in the Mirror

Gender in the Mirror : Cultural Imagery and Women's Agency

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The cultural imagery of women is deeply ingrained in our consciousness. So deeply, in fact, that feminists see this as a fundamental threat to female autonomy because it enshrines procreative heterosexuality as well as the relations of domination and subordination between men and women. Diana Meyers' book is about this cultural imagery - and how, once it is internalized, it shapes perception, reflection, judgement, and desire. These intergral images have a deep impact not only on the individual psyche, but also on the social, political, and cultural syntax of society as a whole. Meyer's argues for the necessity of crafting a dissident, empowering, and 'emancipatory counter-imagery' for women. Rigorous, well written, and accessible, the reach of Gender in the mirror is arguably catholic, and addresses the interests or readers across an impressive range of intellectual disciplines.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 241 pages
  • 154.94 x 236.22 x 22.86mm | 476.27g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 8 photos
  • 0195140400
  • 9780195140408

Review quote

Gender in the Mirror is a brilliant, comprehensive, account of the many ways in which androcentric images of the feminine undermine women's self-esteem and block our capacity for self-definition. Meyers argues with some urgency that a culture so hostile to women's self-development must be radically transformed; more than this, she develops a theory of female agency that would allow each of us in her own way to create narratives of our past, our present, and more importantly, of our future. * Sandra Bartky, Professor of Philosophy, University of Illinois at Chicago * In this innovative, elegantly written investigation, Diana Meyers invites her readers to reflect on, and devise ways of resisting, the ubiquitous yet varied imagery of 'woman' that saturates the social-political western world, thwarting women's efforts to achieve autonomous self-hood. Ranging widely across pronatalist messages, psychiatric practice, the health-beauty industry, and subtly conveyed inducements to remake the female body, she shows how women ingest normalizing images that they must struggle to expel if they are to affirm an authentic sense of self. This is a hopeful book, for Meyers is convinced that feminist women can indeed liberate themselves from the pressures such imagery exerts. * Lorraine Code, Distinguished Research Professor of Philosophy, York University * Gender in the Mirror is a brilliant, comprehensive, account of the many ways in which androcentric images of the feminine undermine women's self-esteem and block our capacity for self-definition. Meyers argues with some urgency that a culture so hostile to women's self-development must be radically transformed; more than this, she develops a theory of female agency that would allow each of us in her own way to create narratives of our past, our present, and more importantly, of our future. * Sandra Bartky, Professor of Philosophy, University of Illinois at Chicago * In this innovative, elegantly written investigation, Diana Meyers invites her readers to reflect on, and devise ways of resisting, the ubiquitous yet varied imagery of 'woman' that saturates the social-political western world, thwarting women's efforts to achieve autonomous self-hood. Ranging widely across pronatalist messages, psychiatric practice, the health-beauty industry, and subtly conveyed inducements to remake the female body, she shows how women ingest normalizing images that they must struggle to expel if they are to affirm an authentic sense of self. This is a hopeful book, for Meyers is convinced that feminist women can indeed liberate themselves from the pressures such imagery exerts. * Lorraine Code, Distinguished Research Professor of Philosophy, York University * A superb interdisciplinary study that successfully integrates a lush prose, emphasizing metaphors of mirror and voice, with philosophical rigor. * Choice *show more

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