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Chapter 12-15

WGS 101 Chapter Notes - Chapter 12-15: Radical Feminism, Postfeminism

Women’s and Gender Studies
Course Code
WGS 101
Sarah Miraglia

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a. Introduce and describe the context for the artifact/image that you have selected and its
significance. In other words, address the questions: What and Where? (1 paragraph)
The artifact that I chose for this assignment is a men’s dish soap that my roommate brought
home. I found this item to be very interesting concept because this certain dish soap gives the
sense to us that soap has to be masculine enough if men clean. Although my roommate did not
buy the dish soap with this intent, he liked the musky scent of the soap which is the frequent
smell of men’s cologne or soap that they prefer. The dish soap came in the dark blue/black
bottle which is unlike the “usual” colorful colors the soap in aisles of shopping centers.
b. Analyze what it symbolizes about feminism. You must refer to at least two concepts or terms
from the readings that do not refer to other identity categories (gender, race, class etc.) and
explain their relevance to your artifact. Part of the challenge of this exercise is to select
concepts that are relevant and important to your artifact. These concepts should draw on the
readings from Weeks 1 and 2; for example: postfeminism, millennial feminism, oppositional
consciousness, mestiza, etc. In other words, address the questions: Why and How in this
section. (2-3 paragraphs)
The Hero Clean dish soap is a clear depiction of post feminism. Post feminism is the lack of
feminism in an idea, category or item and invokes segregation between genders. Dish soap is
an item that is unisex and genderless. Although it is just soap for men, on the bottle it strongly
suggests, made or “built” for men” and it follows with comments that relate to masculine
activities. This is misogynistic in a way because it is clear to the average person that this bottle
is only made for manly men. There is an absence of feminism due to the fact that it generalizes
all males to like guns, dark colors, a musky smell and more of what society perceives to be the
“manly man”.
Another concept this bottle represent is radical feminism. It screams inequality and
misconceptions about males which support the thought of men needing masculinity to believe
cleaning is okay. Radical feminism emphasizes on inequality and supporting a certain gender
through ideas and statements to create misconstrued notions. When walking through the aisles
of soaps and cleaning products, none say built or made for women or it’s used to clean their
feminine product as well. It is almost like it is expected and usual for a woman to clean that
soaps do not need to label the colorful soaps. These
c. Assess the significance of the artifact for the feminist politics. (1 paragraph)
The name of this soap is called Hero Clean which alludes to the idea that when men clean, it is
heroic and courteous of them. I think that nowadays men are expected to do their part in the
kitchen but this soap seems to give off the idea that men doing the dishes is something they do
not have to do. On the bottom of the bottle, it says in bold, “BUILT FOR GUYS”. I wonder what
they mean by this statement because I would think all the dish soap was made all the same.
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