Ada, I’m not sure I’m going to get into a PhD program, because I have spent my morning watching Beyonce and Lady Gaga on repeat instead of working on my applications.
(But if I have to go back to my old job as a beauty editor, I have a lot to say about Beyonce’s hotness. Also, we might need to have a private conversation about Lady Gaga’s lingerie in the Bad Romance video.)
Anyway, yes, I am totally with you on the many layers of ‘90s feminism in this video and here’s why: As anyone who has read Our Bodies, Ourselves or “The Myth of the Vaginal Orgasm” knows, ‘60s feminism has always had a totally undeserved reputation for being anti-sex. What ’60s feminism was, I think, was anti-visual–at least in bed. Kinky sex? Yes. Garter belts and bustiers and video phones? No.
90swomen have a way less tortured relationship to looking and being looked at. (Though not entirely untortured: see exhibit A, my somewhat anxious post on Belladonna.)
Other 90swomanish things of note: the brazen display of sexuality that is the line “I know what I want” and the vaguely accusatory come-on “Can you handle it?” (In the 90s, anytime a guy didn’t like you it wasn’t you, it was that he couldn’t handle you. Um, “you” meaning “me.”)
Wanna talk more about Bettie Page? Symbols of aggression? Because I gotta go get my nails done and think about my future dissertation on the cultural history of feminist performance and visuality.–kara