Critical & Money: Feminism and Political Economy
CriticalReflection Paper Introduction: This assignment will be a reflection on the first threechapters of the book, Sex & Money:Feminism and Political Economy in the Media. First, I will analyse and reflecton the essay Intersections and New Directions on Feminism and Political Economyby, Eileen Riordan. I will try to better understand her main arguments regardingfeminisms place in the political economy, as well as identify the significanceof these arguments. I will then try to relate them back to my own life andpersonal experiences.
The second chapter I will be reflecting on is FeministTheory and Political Economy: Toward a Friendly Alliance by, H. Leslie Steevesand Janet Wasko. Within this essay I will look to explore how the relationshipbetween feminist theory and political economy may have issues but in the end,is desirable politically. The final chapter I will be reflecting on isSomething Old, Something New: Lingering Moments in the Un-Happy Marriage ofMarxism and Feminism by Lisa McLaughlin.
This chapter will allow me to gain adeeper understanding what it means to be in a ‘un-happy marriage’ and what thatmeans in regard to the relationship between Marxism and Feminism. ChapterOne: Intersections and New Directions on Feminism and Political Economy This first chapter introduces the concept that feministcommunications scholars have neglected the political-economic debates due to thefact that women have been excluded from the political and economic spheres. Thischapter aims to argue that there is a lack of active feminist media scholarswho attempt to analyze and understand how the day-to-day interactions and experiencesof women are connected to the societal structures of patriarchy and capitalism.(Riordan, 2002). Riordan then suggests that there must be a push towards afeminist political economy within communications. The purpose of this essay isto create an understanding of how women’s lives are shaped by gender andeconomics as well as how capitalism and patriarchy reproduce social injustices.In regard to the political economy in communications, Riordan argues that inorder to understand capitalism, and its relationship to the daily lives ofpeople, political economists must focus on the meaning of consumption and thatconsumption is an integral part of the reproduction of capitalism, classinequalities and women’s oppression (Riordan, 2002). Riordan also writes aboutfeminism within communications, she says that gender is a complicatedconstruction of social factors such as; race, class, sexuality, ethnicity etc.
Dueto the fact that gender is heavily linked to other social factors it isdifficult to clarify disposition of these roles (Riordan, 2002). Thesearguments are all connected to the concept that by inviting and encouragingwomen to create discourses regarding how economics is demonstrated in theirdaily lives will only further the understanding of the way capitalism works,therefore creating a better understanding of the political economy. It is clearthat feminism has a place in the political economy especially in regard tocommunications. The lack of women scholars within this field of study isunfortunate, and is a direct result of their inability to connect with thetopics at hand. I believe that the lack of feminist representation within the politicaleconomy and the study of capitalism is detrimental to my well-being as well asmy peers. Asa woman, my beliefs and values are not being taken into consideration withinthe political economy.
Moving forward, in order to fully understand feminism andits purpose within the political economy, women must take the necessary stridesto ensure we are accounted for and listened to. Beyond my personal academia I believethat I can help to create awareness regarding the lack of feminist representationin the political economy. ChapterTwo: Feminist Theory and Political Economy: Toward a Friendly Alliance This chapter beings with an observation between both politicaleconomists and feminists, Steeves and Wasko explain that both groups of peoplepromote theory and activism while addressing distributions of power and patternsof inequality and oppression within society (Steeves & Wasko, 2002).
It isclear that this essay’s goal is to compare the differences and expose the areasof overlap between feminist scholars and political economists (Steeves , 2002). The authors pay particular attention to the political economy’sconcern regarding survival and control while understanding how capitalistsocieties are organized to maintain the necessities of survival (Steeves &Wasko, 2002). The authors state that political economists focus primarily on economicclass as a concern, while feminists focus mainly on gender as the social divisionto be addressed more specifically women’s oppression and what societal factorslead to this oppression.