Annalytical Essay Ashley Judd Patriartical

Submitted By johngilmore1985
Words: 1085
Pages: 5

In her article “Ashley Judd Slaps Media in the Face for Speculation Over Her ‘Puffy’ Appearance,” Ashley Judd outlines the problem of patriarchy in America’s media culture by, not only giving it voice, but assigning blame to both genders for their willing and idle participation. Although the issue of patriarchy in American society has more implications than are outlined by Judd’s article, she unequivocally states that the application and propagation of patriarchy, in this case specific to the media, is a gender blind problem. This approach to the conversation about the accepted level of misogyny in our media highlights that women share an equal amount of blame alongside men. Judd asserts that the continued practice is only enabled because women agree to it. Both men and women participate in the objectification of women either through their actions, or inactions. Judd proclaims “I do not want to give my power, my self-esteem, or my autonomy to any person, place, or thing outside myself”(Judd). No one can take these things away, they must be surrendered. Judd explains in her article that “Patriarchy is not men. Patriarchy is a system in which women and men participate…. And is never more dangerous than when women deny they themselves are engaging in it”(Judd). This asks the reader to, not only see that America’s media still has blatant patriarchal overtones, but to ask in which ways they themselves enable this to perpetuate. Judd states that the conversation about her “puffy face was initially promulgated largely by women” (Judd), pointing out that the supposed requirement to look good for men is not enforced solely by males. Judd outlines that “competition and fear between women,” is fed by comments that degrade others for their less than attractive qualities (Judd). This constant competition to look good for men is validated by the examples set by the celebrity coverage of our media. Insofar as modern day celebrities are presented as examples of what we as a society should strive to achieve, most female stars are admired for how beautiful they are and how sexy they look. There is never speculation as to what they may next achieve, only how long the beauty will last, or when the baby weight will come off. The definition of the word patriarchy is “control by men of a disproportionately large share of power,” (Merriam-Webster). Though it is not referred to as misogynistic or in any way anti-feminine in its definition, the word has become synonymous with the subjugation of women, lending to a belief that any action or way of thinking that favors men is inherently bad for women. However, the example of media in the United States exhibits a scene where women themselves act in a way that marginalizes their gender as sexual objects by attacking any woman who does not fit into what the culture of Hollywood perceives as beauty. “That women are joining the ongoing disassembling of my appearance is salient.” Judd asserts, bringing into focus that her critics are not exclusively men, but women as well, and outlining that, “[women] are unable, at times, to identify [themselves] as [their] own denigrating abusers, or as abusing other girls and women.”(Judd). Judd insists that, “The conversation about women’s bodies exists largely outside of [them]” (Judd). That women don’t hear that they are beautiful or ugly from some internal voice but rather from external voices, pictures, and videos. Judd states that she, “. . . [Chooses] to address it because the conversation . . . embodies what all girls and women in our culture, to a greater or lesser degree, endure every day. . .” (Judd). There are few examples of women who are considered role models by out media that not, at one point in time, judged entirely on their physical appearance. The merit of their work, the validity of which ever cause they are advocating, all disregarded and ignored so that attention can be given to appearance and apparel. This is not always the woman putting