Freedom of choice?

I have unfond thoughts about Oprah on a general level. Don’t know why, but the things that everyone seems to love about her drive me nuts. This post isn’t about Oprah, it’s just that I managed to swallow my reaction to her to watch yesterday’s episode.

The show was very interesting and made some, in my opinion, chilling points. Throughout the course of the show, four young girls were spotlighted – these girls admittedly based their whole identities on celebrities. If a celebrity wore something, they wore something. If a celebrity referred to her female friends as ‘bitches’, then it became cool for them to do that as well. O.o

Then came the young woman who was employed for a time for the yutzes who produce the “Girls Gone Wild” DVDs. This woman was paid to recruit and coerce other women (girls!) to do some rather tasteless and crude things. She felt no remorse about it – after all, she said, “Ultimately, it was their choice to do it.”

Was it? Oprah’s new psychologist (psychiatrist?) Dr. Robin said no. Look at our culture – women are becoming more and more marginalized, made to be sex objects in music videos, print ads…you name it. It’s so pervasive that women are becoming their own oppressors, according to Dr. Robin.

If a woman acts stupid around men (because men don’t like smart women, you know ::rolls eyes::), she is indeed oppressing herself, isn’t she? She’s not being true to herself.

We’re inundated by images and messages made to keep women smaller than men, and we don’t think anything about it. That’s a problem.


  1. Jennifer Kesler says

    Thank you! A friend told me about this episode, but I missed it, and I very much wanted some coverage here.

    On an individual level, I believe in personal choice, responsibility and freedom. But I don’t think it’s contradictory to talk about the larger scale – a context in which society carefully removes certain choices for certain people. It’s somewhat Orwellian – remove the very idea from the language, the culture, from the menu, and it’s a lot harder for individuals to make informed choices.

    Does a person really have a choice if people conspire to keep her unaware of the choice? The responsibility has to at least be shared by the individual and the world that’s carefully and strategically buried some of her options.

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