The Journal of Gender Research: Open issue

Hel forside Tidsskrift for kjønnsforskning 2-24 med grafisk illustrasjon i rosa, hvitt og grønt i bølgende former

This year's second issue of the Journal of Gender Research is an open issue. The common denominator for the articles is a fundamentally critical project. Through close reading of contemporary texts, discourse analysis and rhetorical analysis of texts from recent history, the articles provide perspectives on both historical and current debates in gender research: the disciplining of the body, controversies within feminism, as well as sexist and racist structures that affect the living conditions of individuals and groups. The articles illustrate how tools from the feminist and anti-racist toolbox can be used to understand these themes and phenomena both in the present and in the past.

DOI: 10.18261/issn.1891-1781


“Become a few kilos prettier!”
A Critical Discourse Analysis of Early 1970s Representations of the Body in the Magazine Hjemmet

By Hilde Berit Moen

This article examines representations of body and gender at the onset of the 1970s. It was during this period that issues surrounding eating disorders began to emerge and establish themselves to the extent we recognize today. This era also marked the onset of late modernity’s detraditionalization and individualism. This article raises the question of what characterizes the condition of the female body in this specific historical period. The article explores understandings of the body and its condition during this era through a critical discourse analysis of the column “Hjemmets slankeservice” (“Hjemmets slimming service”), as well as advertisements, reports, and announcements in 25 issues of the magazine Hjemmet from the year 1973. The results indicate that the primary readers of the column were girls and young women. Five discourses are central in the texts: a diet discourse, a beauty discourse, a health discourse, a moral discourse, and a control discourse. The column and other materials in the magazine together represent a conception of the body as without room for variation or alternative understandings of body shape and weight. The moral imperative to achieve “the thin body ideal” is legitimized and emphasized through references to standardized body measurements for the “normal”.

Keywords: body, culture, late modernity, eating disorders, quantification, discipline, critical discourse analysis

Sommers versus Friedman: Feminism, personal attacks and the American culture war, 1990–1992

By Simon Gramvik

Christina Hoff Sommers is a fascinating figure for anyone interested in feminist polemics. Her most famous work Who Stole Feminism? has been referred to as the most influential anti-feminist book of the 90s. This article explores the philosopher’s entry into the national gender debate in the United States based on a three-year polemic against the philosopher Marilyn Friedman. Previous research has shown how Sommers’s rhetoric is characterized by logical errors and personal attacks. In the feminist narrative of the American culture war, Sommers figures as both a feminist imposter and an accomplice in a conservative backlash. In this article, I explore how the philosopher’s experiences and political motivations were shaped through conflict. I use rhetorical theory and argumentation theory to show how reciprocal personal attacks functioned as an engine in feminist polemics. The conclusion is that Sommers’s rhetoric should be understood in terms of its original context. Thus, in this article I advocate for the value of a dynamic understanding of how interpersonal and institutional factors influence professional and political debate.

Keywords: women’s studies, conservative feminism, standpoint feminism, radical feminism, polemics, ad hominem, gender politics, freedom of speech, antifeminism, postfeminism, media feminism, backlash

Times were different back then: Klaus Rothstein’s Den sorte mand (The Black Man) and anti-woke as a political project

By Mathias Danbolt og Lene Myong

I de seneste år har sorte forskere og kunstnere arbejdet for at etablere kritiske studier i sorthed som et forskningsfelt i dansk og nordisk kunst- og kulturforskning. Men det er ikke bare sorte og racialt minoriserede forskere, som skriver om sorthed. I 2023 udgav den hvide danske litteraturkritiker Klaus Rothstein Den sorte mand. Racisme, woke og hvidhed i dansk litteratur, som undersøger sortheden som motiv i dansk litteratur fra 1700-tallet til i dag. I denne artikel foretager vi en nærlæsning af, hvordan begreber som antisort racisme, antiracisme og wokeness operationaliseres i bogens analyser. Vores læsning viser, hvordan Rothsteins ”bevidning” og reproduktion af antisort racisme muliggør konstruktion af en hvid liberal, ikkeracistisk udsigelsesposition, som er kendetegnet af en dyb skepsis over for kontemporære former for antiracisme, der både fremskrives som farlige og ødelæggende. Vi argumenterer for, at Den sorte mand skriver sig ind i en bredere politisk anti-wokeness-tendens, som har vundet stærkt fodfæste i både den danske og den norske offentlighed i de seneste år. Vores analyse viser, hvordan normalisering og intellektualisering af anti-wokeness bidrager til delegitimering af forskning i sorthed og antiracisme og i sig selv kan forstås som en rekonfiguration af en lang tradition for at normalisere og uskyldiggøre antisort racisme i Danmark og Norden.

Keywords: racisme, antisort racisme, sorthed, anti-woke, litteratur

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