Detailed Table of Contents
Abstract: Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl presents a satirical response to violence against women perpetuated by patriarchal simulations in the media. Her goal throughout the novel is to provide an outlet for female violence and presents revenge as a response to a consumer culture that impedes female happiness through the construction of emphasized femininity, inequality in marriage, and ‘raunch culture’. Amy Dunne breaks under the pressure generated by hyperrealities and narcissistic desires of America’s consumer culture that suffocate the traditional bonds of marriage, and her deviance is a reaction to a patriarchal social structure that reinforces gendered illusions of self-actualization and allows male entitlement to remain unchallenged.
Author’s Bio: Patrick Osborne is a PhD candidate in post-1900 American literature and cultural studies at Florida State University. He received his B.A. in English from the University of Georgia and earned his M.A. at Georgia State University. Much of his recent scholarship examines representations of deviant behavior in contemporary literature and popular culture. His articles, “Evaluating the Presence of Social Strain in Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto IV” and “Finding Glee in a High School Hell: Social Bonding as Salvation for the Adolescent Pariah,” appear in Studies in Popular Culture. His work can also be found in Popular Culture Review and Literature and Belief.
Abstract: TLC’s controversial reality show Sister Wives, currently in its seventh season, radically challenges traditional conceptions of ‘sisterhood.’ Sister Wives documents the daily life of the Browns, a Fundamentalist Mormon polygamist family. As the title makes clear, the series is as interested in the relationships between the wives as it is the relationship between husband and wife in a polygamist family. The term ‘sister wives’ is used in the Fundamentalist Mormon faith to acknowledge the importance of this special connection between the wives, a union that is valued alongside the marital commitment. While the faith of the Brown family is considered conservative in nature, is it possible that this family organization has feminist undercurrents? How does this concept of ‘sister wives’ fit into a feminist framework? This paper will chart the interpersonal communication and emotional development between the four wives on the show: Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn. By analyzing the rhetorical claims made by each wife of the show, each woman’s personal experience of her family and lifestyle will be honored. Even as there are immediate problems that present themselves when analyzing the show from a feminist perspective (for example that Cody, the husband, is free to have multiple wives while the wives are not able to have multiple partners) the show does reveal benefits to this arrangement that aren’t available in the ‘traditional’ family unit.
Author’s Bio: Nicole Richter is Associate Professor, and Program Coordinator, at the Tom Hanks Center for Motion Pictures at Wright State University. Her research focuses on sexuality and gender in popular culture. She has been published in the Journal of Bisexuality, Short Film Studies, Feminism at the Movies, and Queer Love in Film and Television. She is the founder of the KinoFemme and KinoQueer filmmaking collectives and serves on the editorial board for Short Film Studies. She has a forthcoming introduction to film textbook to be published in 2017.
Abstract: The 2015 Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges affirmed the right of all citizens to marry. However, in the wake of subsequent events such as the Orlando massacre, the election of socially conservative majorities in Washington and in state capitals, and the elevation of a high-profile opponent of marriage equality to the vice presidency (Mike Pence), it becomes clearer that the 5-4 Obergefell v. Hodges decision did not settle contested questions as to what marriage means. Moreover, amid debates about the meanings of marriage, one may overlook the social fact that the United States remains a nation where nearly half of the adult population is divorced, widowed, or never married. With 1.2 million divorces occurring annually, relationships are in flux in numerous households at any time. As our nation begins an uncertain and contentious era of legal marriage equality, only about 56% of US adults over 18 are married, compared to 72% in 1960. How might we maintain relationship education and personal support options for the 44% of us who are living single or even the 56% of us who are married? Using personal reflection on thirty years of living as a single Black male and attention to several core concepts for contemporary relationship literacy, this essay asserts a need for advocacy, caring connections, and relationship education to widen public acceptance of gender, sexual, and family diversity. It is a crucial time to re-educate ourselves about the state of relationships and to re-dedicate ourselves to standing on the side of love in all its varieties.
Author’s Bio: David M. Jones is a Professor of English and Honors Education at the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire. In 17 years of service at UWEC, he has served campus leadership roles in the Honors Program, the Liberal Studies Program, and in English, where he currently directs the Master of Arts in English program. His courses examine African American literature and culture, popular music, and interdisciplinary studies. His publications include an essay collection titled Coming Out to the Mainstream: New Queer Cinema in the 21st Century, and a recently published essay, “Revoking the Privilege of Forgetting: White Supremacy Interrogated in 12 Years a Slave” in a collection, Movies in the Age of Obama. He is currently completing articles on the history of Black Feminism in the U.S. and on shifts in attitudes towards the family as marriage laws have been redefined.
Author’s Bio: Kimberly Miller is a third year Gender Studies PhD Student, and Cultural Studies minor at Indiana University-Bloomington.