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    I need help starting my paper the points I need to cover are:

    Explain how one of the major theories would view Tina Feys comedy act.

    A brief synopsis of Tina's act and an explanation of the events based on the feminine perspective.

    © BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com December 24, 2021, 9:34 pm ad1c9bdddf

    SOLUTION This solution is FREE courtesy of BrainMass!

    Dear Student,

    Hello and thank you for using Brainmass. I understand how this can be a little difficult to approach as a topic. What can make it manageable and on target though is to narrow down what you will discuss because you cannot cover the entire feminist canon as well as the entire comedic performances of the artist, Tina fey. This means focusing on a particular performance and applying feminist theories for the analysis of that performance. Consider, for example, Tina Fey's impersonation of Sarah Palin on this particular SNL video from an October 2008 SNL episode:


    Now, since we have that particular Tina Fey comedy for analysis, let us now focus on the feminist theory. as you know, the feminism canon is broad, very broad. I have no clear idea of the theorists you study in your class so I cannot be sure as to the ones you should pick. For me however, I would stick to the general feminist theories in sociology as their principles are readily applicable to the video above. I would suggest the following:

    1. Postmodern feminism - this theory of feminism sees feminism as a social construct. The main theorist for this is Judith Butler through her 1990 Book 'Gender Trouble'. Drawing from criticisms of Foucault and Lacan, she arrives at the conclusion that gender is a social construct - meaning we as human beings via discourse create the meaning of what is male and female and their meanings. For her, being a woman and what a woman is depends on culture and discourse. so, for example, the problem of female subordination does not have one cause alone but is a product of a number of reasons therefore it does not have a single solution. Now, how do we apply this to the video above? Watch it again and note down the kind of message Tina fey presents. Is she dumbing down Palin? Is she disempowering Palin? Is she disempowering Palin to mock Palin alone or to present to America another picture of a woman - her, Tina fey - one who can overpower the powerful via wit and the media and present another picture of a woman in control via comedy? Does this create multiple meanings for what it means to be a woman in the 20th century, especially women in power? Yes. Is feminism here about subordination? No. Here, Tina Fey is presenting a situation wherein women have advanced in American society, politically and socially in both the personalities she represents - herself and Palin. Are they being made insubordinate to men? No - these are women of power who create their own meanings via speeches and comedies, via discourse.

    2. Liberal Feminism - this is classical feminism that proposes the importance of political and legislative reforms to promote the rights of women. This hearkens back to the work of Mary Wollstonecraft (A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, 1798) plus the second and third wave feminism holding the same ideas in different social contexts (i.e. the ideas of Gloria Steinem and Rebecca Walker). Now, this is all about political representation. The character Fey presents is Palin, Alaska Governor and running for US VP. Is Fey mocking the Palin that represents how much women have advanced in America politically? Yes. After all, shouldn't Palin be a representative for the female American? But it also presents progress. fey herself is a voting American with her political views and loyalties. She is practicing her artistic and political rights in this skit which also represents the advance of women's rights in American society. Palin is a candidate just as Joe Biden is and her being mocked actually represents equality to her male co-candidate - both of them are seen as politicians open to be satired in public. Just as Conan O'Brien can criticize or mock whoever he wants, so can Fey.

    3. Cultural Feminism - rising from radical feminism, it attempts to re-evaluate important female attributes (see work of Linda Alcoff or Charlotte Perkin Gilman). If society and human history is shaped by patriarchy, then this particular feminism works towards representing women from their viewpoint and from a 'woman's way'. While men are about argument and war, a women's society would be one built around cooperation, caring, non-violence and cooperation. This is almost a re-evaluation of what matriarchy means as opposed to patriarchy. Now, how do we apply this to the Fey video above? First we look at the video and see if it represents a 'woman's way'. Is Fey presenting a woman's way of critiquing another candidate? Is what she doing patriarchal via her condescending representation, a position that directly attacks Palin? The obvious answer is yes. The way fey presents her Palin version is culturally in line with a patriarchal critique and is not 'feminine' even if the actors are female. Tina fey her then goes against cultural feminism and does not contribute to the cause of uplifting matriarchal perspectives in society.

    Now, with these ideas in mind, we can already formulate how your paper will look. I suggest the following outline:

    1) Title Page
    2) Abstract (about 200 words representing what your paper is about)
    3) Introduction (about 300 words, talking about the importance of the subject matter and the scope and limitations - i.e. you can talk here about focusing on one video alone so as to allow a detailed analysis of said video using 3 different feminist theories, also enumerate your theories).
    4) The Video - Talk at length about the video, its main plot, the characters and what Tina Fey is doing in the video - about 300 words.
    5) Feminist Theory analysis - (in all 3, you must cite specific theoretical points and juxtapose this against Fey's portrayal in the video. Base this on the advice I have set above in my discussion of the theories)
    a. Postmodern feminism analysis - 300-400 words
    b. Liberal feminism analysis - 300-400 words
    c. Cultural feminism analysis - 300-400 words
    6) Conclusion - here, draw a conclusion, something like 'In Postmodern feminism and Liberal feminism viewpoints, Tina fey appears to represent feminist progress while in cultural feminism, she appears to go against feminist theory objectives'. This should be about 300 words.
    7) Word Count - (do not forget, make a word count and indicate it here)
    8) References - to follow APA format use Author, year, title, publisher for books and prints. For videos use Director/Network, year, title of video, actors, production house. For website use Author/Publisher, year, title, URL, date of access.

    I hope this advice has been helpful to you. If you have any questions, just let me know via the feedback section. May I suggest the following websites for further information on the topic:

    On Fey -
    ? http://www.salon.com/life/broadsheet/2010/04/14/tina_fey_backlash
    ? http://www.thefrisky.com/post/246-tina-fey-isnt-feminist-enough-say-bloggers/
    ? http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2008/10/tina_fey_as_sarah_palin_nails.html
    ? http://culturalvoiceover.com/2010/04/15/tina-fey-victim-of-superior-feminism/

    On the Theories-
    ? http://uregina.ca/~gingrich/319m1703.htm
    ? http://www.rise-of-womanhood.org/Postmodern-feminism.html
    ? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postmodern_feminism
    ? http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/feminism-liberal/
    ? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberal_feminism
    ? http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/empire_seapower/wollstonecraft_01.shtml
    ? http://womenshistory.about.com/od/feminism/g/culturalfem.htm

    Good luck with your paper, you will do just fine.

    OTA 105878/Xenia Jones

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