Psychologist and Sociologist have been discussing the deposits of society that shape our personalities or logics of classification. They are relative to our culture.
A teacher asked, “you shoot 1 bird on a tree where three were sitting. How many are left?”. An American student replies, “two, of course”, while an African student replies, “None. You scared them all away.”
The cultural economy is a huge industry used to capitalize on many products. The initial step is of course to congregate the masses into their agendas and messages. It is most effective when the messages are morphed into our own images.
Beauty & the Beast
The othering – a creation of monstrosity – is what the result of governmentality. As Dr. Rebecca Tiger has emphasized, there is explicit message that highlights the female grotesque. This can be done through the over weight woman with a camel toe, Lindsay Lohan’s ‘druggie’ look, or how “ugly” a celebrity may appear without makeup.
For example, the adverts showing an anti meth message are often exaggerated. The issue is not necessarily that drugs are an impairment to mental and/or physical health, but that using a drug becomes a moral failing. This leads to lack of understanding to solve social problem that lead to drug usage. So that woman in the picture is to just a drug user, but is a prostitute. Gasp! This demonizes street sex workers (of whom not all are ‘junkies’) and leads to lack of public initiative for sex worker rights. These accounts are overtly simplistic and descriptive creating an association of likes, dislikes, tastes, and behaviors to the entire group (Daniels 109).
Drugs and other addictive behavior is often based on capitalistic modes. Excessive shopping is a result of materialism and consumer obsession. It is also a gendered example of how a woman should appear. This includes creating the monster of the woman who uses meth or any other controlled substance. See these examples. To ascribe the label of “disease” to a behavior can be an exaggeration. One may find that it would create legislative and public support to rally support for a solution, however, it is damaging. Aside from the person who adopts this label of disease upon his or herself, the “disease” stamp can obscure the complexities of a problem. Dopamine, early development or genetics can all (or none, or some) lead to addiction. To call it a disease simplifies the person and categorizes the self’s identity to a teleological essence. See?
This is appropriate; this is not!
As women age, the cultural economy of the entertainment and advertising have stuck with them through womanly eras. By implementing the word “scientific” to any matter, people tend to listen and obey under the creditinals of credibility. “Scientific opinions” of breast feeding children are just opinions collected by a person with a doctorate. When women read expert advise and analysis, they begin to police themselves. There once was a time when formula milk was advised by these experts. Today, the reversion to the pros of breast feeding are applauded on morning shows. There is nothing wrong with breastfeeding, but the identity of the mother is recaptured and policed. Does she offer her breast milk? For how long? How much? Social discussion of such questions reinvents what is a good/bad mother because “through the body of the monster fantasies of aggression, donation, and inversion are allowed safe expression in a clearly delimited and permanently liminal space” (Cohen 11).
Just like a health 60 something woman going to the yoga class, do you eat yogurt? Well you should because you want to keep your lady parts clean & stay slim by eating that 90 calorie “creme brûlée” flavored yogurt. The target is woman: