PRINT March 1989

Special Effects

The News and Its Pictures

AS THE 1980s DRAW to a close, the image of women in the mass media is still taking a beating. In part, this is the result of a well-orchestrated right-wing campaign against independent women. Spearheaded by the attack on abortion rights, most so-called feminist issues have been steadily torpedoed during the Reagan era. Overall, women made no economic gains, except for that minority of genteel women—mainly Anglo-Saxon Protestant—who were enlisted by Wall Street during its “bull” market, which only widened economic disparities. But it will not be an image of the successful, economically upwardly mobile woman that will stand for the ’80s. Rather, it will be the image of a beaten, genteel woman—Hedda Nussbaum—that apparently will represent the feminine status quo.

This is only fitting. The ’80s began with the image of another abused (emotionally rather than physically), genteel woman—Jean

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW at the discounted rate of $45 a year—70% off the newsstand price—and receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the March 1989 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.