1968 Miss America Protest In 1968

Decent Essays
Living in a world filled with gender stereotypes, looking back at historical events can assist the modern day person in understanding the struggles and success’ experienced by the people who came before them. One of the most significant demonstrations that helped re-define gender roles was the Miss
America Protest in 1968. Here, women from around the country gathered in Atlantic City to express their unrest due to the pageant and the meaning within it. This caused much conversation surrounding the feminist movement and the discriminatory view of women when represented in a beauty contest. Second wave feminism, which was the period of time between the 1960s and 1980s when feminist activity sparked in America, women from across the country joined
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When analyzing the events of the 1968 Miss America Protest through the article, “Feminism, Miss
America, and Media Mythology,” Bonnie Dow gives us a rhetorical view regarding the media’s unfavorable portrayal of the event. Dow argues that negative stereotypes take away from the purpose of the demonstration, how feminists were viewed unfairly, and what lense can be worn in order to interpret the movement.
When the word feminism is used, there are many negative stereotypes that go along with it.
Known as the bra burner’s, many people assume that feminist groups are centered around hate of males.
The fear of these stereotypes come into light when Bonnie Dow states,
“The legacy of second wave feminism, and its echoes in popular culture, haunt public disclosure about Miss America. In histories and memoirs of the second wave, the 1968 Miss America action

O’Donnell !2 is a source of both pride and regret: pride for the early visibility and membership it gained for the movement, regret for the unshakeable association of feminism with bra-burning that it fostered” (Dow 128).
This is something that jaded many people’s views of the Women’s Liberation Movement. What the
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Many people misconceived these women’s feelings toward the contestants in the pageant. They weren’t protesting to those women, they were speaking out to those who promote the contest and the standards that it creates. These women were brave, and paved the way for the rights that women have today.
Grasping the gravity of this movement, the stigmas it ignored, and the courage of a group of women to make a change will help deteriorate societal standards and the gender stereotypes that live within them.
“The feminist protest at the Miss America Pageant in 1968 was, in many ways, the public beginning of the second wave of feminism, and its importance for our understanding of dominant media’s relationship to women’s liberation goes beyond the specificity of the bra burning myth.
Rather, it is the exemplar of a brand of media logic that has come to dominate treatment of feminism in the last 30-plus years…” (Dow 146)
Today, the contribution this movement made has created a country where women have rights and freedoms just as men do. Though we still have some progress to make, the significant growth can overcome it with perseverance and strong

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