Tag Archives: femininities

Desiring an Exotic June Cleaver: Race in the Commercialized Romance Tour Industry

4 Apr

The commercialized romance tour industry provides American men interested in meeting a foreign bride with the network and connections to make this ‘dream’ a reality. American men involved in this industry desire a foreign woman who possesses traits associated with white femininity from the 1950’s. The image of this femininity is captured in the television character of June Cleaver, as she exemplifies the stereotype of 1950’s suburban, middle-class femininity. Her work is the work of the home, and she is always dressed in a feminine manner, cooking dinner in her pearls and high heels. White, middle class women are no longer at the top of the desire hierarchy for a certain section of American men, since they are no longer feminine enough and have become too ‘masculinized’ by feminist ideas of gender equality. These men are seeking women that still possess the stereotypical 1950’s idealized ‘traditional’ white, middle class femininity, and the emotional labor ‘good’ wives provided men back then (beyond just housework). These American men construct foreign women from certain geographic regions (Eastern Europe, Latin America and Southeast Asia) as ‘exotic’ women that still possess this nostalgic vision of 1950’s femininity that they desire. Latin American, as well Eastern European and Southeast Asian women, are naturalized in the romance tour market as having the proper cultural grooming that has made them more traditional, feminine, docile and better mothers (Schaeffer-Grabiel 2006).

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Boobs, branding and bravado served up with a side of wings: it’s what happens when the worst of American pop-culture collides

31 Mar
Jeff Fusco-Getty Images

Jeff Fusco-Getty Images

Another annual Philadelphia chicken wing-bowl has come and gone, apparently. I wasn’t even aware of the event until my husband stumbled upon a BBC article about it. It is, or was in the past, exactly what one might imagine, a chicken-wing eating contest. As with pies, pancakes and hotdogs, wings are another popular favorite among America’s competitive eaters. To be honest I’m not particularly bothered by people who competitively eat or eating contests in general but I still have no burning desire to attend witness either. The wing bowl however, has morphed into more than your run-of-the mill eating competition. What one ESPN journalist called the ‘the worst event ever’ and what a Philly journalist described as a ‘ gigantic boozy frat ‘n’ bachelor party at a disgusting strip joint that just happens, one night, to hold an eating contest’, the wing bowl is what happens when the worst of American culture collides in a stadium-sized space. Participants and, by default, champs are mostly men, unsurprisingly. Sure, women go to this event and this years winner happened to be a woman but let’s face it, meat, men and competition do go together in the psyche like a triptych.

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