A quick statement on why pop culture matters, inspired by a post at The Counter-Feminist.
Pop culture is important because it both reflects and establishes the attitudes of society and individuals in society. Children learn a lot of their attitudes through observing the behavior of others-- and even adults adjust their norms and social scripts based on what they see. So if pop culture presents an image of women as vapid and materialistic, and men as adult children incapable of domestic tasks and shut off from their emotions, people are going to internalize that that is what the typical woman or man is like. The human brain uses heuristics, so whatever it sees the most of is what it's going to think of first-- and if what it sees the most are negative stereotypes, well, that's what it's going to grab at. Pop culture influences attitudes and actions-- and pervasive attitudes can stop real progress.
Analyzing and writing about pop culture in these ways can act as a form of consciousness raising, challenging people to examine their own motivations and their surroundings. It can help to short-circuit the messages culture sends and help people question everything, leading them to a more accurate and fulfilling notion of what life is and what life ought to be. It also tells people who see misogyny in advertisements, movies, tv, or books that no-- you are no alone, and you are not silly for finding things offensive, even things that you enjoy on other levels.
Pop culture is a major part of modern life. To make things better for everyone, we have to pay attention to how life is, now, and realize that even small problems add up over time.
Next post: What is feminist sex?