All het up! Rescuing heterosexuality on the Oprah Winfrey Show
UNSPECIFIED (1996) All het up! Rescuing heterosexuality on the Oprah Winfrey Show. In: Annual Conference of the Womens Studies Network (UK) Association - (Hetero)sexual Politics, UNIV PORTSMOUTH, PORTSMOUTH, ENGLAND, JUL, 1994. Published in: FEMINIST REVIEW (54). pp. 88-115.Full text not available from this repository.
The Oprah Winfrey Show provides an interesting set of contradictions. On the one hand, it appears to challenge common-sense assumptions about relationships, specifically heterosexual relationships (for example, by consistently raising issues of sexual violence within a heterosexual context). Yet, at the same time, Oprah's presentation often works to reinforce precisely the norms she seeks to challenge. Through a close analysis of a selection of programme clips from one particular programme among many about relationships, sexuality and families, this article will consider the ways in which the Oprah Winfrey Show both problematizes and yet normalizes the boundaries of heterosexuality. Here we shall discuss both the resolute exposure and exploration of what could be termed the casualities of normative (and compulsory) heterosexuality and, paradoxically, its recuperation as a 'rational' ideal. In exploring the ways in which this recuperation takes place, we shall begin with a brief consideration of two of the key discourses which shape the show: the discourse of therapy and that of kinship. Our analysis of the sexual politics of the Oprah Winfrey Show in these terms will focus on the programme, 'How to Make Love Last' (18 January 1993). Like so many other programmes, 'How to Make Love Last' intends to highlight and deal with problems within heterosexual relationships as distressing but solvable (through the medium of therapeutic self-help). At another level, however, the programme also (unwittingly) reveals a different order of problems which, ironically, can only be reinforced by the mode of rescue proposed and staged.
|Item Type:||Conference Item (UNSPECIFIED)|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman|
|Journal or Publication Title:||FEMINIST REVIEW|
|Number of Pages:||28|
|Page Range:||pp. 88-115|
|Title of Event:||Annual Conference of the Womens Studies Network (UK) Association - (Hetero)sexual Politics|
|Location of Event:||UNIV PORTSMOUTH, PORTSMOUTH, ENGLAND|
|Date(s) of Event:||JUL, 1994|
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