Youth Rebellion and Counterculture

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In both of the books, there are some central themes. Among them are self expression through music and sex. The media also plays a role in both of the books, however much more so in Douglas's. Douglas is more of a activist from within, more of a bystander than is Janis Joplin. Janis, from the start, is a rebel who did not want to be confined by the shackles of society. She was rebellious from high school and continued to be throughout her life. People like Janis, who participated in many movements as well as became a well-known icon, was able to get in touch with the youth. Women looked to Janis, as well as many others, for inspiration. Janis cut through many racial and gender lines with her music and public displays of sexual and individual freedom. Unfortunately, Janis did not live long enough to see the women's movement, in which she played a notable role. In Where the Girls Are, Susan Douglas talks about herself as part of the baby boom generation. From the beginning of the book, she concentrates on the media's role in the female psyche. She begins by describing the fact that her generation was extremely large, and the media knew it. Douglas talks about the media's role in programming young girls to believe that they are "the chosen people," and that they could do anything. They were told that they have opportunities beyond their mother's wildest imaginations. The television, however, sent mixed messages, as the news demonstrated the conflict, inequality, and insecurity in the world. This confused these children because none of this was shown on the shows. Moreover, the shows depicted the women's role as her husband's keeper. Cartoons, particularly Disney cartoons, showed the same types of bias and sexism. In 1961, Jacqueline Kennedy became first lady, and she became an important symbol for the baby boom girls. Douglas, being exposed to all of this media, knew one thing for sure, she didn't want to end up like her mom. In this respect, the media played a huge role in the lives of Douglas as well as millions of other people.

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