Date of Award

Spring 5-11-2013

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

First Advisor

Mary E. Hocks

Second Advisor

Elizabeth S. Lopez

Third Advisor

George L. Pullman

Abstract

A response to the notion, popularized by Amy Odell’s article “How Pinterest is Killing Feminism,” that the social media site Pinterest, which is dominated by female users, is detrimental both to the feminist movement and women in general. A definition of feminism, contrary to the one employed by Odell, is established and applied to Pinterest users and Pinterest content. Two forms of content prevalent on Pinterest, domestic content and “thinspo” images, are evaluated in terms of their prevalence and how they are used on Pinterest and their overall effect on women and feminism. Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique and Naomi Wolf’s The Beauty Myth are also employed to address Odell’s claims that Pinterest content is reminiscent of the “retrograde, materialistic” content in women’s magazines.

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