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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant
A brilliant and convincing book, based on several decades of the author's media work. The previous reviewer has commented on the lack of academic references which is rather missing the point. Provocative and thoroughly enjoyable - dare I say that if this was written by a man the reviews elsewhere would have been rather more negative. which sort of proves one of the...
Published on 19 Oct. 2009 by Alex Dilbert

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3.0 out of 5 stars A World According to Women
The cover of this book would suggest it has been written as a result of a great deal of research. It may have been but it is certainly not obvious from the text. There is no index or bibliography and conclusions are not backed up by reference to verifiable facts and figures. This in short is one journalist's view of popular culture - which appears according to her - to...
Published on 23 Jan. 2013 by Sophia


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3.0 out of 5 stars A World According to Women, 23 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: A World According to Women: An End to Thinking (Paperback)
The cover of this book would suggest it has been written as a result of a great deal of research. It may have been but it is certainly not obvious from the text. There is no index or bibliography and conclusions are not backed up by reference to verifiable facts and figures. This in short is one journalist's view of popular culture - which appears according to her - to have started about 1970.

The author's theory is that popular culture is wholly aimed at controlling women for political reasons and that society, law and government have now been made over how women want them to be. As she also says that popular culture is controlled by commercial mainly male interests I find this difficult to comprehend. The suggestion that Margaret Thatcher's government marginalised men and made them unemployed and unemployable seems a little farfetched to me; especially as it is not backed up by facts and figures. 3 million unemployed in the 1980s apparently all men - though she quotes no figures and conveniently forgets to mention that many married women would not have been eligible to sign on for an assortment of reasons.

The author does not spare Tony Blair's government suggesting he manipulated the media to influence women into his way of thinking. I don't think anyone could argue that the Blair regime did not manipulate the media, but was this manipulation really aimed only at women? The author seems to suggest popular culture is not read, watched or listened to by men - is this really true? What facts and figures are there available to support the theory? Unfortunately this book obviously went to press just before the level of expenses claimed by MPs was published by The Telegraph as she suggests the media only publish what Government tells them to publish. This one event has shown the media cannot always be controlled.

I agree with her that certain sections of the media specialise in evoking an emotional knee jerk response to events even though those events are actually far more complex than at first appears. This becomes patently obvious if you look at the print or online versions of tabloid newspapers. But is it really only women who read the tabloids? Do soap operas influence women to the extent they use them as their bible for dealing with complex emotional issues? It is an interesting theory but again the author has not provided any facts and figures.

This idea is not new. For example it is well known 'The Archers' was used by the Ministry of Agriculture - as it was then - to provide information to farmers. But were 'Mrs Dales Diary', 'Crossroads' and even 'The Newcomers' in the same league? Were the audiences for these programmes wholly and exclusively women? Is `Eastenders' really being used by the Government - or the Establishment if you prefer - to tell women how to run their lives? If so then I would suggest it is not doing a very good job in reducing teenage pregnancy, stopping smoking and drug use and reducing anti social behaviour.

I do agree that the current celebrity culture which floods the media is perhaps aimed mainly at women though I fail to see how this is used as a means of control. Whether you access popular culture is really a personal choice and not one forced on you by Government. The author suggests women are not willing or able to think for themselves or make up their own minds without a magazine, website or television programme telling them what to think. This is the author's opinion and while I have no doubt she has years of experience in the media I think she needs to support her theories with much more evidence for them to be taken seriously.

This is an interesting read but for me it remains a theory unsubstantiated by facts. The scenario she paints is one of brainwashing in which women are told what to do, how to think and what to wear in order to control them and that women are all so stupid they cannot see through this - except presumably Guardian readers who she seems to suggest are a cut above everyone else.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Sociology lite, 6 Oct. 2012
This review is from: A World According to Women: An End to Thinking (Paperback)
This take on how the media did for feminism (essentially veiled autobiography) is tenuous in the extreme - it doesn't even run to a bibliography. The author evidently grew up immersed in - cocooned by - the 'meeja', but this is no way to view reality; if we're not talking art (and she's not) the meeja have always been superficial, even - even! - in the glory days of Hollywood

For a media buff McLoughlin seems strangely detached. Her generalisations on TV (p43 et seq) are the purest hogwash. She writes 'older women wanted.. stars like Val Doonican and Max Bygraves' when it's simply that that was what was available! 'Films were not constantly available on TV in those days'? Who on earth is the target audience here - under-twelves? Television 'mind-changing' for women? Yes, it made them so bored or dissatisfied they drank themselves silly, with consequences we live with today. Camille 'media maven' Paglia would have McLoughlin on toast and someone with an outsider eye like Turkish-American Murat Nemet-Nejat manages to be far more suggestive when he writes 'The purpose of TV style is to diminish the resistance between the inside and the outside of the box.. TV language is minimalist.. The true language of America is not American English, but TV'

On page 36 McLoughlin writes 'formality is intimidating to friendships'. One sees what she means, but I think the word she was looking for was inimical. For the birds
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant, 19 Oct. 2009
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Alex Dilbert (Newport Beach, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A World According to Women: An End to Thinking (Paperback)
A brilliant and convincing book, based on several decades of the author's media work. The previous reviewer has commented on the lack of academic references which is rather missing the point. Provocative and thoroughly enjoyable - dare I say that if this was written by a man the reviews elsewhere would have been rather more negative. which sort of proves one of the several theses of the work.
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A World According to Women: An End to Thinking
A World According to Women: An End to Thinking by Jane McLoughlin (Paperback - 16 July 2009)
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