The Burka and the Bikini

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The burka — the head-to-toe garment required of all women living under the Taliban's rule — has come to symbolize that regime's brutal treatment of women. But our guests this hour argue that the cultural pressure on American women to uncover themselves is also taking a serious physical and psychological toll. "The burka and the bikini represent opposite ends of the political spectrum," our guests recently wrote in a Boston Globe editorial. "But each can exert a noose-like grip on the psyche and physical health of girls and women." Americans from the First Lady to radio talk show hosts have castigated the Taliban for their treatment of women. This hour, we turn the spotlight inward to examine how American women are being repressed by a sexually expressive culture obsessed with female beauty.


Joan Jacobs Brumberg, Professor of History in the Women Studies Program at Cornell University and author of ''The Body Project: An Intimate History Of American Girls'';
Jacquelyn Jackson, women's health advocate

Executive Producer of the documentary "The Body Project";
Jean Kilbourne, creator of film: "Killing Us Softly: Advertising's Images of Women;" author of "Can't Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel"

This program aired on November 29, 2001.


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