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Disability Media Studies$
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Elizabeth Ellcessor and Bill Kirkpatrick

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781479867820

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479867820.001.0001

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“It’s Not Just Sexism”

“It’s Not Just Sexism”

Feminization and (Ab)Normalization in the Commercialization of Anxiety Disorders

(p.152) 6 “It’s Not Just Sexism”
Disability Media Studies

D. Travers Scott

Meagan Bates

NYU Press

D. Travers Scott and Meagan Bates analyze television advertisements for anti-anxiety medications in order to explore the status of anxiety as a disability. Through close textual analysis, informed by Foucauldian theory and political economy, they demonstrate the intricate ways that femininity, disability, and normalization inflect and reinforce each other in contemporary discourses around mental health. These ads do not merely target women, they argue, but in fact construct femininity itself as inherently pathological and in need of medical intervention. At the same time, however, parodies of these ads reveal resistance to their pathologizing tropes and point the way toward greater appreciation for neurodiversity.

Keywords:   anxiety, advertisements, femininity, television

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