Monica, Marcia, Tonya, and Anita were household names in the 1990s for widely varying reasons, to the point that we didn’t even need to use their last names. What they had in common was the media circuses that grew up around them. The tabloids relied on them for headlines, no matter how shallow. Every facet of their lives were picked apart, but only the most outrageous bits were printed or aired.
In the past, we have been all too ready to assume that, if the media pillories a woman for being bad, trashy, pushy, slutty, greedy, greedy, crazy, or just—the most evergreen dismissal of all—a bitch, they must be right. Now, more than ever, we are beginning to wonder: How many times has a woman been made to suffer not because of anything she has said or done, but simply because she was the only girl in the room?
And all this happened decades after the beginning of second-wave feminism. Looking back at those headlines now, twenty years later, we might be horrified by the way women connected with a scandal, no matter how tangentally, were treated. But then again, how much has really changed? Sarah Marshall writes about the scandalous women of the ‘90s from the viewpoint of a later generation at Fusion. -via Metafilter