Washington Post FAIL!

August 30, 2009 § 1 Comment

Another guest post by Joel, originally published at Citizen Obie.

I know, I know, I’m really setting myself up for disappointment by expecting anything more than moronic from the periodical that brought us thousands of words of climate science obfuscation from a baseball aficionado who doesn’t really bother to check his facts, but this criticism of Michelle Obama is just really fucking stupid.

Now, as a White Man (Robin Givhan being a Black Woman), there are some race-critical criticisms I am not prepared to make. That would be over-stepping my bounds, and I admit that wholeheartedly.

But:

clothes are part of our broader aesthetic obligation to each other. That commitment pushes homeowners to mow their lawns and not be a blight to the neighborhood. It makes them think twice before painting their houses in psychedelic stripes. The desire to be aesthetically respectful means guests give consideration to what they wear to a friend’s wedding or mourners take care in how they dress for a loved one’s funeral.

I’m sorry, but who the fuck is the imperial-objective arbiter in this court of fashion? Who got appointed as the taste police? That shit is straight up elitest garbage.

And another thing: to equate dress on vacation with dress at a wedding or funeral is completely fucking ridiculous. I will absolutely accept that at a wedding or funeral there are people to whom respect is owed, there are traditional codes that ought to be adhered to. If a person grants you the privilege of inviting you to a celebration of their life (wedding) or an honoring and farewell (funeral) than yes, maybe that’s a circumstance in which conformity to their wishes is valuable.

But the woman is on god damned vacation. In fact, that is probably the last place she ought to give a shit what some pundit at the Washington Post has to say. The only obligations my public officials and symbols have to me is that they fix the oppressive and destructive systems of this country and challenge the bullshit that allows those processes to survive. They are damn sure not obligated to wear anything on vacation for my sake.

Fuck the Washington Post.

Alcohol Advertising in Inwood

August 2, 2009 § 1 Comment

Hey, so it’s been like 3 years since I have posted anything, but here it goes.  SO, my job this summer is to research and map out the community of Inwood in terms of alcohol availability as well as the prominence of alcohol advertising.  I am creating a Google Map that will compile all if this on one handy map, which I will definitely post here once I’m done.  First of all, you would not believe how many ads there are, second of all, if anyone ever actually stopped to look at these ads (like I did), you would be SHOCKED.  The way women are portrayed was so scary that I didn’t know what to do.  Every deli, corner store, and bodega is covered in ads; most depicting women nearly naked, and often bent over, not facing the camera.  I would show you a picture, but it is SO not appropriate, and I do not want to promote anything like that.  This is not some magazine, where you can just turn the page; this is on every block, on every corner, basically everywhere you look.  Also, Inwood is a young neighborhood, most of the population is very young, many under 18.  The thing is, you would think “wow, that’s not subtle.” But really, it is.  You don’t notice it unless you stop to look at it, and I am sure many elementary school-age boys and girls do see these every day.

What do you do though?  These stores cannot and will not survive without alcohol advertisements, and who could POSSIBLY make alcohol advertisements without demoralizing women?

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend?

April 15, 2009 § 1 Comment

Not this girl’s.

Last night, as I was helping my cousin pick out a new background for is iPhone,* I stared enviously at all the cool thematic options. That is, until I spotted one not so cool: “Girly.”

The icon for this set of  screen savers was (you guessed it) a diamond. A tiny, shiny diamond that I find upsetting. For all the gender stereotypes that demean women (and girls to whom the title for this background tailors to), I find diamonds one of the most offensive. Here’s why:

They are used as heteronormative objectifying persuasion devices that men give their love interests/girlfriends/fiances/wives as material apologies/marital contracts/ownership/representation. Sure, they might be giving these diamonds out of love, but what can women give men to match up to these diamonds they are supposed to love oh-so-much? Why do men do the buying and women do the receiving?**

AND

They are oh-so-shiny it is oh-so-abasing to assume that women view shiny objects (what toddlers and animals are rumored to be attracted to) as their signature mark.

So really, iPhone? Why does such a cool gadget have to produce such gross features? And why, oh why, do mainstream companies insist on forcing gender stereotypes to objectify girls on these seemingly innocent screens?

 

*After countless google searches, I have yet to find the aforementioned “girly” background online. I believe it’s a standard one that comes on the iPhone, but if anyone can find a picture of it, please post it in comments. Same goes if anyone can find the application designer so we can file some feminist complaints!

**This is not to say there is necessarily something wrong or sexist with men giving women diamonds. It’s simply important to recognize where this practice comes from and to stop love from turning into objectification via ignorance.

Dressed in White: The Media’s Assault on Black Women’s Humanity

March 28, 2009 § 2 Comments

I wrote this thesis paper on the media’s sexist and racist objectification of Black women for my Junior Inquiry research class last semester. It’s 12 pages of what I hope is feminist and anti-racist empowerment so please continue reading below the fold if you’re interested. Enjoy!

« Read the rest of this entry »

Your daily dose of horrifying

March 19, 2009 § 4 Comments

boob-machine

This is truly disgusting.

A few things I can think of that are really fucking wrong with this, just off the top of my seriously pissed off head: a) the whole objectifying women thing. Just a reminder: we don’t like being defined by our breasts, or any body part for that matter. And b) that said body parts are fucking for sale. In an arcade game. Where you’d pay something like 50 cents in the hopes of winning this horrendous “prize” and probably wouldn’t even beat the machine nine times out of ten.

Stay classy, objectifying motherfuckers.

Via Copyranter.

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