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?**
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.
April 1, 2009 § 2 Comments
March 30, 2009 § 4 Comments
So today I saw an unnerving ad for a bleach product whose name and manufacturer currently escapes me.
This ad, which I also cannot find online to link here (I’m sucking today), features a man lecturing a group of eager-to-please, neurotic women. What have these bad, bad, ladies done wrong? They have used bleach on their clothes that specifically say NO BLEACH. *GASP*
Thank God that we have whatever-company-makes-said-bleach to shame us about our bad housekeeping habits.
But it’s not really the shaming that gets me (although that’s really lovely). What I find particularly gross about this ad is that is features a MAN telling a group of WOMEN about this heavenly new science-y detergent. Because women, with their simply lady minds (I love you, Haskins) couldn’t possibly figure out that bleach shouldn’t touch non-bleach clothes! That’s beyond us, duh.
It would be awesome if the commercial were somehow teaching people that men can also pitch in around the house (something we never see in the commercial sector), but I don’t think it is making that statement at all.
But then, of course, when I step back from it all, I wonder whether or not I’m projecting feminist issues all over the place. But I guess that someone has to spew ‘agenda’ all over the place, because that helps us get to what’s really important. I don’t know. What do YOU think?
March 28, 2009 § 5 Comments
You know what sucks? When you’re waiting in a deli while your boyfriend buys a Red Bull and you notice this gem of a beverage. And you realize that these marketers probably spent a great deal of money doing research to decide what to call their latest product. And that a drink named ASSAULT must have appealed to their target audience, or else the word wouldn’t be slapped onto millions of cans with a camouflage background.
Once more, with feeling: stop using violent words (and imagery) to sell your product. There’s a problem when I hear people looking into the cooler and saying, “Oh man, I would kill for some Assault right now” or “I can’t get enough Assault!”
The idea of assault gives me energy, all right – energy to get really fucking angry and give this company a piece of my mind. Tell Monster to stop making violent crimes lively and trendy.
March 16, 2009 § 2 Comments
Check out this fucking creepy tampon ad from Switzerland.
Yes, his fangs are applicator-less tampons. Via Copyranter:
Not at all surprisingly, the creative team from Switzerland that dreamed up this bloodcurdling o.b. tampon ad is all-male. But at least, like this French shark-infested Tampax ad and unlike every American tampon ad ever made, they’ve acknowledged that blood does in fact come out of a vagina.
So true. Isn’t it depressing that our only options are terrifying, desperate ads like this one or ads that shy away from blood, hormones, and the v-word at all costs? If you could design an ad for menstrual products, what would it feature?
UPDATE: I got an email from the Client Service Director of this ad agency. He said that this is “an unpublished ad that will never go on air and should not have been on the net,” and asked me to remove it. I’m not going to take it down, but let it be known that this ad was never officially aired for public marketing.
March 15, 2009 § 1 Comment
Cara at Feministe has the latest Target Women segment, in honor of Barbie’s 50th birthday earlier this week. She also links to Sarah Haskins’ hilarious op-ed in the Washington Post on the same subject. The whole package prompted me to draft this short note, which has been a long time coming:
Dear Sarah Haskins, will you be my bride? Love, Miranda
That is how I feel about this magnificent lady. And did anyone catch Kristen Wiig’s excellent Barbie impersonation on SNL’s Weekend Update last night? I can’t find a video yet, but I’ll pass one along when I do. (Update: Phoebe tracked down a clip here.)
February 23, 2009 § Leave a comment
Basically, my love for Sarah Haskins knows no bounds. In her latest Target Women segment, she discusses skin care and all the psued0-science used to appeal specifically to women.
February 19, 2009 § Leave a comment
Choices: Emergency Contraception
NARAL Pro-Choice New York and the National Institute for Reproductive Health, in partnership with co-sponsors Students Active for Ending Rape (SAFER), the New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault, and Harlem Health Promotion Center presents: “Choices: Emergency Contraception.”
Presenters will share info about EC and how to get it, their successes and lessons learned, and how we all can get involved in the efforts to make Emergency Contraception an accessible and supported reproductive choice for all!
Wednesday, February 25th
470 Park Ave. South, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10016
Free with RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or 646-520-3506.
Event is open to all and space is wheelchair accessible.
I can never make it to these events, but I encourage anyone who’s interested to contact Lalena Howard at the email above, she’s pretty awesome.
February 15, 2009 § 1 Comment
Zoe, Silvia and I had a lovely dinner party with our mothers and somehow this video came up in our conversation:
I wish I could truthfully say, “Golly, things sure have changed!” since this video is riddled with sexism, misinformation and overall corniness. However, I’ve definitely experienced my fair share of horribly dramatized and insulting health videos which make me wonder how far our health education system has actually progressed… but that’s a topic for a whole other post. For now, just have a good laugh at Molly and her period do’s and don’ts.
February 11, 2009 § 3 Comments
A friend sent me this list today of TV’s 8 most sexist ads and, while I’m aware that cracked.com isn’t exactly a feminist-friendly website, I thought this was spot on. I also think that while the writer did a really good job of finding the most blatantly sexist commercials, it’s important to note that there’s also a huge amount of subtle sexism that pervades advertisements in our culture, enforcing gender stereotypes that people don’t even think to question.
Surprisingly though, this list doesn’t mention chocolate.