March 9, 2010 § 2 Comments
… according to myriad sources, the MTA will display some 2,000 anti-abortion ads across the NYC subway system this month. Visuals of the massive ad campaign haven’t been released yet, but apparently they show either a woman saying “I thought life would be the way it was before” or a man saying “I often wonder if there was something I could have done to help her.”
Quoth Samantha Levine of the lovely NARAL-NY: “The campaign suggests that feelings of sadness and self-harm are the universal experiences for someone who had an abortion. And there’s no evidence to suggest that that’s true.”
From what I understand, the campaign is sponsored by the apalling “organization” Abortion Changes You. (Psst — abortion does change you! It makes you not pregnant anymore. Most people know that already; you probably didn’t need to go to all this trouble to get that message across.)
Can we talk about how much money this campaign costs? I don’t have the numbers, but I’m guessing the sponsors paid a pretty penny for 2,000 ads. Can you imagine what else they could have done with this money?
Pro-choicers know better than to spend our money on disrespectful and invasive ad campaigns. We don’t blow $2.5 million on a 30-second commercial. Instead, we donate to help low-income women pay for their abortion, to provide teenagers with real sex education, and to create progress for economically disadvantaged queer people.
If pro-lifers really gave a shit about women’s woes, they’d use this enormous sum to HELP WOMEN. They could provide healthcare to uninsured kids. They could pay the hospital bills of teen mothers. They could rally for sex education — you know, the kind that prevents unwanted pregnancies — in our schools. But truly, they couldn’t care less about our lives or well-being.
This campaign reveals what the pro-life sect is all about: demonizing women and demoralizing the choices we make about our own damn bodies.
January 1, 2010 § 4 Comments
I’ve seen some atrocious new ads pop on subway platforms, as part of a marketing campaign for Spike TV’s new television series Blue Mountain State. According to the network:
The football-themed series focuses on what it’s like being a freshman at national champion Blue Mountain State, but there’s much more to it than football… there’s also girls, partying, hazing and of course, class. “Blue Mountain State contains four key ingredients to being a guy…football, partying, women and hazing,” said Spike TV President Kevin Kay.
Hear that, dudes? Kevin Kay just told you everything you need to confirm your manlymanhood. So get on that.
The first ad is a gross display of the objectification and dehumanization of women and their bodies. Of course, the woman whose legs are featured is thin, white, and hairless. Anyone else repulsed by the idea that donning a varsity football helmet will automatically get you between girls’ legs?
The second ad — what can I say? It’s disgusting.
(I’d rather not hear any protests of, “Oh, the show is trying to call attention to damaging norms of masculinity! You’re so silly, you don’t understand their edgy humor!” Maybe that is what the producers are hoping the show will do. But using blatantly sexist advertising imagery doesn’t clue your audience in to that hope. Misogyny, in these ads and countless others, is not edgy; it’s all too common.)
December 28, 2009 § 1 Comment
September 24, 2009 § Leave a comment
A guest post by Joel of Citizen Obie.
I don’t know if this is really Women’s Glib material, but frankly, y’all get better exposure than my blog so I thought I’d try it here.
So basically they’re trying to do in Maine what they did in California over Prop 8. Literally, they’re using the same hateful ads designed to scare residents that marriage equality means all the children are going to be indoctrinated in school about the “Gay Agenda.”
I’m not from Maine but I’ve got a lot of affection for the state, and I also realize that we need as many state victories in the game if we’re going to succeed more broadly. Ohio managed to pass nondiscrimination legislation in the state house of reps this month. It may not get past the Republican-dominated senate, but the fact is it’s on the agenda and we need broader movement success to keep the momentum going. I can’t vote in Maine but I can contribute money (yep, from my $8/hr nonprofit job) to make sure my allies can mount a decent counter-ad. I urge you to join me and tell your friends: NO on Question 1.
Obviously if you can vote in Maine that works really well too. But don’t forget that voting with money is equally important and necessary in this gar political system we’re stuck with.
August 25, 2009 § 3 Comments
Cannot will myself to sleep, amidst my summer of supposed ‘relaxation and teenage antics.’ In fact, though I have wordlessly skimped on Women’s Glib, I am just re-situating with a computer now, my old pixilated comrade.
My summer has required me to find so many different facets for talking about women’s liberation. Now close to 4 am, my sister’s contented sighs from her dreams just reaching my ears, I turn to you, Women’s Glib!
I entered summer a few months ago by crewing for an old sloop activist-with-a-banjo Pete Seeger had erected 40 years ago to teach water education while sailing the Hudson River. Boat hierarchies are some of the strictest political systems, and I, as an apprentice, was on the lowest rung. Above me was the deckhand, the bosun, (or the handy person), the engineer, the second mate, the chief mate, and the captain.
Old sailing lore told of boats sinking and crew getting scurvy as a result of women being on a boat, let alone crewing for one. Yet years later, on a boat modeled off of mid 1800s cargo ships, both apprentices, the education intern, one of the educators, the deckhand, the bosun, the second mate, the chief mate, AND one of the alternating captains were all female. And holy shit, these women could sail.
In the month I lived on the vessel, I labored along side them as we worked 15 hour days through thunderstorms, maneuvered off and onto docks, and used power tools I hadn’t even touched before. Not only was I nearly keeled over at their work ethic and assertiveness, but they were some of the most kind and healthiest people I’ve met. It is so refreshing to be able to shy away completely from glossy magazines and primping and preening. These girls ate very full meals (I should know, I cooked a few of them) and never once suggested doing anything for means of image control/manipulation. (We were, arguably, hauling up a 3000 pound mainsail a few times a day).
In fact, I was able to engage in a phenomenon that continued as a trend into my summer. I had never before realized how often I saw my own reflection, be it in mirrors or even the glass facades of New York buildings. On the boat there were none, (or perhaps a tiny one?) so that we were all consistently as beautiful as we felt. So often I should look ABSOLUTELY RADIANT, because my stomach and heart are both practically lifted to my throat, (which would obviously enable flying); yet when I look in the mirror I am greeted with a different face, neck and shoulders completely. There was no battle to compare how well I felt to the archetype ‘good looking white female’ that encroaches every space I’ve found, spitting gender binaries out at me from rooftop ads and conversations. It was so nice to just assume that the way I looked synched with the way I felt. Ultimate liberation for me at this point was living with kickass female role models, and having a shape-shifter body, where I became my feelings. Has that ever happened to you? If so, how? Oops, digression!
August 11, 2009 § 14 Comments
Notice what poses the advertisers consider the “perfect” man, as opposed to woman, to lounge in? Notice where they’re clothed, where they’re nude? Notice that all three models are thin yet chiseled? Notice that they’re all white?
It’s embarassing that this movie is being portrayed as “futuristic” when the ideals it glorifies are decidedly tired. Hello? We see these ideas of perfection in the mainstream media every fucking day. Nothing about this is edgy.
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?