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?
May 26, 2009 § 3 Comments
Hannah Berner is a peer of mine at school; she is in a few of my classes. She is smart, hard-working and an outstanding tennis player. Recently, my school (The Beacon School) played Cardozo High School in the PSAL finals, and won. Hannah plays on the boys’ tennis team, and she competes right alongside them. There is no girls’ team at my school because of lack of funds, but Hannah gets by just fine with the boys. The coach said,
“Hannah [Berner] is great, but she’s a girl on a boys team. They need a girls team. This is the boys championship. B-o-y-s.”
Read the full article here. His reaction after losing in the final is disgraceful, setting a terrible example for all the boys playing on the team. While I agree that my school is in need of a girls’ team this is not the appropriate way to go about it. Sometimes I forget that there really are people like this, who even think it is acceptable to say such misogynistic and sexist things, especially as a high school tennis coach. Anyway, there is a poll towards the bottom on the right of the article, please vote and show your support for Hannah!
March 4, 2009 § 1 Comment
On March 13th the movie Miss March will open in theatres everywhere. It is about a high school sweethearts, the guy falls into a coma for four years and wakes up to find out that his girlfriend has become the center fold girl for a magazine, and is named Miss March. This story will be amusing and fun for some, but for me it is maddening.
If you weren’t aware, March is significant for another reason. March marks women’s history month, something I find slightly more important. This ‘sex comedy’ I am certain does nothing to promote the leaders of the women’s movement. Commercials for Miss March outweigh the media attention given to women’s history, that is if the crucial month is getting any attention at all.
When I turned my calendar to the month of March I started to think about what has been accomplished so far for women. I think a lot has been achieved thus far, but this movie sends a strong anti-feminist message that makes me think we have achieved nothing. Maybe it is simply a coincidence that this movie is about the month March, but I still believe that this irony should not be ignored. To be clear, I have not yet seen this movie, but I don’t think I will, I don’t think I’ll make it to Miss April, or Miss May either. I would post a trailer to Miss March, but I do not want to publicize this movie at all, I want to promote women and their history.
February 11, 2009 § 7 Comments
I consider myself a feminist because I believe that women should be given equal opportunities, not because of how active of a feminist I am, or how much I do or don’t do for the feminist cause. Although I do promote this, and think well of people who devote themselves to this, I don’t believe it is the only thing that grants someone the worthy title of a feminist. If I have never been to a pro-choice rally or written for a feminist magazine, can I still be a feminist? OF COURSE YOU CAN. The notion that you have to earn this title only creates conflict within the feminist movement. Not only do people fear the f-word, they also fear that they are not doing enough to receive the (fantastic) label of a feminist.
I think that some people do use this as an excuse for not calling themselves what they are. A feminist is someone who believes, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be someone who constantly acts on their beliefs. If all the people who believe in feminism stood up and called themselves what they are, half the problems women face today would be solved instantly. It is another excuse not to align themselves with the feminist cause, mostly out of fear. But sometimes I fear that I do not deserve the title of feminist that so many great women before me have been given. But then I realize that by simply being a strong person who is not willing to take any shit from anyone, I am already helping the cause.
I also think that there are a variety of ways to be involved in fighting the feminist cause. Everyday women who fight stereotypes by pursuing science or engineering are being active feminists. Busy parents who teach their sons and daughters to be respectful of women are feminists; teenagers who are willing to fight stereotypical depictions of women are feminists. Anyone who believes in equality for women is a feminist, and there is no hierarchy to deciding who is granted this name. This is an f-word that anyone and everyone can say, and I encourage everyone to use it.