It’s almost 2012, but you wouldn’t know it from the BBC’s bafflingly retro new list of 12 women who it calls the “Faces of the Year.” Who made the cut? Christine LaGarde? Jill Abramson? Perhaps Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee, and Tawakkol Karman, the trio of women who won the Nobel Peace Prize? None of the above. Instead, the news service chose a bizarre list that included two women in the news because they were sexually assaulted, one notable for being a bridesmaid, another for marrying a prince, and — seriously — a giant panda named Sweetie. Keep reading »
I’m on the fence about this ad for Equinox, an upscale gym with locations in Los Angeles, New York City, and elsewhere. On the one hand, I’m not keen on the juxtaposition within advertisement — that the woman herself is a “joy ride” (despite the fact she is freezing in that outfit) or that riding a motorcycle in a bikini would be a joy ride (again, despite the fact she is freezing in that outfit). It’s another unrealistic portrayal of women’s bodies — not the physical body itself, but the unreal suggestion that she’s so “hot” she’s not losing her tuchus to frostbite.
However, I’m not bothered by the fact a woman in an advertisement for a gym is wearing a bikini, or that her face/identity is obscured by her motorcycle helmet. Even though there are other cases of advertising where a woman’s body is used to gratuitously sell a product — many alcohol ads, for instance — I think a gym advertisement is a pretty legit reason.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments. Keep reading »
Abortion rights are being screwed with yet again! The Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act seeks to criminalize abortions based on the race or the sex of the fetus. That might sound good to some people: supporters of the bill quickly point out how many female fetuses are aborted in China, where there is a one-child policy in most areas and a nationwide preference for boys. However, a closer look at the bill reveals that it’s yet another tricky-dick move by abortion opponents to restrict abortion rights and make life more difficult for abortion providers. Keep reading »
For the first time in eight years, the network hosting the Super Bowl has actually accepted the preliminary script for GoDaddy.com’s bro-tastic commercial pitches. Six racy “Internet only” commercials later — including one rejected commercial with a “beaver” entrendre — I’m still trying to align my neck after all of that strategic screen blocking. GoDaddy certainly isn’t unique in its marketing of sex, especially during the biggest football game of the year. It’s just their total lack of cleverness that normally cushions the hot-girls-performing-exaggerated-sexuality-for-guys message that make them more crude.
Allow me to give you a rundown… Keep reading »
Pennsylvania’s Liquor Control Board is under fire for a new PSA campaign called Control Tonight, which critics say puts the onus on women for “not getting raped” while drunk and is blaming the victim. The ad in question depicts a woman’s bare legs on what looks like a tiled bathroom floor with her panties pulled down to her ankles and the text reads:
02:19 a.m SHE DIDN’T WANT TO DO IT, BUT SHE COULDN’T SAY NO.
When your friends drink, they can end up making bad decisions. Like going home with someone they don’t know very well.
Decisions like that leave them vulnerable to dangers like date rape. Help your friends stay in control and stay safe. Keep reading »
“What people called sexual harassment, we called compliments. When a 16-year-old girl is flattered by a man pulling out his penis, that’s noteworthy.”
This quote from the model Paulina Porizkova from the forthcoming HBO documentary “About Face,” about the modeling industry, saddens me. Sexual harassment is something all women have experienced, but it did not have a name, really, until the early ’70s. While my initial reaction to this quote was to say Paulina sounds like a dingbat, on further thought I realize she was a product of her (sexist) time and sadly, young models (as she was in the ’80s) were socialized to think a whipped-out dong was a good thing. [Styleite] Keep reading »
Really guys, this is all it used to take — blow some smoke in a girl’s face and she’d drop her panties for you like that. Really, the ’60s were such a great time to be a dude. [Bored Panda]
Ugh. The very last thing we (i.e. women) need is a “study” claiming to observe women’s snarky reactions to another woman dressed sexily. The lead author of the study begins with a quote that is concerning in and of itself: “I was convinced, having lived a life as a woman, that we’re not as pleasant as some people make us out to be.” Huh? I’ve never heard of anyone making women, as an entire gender, out to be pleasant. Tracy Vaillancourt, who is also the professor of psychology at University of Ottawa, invited 86 women to participate in a conflict resolution study, but she had a different agenda when she documented how the women reacted to a young female student entering the room in a certain outfit. Vaillancourt did not document the ages of the 86 women who partook in the study or, well, anything about them, only their responses to the student, who wore either a T-shirt and khakis or a low-cut top and mini skirt. Vaillancourt stated that “ninety-seven percent” of the women responded inappropriately to the student. To use the same scientific term that Vaillancourt herself uses, the reactions were bitchy. Keep reading »
It’s a sad but true fact that in some parts of the world, especially China, baby boys are favored over baby girls. In fact, boys are so strongly favored in some rural areas of China that girls are aborted after their gender is known and as a result there’s a drastic imbalance in the population.
But even in countries where baby girls are brought into the nursery, parents can have a hard time when they learn they’re decorating it pink instead of blue. This has a lot to do with existing sexist prejudices that adversely impact females in society — like lack of access to education and employment — that privilege males and incentivize parents to have boys.
So the magazine Fast Company thought up something completely innovative: it asked a half dozen ad agencies to rebrand girls with mock advertisements. Oh, if sexism were only as simple as bad advertising! The agencies primarily focused on targeting parents — er, consumers — in the U.S. and China and several opted to highlight perceived reasons that girls are better than boys, rather than just appreciating girls for their own sakes. For that reason I’m not sure I like all of these, although all the mock ads are certainly creative.
Take a click through and tell me in the comments what you think! [Fast Company]