Posts in category Sexism
Listen to Sara Bareilles’ new song, “Brave”:
About the song:
“‘Empowering young women … it’s a concept that is near and dear to my heart,’ says Bareilles, who recalls terrible experiences in middle school. ‘I love seeing those girls [in the video] just kind of be themselves on camera and be free and liberated.'”
She also said that “the lyrics were inspired by a close friend who is struggling with coming out. ‘There’s so much honor and integrity and beauty in being able to be who you are,’ Bareilles explains about her motivations. She wrote the track with Jack Antonoff of Fun., who explained that there’s a ‘need for a civil rights anthem,’ which is what they’re calling the pop song.”
... nor will I allow others to treat me as if this is all I am:
- – a uterus
- – a collection of body parts
- – a vagina
- – a piece of ass
- – a pair of tits
- – a victim
- – public property
- – a virgin
- – a whore
- – a “before” photo
- – a body to legislate
- – a sexual object
None of these things can possibly define a woman.
The media’s treatment of women as sex objects is a ubiquitous fact of life. Advertisements, fashion spreads, comic books, movie posters — nearly everywhere you look, women are shown in various stages of undress and posed in positions that make them look vulnerable, submissive, and sexually available. Conversely, men are depicted in positions of power or dominance, e.g., standing while a woman is reclining, being fully clothed while she’s undressed, etc. These differences reinforce inequality between the sexes. Really, how powerful can a woman feel when she’s half-naked and awkwardly contorted?
It’s an interesting social experiment to see what happens when men are placed in these typical “female” poses.
The image below features two Vanity Fair covers: the top one with fully-clothed fashion designer Tom Ford, along with a nude Keira Knightley and Scarlett Johansson; and the bottom one is a Vanity Fair spoof of their own cover with a fully-clothed Paul Rudd and a pretend-nude Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, and Jason Segel. In a separate issue, Vanity Fair also did a photo spread with comedians Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, and Tina Fey, but posed them as typical sex objects. As Entertainment Weekly asks, would it be “… just as uproarious if some of those ladies vamped ironically in body stockings[?] … Men being objectified is so silly as to be hilarious, but it’s better if funny women are also hot.”
Here’s a similar set of images showing nude female models huddled together and then one with the guys from the “Jackass” TV series and movies:
The following “men-ups” were created by photographer Rion Sabean to parody classic pin-up poses. According to Rion, his work focuses on “… gender and sexuality, wherein I attempt to bring light to the scrutiny and judgments of a society that defines human beings under rigid, antiquated terms.”
Artist Paul Richmond created a similar series from a gay male perspective. “I began the Cheesecake Boys series to rectify the inequalities in the underwear-flashing art genre known as pin-up,” said Richmond.
Here’s Richmond explaining how he came up with the concept, along with more examples of his work:
Fantasy author Jim Hines parodied women’s poses on the covers of fantasy novels by trying to replicate the poses himself. (He also did a series posing like the men on romance novel covers). “… [M]ost of these covers are supposed to convey strong, sexy heroines, but these are not poses that suggest strength. You can’t fight from these stances. I could barely even walk,” said Hines.
Do these images look ridiculous? Silly? Maybe even homoerotic? Once men are placed in the same sexualized poses that women are traditionally seen in, it becomes clear how absurd — and sexist — these poses truly are.
“In the survey, Jane Smith and Dan Jones are pitted against each other in a race for Congress. Both have similar backgrounds, and after reading their bios the survey respondents prefer Jane slightly, 49-48.
“Then they read a second story. In one version of the story, there’s no physical description of either candidate, and Jane’s lead stays pretty much the same. In a second version, there’s a neutral description of Jane’s appearance. Suddenly she’s 5 points behind Dan. In a third version, there’s a positive description of her appearance. Now she’s 13 points behind Dan. A fourth version that contains a negative description has about the same effect.
“In other words, any description hurts Jane. And any non-neutral description, even a positive one, just kills her. This is why even a complimentary comment … is both inappropriate and damaging in a professional setting. It primes people to think of a woman’s appearance, and that’s apparently enough to keep them from thinking about her actual qualifications. You will be unsurprised to learn that this effect is strongest among men.”
Read more at Mother Jones.
There are 400,000 children in the U.S. foster care system, 115,000-130,000 of whom are eligible to be adopted. With all the “pro-life” rhetoric we hear, where’s the moral outrage about their lives? Many of these children aren’t the “popular” kinds to adopt (i.e., healthy, white infants), but instead are older kids, or racial minorities, or they have disabilities or were victims of abuse.
Instead of protesting a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body & her own life, instead of protesting outside of abortion clinics & treating women’s personal healthcare decisions as if they’re fair game for public scrutiny … why don’t those who claim to be “pro-life” direct all this energy onto making sure children who are already born get loving families? Why don’t they adopt or foster children themselves (especially the harder-to-place kids)? Why don’t they advocate for gay adoption? Why don’t they stop supporting abstinence-only sex education (which has been proven to be highly ineffective) & minimize the number of unwanted children in the first place? Why don’t they protest against legislation that cuts funding for food & services for poor children?
Because if you ignore all of the above & merely want to outlaw abortion, you’re really not “pro-life” — you’re just pro-birth.
Kurt Cobain would’ve been 46 years old today.
This quote originally appeared in an article on Jezebel regarding criticisms of Hillary Clinton’s appearance.
This poster is from the new anti-rape campaign: “My strength is not for hurting.” MyStrength is a project of the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault. This awesome campaign puts responsibility for rape prevention where it belongs — on the potential rapist. Learn more here: http://www.mystrength.org/
Recently, I posted the cover of 1994’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. While still thin, the models looked untouched by Photoshopped and not as perfectly flawless as the cover images of today. Here’s another comparison from 1994 — check out the striking differences between Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” music video from 1994 and the re-make from 2011. As you’ll notice, “… the comparison reveals two trends: the rising emphasis placed on consumption and the new hyper-sexualization.”
Here’s the original 1994 version. As Sociological Images notes:
“The first video involves Mariah mostly bounding around in the snow in a snow suit. Often acting pretty darn goofy, with dogs and Santa. She spends part of the video inside with kids, a Christmas tree, presents, and more animals. She’s usually wearing a sweater. She spends less than (I’m guessing) 10 seconds of the video in a sexy Mrs. Claus outfit and, when she’s wearing it, it looks like she’s got long johns on her legs.”
And here’s the new version for 2011. In the new video:
“Instead of a snowy field or an intimate home, the video takes place in a shopping mall. It centrally features a Nintendo product. Likewise, instead of bounding around in the snow like a goof, she spends the entire video up against a wall in super high heels and the sexy Mrs. Claus outfit (except this one doesn’t have sleeves or a midriff). At one point she runs her hand down her body, touching her breast and moving down to her crotch; at another she just leans against the wall with her back to us and swings her butt back and forth.”
This is an ad by Bushmaster, maker of the .223 caliber semiautomatic rifle that was used to kill 27 innocent people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut last Friday. Bushmaster thinks buying an assault rifle will give you back your “man card”.
So sad about the tragedy in Connecticut. There are many social & psychological factors that may have led up to this horrific event — proliferation of guns, a culture that glamorizes violence, mental illness, & people who are just evil bastards. But simply speaking — it’s heartbreaking. Here’s a little something to consider today.
PETA – People who believe in the ethical treatment of animals & the unethical treatment of women …
This is a Hallmark birthday card for a young girl:
TEXT: “You’re 13 today! If you had a rich boyfriend, he’d give you diamonds and rubies. Well, maybe next year you will – when you’ve bigger boobies!”
A woman in the UK posted a picture of it on Twitter. Over the next 6 hours, it was “re-tweeted, blogged about and posted across the Internet … [until] Hallmark UK apologized for and pledged to stop selling the sexist card.” The social pressure on Hallmark and their reaction is a great example of how speaking out about sexism matters!
Face Your Shadows
Men’s t-shirts like these are sold in this store’s “humor” section & feature the most incredibly witty phrases ever uttered by 14-year-old boys, including such gems as “Nice tits, too bad about your face” & “Hey slut let’s fuck”. Brilliant stuff, I tell ya. Especially the image below – “I have the dick, so I make the rules” – which was clearly inspired by GOP lawmakers.
(Fyi – “inter alia” means “among other things”)
And golly, that casserole sure looks swell!
If a religion offers justifications for sexism, racism, or homophobia, then maybe that belief system isn’t so moral after all.