How will you act towards consumerism?

Before taking this class, I was pretty ignorant about how women were objectified and sexualized in consumerism. Needless to say, I am now much more aware and critical of advertisements, shows, and music videos I watch. However, these views are unpopular in public and often ridiculed for being too sensitive or just strange.

How can we learn to voice these opinions? How can we find the balance between being “too feminist” and losing all critical thinking about the ideas we internalize every day?

Tristan Taormino’s way of voicing her unpopular feminist views was very shrewd. Opinions against typical porn are often ignored and do not reach the right audience- the consumers of pornography. Taormino’s idea of making feminist, educational porn may have been born because she believed it would help women explore their sexuality while maintaining the integrity of industry stars. However, her videos have reached not just women viewers, but also typical male consumers. She is working within one of the biggest porn companies and her videos are extremely popular. Taormino herself stated that people of all genders and sexuality identification (queer, bisexual, pansexual, etc) watch her videos. By creating an alternate solution to a ‘feminist problem’, she has voiced her views against existing disrespectful, unrealistic porn videos. This is so much more effective than, for an example, an opinion column in the New York Times.

We need a ‘Tristan Taormino’ in every consumer industry- print ads, TV media, movies, etc. I think if there is alternate media that is as satisfying and successful without its negativity, consumers will have no problem in choosing media that is psychosocially healthier.

Source: Taormino, Tristan. Oct 25 2012 Skype Lecture

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One Response to How will you act towards consumerism?

  1. This problem of being “too feminist” or “too critical and sensitive” seems to keep coming back to us throughout our discussions. In a honey vs. vinegar sort of way, I agree that offering positive examples of porn, advertisements, film, etc. would be more effective for reaching greater numbers of people than criticizing what sexist, oppressive, and objectifying media examples already exist. That being said, I think the idea of “too much feminism” is a dangerous one. Given that feminism is a movement advocating for equal rights, opportunities, and treatment for men and women, how can a feminist be demanding too much equality? In the face of the amount of objectification that takes place in the media, why is it that men and women alike get more frustrated with the people who are trying to expose the sexism than with the images, films, and all around negative forms of media, themselves? It’s daunting to think that there are all of these subliminal messages being sent in the innumerable ads which portray women in sexist manners. It’s scary to realize that most people are not even aware of these messages. However, it’s downright terrifying to think that some people are unaware by choice. How can we attempt to fight ignorance when the ignorance is strategically self-imposed? Furthermore, why is it that people would rather not know when they are being made victims of objectification? These characterizations of men and women are unhealthy for both sexes because they send clear messages about what roles men and women need to respectively fill. Since we’re all impacted by this media, why is there a such a backlash whenever we try to expose the detrimental impact it is having?

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