Author Archives: sheilass

Women, the workforce, and the household

This topic of the gender divide in housework and childcare is extremely interesting to me since my parents do not conform to “typical” or “traditional” gender roles.  In my family, it was my dad who took the lower paying job … Continue reading

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Should “working moms” talk about being “working moms”?  

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Fat-shaming in disguise I follow the NY Times on twitter and came across this article.  At first I was intrigued.  I do follow a lot of “plus-size” fashion blogs on tumblr, and I was glad to see that these fashion bloggers were … Continue reading

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Gay marriage and Indian culture

I’ve never told this story publicly before, so here it goes. My uncle and I have always been really close.  We would spend all holidays together, shop together, talk to each other all the time.  Then suddenly a few years … Continue reading

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MUST READ: Survivor retells harrowing story of rape on Amherst Campus Amherst’s website crashed because this went viral.  There is so much to talk about that I can’t possibly mention it all – I’ll post a follow-up when I have time.

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Fiat Superbowl Commercial

Based on the first few seconds of this ad, the viewer might think it’s a “typical” sexist advertisement. The woman is bent over – the viewer is clearly supposed to focus on her breasts and butt. As the ad progresses, it’s clear this ad is not typical in any way. There is a glimmer of hope though, when the woman realizes she has attracted this heterosexual male gaze and reprimands the onlooker. However, her passion in anger turns into passion in seduction, and even this image of a strong woman is sexualized. The woman is objectified even further since she is Italian. Not only does this play into the ‘sexy and foreign woman’ stereotype, it further objectifies the woman since the (assumed) American man literally cannot understand her, and therefore it’s understood that he is drawn to her only for her appearance. Like Jean Kilbourne states in Killing Us Softly 4, women are often objectified in media to the point where they actually become inanimate objects. In this ad, the woman literally IS a car. Not only is she depicted as only a sexual being, cars and driving are sexualized also. The tagline, “You’ll never forget the first time you see one,” only further engrains this message. The company doesn’t want the viewer to buy their car because it’s the most reliable or most fuel-efficient car, just like the man wasn’t attracted to the woman for her personality or intelligence. Instead, Fiat wants the viewer to buy the car simply because it’s beautiful, foreign, and bold. And because seeing this car for the first time is as memorable as seeing a beautiful woman, driving this car is as comparable to “driving/riding” a beautiful woman by association.

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Sex slavery rehabilitation in India First of all, thank god at least some of these girls are being rescued from the brothels.  The fact that people are noticing and trying to solve this problem that faces 300,000 women speaks volumes of the changing times … Continue reading

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Fat and Gender Stereotypes

First of all, I’m so glad we’re talking about fat studies in class! I’ve always been really passionate about the intersection between feminism and fat studies but didn’t know people actually studied it, so this is great.  I actually first … Continue reading

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What’s at stake in the 2012 presidential election

We’ve come a long way in terms of LGBT and women’s rights, but if the Democrats don’t win the election, all of that progress may be reversed.  Both Rue Landau and Carol Tracy touched upon the progress made in the … Continue reading

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A Sikh woman with facial hair defends her appearance I found this article last week but never got a chance to blog about, so I’m going to do it now!  This article is interesting not only because it has to do with gender stereotypes and the material we’re … Continue reading

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