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Cindy Gallop: Make love, not porn (Adult content)

I found Cindy Gallop’s unapologetic declaration of “ I date younger men and I have sex with younger men” (Gallop) completely refreshing. But when she continued with the statement on how she “encounters the ramifications of the creeping ubiquity of … Continue reading

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Jennifer Livingston Fights Weight Criticism-REPOST OF OCT 3, 2012 SPARK POST

Did HE really just call HER fat? Combing through the morning news, I came across this video of a La Crosse, Wisconsin news anchor named Jennifer Livingston. Jennifer received an email by a local unidentified man, making comments on her … Continue reading

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PETA’s Banned Super Bowl Ad

First you hear the guitar riffs. Then you see the backs of traditional feminine women entering candle lit rooms, scantly clad, seductively rubbing vegetables on their bodies. This is how People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) chose to promote that “Vegetarians Have Better Sex.” Showing women as the object of male desire is typical of the “3B’s”: ball, beer and babes. I would expect more from PETA than to feed into male dominance and female subordination.

Millions of people, mostly men, watch the Super Bowl annually. So to sell a vegetarian lifestyle through the promise of better sex, PETA is giving men exactly what they want: scantily clad women sensually rubbing their bodies with phallic objects, in this case vegetables. This only furthers the notion that when a woman acts sensually she wants attention from men. (JB 37) This ad obviously targets mostly heterosexual males, possibly in their mid 30’s who like a little bit of porn with their sporting events. The women in this ad, under the direction of PETA, have turned themselves into objects and reinforced this power dynamic. (JB38)

Jones, Amelia, ed. The Feminine and Visual Culture Reader, New York: Routledge, 2003.

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Crest Whitestrips Commercial

In her documentary Killing Us Softly, Jean Killborne explains that a vast majority of advertisements assume an outlook of heterosexuality of consumers, and this Crest White Strip commercial is no exception. At open, three young women are sitting at a table in a restaurant. When the last member of their party joins the table with a smile on her face, it is assumed that there is a new man in her life, “Oh come on, you’re glowing! You’re in love,” her friends cheer while she smiles and refutes their statements. The object of the advertisement is to show that with crest white strips your smile will be so bright that everyone will believe you’re in love but, in fact, it’s just crest white strips.

This commercial is a great representation of what Beauvoir proposed in The Second Sex, this idea that women are defined by men. “But if I wish to define myself, I must first of all say: ‘I am a woman’; on this truth must be based all further discussion. A man never beings by presenting himself as an individual of a certain sex; it goes without saying that he is a man.”

The women in the commercial cannot comprehend the idea that their friend might just be happy on her own, no one questions whether she received a raise at work or just closed a big deal nor do they ask if she just found an amazing home for a great price; the assumption is that a man has come into her life and made it better. One of the friends even asks if this new mystery man has a friend in hopes of meeting a man for herself. This commercial utilized the belief that women need a man to be whole and signify happiness, not only putting women in a place of invalidity, but also excluding non-heterosexual women who, in fact, don’t need or want a man for happiness.

McCann, Carole R., and Seung-Kyung Kim. Feminist Theory Reader: Local and Global Perspectives. New York: Routledge, 2003.

Killing Us Softly 4. Dir. Jean Killborne. Cambridge Documentary Films, 2010. DVD.

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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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Why does the question of origin matter when it comes to sex, gender, sexuality, or sexual desire?

Watch this video: Hedwig and the Angry Inch: The Origin of Love Why does the question of origin matter when it comes to sex, gender, sexuality, or sexual desire? In this clip from the film adaptation of the off-broadway musical … Continue reading

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