Fighting with the Sky

Posts Tagged ‘advertising

Gender Across Borders: The 11th Carnival of Feminists – Global Edition!

Welcome to the 11th Carnival of Feminists! Gender Across Borders is proud to present a Global Edition of the Carnival. We want to thank everyone who submitted posts to this Carnival, and we hope you enjoy reading all of the excellent posts linked below!

this ain’t livin’: Beyond the Binary: Meeting People

For nonbinaries, it’s a strange place to navigate. Because people gender automatically, there’s no space to provide correct information about gender. And this means that, for the most part, we are misgendered from the start when we meet by people who fit us into a binary slot based on names, appearances, ways of movement, and so forth.

Genderbitch: The Day My Hope for Feminism Died

One of the worst transphobic haters in feminist history died in 2010. Mary Daly. I’m not one that gets pleasure out of people dying and I don’t find her death to be a good thing. I would much prefer if people like her stopped hating, recanted their statements and worked on our behalf to try to make amends for those they killed through their words enforcing the exclusion of us from jobs, rape shelters and attempting to deny us what we need to survive.

Small Strokes: Teaching Feminism and Body Image: What Are Commercials Really Selling?

To me, this commercial is clearly “selling” Dove’s self esteem workshops, which I think are brilliant and necessary (although, I must admit, I haven’t done much research into them). When I asked my students what this commercial was selling, they instantly said: “Dove soap.”

Swimsuit Issue: Save the Boobies!

Women have been encouraged to update their statuses with the colour of their bra. Why? For breast cancer awareness, that’s why. Apparently telling everybody on your friends list that you’re wearing a red bra, is, like, totally a positive thing.

Except that it’s not. It’s creepy.


That’s the description of the youtube video for a KGB commercial that I looked up after I saw it on ABC Family.  KGB has definitely made some problematic commercials before, as Renee at Womanist Musings has pointed out.  But this one really struck a cord with me:

You get some drinking, cross-dressing, and a woman in her underwear all in one commercial!  What joy!

While the woman is shown as being comfortable with her body and her sexuality in the commercial (she doesn’t need a “towel” to cover up), it’s not really her sexuality that she is comfortable with expressing.  Her sexuality is being interpreted through the corporate interests, which are probably male.

And then there is the description of the youtube video, which is simply: “some girls loses her outfit in a bet.”  This woman doesn’t even have an identity.  In the KGB commercials, the names of the two people aren’t given and the man is usually the one who takes the lead.  But in this description, she’s not even part of the KGB team…she’s just “some girl.”

In this commercial, the woman is only valued for her body and her sexuality.  Just another example of the erasure of identity for the purposes of corporate (probably male) fantasies of sexualized women.

After RMJ talked about the normalization of whiteness and maleness in beer packaging, I began to think about the perception of alcoholic drinks as gendered…specifically wine and beer.  Even today when I think that I am aware of gender norms and gender stereotyping, I still sort of think as beer associated with men and wine associated with women.  Beer is what manly men drink and wine is what sophisticated women drink.  At least that is what society tells us to believe.

spg1Beer advertising is almost always marketed towards men, what with the hot models and all.  Beer companies use women as objects to sell their beer.  Given this, it would make sense that the intended audience is men.  Take this St. Pauli Girl ad for instance.  The woman is actually the beer to be consumed by the man.

Even though I have many examples in my life and in pop culture, I still subconsciously associate beer with men and wine with women.  I drink both wine and beer.  So do both of my parents (granted, my mom does prefer wine out of the two).  One of my best friends (who is a woman) prefers beer.  Many of my friends who are both men and women drink both wine and beer.  So why do I still hold this subconscious association?  When I’m having a drink with my friends, I often don’t think about this association.  We’re just sharing a bottle of wine or having a few beers, despite the gender of whoever is involved.  But looking at wider society, I still hold this association.

One specific example that I am thinking of is the show Fraiser.  Fraiser and Niles love wine and sometimes look down on their father for drinking beer.  I watched this show a lot when it was originally on television and I still watch repeats occasionally.  But Fraiser and Niles are viewed as pompous and not “manly men” and one of the reasons for this is their love for wine and distaste for beer.

I think it’s also important to point out the class differences between beer and wine.  Beer is seen as the drink of the lower classes where as wine is seen as a more “rich” drink.  I believe this originally came from the prices.  Certain brands of wine are become less expensive, but these cheap wines are still more expensive with less amount than cheap beer.

Is beer seen as a manly drink just because of the advertising?  Why is wine associated with women (at least for men) then?  There aren’t really a lot of advertisements for wine.  Does anyone else hold this association despite personal experience with wine and beer?

Happy Sunday!  This has been an exciting week for me.  I’ve started a new job and am in the middle of training and as you can see, I have have moved my site to a brand spanking-new self-hosted site!  Take a peek around at some of the new stuff and let me know if you have any suggestions.  Per usual, this post will feature some link love from the past couple days as well as a reminder of some of my favorite posts from the week as featured on Tuesday and Thursday.  Don’t forget to leave links to what you have been writing and reading this week (a little self-promotion never hurt anyone!).

New link love:

How PETA is Damaging the Animal Welfare Movement [this ain’t livin’] – Pretty self-explanatory from the title…don’t we all love PETA?  I’d also like to point you to meloukhia’s Feminism and Joss Whedon series because those are two of my favorite things!

Normalization of maleness and whiteness in beer packaging [Deeply Problematic] – Have you ever stopped in the beer aisle and taken a look around?  What do you see?  An overwhelming number of white males on the packaging.  And how are women and people of color represented on these packagings?

Dinner Party Anyone? [Choices Campus Blog] – An idea for raising awareness about feminism on your campus (if you are a college student) which is also a great idea for anyone!  I want to plan a feminist dinner party…too bad all of you are so far away!

Small Strokes Podcast: My Definition of Feminism [Small Strokes] – Take a listen to Ashley’s first podcast about what feminism means to her!

Weekly Link Love:

Getting out of the way so women can save the world [Feministing] – A look at the recent NYT magazine of “Saving the World’s Women.”

Ashley at Small Strokes started a series on why and how feminism should be taught in schools which I was lucky enough to guest post for.  Because the teenage years are important part in the development of the person and values, teaching feminism in high school is very important!

The 5 Ways Glamour Undermines Its Size-12 Self-Acceptance Message [Glossed Over] – All of the uproar over Glamour’s size 12 model didn’t quite sit well with me and didn’t really know why, but Wendy has explained my uneasiness about it very well.

Bros before Hos: A Post Ted Kennedy Story [Recursive Paradox] – After Sen. Ted Kennedy’s death, everybody was quick to praise his contributions to women’s rights. But Recursive Paradox pointed out a not very well-known story about Ted Kennedy that should also be remembered!

The newest Target Women features all of those commercial starring Brooke Shields.  Sarah Haskins looks at why this actress and former model is the perfect salesperson:

So you know back when Gardasil (the HPV vaccine) was approved and people wouldn’t vaccinate their daughters because they thought it would promote promiscuity? That was a fun time. I never really understood this line of reasoning.

Apparently if a 10-year-old girl is given a vaccine that would help prevent cancer someone down the road, she will go out and have sex because there are no more worries! Not pregnancy, not STIs. The only worry that girls and teenagers have about sex is getting HPV. I don’t mean to belittle the seriousness of HPV, but there are other risks to having sex than just HPV.

I got the Gardasil vaccine just this past year, but I know that if it had been around when I was younger, my mom would have had me vaccinated. Not because she thought I should have sex (she would have been supportive of that decision though…I think), but because she would want me to be protected against contracting HPV down the road.

At least from what I’ve been aware of, the drama over the Gardasil vaccine has calmed down. Now, the FDA is going to consider whether Gardasil should be approved for boys and young men. When I learned this, it made me wonder, would there have been such an uproar about it originally if Gardasil had been approved for boys as well.

As many of us know too well, boys (not all boys, but this is prevalent throughout society) are encouraged from a young age to view sex as a “conquest” and male teenagers and young men are seen as “studs”, “playboys”, etc. for sleeping with many women. Where as girls are encourage to “save” their virginity and purity for that special someone. These differing views of sexuality for boys and girls play right into the rigid gender norms of society.

So if Gardasil was approved for boys from the beginning, would it have been seen as promoting sex at a young age and promiscuity. Sadly, I don’t think that it would have been seen that way.

Happy Sunday! As you may have noticed, I have started posting some link love on Tuesdays and Thursdays as well as Sundays now. Sunday’s link love posts will be slightly different now. I will include some of my favorite posts since Thursday, but I will also feature some of my favorite posts from the week overall, including posts that were already loved previously. Just a disclaimer: I have been kind of lazy about my reading this week, so the list is not as long as it normally is. I’m always looking for new posts and blogs to read, so don’t forget to leave your links in the comments!

New link love:
The Girl on page 194 – Below the Belt
A look at how we judge women’s bodies by examining the “real woman” picture in Sept’s issue of Glamour magazine.

Sex is scary (at least to some journalists) – Clarissa’s Blog
How our fear of sex is a result of the patriarchal culture.

But men aren’t pretty – o filthy grandeur
Challenging gender norms through language.

Today’s WTF: Fragoli – The Undomestic Goddess
About how lesbianism is portrayed in advertising

Thomas Jefferson: The Face of a Rapist – Womanist Musings
Thomas Jefferson was an integral part of the development of our country, but should we forget that he was also a rapist? Also posted at Feministe.

Weekly Link Love:
Attn. Straight Women: Gay men are not your accessories – Feministing
“Perhaps the more subversive act today is to decline to preface the term “friend” with a description of that person’s sexuality.”

Michelle O.: “Intellectual Lightweight”? – Salon Broadsheet
Apparently Michelle Obama is not as smart as she thinks she is…

“Blinded by privilege”: ableist language in critical discourse – Deeply Problematic
A reflection on how the language we use contributes to the oppression of others.


There is a new blog on the block: Fiercly Independent
The blog is run by Leftunder Books and focuses on indie publishing, writing, reading, feminism, illustration, and some other stuff. Check it out!