Posts Tagged ‘sexism’


February 8, 2010

I knew that the Tebow ad would air, and that I’d be annoyed.  I knew other advertisements might bug me.  I did not expect (dumbly, I suppose?) that the majority of them would drive me crazy with this apparent man-revolution against the “oppression” women have created against them.

Wear the pants.  Avoid talking to your nagging, shopping girlfriend.  Men hate carrying chapstick.  Men hate putting down toilet seats (and the task is so much easier for women if they aren’t responsible for said action?) Men hate feelings.  Men need big cars to be powerful because it’s the only realm of power they have left.

And guys who don’t want to be that image of a “real man” who can “wear the pants” after caterwauling in his underwear?  Tough luck, cause society has rules and you are bound by them, too.

Except that they control major industry and are the ones writing these ads.  Here’s the kicker- that image of nagging girlfriend/wife and poooor stunted man lifestyle with a twist of humor to it? Mostly from comedies written by men who still control the majority of the television and film industries along with most everything else.

Here’s to another year of misogyny and over-enforced gender norms.  Maybe next year it will be different? Or maybe we can continue with irrelevant, over sexualized commercials like GoDaddy’s masterpiece.  Domain names? Let’s just have women flash tank tops at a racecar driver. ( She’s a girl, so what other kind of ad could they put her in? Duh.)

Oh and who could forget the sexualized babies for etrade? And the milkaholic baby girl… are we really going to slut shame infants now?


I’ve been reading

February 4, 2010

Jezebel: Guys Who Grope

In Canada: Time to End Pelvic Exams Without Consent (*& Performed on unconscious patients) I can’t believe this was ever allowed.

A Study on Fibromyalgia & Trauma/Victimization


December 20, 2009

To sway Nelson, a hard-won compromise on abortion issue

I am sick and tired of politicians deciding that my rights are something that can be compromised.  I’m tired of it being treated like a victory.  Oh, and of abortions being separated from everything else for special “moral” consideration.  Medical procedures are between patients and doctors.  That this one, so specifically gendered, so important to women’s healthcare can be plucked out at a whim for a compromise is disgusting.  It’s legal. So why do we still have to keep fighting?

In the meantime, Nelson gets a nice payoff for Nebraska.

Read this Blog

December 8, 2009

Well I Guess That’s Us Told

Melissa McEwin responds to Ad Age’s suggestion (after Method pulled an ad which equated soap scum with rape):

While the words in this space are usually directed at marketers, we’d like to take an opportunity to talk to all of those out there who often find themselves so offended by ads that they feel a need to launch a crusade. To you we say: “Take a deep breath. Have some perspective.”

Anyway, McEwin says a lot of things in her reply that just make sense– how refreshing.  Also, I’ve been dealing with the “Why do you look for ways to get offended?” discussion a lot this week when I can’t help but see them. And my complaints? Somehow worse and more upsetting than the problems I complain about, apparently. Here’s an excerpt:

The notion that anti-rape advocates look for things about which to get offended is manifest horseshit: The truth is, if I actually spent my days actively paying attention to every example of rape apologia around me, I would be a profoundly unhappy woman. Not bitchy or grumpy or short-tempered, but paralyzingly depressed. Women have to train themselves to avoid consciously reacting to every bit of rape-advocating detritus permeating the culture through which we all move, lest they go quite insane. I write about the things I can’t not write about. If I wrote about all the examples of sexual predation I see every day, I’d never sleep.

And the recommendation to “ignore the little stuff,” so often intertwined with accusations of looking for things about which to get offended (as here), is not merely condescending, but counter to the objective of stopping rape. The “little stuff” is the fertile soil in which everything else takes root and from whence everything else springs; it’s the way that the fundamental idea that sexual assault is acceptable is conveyed over and over and over again.

Which, quite frankly, means that if even we did have to look for it, we’d be right to do so.


December 4, 2009

I’ve been short on words and overwhelmed with work the last few weeks, but here are a few more links to share as I’m still doing a lot of reading:

Sainsbury’s shopworker refuses to sell pregnant woman Cheddar cheese

This one is just ridiculous.  Since when are grocers and deli workers health experts?  And since when do they have the right to pry because they have visually detected a woman is pregnant? Especially when they don’t even know what they are talking about…I understand the worker may have had good intentions, but she had no right to go on patronizing the customer and making her vow not to eat the cheese if she was “allowed” to purchase it.

“Ask Amy” Doles Out Some Terrible Rape-Related Advice

This one makes me ill and the “Ask Amy” response is full of the same old victim blaming seen every day, now complete with even more “credibility.”

Thoughts on “Beauty”

November 18, 2009

A friend of mine reminded me about the Dove campaigns for real beauty, and I want to share a couple videos here:

Skechers (Yeah, more shoes)

November 16, 2009

So, the trend of shoes as “exercise technology” is pretty popular lately. I actually remembered seeing these Skechers commercials over the summer, a video on loop in the store while I shopped.

I like skechers because of the focus on comfort, and am overall more pleased with this video than the Reebok one.  Well, maybe “pleased” isn’t the right way to put it, because I’m still pretty annoyed.  Maybe just less offended?

The video above shows a workout that doesn’t require you to go to the gym.  The “stronger, healther, happier you” part is all well and good, as well as the alleged health benefits and the “natural” way to walk.  At the same time, I’m not happy when the woman announcing speaks of a “more attractive you” or emphasizes multiple times that these shoes will get rid of cellulite.  As far as I’m concerned, cellulite isn’t exactly an unnatural phenomenon.  I don’t like the way it is picked on as something wrong here.  You can be in good shape and healthy yet still have cellulite, or still be “overweight” and I really don’t like the way this is pitched in that manner.   It suggests that you cannot view yourself as attractive unless you fit what they and the rest of the media are selling, that you cannot find your own shape attractive, nor can anyone else, and there is the assumption that you will automatically be unhappy if you don’t.

I was surprised to find out that Skechers also makes Shape ups for men. Why? Because I don’t see any of them in this advertisement.  In fact, I only googled them to double-check my assumption that they didn’t exist.  I’m curious as to how many men buy shape ups versus women and what part of the marketing gets them: cellulite or healthy workout? Both? I don’t know.

I’m all for healthy toning of muscles and exercise, a little hesitant to accept these “shoe miracles” as a solution for that, and very peeved that the “more attractive you” means getting rid of all your “flaws” rather than just feeling good about yourself/your health.

What do you think?  Is skechers really significantly better in this campaign than Reebok?  Worse in some way? Do you prefer their infomercial, exercise technology appeal? Let me know.

Remember those Reebok shoes?

November 16, 2009

Remember those really offensive, sexist Reebok ads?

Well, I decided to write them at their corporate address and tell them what I thought.  Here is my original email, which I will admit is rather angry, but can you blame me after seeing the ads?

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing because I am disgusted by your campaign for the EasyTone Shoe line. The commercials I have seen are revoltingly sexist and don’t even seem all that targeted to women, unless, of course, our sole purpose is to attract men. (It isn’t.)  I see this marketing as a giant step backwards. I don’t find the “pervy cameraman” angle funny, or the “jealous breasts” or any of the statistics about men and “jealous women.”  While I have worn Reebok in the past, I will not be making another purchase until your company makes a public apology for these advertisements. That doesn’t mean just making them disappear. It means admitting that they are wrong and objectifying.

Hometown, State

Today I was surprised to open my inbox and find that I had received a reply. Here is what they had to say [Anything in bold is my emphasis]:

Hello M,

Thank you very much for your feedback.  All consumer feedback is helpful, as it provides us with an understanding of the public perception and opinion of our products and marketing.

The Reebok EasyTone ads were created to clearly illustrate the unique benefits of the footwear in a fun and bold way. The feedback we have received tells us that many consumers look at the ads in exactly that light, however we acknowledge that some consumers do take exception with the content of the ads.

You can be assured that your feedback will be relayed directly to our marketing team.

Reebok Corporate Communications

So, I am glad that my words will be “relayed” to marketing.  At the same time, I’m a little annoyed that rather than apologizing in any way, they merely “acknowledge” that I am one of “some” people who take offense, while “many” see it their way.  Why do those “many” come first in the response to me?  How many people wrote in saying these were “bold and fun”? Can we count the men making obscene, objectifying comments about the lead woman? They’d probably agree.

See, the ads aren’t really about what Reebok is advertising… They are only as bad as the public makes them.  It’s all about “perception” and so they company could not possibly admit they have made an error at all.

And in what manner do they clearly illustrate the benefits of the shoe? These are typical images of sexualized women with a few glorified butt shots and a lot of nudity if you watch all the ads in this campaign… The statistics given don’t just provide  numbers on muscle build, but refer to the percentage of men who will be attracted to you if you use the shoes (more than 80%) and women who will be jealous of you.  I’ve hear suggestions that these stats don’t match in the aired versions versus the paper versions over at Ad Rant.

Wear these shoes -> Be a sexual commodity.

Also, the shoes are designed to be “harder” to walk in, yet “comfortable”, so you can walk less but get more exercise I guess?  An “easy fix” if you can’t fit into a perfect mold yet, eh?

While “many consumers” might think this is all well and good, I’m not one of them, and I will be sticking with my decision not to buy Reebok.

EDIT: You can email them too at corporate at

Religion and Healthcare Hand in Hand (Since When?)

November 16, 2009

So one of my latest peeves in this whole Stupak mess is that the Catholic Church can lobby. I don’t just mean members of the church. I mean the church as a powerful, political body (one that apparently is not separate from State). Why is it they can pull these strings and call these meetings and do so much damage? I’m so irritated, because I know the truth, that even Catholic women get abortions, that many Catholics are pro-choice, not adhering to every declaration of the religion. That doesn’t seem to matter though, and I’m just supposed to offer up the rights to my own body so the church doesn’t cause a fuss and help tank healthcare? No way.

Whose Team Is It, Anyway? By Katha Pollitt

Feminism Friday: Politics, Medicine and Religion – Three’s a Crowd

Stupak’s God in Our Government

Self Explanatory

November 13, 2009

Watch Jon Stewart tackle the guys who voted against the Franken amendment (all Republicans) and who are more interested in protecting Halliburton than rape victims.  Stewart says it all.