Thursday, August 18, 2011

sexism in advertising

Sex Sells, So Does Rape
How far have we really come?

An examination of sexist trends in media gives us the answer, not very.

In an era of post feminism it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking the contemporary perspective of gender relations is what liberation for women really looks like. Indeed we are now led to believe women are going too far in their unquenchable desire for equal rights. A brief look at advertising campaigns spanning over the last few decades, reveals the falsity of such thinking.

In 2007 Dolce and Gabbana showed their true misogynist colours in releasing a print ad depicting gang rape. A woman restrained by the wrists bucking her body off the floor and staring blankly off camera makes the scene unambiguous in it's violence. Further, the men who stand around in various states of undress gaze dispassionately at the spectacle before them. A not so subtle allusion to the voyeuristic nature of sexism in advertising.

This ad was first banned in Spain and then later in Italy. On being forced to pull this particular example of rampant misogyny Dolce and Gabbana commented Spain was "behind the times". Like there is anything progressive about the eroticisation of violence against women.

In 2008 Duncan Quinn launched an advertisement featuring a woman in her underwear sprawled lifeless across the bonnet of a sports car. A fully clothed man stands over her holding in his hand a tie looped leash-like around her neck. This is a clear promotion of masculinity being connected to sexual dominance of women.

In 2010, not to be outdone by Dolce and Gabbana and Duncan Quinn, Calvin Klein released it's very own gang rape advertisement in Australia. The most marked difference between the two ads is in the latter the woman is restrained by hair rather than her hands. This campaign was also banned and short time after it's introduction.

It is tempting to view the banning of some of the most vile campaigns as indicative of social progression of sorts. To do so however would be to ignore the vast majority of sexist advertisements which are completely overlooked and even justified. These are just the extreme examples, the exceptions proving the rule. Such an assumption would also ignore the persistent sexist depictions of women as submissive recipients of men's sexual desire and justification of violence towards them. Business as usual really.

Such as the 1962 coffee ad designed by Chase and Sanborn, showing a woman receiving a spanking from a husband not pleased with her domestic abilities. Or the tie advertisement featuring a man leaning back in bed while his wife kneels and serves him breakfast. Or the 1953 advertisment of an innovation in bottle lids drawing a not so subtle connection between a woman opening a sauce bottle and performing fellatio. Or a 1970's cigarette promotion titled "Blow in her face and she will follow you anywhere".

These types of advertisements are often referred to as vintage, but there is nothing obsolete about sexism in advertising or society more broadly. The association between a woman's domestic duties and her sexual duties to men may not be as strong as they once were, but the romanticisation of sexual violence is a constant. It shows quite clearly the quest for profit ensures sexism never goes out of style.

The products may be different and the manner in which sexism is packaged may be changed, but the message coming through loud and clear is unchanged. The 1972 advertisement appearing in Playboy pictured a naked woman lying on the ground next to a shoe, asserts this most clearly in it's title "Keep her where she belongs...". A woman's place as the submissive counterpart to man is unaltered, indeed one could argue unchallenged.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The mundane conceals the macabre

More every day sexism is viewed as largely irrelevant, shrugged off as unharmful and just a bit of fun. However as often seems to happen the ordinary paves the way for the extreme.

Sexism is often seen as a compliment, such as "you are too cute to have so many opinions"or "I would like to get a few drinks into you..."

This seems placid enough, but this baseline sexism paves the way for the introduction of concepts such as "grey rape", this is just the typical heterosexual male response after all, pretty woman=man want, so this too is portrayed as a compliment and as a healthy heterosexual male behaviour.

This is why sexism must be opposed at all times and at all levels.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

If women love the bad boy then men love the gold digger!

How many times have I heard a MRA whining on about how women love bad boys, they never pick the nice guy! So what do they expect? It is a little bit their fault when they are abused because after all they could have picked a nice guy. Perhaps they even secretly like the abuse!

By this logic I say obviously men must love gold diggers why else be with them? They could have chosen a nice non materialistic woman but no they went for the gold digger. So aren't they a little to blame when their partner drains their bank account? I personally think they like it, why else date this person in the first place?

Just my thought for the day. MRA absurdity and lack of logic never seeks to amaze and amuse.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Class politics and feminism

I have been thinking about this for awhile. Does feminism go with socialism? Many claim that feminism is socialism, or at least marxist. This seems absurd to me.

So I suppose my question is if one does not apply a combination of class politics and feminism (or just class politics) to the world how can one get a reasonable idea of what is happening?

Hillary clinton being in office has nothing to do with the lives of the majority of women, this is not an empowering thing. How can we look to the oprah winfreys and the ellen degeneres' as signs of liberation for women and homosexuals, when the stark reality is that the experiences of these women will not be and cannot be the experience of most.

How can this be viewed under the lens of "the glass ceiling has been smashed! Just look at the aussie pm, she is female!" and be accurate? Do these very few women who end up in positions of power really indicate anything at all about the changing world of gender politics?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Sorry for the rambling that is ahead of you, I am still trying to mull out some ideas and would appreciate any input.

Nature and natural human urges are what people use to explain a lot of things. For example MRAs have used it to explain the double standard where women are valued for their mongamy and men are valued for their polygamy. Known today as not sleeping around vs sleeping around. This is absolute bullshit. Their logic seems sound until you think about it a little more. How primitive cultures functioned was not based in the family system we have today. Today it is an imperative of the male to know if the offspring is his because he goes to work and brings home the resources needed to keep the child alive. He consequently wants to know he is working to further his own seed.

However this is just not how previous human cultures worked. When the menfolk went out to bring down an elephant they would be providing meat for their entire tribe not just their nuclear family, because this family structure simply didn't exist in the way it does today. So they didn't have much concern for what children were theirs and what children weren't because it didn't involve them having to put in any further labour like it does today. This is not nature, this is how our society functions

This brings me to my second point. If you can look at the past and present of human societies and see various "natural" imperatives driving the function of these differing groups then I think the only thing you can say that is natural about human behaviour is that it adapts. For instance in this context you can say it is natural for men to want to know its their offspring in this society, because that is what is beneficial for them, however this too has its flaws.

Which brings me to my third point. One must recognise that humans are and have always been social creatures. We are driven by a desire to improve our society, whatever that society may be, not necessarily our individual lives. When speaking of "nature" you are reducing humans to mere animals (non human animals) and ignoring our cultural imperatives and our higher level of consciousness. What is natural and helpful for an animal isn't necessarily natural and helpful for us. In the example of the promiscuity double standard it can in fact be seen as unnatural for a man to care if his off spring is biologically his because that isn't beneficial to society and may in fact be harmful.

I suppose what I am trying to say is anyone can make up any bullshit and say "nature did it". This is no better then religious nuts saying "god did it".

Human nature-we change

Thats about it.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Are lesbians beholden to the chivalry code?

I won't elaborate on this much, that is basically my question to anyone who is still around.

I will say however in my personal experience when I have been with a woman I automatically behave in a way that could be classed as consistent with chivalry. I like to pay for everything, etc.

When this is presented as oppression of men I was wondering if in a lesbian interaction if chivalry applies and if so are lesbians oppressed as a result in the same way men allegedly are?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Critique of the MRM

Stubborn Refusal of Facts

When they encounter someone who calls themselves a feminist, the woman bashing is unleashed and considered justified. A view asserted by a feminist even if it is in agreeance with them is completely disregarded and instead, if they aren't in a good position to censor the immediate response is to talk over the top of that feminist with the statement "you're sexist". This seems to occur often in the absence of any evidence for misandry. It is interesting and creates the first article for why MRM will just chase it's own tail until humanity is extinct. They are so hell bent on labelling feminism as misandry that they refuse to admit that it is possible to believe in gender equality and not in fact hate men or hate women (although they aren't good at demonstrating that). What a waste of time it is to throw unfounded accusations at people when the actual issues could be discussed.


They reject the notion of MRA women playing a major role in their organisation, a few seem to reject the idea of women playing any role in the MRA movement. This one should be self explanatory. Women make up over half the population, a movement is not likely to succeed with half its potential supporters thrown out. This leads into the next point.


While claiming to be opposed to bigotry, they purposefully perpetuate misogynist sentiments. This undermines their position as it becomes the exact same position they accuse feminists of having.

Traditional Gender Roles

They are the champions of traditional gender roles. Longing for the good ole days where women did as they were told and referring to women only as "a good woman" if she wants to live out the gender roles of old. No matter there are many good reasons for smashing "traditional" gender roles and the "traditional" marriage. Marriage is the heart of bigotry, and sorry MRA it is slowly filtering out of society, nothing you can do to ruin peoples happiness and freedom.

Intellectual dishonesty

Quoting statistics from one stand alone study with flawed methodology as though it was gospel. Yes I am referring in particular to the study allegedly proving that 41% rape accusations are false. Give it up, people can see through these lies.


They allow their bitterness to impact on their political leanings. They refer to feminist men as manginas and yet they are the ones acting like the stereotypical woman, with their hysteria and minimised ability to think about things rationally. This was demonstrated on one site where a MRA asserted that "we can start considering gender equality when as many women as men have died in war." What if a feminist said "We can start thinking about gender equality when as many men as women have died in child birth." Yeah it doesn't make the slightest amount of sense.

Equality in Suffering

Rather then seeing an organisation as a source for making the lives of people better the MRA see their role in making people suffer as much as they allegedly have. That is just gross.


All these things result in them having a stance that is largely apolitical, where it isn't just plain confused, backwards or nonsensical.

Sorry guys, you just aren't going to succeed this way. Shape up.