Jim Beam – Puppies!
October 30, 2009, 3:21 am
Filed under: Advertisements | Tags: ,

Men – we know you are lazy bums! But women will fall for anything, so it’s ok! For further examples, see every Valentine’s Day commercial.


Been a while
October 29, 2009, 6:53 pm
Filed under: Commentary | Tags: ,

It’s not that there hasn’t been anything to write about, I just haven’t had any time! This semester is eating me alive! I’ve been thinking about a post on Luna bars and Clif bars, and I’m fleshing out some thoughts about Christie Hefner speaking at Newhouse…

But I’ve been thinking a little bit about something someone said to me recently – that finding sexist advertisements is not hard, that I’m not doing anything new. He then proceeded to tell me that there’s more to life than gender issues, and that I should be thinking about war and poverty – and global capitalism and whatnot. When I explained how feminism isn’t just women complaining about sexist ads, or pay inequality – how could I major in that? I explained that I took transnational feminist studies last semester – we talked the entire semester about how poverty is gendered, how sweatshops affect women, how America’s presence in the world, and orientalism all affect women…How could someone honestly think that capitalism doesn’t get talked about in gender studies classes? I mean, I know this person doesn’t read feminist literature or blogs the way I do, and is woefully uneducated about the tenets of feminism, but really?

And then, in my COM class – race gender and the media! – we talked about how feminism is framed in the mass media – as negative, useless, and most of all, trivial. And this comes up in WGS classes too – doesn’t it makes sense why people (namely people who aren’t getting this info from feminist sources) would think feminism is trivial? Those people aren’t going to get involved – and they’re going to try to make feminists feel bad about what they care about. It’s not nearly that simple, but if you take a step back, it seems very convenient and simple how those representations can work to keep feminism repressed.

And that all comes back to my last post – how most of the comments said things along the lines up “suck it up,” “stop looking for problems just to harp on them” and “you’re reading too far into this.” instead of…thoughtful responses. And the person who recently told me that I should be focusing on “more important” issues than feminism was doing that exact same thing – using that understanding of feminism to make me seem petty and trivial.

I know that things like the “SU Orangemen chant” aren’t really at the top of anyone’s list of priorities – but if nobody thinks it’s a big deal, isn’t that more of a reason why it should be scrutinized? If everyone just lets things like language go unnoticed and uncriticized, that means those are the deepest set norms! And I’m not going to stop thinking about those little things – because those are the things we can change – easily!

Learning about the framing of feminism is important – because it leaves me more able to handle criticism – because I know where people are coming from, where they’re getting their ideas, what they’re trying to do, and why they’re wrong.