June 21st, 2012 — LOVE & Other High Risks, Victims & Dangers
So I bought Fifty Shades of Grey, the chick porn series that is flying off the shelves. Professional, strong women are getting all hot and bothered by hideously lazy and trite writing and messages even worse than Twilight.
I read a chapter or two, mainly because I was curious about whether I could still get horny. Synopsis: boring virgin college girl rejects appropriate advances by a nice guy and a good friend and instead chooses to be the sex slave of a high-powered, arrogant CEO who has her sign a contract allowing him to do any violent or abusive thing he wants to her. How deliciously orginal. Flipping to the middle I saw the word “suspension,” and thought:
“Tracee have you had men treat you like shit? Have they used you for sex? Have they tried to control your behavior and isolate you from your friends, family and outside interests? Have they been violent towards you, even hurting you during sex?”
“Yes,” I said.
“Was it sexy?” I asked.
“No! It totally sucked! It was painful, humiliating and made me ashamed for years and years afterward. It changed the way I felt about myself and men in general,” I remembered.
“Do you want to attract more of those kinds of men into your life simply because they ‘make one hundred thousand dollars an hour?’ or find abusing you an irresistible temptation?” I asked.
“No way,” I said as I tossed the unread book into the recycling bin and hauled it out to the curb where the garbage man carried it off to its appropriate destination.
What the hell is wrong with us? Women, I mean. That’s what I keep wondering. There must me some kind of character flaw, deeply imbedded within women either straight up in our DNA or so deeply ingrained by over 2,000 years of culturally-enforced submission, that we think being treated violently and abusively is sexy. Even for pretend. I mean, would women have even tolerated domination by men if there wasn’t something in us that wanted to be controlled and desired the act of submission?
Are we so desperate to be wanted and desired that we are willing to see any advance or attraction as good?
Here’s a truth you might want to ponder. . .
Reading sexually explicit material or looking at sexually explicit images is going to be sexually stimulating no matter what the content or subject matter is. Need I say more about this than to utter the name V.C. Andrews, author of Flowers in the Attic? Those books are filled with incest and completely abusive coercion, yet my generation could not resist passing them discretely to each other in junior high because of the explicit sexual content. (Do girls still read these?)
The choice is in what you want your brain to be wired to for a sexual response. If you read about submission and domination over and over and become sexually aroused, then that will become your fixation and fetish. Child molesters don’t just wake up one day and attack the nearest kid. They first dwell and fixate on the idea until their brain is so wired to this deviant sexual behavior that they then act on it, making all sorts of justifications to themselves in the process. It is the same with rapists. It is the same with any and all sexual behavior. What you focus on expands.
If, instead, you choose to entertain fantasies of making soulful and deep-heart connections with a strong and gentle, respectful, committed lover, your brain will be aroused and respond sexually to that.
What you focus on not only expands, but it is in fact, invited into your reality and attracted to you.
Consider for a second what kind of message the mass purchasing and reading of this garbage by educated, strong, independent women gives to men. “Treating us like shit actually does turn us on. Keep it up! We love it!”
Explore the idea that we have expanded the domination and submission archetypes of gender and expanded the abuse of and violence toward all women around the world, (the reverse of what I imagine we would all say we want) by the mass consumption of this type of material. We’ve practically handed them the stale, old excuse, “but she likes it.” Think I’m exaggerating? Read this post about what junior high boys believe girls like: She liked it.
For me, having experienced the disrespect, violence, sexual abuse and coercion of men in my life already, I know that I now prefer to fantasize about, and attract, the deep soulful connection I deserve. In reality there is nothing sexy about being treated like shit.
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April 26th, 2012 — Media, Marketing and Advertising, Toys & Games
The Internet is awash with controversy over whether a Ukrainian woman is a “natural” Barbie look-a-like.
Did she have plastic surgery or didn’t she?
Uh, who cares?
The more interesting question is why she wants to emulate an inanimate object — a plastic child’s toy?
To attract men? But, do little boys really grow up fantasizing about dating a woman who looks like Barbie? Little girls are the primary consumers of Barbie.
This woman does look like Barbie, but so does Hugh Hefner’s Harem of Barbies. At least these ex-girlfriends of that old porn codger have expressions and move like humans.
Frankly, I’m not sure I’m convinced that some jokester isn’t taking photos of a real Barbie doll in her Dream House and photoshopping backgrounds to make her look human-sized. Take that stupid blogosphere!
Let’s say this is, in fact, a real woman who is pretending to be Barbie. WHY?
Well, I’ve been having some feelings lately. You know those pesky annoyances that make men roll their eyes when you try to express them. Or even how annoyed you become when you’re pre-menstrual and you start to cry and keep crying throughout the day and you don’t even know why? Feelings are a real pain in the ass sometimes. Or when you get all irritated that your kids keep talking to you when you’re trying to do something and you really, really want to be the good mom who cares, but you also want them to shut up and quit whining and this makes you feel both irritated and guilty. Or that feeling when you really, really liked a guy and he never called and you wonder what you did wrong and you regret having any feelings about it, feeling weak or stupid for getting invested? Stupid feelings.
You know who doesn’t have feelings? Plastic toys. Barbie. She always has the same pursed lips and blank wide eyes, well, until a dog uses her face for a chew toy. She never has to worry about crying and ruining her mascara, she never has to worry about whether the guy is going to call after he rubs himself on her plastic androgynous groin, hoping not to pop off a leg at the swivel joint.
It’s probably very emotionally convenient to be a plastic doll.
And she’s not the only one. This is some big trend among girls on YouTube, imitating Barbie.
You know what this reminds me of? So Sexy So Soon, a fantastic book that came out in 2008. It was revolutionary in that it very effectively exposed out how advertisers and marketers use children’s sexuality and how, in fact, our sexuality becomes connected to and intertwined with objects they want to sell. They use all sorts of trickery to make us believe clothing, toys, sunglasses, purses and shoes or beer, tires, razors and tools are really sexy.
Evolutionarily, without these weird messages, humans are programed to believe that other humans are sexy. Weird, right? Humans hot for humans. Revolutionary!
Sexualization of objects appears to have been so effective that this woman believes she’s sexier as a plastic object than she is as a human. It’s the opposite of personification of objects. It’s plastification of humans. Hot.
Being human is so 20th Century.
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September 1st, 2009 — Hairy Issues (fashion, hair, clothes), Sexualization of Girls
Ainsley doesn’t think this shirt is inappropriate because it just looks like trees on a shirt, “how is that inappropriate?” She wants to know.
Which means I deserve a Gold Parenting Star or a Blue Ribbon of Daughter Raising. This means the seven year old is in the minority having not been exposed to Internet Porn or the E Channel yet.
When I mentioned the word “stripper,” she said “what’s a stripper?”
Go me! She’s sheltered enough to remain . . . what’s the word I’m looking for . . . . oh yeah, seven.
Suzi Warren, the creator of this TODDLER TITTY TASSLE T-Shirt sold at Twisted Twee reportedly spoke to Parent Dish, who was quoted on Stroller Derby, who was quoted on Gateway Pundit , and reportedly claimed to have created this shirt in protest to how the rest of us our dressing our girls.
“The Nipple Tassel t-shirt was designed as a response to my own distaste at seeing mini versions of sexy clothes on young children,” she wrote. “Five-year-olds wearing slashed mini skirts and boob tubes, little thumb-sucking Britneys.
“There is nothing very sexy about a baggy, lap neck, long sleeved t- shirt for a 6-month-old. So by embellishing this style of garment with printed nipple tassels, the result is not that the baby becomes sexualized by the tassels, but that the tassels are made benign and silly by the baby. In fact the more inert, innocent and unaware the infant is, the more ludicrous the contrast becomes.”
Of course, your kid doesn’t get to be naively, gloriously seven if you dress her in a shirt like this, “in protest.” The way the other parents point and refuse to let their kids play with yours will probably invoke questions. Inappropriate questions.
You know who I think this shirt is perfect for? Pedophiles.
You know what I think parents should do to companies who start offering products like these? (Along with their child un-friendly alphabet tea towel which reads “C if for” and has a photo of a Condom also reeks of pedophilia undertones.)
Let them go down in Recession Smoke.
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August 10th, 2009 — Girl Culture, Media, Marketing and Advertising, Sexualization of Girls
Noah Cyrus, Miley’s nine-year-old sister was photographed on a stripper pole with her friends at a night club before the Teen Choice Awards. Read that story on Dlisted.
Also in the Dlisted story is a new teen pop group titled The Lolitas. You know, like the elementary-aged little girl who “made” Humbert Humbert rape and molest her in the child pornography “classic” Lolita.
Then we have this innocent photo of Cheeky Sweetie’s daughter wiping marshmallow off her mouth after eating a s’more. Bing labled the photo something heinous in its algorithm and now the photo is popping up as an option for “penile penetration’ and “child nudity.”
I’m tired of being shocked and incensed that America’s children are being treated in this way. Does anyone have any other ideas? I’m leaning toward social annihilation and threat of physical harm.
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June 3rd, 2009 — Media, Marketing and Advertising
This story ran last week without photographs (sorry BB Mama). The photographs are imperative to the story, so I’m rerunning it. Visit Black Belt Mama’s Blog.
I need to first make something very clear. I’ve never burned a bra (they cost too much money to do that and I need mine); and I’ve never gone more than like two days without shaving my arm-pits (and that was when I had ACL surgery and wasn’t allowed to shower).
I took several women’s studies classes when I was at the University of Pittsburgh. I had some great ones (mostly the literature ones), and I had some not-so-great ones.
One of the not-so-great ones was led by a total whack job woman who was further encouraged in her wackiness by a chorus of crazy female students. I hated the class and felt like it was this giant complain-o-rama about men. I also got berated on a daily basis by a group full of women students lacking basic hygiene skills who told me that because I did my hair and put on make-up, I was catering to men and making myself a sex object.
They considered me putting cherry chap-stick on, catering to men and becoming a sex object. Whatever. I skipped a lot of that class. Talking back to the girl who snorts insults at you while she very publicly sucks her thumb doesn’t exactly feel fair in the grand scheme of things.
My Dad has always classified me as a “feminist” but he seriously has no idea how far off base he is in calling me a “feminist” considering some of my classmates in those classes.
I grew up swearing I would never have kids, and that I was going to be some high-powered lawyer and eat people alive who got in my way. I spent my college years in writing and communications classes. In one of my classes, I spent a semester researching how women were portrayed in advertising, particularly in men’s magazines. I found ads for watches that featured a lifeless woman on the ground with a man’s shadow standing above her. It was eye-opening and disturbing and I told anyone about it who would listen, but I wasn’t exactly the type to swear off lipstick, burn my bra, and start rowdy protests. I’m not that kind of girl.
If you ask Mr. BBM about me and my “feminist ways,” he’ll tell you I’m a “true feminist,” that I will fight for and speak up about women’s issues, but that I won’t be pigeon-holed into a liberal feminist agenda. Yes, I believe you can be a feminist and still be pro-life. I am.
I spent my years after college baffled at who I had become. Instead of going to law school, I got my Master’s in Education. Instead of being the high-powered single girl, I got married at the age of 23. And then, after only working in the real world for two years, I got pregnant and left my career (where I was making more than my husband) to stay at home full time and raise my daughter.
Fast forward to present time, where I am now staying at home raising two daughters, and teaching at the university level. Today, I had three young women do their final speech on how women are portrayed in the media. It was a brilliant speech. They divided it into three sections: women in the 50′s, women now, and the problems associated with the pressure society puts on women.
They talked about the typical 1950′s housewife. They discussed Marilyn Monroe and then they moved into a visual showing the difference between models back then and models now. Some of the pictures were disturbing. When the speech was finished, it was followed by a Q & A session. After listening to these girls, rattling off statistics and facts and hearing them pour their hearts and souls into their presentations, I was shocked to hear some of the questions coming from the audience.
A lot of the guys felt like they were under attack, despite the fact that the girls said their speech was not to blame any individual person or group, but rather to bring attention to the way society portrays women in the media. Even some of the girls got worked up in the audience. “Well, don’t these models have a choice to not be that thin? Well don’t they have a choice to not have eating disorders?”
I was shocked.
The presenters hadn’t done any blaming, only pointing out various facts and stats, and they were being eaten alive by an audience hungry to throw the blame back on them. I stepped in and redirected at times, but when all was said and done, I was sad and disappointed about it.
I’ve frequently heard women say that today’s women don’t care about women’s issues the way women did 30 years ago. I obviously had a couple students concerned about it enough to create an entire presentation on it. But the opposition they were met with was downright shocking.
Is there no one out there who cares that high fashion ads are using women in violent ways to get their point across?
The above ad is for a shoe by the way, not gang rape, in case you weren’t clear. Spain and Italy banned the ad saying it is no way was related to what they were trying to sell and that it was violent towards women.
And this one below? If you said shoes, and not stuffing some dead girl in the trunk of a car, well, then you would be right. You can read more about this ad here.
And then there’s this one. Obviously advertising a man’s suit. . .
Visit the site where I found this one for even more disturbing ads.
I think that we’ve become so used to seeing violence against people, and women in particular, that these images don’t have the same kinds of effects that they used to have on people. And personally, I think that’s a terrible shame.
As a Mom of two young girls who I don’t want ever exposed to this kind of stuff, I think it’s time that we started a little movement of our own. Companies who put out ads like this need to be contacted and told that their ads are disgusting, and that the public doesn’t want to see stuff like this. It’s simply not healthy.
To contact the US Dolce & Gabbana offices, you can write or phone here:
Dolce & Gabbana USA Inc.
148, Lafayette Street
New York, NY 10013
Loula is a company based in Melbourne, but you can email them at: Email: email@example.com.
To contact Duncan Quinn, you can write or call here:
8 Spring St.
NY, NY 10012
According to a review I read online, the man himself actually mans the store quite often.
If you aren’t bothered by these ads, or if you’d like to see more of what I’m talking about and what my young women in class were talking about today, then watch this:
There any many sites out there drawing attention to this kind of garbage and taking a stand against it. All one needs to do is google “violent ads women” and you’ll find them no problem.
Will you join me in being outraged?
Will you join me in doing something about it?
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