A friend over on FB gave me some food for thought this morning…I didn’t want food for thought. I wanted to chill with my coffee, read the news and just give my brain a rest before the work week starts tomorrow. Remind me to kick your butt, Mona 😉
She posted this quote: “When women are sexualized, it reinforces the idea that women exist just for a man’s needs. … Even in princess movies, however harmless they may seem, still show girls sexually. In G-rated movies, female characters look just as sexy or revealing as they do in R rated movies, a study shows. These characters, with busts big and waists small, ride off into the sunset at age 16 with a prince they barely know.”
SPARK at the 57th United Nations Commission on the Status of Women
This is prevalent in virtually every form of media and all other forms of entertainment. Try and create a normal character in a video game; one where the female doesn’t have humongous honkers and a little tiny waist. Barbie with a broad sword. It’s an annoyance. You notice it but you just pack it away for potential thought later – you just want to play the damn game.
It isn’t simply the Barbie imagery though; take note when you watch television, particularly the inane commercials – who is doing the laundry? A woman. Who is dancing in the kitchen with a mop? A woman. Who is dusting the furniture and primping in the reflection? A woman. Who is in the kitchen with the yoghurt, the eggs, the milk, the Mexican meal package? Women.
Granted, there isn’t much point in a feminine hygiene commercial that would feature a man but for the love of …(what or whomever), is it so totally beyond the I.Q. of the marketing departments to come up with something a little more intelligent??? HAVE A HAPPY PERIOD?! That is the best you could come up with? Little twenty-somethings in white, skimpy bathing suits…WHITE, at a beach or the pool…or horseback riding in white pants. I used to ride, believe me, you don’t wear white pants, on the best of days, let alone while on your period. A white bathing suit…in a public swimming area, while enduring your cycle..not unless you are on Depo. Entire marketing departments and that’s it – that’s their best. Perhaps it is time to re-assess the salaries, the personnel and take a chance – hire someone with an I.Q. above that of your common doorknob.
I believe it is the Swiffer folks that have an absolutely insulting commercial that continues to employ the marketing strategy from the 50’s and early 60’s – “Little women…if you use OUR mop, you’ll have more time to sit on your veranda and have a coffee!” The majority of women I know work outside the home and don’t sit on their veranda for a coffee – they are in the workplace, making decisions, doing a job and earning a salary. Their only non-paid time is on the weekends, where they are running around trying to keep some semblance of order in their lives and their families’ lives. I’ve gone for lunch with co-workers and I can guarantee to you, Swiffer and Stayfree do not enter the conversation unless we are discussing stupidity in wider society.
Clothing companies. The Boomers are in their middle age and older; want to make some real cash? Try marketing clothes that actually work for the age bracket. No woman past her 20’s should be wearing leotards as an external clothing item but what choices are there? Precious little. The 2 story spiked pumps? Try wearing those for 10 hours a day, while at work. What’s the matter with you? Don’t you like a healthy profit? Try marketing to where the money is, ya morons.
One of my favourite movies is “The Devil Wears Prada.” The devil in this case is a strong minded business woman and the heroine, a wee bit of a thing that turns herself into a fashionista; she is given the chance to rise in the corporate world but at the end of the movie, chooses “true love”. Pfffffft. Please. Strong, business savvy and capable women are “bitches”, “ball breakers” and in Meryl’s case, in the Prada movie – the “Devil”.
WE have come a long way – advertisers, marketers and the manufacturers, have not.