activism/social movements

These posters were made by Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics (COYOTE), an association for sex workers’ rights.

This is an interesting example of the way in which powerful media companies control what gets out there. MTV refused to show ads, made by the Media Foundation to promote Buy Nothing Day, on its station. They stated that the ad “goes further than we are willing to accept on our channels.”

The ads are here. Thanks to AdBusters for this tip.

“Pornography: The Secret History of Civilization” (2005) is useful for showing that non-procreational sex and sexual enjoyment are not “modern,” and that using and enjoying sexually explicit images isn’t new, either. I liked the first two episodes in the series, especially the second one, which shows how many explicit images there are in religious buildings and texts from the Middle Ages in Europe. Be warned, you need to watch these before showing them to be sure you can get away with it with your audience–for many students, even the artwork and religious drawings would probably lead to outrage today (which can be an interesting discussion in and of itself).

“Fenceline” addresses institutional racism, environmental pollution, and activism by looking at residents in a town in Louisiana and the divisions that arise between blacks and whites about the possibility of toxic waste contamination. It could be useful for discussing environmental issues or looking at why two groups in the same community could come to such different conclusions about what is going on.

PETA is well known for objectifying women in their efforts to encourage us to be kind to animals. Here are some print ads using (near) nudity:

In these two, they actually make women into animals in cages:

This one, found at Feministing, includes the following press release from PETA which in no ways tries to obfuscate their reliance on the objectification of women for their own purposes:

Wearing sexy yellow bikinis outside the legislative meeting of the United Egg Producers in Washington on Wednesday, six PETA beauties will crowd into three cramped cages to mimic conditions for laying hens on factory farms. The ladies will hold egg-shaped signs that read, ‘Chicks Suffer for Eggs.’

In case you were wondering if they were denigrating women as well as showing them naked and in cages… Here you go:

Because women’s natural bodies are actually quite disgusting, apparently.

Boys too!

NEW: Matt S. sent in three more PETA posters and a video featuring Alicia Silverstone:

To see this video featuring Silverstone on youtube, I had to verify my age and was warned that it might not be suitable for minors:

As Matt pointed out, if you didn’t know what PETA is, these ads could just as well work as pro-fur ads, by implying that if you buy a woman a fur, she’ll get naked and be sexually available to you.

Thanks, Matt!

30% of the retail price of these shirts will be donated to “some of the country’s best charities. What better excuse to go shopping?” The retail price is $68. The charities are:

Women in Need
Free Arts NYC
Rape Treatment Center at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
Children’s Hope India
American Refugee Committee’s Darfur Relief Effort

I like these kinds of things because they bring up two issues: Why don’t people just contribute $20 (or, in most cases, something like 10 cents) directly instead of filtering it through a corporation? And should we have to personally get something out of it in order to contribute to worthy causes?

For other examples, look here, here, and here.