gender: feminism/activism

Text: “Back then, you didn’t look through your closet for something to wear. You wore your closet. You’ve come a long way, baby.”

Find your voice with Virginia Slims.

This is a Virginia Slims ad from 1978. The picture above is of a woman hanging laundry out to dry and the text says, “Back then, every man gave his wife at least one day a week out of the house. You’ve come a long way, baby.”
I’m using this when I talk about the commodification of the women’s movement and how freedom has been turned into something you buy. I also like the vague “back then,” used to make now seem so much better in every way.

This product nicely captures the fallacious ideas that (1) to be a “liberated” woman is to do what men do and (2) that “liberated” women necessarily emasculate men in a zero sum game.

Thanks to my awesome student, Molly M!

Anti-gun control propaganda (found here) aimed at EVERYBODY.

What you might expect from the pro-gun lobby:

For kids!

Pro-gun feminism?

Guns are for fags:

Gun control is racist:

Bill F. sent in this one. What’s interesting about this image is the comment on masculinity–the implication is that “pacifist” men (whatever “pacifist” is taken to mean) aren’t “real” men because they can’t or won’t fulfill their role of protecting women. The gun becomes a replacement for sissified men.

A friend of mine, Jason Schultz, took this picture of this sign being sold in a toy store:

Jason suggested that it re-affirmed the notion that men and women are inherently at odds in a zero sum game

It is certainly androcentric in that it suggests that, in this case, girls should be proud of what they do insofar as they do what men have “traditionally” done.

And, to tie these two thoughts together, that girls should be proud when they take away what is “traditionally” men’s.

What do we really think about “girl power”?

I LOVE this image. It’s a fashion spread.

Who’s taking care of those little tow-headed boys behind the white picket fence when both mommy and daddy go to work?

I use this picture to talk about the way in which middle- and upper-class women are “getting equal” with men by transferring their caretaking responsibilities to less privileged women… who are, as in this ad, invisible.

Power as cleaning products (note the appropriation of Rosie the Riveter):

Power as a flippy skirt and cute glasses (the text: “That flippy skirt backs up your girl power, do your glasses?”):

Power as beauty:

NEW! Nuvaring is a flexible ring that women place around their cervix once a month (image found here).  It slowly releases hormones that prevent ovulation.  “Let Freedom Ring!”


ALSO NEW! Need to compete with those men in their “power ties,” have some “power panties”:


NEW! (July ’10): Robb S. sent in another use of Rosie the Riveter by a “green” housecleaning service called Maid to Clean. No, seriously; Rose the Riveter, the icon of women’s contribution to the World War II war industry, was “maid to clean”:

This one, a pair with Gwen’s earlier contribution (here), actually takes a little decoding, and so might be useful to get discussion going in a classroom:

If parentheses = suppressed text, then these parentheses = suppressed speech and, of course, the best way to be liberated from suppression is Botox… not speaking your mind.