gender: violence

Miguel sent us a link to Galeria: Ellas Mandan, a set of advertisements that reverse the common images of male dominance by showing women in control:

For liquor:

For pantyhose:



Dolce & Gabbana:

A submission from Stumblng Tumblr from the Brylcreem website:

NEW!  A fashion ad from Phillip G.:


These images show women in “control” of, or dominating men, but in a very sexualized manner that often references S&M or bondage. So women can have power, but have to be sexualized at the same time. This fits in well with our cultural beliefs that women have power over men because men want sex and will allow themselves to be manipulated by women in order to get it. So women can supposedly control men by threatening to withhold sex until they get what they want.

And is it not possible to just have some images where men and women are equals and no one has to be dominant? Is that out of the question?

Thanks, Miguel!

Grand Theft Auto is a notoriously violent and controversial video game. Writes Bill Marsh at the New York Times:

Game players inhabit a gangster who is equipped to dispatch scores of rival criminals and others, including police officers and innocent bystanders, on the rough streets of Liberty City, the bullet-riddled stand-in for New York… The latest… allows players to hire prostitutes and then run them over or shoot them right after they’ve performed their work…

Here is a visual that compares the spectacular success of Grand Theft Auto (measured by units sold and profits) with the most successful music and movies:

Julie C. sent us this clip from a 1987 interview between Barbara Walters and Sean Connery:

In case you think that this is out-of-date, check out the comments.  Here is the first page of comments, in their entirety:

what a ho, sean should’ve given her a demonstration

Big up Sean, he’s from a time when men were still men. Speak the truth.


you’ve just been schlapped by sean connery woman!

maby a slap is to far but i believe you need to stand your ground and not let your women have too much power..

Fuck that… no time for half measures. Slap the bitch.

He’s right of course. ‘ a woman a dog and a walnut tree, the more you beat them the better they be’ :)

i love connery but i’d beat the shit outta him if he hit me.

Thanks Julie!

This satirical cartoon about Wonder Woman, found here, might be an interesting conversation-starter about power and sexuality, and how we’re always expressing our own sexuality within a set of social assumptions about gender, power, and so on.

Thanks, Krystal-Lynn M.!

NEW! Here is a Wonder Woman comic (found here) that depicts her using her sexuality as a weapon. Thanks to Potts for sending this one along!


Here we have a young woman (possibly a teenager) with a vial of Fetish perfume hanging between her breasts. The text of the ad, which ran in magazines targeting young women, says:

Fetish #16: Apply generously to your neck so he can smell the scent as you
shake your head ‘no.’

I assume I don’t have to explain the implication of that one. I found it here.

NEW: Here’s a Noxzema ad that plays on the same idea–that women actually like being harassed:

Sent to us by Laura L., who found it at the Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center website.

I posted this first image back in October. This ad is disturbing because you can’t really tell if it’s consensual or an attack. And the perfume is called “Unforgivable.”

One of my students recently pointed out the ad for Unforgivable for Men:

Could provide a really interesting discussion of differing images of masculine and feminine sexuality and power. Thanks, Laisa P.!


NEW: Here’s an ad for Isaia Napoli clothing that is very similar:

Thanks, Laura L.!

Gwen Sharp is an associate professor of sociology at Nevada State College. You can follow her on Twitter at @gwensharpnv.

If not, why the martini?

Found here.

This is a cover of Vogue featuring LeBron James and Gisele Bundchen. Notice the postures: LeBron as the hulking, angry black man, and Gisele as arm candy. Apparently this issue has a whole section on “the World’s Top Models and Star Athletes.” Hmmm, I wonder what the gender breakdown is?

Notice also the way in which the image reproduces the famous King Kong imagery:

Here is a link to an MSNBC segment on the cover.

Thanks to Carmela Z. for sending this image along!

NEW (Jan ’10)!  Ruth D’R. and a reader-who-wishes-to-remain-anonymous sent us this (highly photoshopped) photo of Kanye West and Lady Gaga, one of the images in her “Fame Monster” CD liner notes.  Some argue that it, too, reproduces the racialized King Kong imagery in which a black man (threatens to) ravage a white woman:


Some may think that this is a reach.  But I think her nudity, plus the symbols of primitivity (the plants, the erupting volcano, and even the khakis) clearly invoke animalism.