sexual orientation

More proof that complaining works or, as I prefer to say, the squeaky wheel gets the grease (you haven’t forgotten the Obama sock monkey and the sex target yet, have you?).  The commercial below was set to run in the U.K. for five weeks, but has been pulled due to complaints that a guy-on-guy smooch forces parents to talk to their children.


Remember Ellen, though?  And look what happened to her!

Via AdFreak.

Lisa Wade, PhD is a professor at Occidental College. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture, and a textbook about gender. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

* Picture and title borrowed from Jason S., who snapped the picture in the parking garage for the Sundance Kabuki Theater (Japantown, San Francisco, CA).

From my hotel room in Gallup, NM: Katie H. sent in this picture of Jessica Simpson in a shirt that says “Real girls eat meat”:

Katie points out that this could be a really interesting contrast to the PETA PSAs using sexualized images of big-breasted blond celebrities to oppose eating meat and wearing fur.

But she also provided a link to PETA’s response to the photo, “Top Five Reasons Only Stupid Girls Brag about Eating Meat.” Note reason #4:

Meat will make you fat. All the saturated fat and cholesterol in chicken wings, pork chops, and steak eventually leads to flabby thighs and love handles. I hope the upcoming “Jessica Simpson’s Intimates” line comes in plus sizes! Going vegetarian is the best way to get slim and stay that way.

Katie pointed out that some of the other reasons play on the idea of attractiveness, too–compassion is “sexy” and the meat industry isn’t “hot.” It’s a very interesting connection between activism on behalf of animals and reinforcing ideals of femininity that focus on being thin and sexy above all else.

Thanks, Katie H.!

Matt W. sent us links to a whole set of very popular videos on the theme “My New Haircut.” Here is the original, which, as Matt says, is “mocking popped-collar ‘bro’ masculinity.” Note: the language is not safe for work.


After the first video came out, people began making other versions, such as the “Jewish edition” and the “Senior Citizen edition.” As Matt points out, “It seems to be a mix of people of different ethnicities making fun of themselves/how they’re perceived, and outsiders indulging in outright bigotry.”

Asian edition:

Mexican edition (sadly, my rural poor-white upbringing led me to think, in response to him saying he is wearing a wife-beater shirt, “That’s not a wife-beater, that’s a muscle-shirt. Not the same thing.”). His Spanish accent sounds fake to me, but I might be totally off there. Also, the video is by “Mr. Fagg” productions.

Gay edition. The actors say, “For all you haters…we’re not gay were just acting as you can probably tell by how ridiclous we act.”

Jewish edition:

Black edition, featuring drug use and general criminality:

There are tons of others, but you get the point. If you watch any of these, the sidebar will have lots of other editions.

Whether or not you could use these videos in classes probably depends a lot on where you’re at and how much trust you’ve built up with your students. They might be interesting for discussions of humor–are there things that are funny when some people say them but not when others do? Does it make a difference whether a person using stereotypes is a member of the group being laughed at or not? When is humor being used to point out and undermine stereotypes, and when does it just reinforce them? Who has the authority to decide these things?

Thanks, Matt W.!

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

This is from the WNBA’s website–it’s their Dads and Daughters page. When I first came upon it, I assumed it highlighted the fathers of WNBA players. There’s a Dad of the Week section and a schedule of games that have a Dads and Daughters event. But the Dads of the Week aren’t necessarily related to anyone on the team. They’re just dads who are being highlighted–one Dad of the Week is the Executive Vice President of Products at AOL. How the Dads of the Week are chosen is not clear.

I went to the NBA website and looked around, and unless I’m missing something, there is no Moms and Sons (or even Dads and Sons) page.

I have a theory about this. From the beginning, one problem the WNBA faced was not appearing to be a “lesbian league,” which would presumably alienate advertisers and audiences. To highlight the femininity of the players (because pretty girls who wear makeup can’t be dykes, right?), players were encouraged to wear makeup (and were even sent on Oprah to get makeovers) and players with husbands, boyfriends, and children were photographed with them and their profiles made sure to stress their family roles. When the WNBA began, the website had a forum about the uniforms (potential colors, shapes, styles, etc.), and there was some discussion of making the players wear skirts. [For an interesting discussion of gender in the WNBA, check out: Sarah Banet-Weiser. 1999. “Hoop Dreams: Professional Basketball and the Politics of Race and Gender.” Journal of Sport & Social Issues 23: 403-420.]

The Dads and Daughters page fits into the efforts to make the WNBA seem “family friendly,” i.e., not lesbian. The importance of men in women’s lives is reaffirmed (and also the idea that girls get their athletic abilities from their dads, not their moms). It makes it clear that the WNBA is not a “women only” social space.

The NBA has no need for a similar emphasis on women because we assume that male athletes are heterosexual (in fact, playing sports is one of the ways men prove they aren’t gay).

At the Los Angeles Times, found via Scatterplot.

Occasionally we here at Sociological Images like to put up something we really like. To that end, I submit to you this public service announcement for science careers in the European Union (made by a German ad agency):

I like that it’s actually creative, instead of relying on the good ol’ objectifcation, nudity, violence, sex, or all of the above. I also like that the people in the commercial just look like people. Proof that you don’t need people in the 99.9th percentile of beauty and thinness/beefiness to make a good ad. What do you like about it?

The following image is of a USC quarterback named, and I swear I’m not making this up, John Booty. In fact, if you look closely, the title of the text in the photo is “Booty’s Call.”

This could be useful in discussions about the social construction of masculinity and sexuality. Imagine any other scenario in which two men were posed this way in a photograph without being labeled as homosexual. However, since they are playing football, they manage to get away with this blatant violation of the rules. In fact, they manage to break the rules of gender and sexuality in a way that manages to reinforce those same rules.

Talk about moving the goalposts…