Bacardi Misogyny Makes Me Drink More Malibu

20 06 2009

via Jezebel:

Bacardi has a new promotional site through Tel Aviv ad agency McCann Digital for it’s Bacardi Breezers that is just disgustingly awful.  The site has been created in both English and Hebrew.

The idea behind the site, entitled “Get an Ugly Girlfriend!,” is that all that women have to do to look attractive is find a less attractive friend to accompany them to events.

The site stresses that women can find “ugly” friends to accompany them to the pool, the beach, the mall, or a barbeque.  The site suggests that with sexy fashion accessories, lots of Bacardi Breezers, and these “friends,” any woman can look hot.


Vomit, vomit, triple vomit.

Read the rest of this entry »

Friday Blogaround

19 06 2009

Sorry posting has been slow lately, but here are some interesting reads.  Enjoy and happy Friday everyone!

Happy Juneteenth, Peeps!

Trigger Warning: A young trans woman in New York was tortured to death yesterday, via A.E. Brain

New College Alcohol/Assault Stats – What seems to be still missing from the discussion is prevention

This is depressing – UK Officials Assigned to Fight Rape Actually Promote Rape Myths

Racism Review has a round-up of links to stories on Race, Racism and White Supremacy

Fat and Fashionable AND happy? Impossible!

How the Recession Impacts Women: More Women Forced to Reduce Maternity Leave Under Stress of the Economy

Two great pieces from MoJo: Bush Officials Cash In as More Americans Lose Out and Obamanomics: The Good, the Bad, the Weak

I’ve heard a lot about the new movie, The Hangover and how it’s super hilarious and a must-see.  Here’s a more critical review of it, More White Men Behaving Badly: A “Brain-on” Look at The Hangover

Safer Sex PSAs Conflate the Penis with a Firearm (NSFW)

Wealth-Care Reform: Fixing our health-care system will make us more economically secure.  It won’t make us much healthier.

Jessica Valenti on The Virginity Movement, Rebranded

Depression in Action, or Why I’m Still a Radical Feminist Despite it All

A Study in Ableism

Advocate’s (And the Gayosphere’s) Jacked Up Reporting on Black Transwoman’s Marriages

“The Natural Look Is Back!”

14 06 2009

Found this gem on Vintage Ads

nipple bra

Don’t get me wrong.  I love not wearing a bra.  It’s a lot more comfortable for me and I’m really flat chested and don’t really get any “support” from bras anyway.  But why would a woman need to simulate not wearing a bra with fake nipples?  All the countless advertisements for padded bras seem to tell women that our breasts are never good enough unless they are somehow perky, perfectly shaped, and the “right”  size (not too small, not too large).  Bras can definitely be more comfortable for some women, but I always thought of me going bra-less as a sort of rebellion against the impossible body standards in the media and society.

But these ads clearly tell women that bra-less is not really freeing, it’s a fashion statement.  The ad also seems to imply that women should look sexually aroused (hard-nippled), as objects of sexual desire.  The aroused look of hard nipples is being marketed as a style, while women are still encouraged to keep their breasts supported, not saggy.

Apparently, this fad hasn’t been completely replaced with the nipple-less push-up padded look.  Even now you can buy fake nipples.

nipple enhancers

“Women are showing off their breasts with pride!” says the site.  Maybe they should change that to “Women are showing off their (plastic manufactured false nippled) breasts (underneath a bra so that they don’t sag) with pride!”

“Give bodyperks a try – You’ll be amazed at the reaction,” claims the site.  Well, at least “bodyperks” go under the bra, so it isn’t so obvious that they are fake.  It would be quite hilarious to take off my shirt in a fitting room and watch peoples’ reactions to my “Nipple Bra.”

Spend your summer vacation at Beauty Boot Camp!

12 06 2009

Where are you going to send your daughter(s) to camp this summer?  How about Niagara College of Canada’s Beauty Boot Camp for Tweens:

Calling all pre-teen girls, ages nine through twelve. Come and have a blast of summer fun at our Beauty Boot Camp! Let’s make some facial masks, body scrubs, and glam up our fingers and toes. Let’s play with fashion, do our hair, and decorate a shirt or two. You’ll love creating and learning in our professional Esthetics Lab! Sign up early. Seats are going fast. See you soon!

All girls love to play with makeup!  So of course they’d have a fantastic time doing facials and body scrubs, and manis and pedis; playing with fashion; doing their hair; and decorating shirts.  OMG!!  Can’t wait!!

Or if your daughter is slightly older than that, consider their Beauty Boot Camp for Teens:

Calling all girls from thirteen through sixteen! Join us in our Esthetics Lab for a great learning experience and some amazing fun! You will learn how to do facials, makeup, nails, and up-dos to enhance your own natural beauty. Come on out and make some new friends while learning beauty fashion tips. Develop your own style, flair, and creativity! Enjoy learning how to give each other spa treatments and how to create your own beauty products. Don’t miss this experience! Register early as seats are limited.

“Enhance your own natural beauty”?  Pshht.  This camp sounds like it’d be reinforcing western standards of beauty and teaching girls that 1. they aren’t good enough as they are, 2. they need to prioritize their appearance because that is the most important thing about them, and 3. it is their responsibility as women to make sure that they are able to look good at all times.

What the camp descriptions neglect to tell you are that:

1. This camp experience will just (further) shame girls into gender conformity.

2. It feeds on perhaps already-existing insecurities that tween and teen girls have and will magnify them.  Learning about makeup, fashion, etc. is NOT empowering – it is NOT empowering to insinuate to girls and young women that their value is essentially based on the way they look and therefore they need to look good all the time.

3. It further bolsters the booming beauty industry which thrives by deceiving women and making them think that there are all these magical solutions to nonexistent problems about their appearance or their bodies.

As Renee writes on Womanist Musings:

If we are going to take the time to create classes by gender, how about one where both boys and girls learn affirming messages?  How about a class where they learn that it is okay to subvert gender norms if that is what makes them happy and comfortable?  A radical thought I know, a class that teaches children to think while at the same time affirming that the constructions which we  create are certainly not relevant or helpful for everyone.

Baby Heels are “Heelarious!”..or are they?

10 06 2009

Heelarious is a company that markets baby high heels.  Because marketing never fails to prove that children are never too young to be gender stereotyped.brookenew


For your child 0-6 months, these shoes are meant for babies who cannot yet walk.  The completely soft baby heels have been on the market for a year now, and are still popular!  They are quite expensive (just check out the site!).

Whereas some people have been offended by the shoes, claiming that they sexualize infants inappropriately, others think they are harmless and just “heelarious.”

Nevertheless, the shoes have become extremely popular, and were even put in the gift bags at the Emmy awards. Read the rest of this entry »

Saturday Stupidity

6 06 2009

We are back with more Saturday Stupidity.  Here is a compilation of ignorant, offensive comments we’ve heard/received recently.

My friend and I were talking about PETA and he sent me a text message saying:

Nah PETA has naked chicks against fur.  I don’t care if someone supports Hitler, if they look good naked I can excuse it.

We don’t need to go over the many things wrong with PETA again, but this statement evokes a pretty obvious WTF?! response.  It’s also incredibly shallow.  He also later texted me saying:

There are all these girls walking around in tight tanktops and short shorts and dresses, but someone oughta have told them that they’re too fat to go out like that.

What?!!!  If you’re female and it’s hot outside, you’re only allowed to wear summery clothing if you’re skinny and fit our unrealistic and completely absurd standard of beauty?  Fat shaming is all too common in our society especially as summer comes upon us.  I also don’t understand how exactly the sight of a “fat” woman offends, and I don’t get what fat shaming another person does for you.

My friend who switched majors so that she’d be in more male dominated classes also told me:

The office I’m working in is full of women.  I mean, it’s a small office, but everyone is a woman!!!!  I can’t stand it!  Thank god I’m doing Business now so I can be around manly men.

After she told me this, I was just um…lolwut?  First of all, it bothers me that she can’t stand working in her office simply because all of her co-workers are female.  Secondly, not all males studying or working in Business are “manly men”.  And what exactly constitutes a “manly man”?

While trying to figure out how much to tip at a restaurant, I took out my phone to calculate, and my guy friend said:

Of course you have to use a calculator.  Girls can’t do math.

First of all, it wasn’t like he could figure out the tip either.  Secondly, a new study just came out demonstrating that when girls do more poorly in math it’s because of cultural conditioning not because girls are inherently just bad at math.

Then someone else said,

Why do you care about sexual assault?  Were you sexually assaulted?

Like we’ve said before, sexual assault  is an issue that affects the entire community.  One does not need to have been sexually assaulted in order to care about sexual assault.  Furthermore, the statistics show us that we all personally know somebody who is a survivor of some form of sexual assault.

And then:

Oh, there must be a lot of rape up there.  Those Boston people are all crazy and Red Sox.

Huh?  This statement just doesn’t make sense.  Rape and sexual assault are not specific to Boston or Tufts.  Also, being a Red Sox fan does not make you more likely to be a rapist.

Another comment:

Why are you a feminist?  Do you believe in equality for the sexes or do you like want women to take over?

Of course the latter.  Feminism is all about getting women to take over, duh.

Sometimes you just wonder, is it even worth trying to convince people who you know just won’t listen with an open ear and mind anyway?

“What’s Good for the Bitch is Good for the Bastard”?

26 05 2009

While I was wandering around in a bookstore the other day, I saw this:


It’s by the two women who brought us the Skinny Bitch books (Skinny Bitch, Skinny Bitch in the Kitch, Skinny Bitch: Bun in the Oven and Skinny Bitchin’), which proclaims “sugar is the Devil” and “soda is like liquid Satan” (Yes, it’s probably not a bad idea to consume less sugar and soda, but is shaming women the best way to go about doing that?).  Skinny Bitch has been a best seller on The New York Times Advice, How-To and Miscellaneous Paperback Best-Seller list for 92 weeks, and has sold  a whopping 1.1 million copies nationwide, according to Nielsen BookScan.  It’s shameful that a book that tells women to “Stop being a moron and start getting skinny” would be successful…It goes to show how much society idolizes and values thinness.

When Skinny Bitch first came out, a lot of my female friends raved about it.  I wasn’t too excited about it, and reading the first few pages was enough to make me put the book down.  It begins with “Healthy = skinny. Unhealthy = fat”.  Not only is that incorrect (healthy can come in different shapes and sizes.  Weight (and BMI) is a misguiding measure of one’s health.)  Being skinny is the desired beauty/body norm, but it does not always mean healthy.  “Fat” is also a subjective term and a social construct.) but it is also very fat shaming.

Skinny Bitch is a vegan manifesto that is very misogynist, fat-shaming, condescending to women, and just terribly misguided in their approach to promoting veganism.  Why can’t women want to try veganism or vegetarianism because they wanted to do so for personal beliefs, their health, the environment, etc. instead of because they were shamed into it?  Why can’t women just feel good about themselves and want to be healthier instead of being shamed by a stupid, condescending book?  But of course, the self-help industry (as does capitalism) thrives on people feeling badly about themselves and the way they look, so the idea of telling someone that they look good, that they are already good enough is simply unfathomable!

And now we have Skinny Bastard which hit bookstores at the end of April.  It is geared towards men and tells them, “Eating well isn’t some ‘girlie’ thing—these Bitches will whip your ass into shape with their straight talk, sound guidance, and locker room language…if you’re man enough to take it.”  This plays right into gender stereotypes – that men are completely independent and individualistic and can’t take/don’t need advice from anyone, especially women.  And it implies that men who can’t get through Skinny Bastard are not man enough.  Here we go with the shaming again – now men are being shamed and their masculinity is being challenged.

Read the rest of this entry »

(More) Sex-vertising

24 05 2009

Calvin Klein Jeans has a racy Spring-Summer 2009 ad campaign with a commercial that’s been banned from the US but airs in Europe. In New York City’s Soho, there’s a big billboard that generally features racy Calvin Klein ads. This is the ad that’s currently on the billboard:


Head banging against desk.

Here are examples of ads that have been on the billboard in the past:

An ad for Calvin Klein Secret Obsession featuring a naked Eva Mendes

An ad for Calvin Klein Secret Obsession featuring a naked Eva Mendes

This was up a few months ago.

This was up a few months ago. It's not as provocative as other Calvin Klein ads - now there's just a big ass for us to see when we're walking down the street.

Will the sex-vertising ever end?

EW!, OUCH!, and seriously fucked up!

20 05 2009

A 75-year old woman in Russia, Nina M, got a “designer vagina” to help herself get a husband:

Dr Anna Uzunova said: “Usually such requests are from much younger women.
“But she wanted to have an active sex life despite her age so we agreed to do the operation and help her.”
After the operation, Nina delighting said: “I feel like a young woman again.”

It is disturbing that Nina M underwent vaginoplasty, intrusive surgery performed on female genitals to tighten vaginal muscles, just to make her vagina more appealing to and desirable for men and to help her snag a husband. Why do we live in a society where women consider male sexual pleasure a large factor in the decisions they make about themselves and their bodies? It’s my vagina, if you don’t like it, don’t go near it! And my vagina is for me and my pleasure, not for male sexual conquest.

What the press is focusing on is her age – yes, she is 75 years old – but the real issue is the pervasiveness of ageist and misogynist standards of beauty/standards of femininity and the extremes to which women venture in order to fulfill those unrealistic and unhealthy standards. This is both heartbreaking and infuriating. Furthermore, vaginoplasty is not a cheap surgery. The fact that Nina M had that much money and chose to spend it on this is unsettling.

Beauty is a commodity that decreases in value as time goes along. And since beauty is everything – women are taught that our value is based on our appearances alone, not our intelligence, sense of humor, compassion, or any other personality traits – many women fear aging. The anti-aging industry is booming. From anti-wrinkle creams in drug stores to Botox and plastic surgery (nose jobs, boob jobs, etc.), women will do whatever it takes to not appear old. Because old = ugly = non-sexual = undesirable. And no one wants to be a discarded good.

What this case also reaffirms is society’s male-centric view of sex. Sex is thought of in a highly heteronormative way in which female pleasure is missing from the equation. It’s all about male pleasure, and making sure that the man enjoys sex. Reconstructing the vagina for male consumption to enhance male sexual pleasure reflects heteronormative ideology that ascribes the vagina as solely the site for penile penetration.

There is a lot of dialogue in the feminist community about female genital mutilation and the health risks, pain, and trauma that it puts women through. However, licensed surgeons practice genital mutilation in the west as well. Just because it’s super expensive and performed by a licensed medical practitioner in a clean hospital bed does not take away from the fact that it too is harmful and another form of patriarchal colonization of female bodies.

Let’s objectify women to promote organ donation!

19 05 2009

Re-Born to be Alive Organ Donor Foundation has this ad out to promote organ donations:

organ donor

There are several stupid things about this ad:

1. Working for or promoting a good cause (organ donation) does not grant you the license to use whatever means you want to market the cause.  Sexualizing, objectifying and commodifying a woman to promote organ donations is not acceptable.  It’s just sexist.

2. Donating one’s organs is an act of compassion and altruism, which are two good qualities.  You don’t need to have a sexy almost naked lady to encourage people to do good acts that help someone who is in need, to do good acts that can save people’s lives.  But of course, a sexy almost naked lady is more marketable than kindness and compassion.  Sickening.

3. This ad does not make sense.  Is it supposed to suggest that donating your organs is just like having sex?  …Because it’s actually not.  Not at all.

4. Like many other ads, it promotes ultra thinness as the ideal.  Having an ultra thin sexy woman as the face for this organ donation campaign reinforces a hierarchy of bodies (in which skinny is at the top) seems to suggest that only these bodies (super skinny and therefore sexy ones) deserve critical organ donations which can save lives.

5. This is condescending and insulting to men (who are obviously the targeted audience) because it assumes that menfolk will do anything if there’s a sexy almost naked (or fully naked) lady around.

6. Organ donations have nothing to do with sex and almost naked ladies, so don’t make it about that!!!!

There are ways to advertise coffee without involving bikini bods

19 05 2009

Misogynist marketing… it doesn’t stop, does it?

I’ve been following Becky Sharper’s posts (see here, here and here) on The Pursuit of Harpyness about Joe The Art of Coffee (in the Village in New York City) and their public shaming. Joe’s always has a chalkboard outside beckoning people to come in. Last Saturday, May 16th, the chalkboard said:

Get Your Bikini Bod Back. Skim Lattes Are Here!

See Why It’s Called a ‘Skinny Latte!’

As if there isn’t enough fat shaming already. “Bikini season” and getting on a “bikini diet” so you can have a “bikini bod” translate to “Women, unless you are really skinny, you are unattractive. So be skinny!…or else no man is going to like you.”

When Becky notified Joe’s of how she thought the message on their chalkboard was shitty and offensive, she received this response:

No, the manager didn’t realize it offended people. It was meant strictly as a joke; tongue in cheek. We serve Full Fat milk unless asked not to on all drinks, and are actually prone to think it’s silly to ruin coffee with skimmed milk. I, for one, think it tastes watery and ruins coffee, but to each their own.

I am sorry if this joke offended. However, we give rein to our talented barista/artists to create new and different boards. I was surprised at how virulent a response was created on that blog, and think someone made a mountain out of a molehill. However, I will ask them to change it.

“It was meant strictly as a joke; tongue in cheek” – back to the whole oops I said something that offended you? Well, whatever it was just a joke. Can’t take a joke? Gee, lighten up! Gosh, those darn feminists have no sense of humor!

And “I am sorry if this joke offended” is barely an apology. Way to not take ownership for your misogynist marketing. So they didn’t do anything offensive, they just made a joke that offended some oversensitive people who “made a mountain out of a molehill”. Because anytime a feminist objects to misogyny, it’s just an overreaction.

I am sick of these not even half-assed apologies. Sorry if you are offended by something that’s just a harmless little joke. You’re making a big deal out of nothing.

And this morning, Becky informs us that Joe’s chalkboard said:

Caffeine burns calories*
Let Joe’s Help You Get A Bikini Bod


Here we go again with the bikini bods. Women, you better make sure you can rock a bikini at the beach this summer! So you need to lose weight and be skinnier so you can have that bikini bod! (The way your body looks is the most important thing after all.)
When she emailed Joe’s expressing her objections to yet another sexist chalkboard ad, she got this reply:
They took it in this morning. I think they didn’t get the message but now it’s gone. Just for the record, it was created by 2 of our female baristi as a joke.
Spelling mistake (it’s not baristi, it’s baristas or bariste) aside, Joe’s just pulled another classic anti-feminist idiotic, illogical response: the well, women did it…and women can’t possibly be sexist or misogynist…therefore it’s not offensive!
I’m banging my head against a wall.

Anti-feminist Bingo!

18 05 2009

I just read an old entry on Hoyden About Town titled Anti-feminist-Bingo! A master-class in sexual entitlement:

If you find yourself getting frustrated in a feminist conversation with someone who seems to just Not Get It, have a peek through the card. Odds are your antagonist will have used 3, 4, 5 or more of these somewhere along the line.

If you’re a man trying not to be an arsehole in feminist conversations, but you seem to find yourself floundering and can’t figure out why, you might like to scrutinise your comments critically to see if some of these messages are inadvertently coming across.

These bingo cards are awesome.  Here’s Anti-feminist Bingo card 1:

anti-feminist bingo

Anti-feminist Bingo card 2:

anti-feminist 2 bingo

And with the help of Google, I found other cool Bingo cards too.  Here’s a Rape Apologist Bingo card:

rape apologist bingo

And here’s a Fat Hate Bingo card:

fat hate bingoAren’t these great?

And the winner is…

17 05 2009

The winner of the 2009 Miss Tiffany Universe is Sorawee Nattee.  She is the recipient of the grand prizes and the cash from the world’s “most prestigious transgender beauty pageant”.

Sorawee Nattee (center), winner of the Miss Tifffany pageant, along with runners up Writtorn Narapaipimol (left) and Napatsawan Cholakorn (right) in Pattaya

Sorawee Nattee (center), winner of the Miss Tifffany pageant, along with runners up Writtorn Narapaipimol (left) and Napatsawan Cholakorn (right) in Pattaya

Nattee also received 20,000 baht for winning the Best Costume category.

Sorawee Nattee

Later on this year at the Tiffany’s Cabaret Theater in Pattaya, she will be competing in the Miss International Queen pageant.  Here’s a big congrats to her!

Fat Acceptance Ad Deemed Too Offensive for TV

16 05 2009

On an Australian show about advertising, The Gruen Transfer, advertising agencies were recently asked to make an anti fatism ad.  The show asked two advertising agencies to create ads to “end shape discrimination and make overweight Australians feel less humiliated by the constant public disapproval of anyone who isn’t a size 10 or under.”  But this ad, created by advertising agency The Foundry, was thought to be just too offensive to be shown on ABC television.    However, the ad was posted online along with a 15-minute panel discussion about the rationale behind the ad’s creation and why the ad may have not been successful.

The ad shows people telling startlingly offensive jokes.

“How do black women fight crime? They have abortions.”

“How do you stop a poofter from drowning? You take your foot off his head.”

“What’s the difference between Santa Claus and a Jew? Santa Claus goes down the chimney.”

“Why did God create alcohol? So fat chicks could get a root.”

The ad then flashes the following message across the screen:  

“Discrimination comes in all shapes and sizes.  FATPride.”

Although the ad was meant to be thought-provoking, not offensive, it seems to have missed the mark.  To me, the “jokes” are just so shocking and unacceptable that it is nearly impossible to appreciate the attempted point of the ad.  I’m also uncomfortable with the ad seeming to equate discriminations.  The point behind the ad is that all discriminations are unacceptable, but if the ad is interpreted to imply that all discriminations are the same, it is problematic.  I recommend you watch the discussion, though, to see the reasoning behind the ad’s creation and the points that the creators were trying to make.

Any thoughts?  Is this ad successful or too offensive to get the point across?  Should it have been aired on television?

Miss Tiffany’s Universe 2009

14 05 2009


On May 15th at 10:30 PM, Miss Tiffany’s Universe 2009 will air on Thai television stations.  This beauty pageant for transwomen has become extremely popular, not just in Thailand but around the world.  Miss Tiffany’s is a trans cabaret located 90 miles southeast of Bangkok.  One of the first all-transgender cabarets, it is located in the same town as its rival, the Alcazar.  The shows at these venues regularly pack the 2000 seat theaters with both Asian and western tourists.  The Miss Tiffany’s Universe Pageant is a yearly beauty pageant for transwomen that draws contestants from all over Thailand and is a fundraiser for Thailand’s Royal Sponsored AIDS Foundation.  Part of the pageant’s mission is to promote acceptance for transgender people worldwide.

This year, they have narrowed the contestants down to 30 finalists.  The winner is offered the equivalent of $2,700 US dollars, a Mercedes Benz, a diamond-studded crown, a trophy, and the winner is Thailand’s representative in the Miss International Queen pageant open to transwomen around the globe.

It is important to note that “kathoey,” the Thai term for these transwomen, is not exactly the same as how we might think of transwomen.  The term “kathoey” suggests that the person is a type of male, unlike the term “sao praphet song,” which suggests a female sex identity, or “phet thee sam,” which suggests a third gender.  Wikipedia argues that kathoeys are more visible and accepted in Thai culture than in western cultures.  “Kathoey” may refer to a range of men, some who undergo hormone replacement and sex-reassignment surgery, others who dress as males but use feminine pronouns or adopt some culturally feminine habits, clothing, or makeup.

It will be exciting to see who wins the contest.  Each year, the pageant draws millions of viewers and is publicized globally. Thanyaras Jiraphatphakorn was crowned Miss Tiffany Universe for 2007.  In the interview segment of the show, she was asked if it was possible for a ‘kathoey,’ translated as ‘ladyboy’ to ever become a politician. “Sure, it is. In the future, there might be a prime minister who is a ladyboy…Society should judge people by what they do rather than considering what sex they are,” said Thanyaras.  Hopefully, a future free from stigmatization, prejudice, and violence against transgender people will come sooner rather than later.


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