Final Thoughts

As the semester inevitably draws to a close, I feel the need to write one last post. A farewell post, if you will. I’ve learned a lot this semester through my blog, and class, about the power of advocacy. Nothing will ever change, no problem can ever be solved, unless someone is willing to do something about it. Passion is the stuff of life. To be able to channel your passion into a good cause is a wonderful thing. I’m passionate about women’s rights and all things media, therefore, this blog was a wonderful way for me to raise awareness.

I hope everyone has a wonderful summer and continues to be an active, and informed, consumer of media!

peace out folks!

peace out folks!

Advocacy Event

Hey y’all!

Today is an absolutely beautiful day! The sun is shining, the weather is hot, so what are you doing reading this blog post?! Unless you’re outside with your laptop as I am, then you are excused.

I recently hosted my very own advocacy event for my Argument and Advocacy class and it went surprisingly well! Considering the turnout which was about 5 people in total and consisted of my roommates and sorority sisters. As you know, this blog has been dedicated to raising awareness about women in the media and the importance of equal representation.

My event consisted of several clips from two documentaries, Miss Representation and Killing Us Softly. I absolutely love both of these docs and I HIGHLY recommend that you check it out on a rainy and lazy day. Miss Representation is also currently on Netflix, so no excuses! After showing these clips,  I had discussion questions centered around the clips shown. Luckily, I had a loquacious group, so the discussion went pretty smoothly! My only hope is that in the future I invest more time and energy in advertising so that I can get a better turnout.

Have a wonderful day and get outside!

 

Killing Us Softly

One of my favorite documentaries is Jean Kilbourne’s film ” Killing Us Softly”. I highly recommend it for anyone who wishes to know more about the limited, and constricting, ways women are represented in the media. Media is important, it frames the world for us, and influences our attitudes, beliefs, and values. Though it may directly force us to hold certain beliefs and attitudes, it definitely helps us shape the way we view the world.

Jean Kilbourne is a brilliant woman determined to display how distorted the images and representations of women are in mass media. Below is just a clip of the whole documentary which consists of four parts. In thinking about Kilbourne’s documentary in advocacy terms, I believe her documentary is directed towards Social Argument Communities, and Philosophical Argument Communities. Feminism is essentially humanism, it’s function is to promote the social, economical, and political equality of both men and women. By creating this documentary, Kilbourne is addressing a liberal community, specifically a humanist community. Check out the clip below and let me know what you think!

 

Advocacy for the end of gender norms

Gender norms are confusing, constrictive, and exhausting. They allow zero room for variety, independence, and individuality. We are born either a girl and a boy, therefore, we are destined to act, look, and feel a certain way according to our biological sex. How awful! Gender norms are equally harmful to both men and women, forcing us to conform to a certain image that may not match our true identity.

gender norms

For instance, young boys learn at any early age that openly expressing emotions is ” unmanly”. They are forced to bottle their emotions and follow Gary Cooper’s ” strong, silent type” model. Well, we all know how well that worked out for Tony Soprano ( cue panic attacks, fainting spells, and overall mafia induced chaos). Sorry y’all but I can’t think of masculinity without linking it to the greatest of shows, The Sopranos.

Girls, on the hand, are taught at a young age that marriage and beauty are a woman’s greatest aspirations. We are taught to not take up too much space, to always smile, and be physically appealing.

sandwich

One of my classmates in my Argument and Advocacy Class, hosted a wonderful advocacy event just this past week. She held it on Wednesday on the Quad from 12-3. I went to check it out and was very impressed. The location was perfect as the quad is an heavy with student traffic. Additionally, it was easy to locate because she had a large, pretty, and well-organized tri-fold to catch everyone’s attention.

As I passed by she inquired whether or not I would like to participate by asking a couple of questions for a recorded interview, or finish a sentence on a white board ” Gender norms are harmful because…”. I chose the interview and she asked me why I thought gender norms were harmful and how I tried to combat them in my daily life. Two awesome questions that got straight to the point! Her mission is to create a video of the compiled interviews from that day.

Her advocacy event was well advertised, easily accessible, and highly informative! I’m looking forward to seeing her finished video!

The Danger Behind Beauty Advertisements

Y’all. Today is a dreary, rainy, ominous day, therefore, it is only fitting that we delve into the creepy factors underlying every beauty advertisement for women.

ermahgerd berty sternderds

For example, yesterday I was flipping through an old InStyle magazine and came across an advertisement for Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair cream. A strikingly beautiful and young face covered one page of the two-page spread out. The other page described Estee Lauder’s new product. The words that abruptly caught my attention were had exceptionally large font and were bolded at the top of the page that read: “ Start young. Stay young. Advanced Night Repair”.

estee

These particular phrases caught my eye because they are examples of the hegemony’s idea of beauty. Hegemony meaning ” a predominant influence of one nation over another” according to Webster’s Dictionary. This ad reinforces Marilyn Manson’s idea of “ campaign of fear and consumption”. Creating ads for anti-aging products reinforces the media’s desire to keep consumers, in this case women, terrified of growing old and ugly. To prevent this from happening, they buy the product so as not to be ostracized by society. The quote “ Start young. Stay young” reinforces this fear that the ideal hegemony uses media and popular culture to perpetuate. The panic or fear of being old and ugly is further instilled by that quote which encourages women to start buying anti-aging products, even if they don’t need them so that they may never need them, as they grow older.  As Marilyn Manson says this ad “ keeps everyone afraid so they’ll consume”. Women buy the product to ease their fears of being considered ugly and old. The beautiful model on the advertisement is a young white woman. By having a young white woman model the product, Estee Lauder supports dominant ideology’s preference for white skin.

This advertisement is just one example of how the media keeps women oppressed within society. By displaying a completely unrealistic, photoshopped model on the page, it instills insecurity and doubt into whichever consumer sees the ad. Furthermore, the fact that the model is white, blond, and blue-eyed female only further insinuates that this is what our society considers to be most beautiful.

 

 

National Poetry Month

Hey guys!

April is National Poetry Month. Poetry is so beautiful and evocative, especially slam poetry. I’m an avid fan of ButtonPoetry which features upcoming slam poetry artists who are immensely talented. These poets never fail to evoke powerful imagery and emotion in their poems. My professor Hillary Holladay stated in lecture the other day that a good poem ” is like gulping down a glass of wine and experiencing that dizzy, heady feeling afterwards”.  One poem in particular that had me feeling dizzy is Lily Myers ” Shrinking Woman”. Though this poem does not dwell specifically on women in the media, it is still addresses an equally important issue. Her poem focuses on the pressure of women to silence their emotional or physical hungers. She addresses how many women suffer from the oppressive effects of gender roles. It is a moving and powerful piece and I urge you to watch it below, and please let me know what you think! Do you agree with Myers message? If so, how can we as willing citizens, advocate for a change on the derogative effects of gender roles?