Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Urban Outfitters Shelves Women

I wanted to do a quick Banned Books Week post ~ and eventually I will ~ but I got distracted by this pile of puke:

On the surface, a woman's tee which says "I Love Wild Things" may seem cute, but it's a real slice of pop culture misogyny pie.

You're likely surprised that a sex positive gal like me wouldn't be among the first to order such a tee, but, as Allison notes in Urban Outfitters Makes Me Cranky, this is the only t-shirt for women in Urban Outfitters "literary classics" line. While men get Jack Kerouac's On The Road and even a retro Reading Rainbow, we women get stuck with sexual innuendo replete with shades of pedophilia & bestiality.

And don't you dare try to defend this crap by saying that women can wear men's shirts; that's not the point. If ability to stuff yourself into a shirt were the issue, then why do have men's shirts and women's shirts? The point here is that they are marketing this one shirt to women but saving all the literature and bookish adoration to the more learned, smart, intellectual men. Or, they are selling these women's shirts to men, men who will give them as gifts to women, using the male fantasy of female sexual availability as the lure...

That's even worse.

I guess I'm just lucky I can understand the references on the men's shirts, let alone be able to read them... What with all the "loving" of "wild things" I must do, how'd I manage to read books?

Yeah, I know, I probably just need to be laid; then I won't take this all so seriously.

Seriously, WTF?

I guess Urban Outfitters thinks sexy for women equals females advertising their availability, not reading; which is a shame-shame-on-you, Urban Outfitters, because, as Allison also notes, Sarah Utter ~ and everyone else ~ knows that Reading Is Sexy, no matter who you are.

If all of this doesn't make you too upset to do anything but sputter (and I hear you!), why not see some examples of how we sexualize our daughters and sons with tees & other fashions too ~ guaranteed to make you boycott the mall.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Jeremy Edwards Joins The Cult

This week's Cult of Gracie Radio has the wildly talented (and mildly mad) Jeremy Edwards to discuss not only his own written erotic works, but the Ultimate Burlesque anthology.

The Ultimate Burlesque anthology, edited by Alyson Fixter & Emily Dubberley, is the teaserotic September release (published by Xcite Books) that is part of Burlesque Against Breast Cancer. Proceeds from the book will help raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

To tempt you into purchasing, Jeremy will be reading an excerpt from Laura The Laugher, his contribution to the book, live on the air!

While the stories in the anthology do more than tease, the part Jeremy will be reading will be teasing, tempting, and fun, but not explicit ~ just like burlesque. *wink*

We hope this helps you support a great book ~ and for a great cause.

So tune in to Cult of Gracie on XXBN, Wednesday night, August 27, at 9 PM (Central) for an hour long show.

As always, you can join the fun by calling in at 1.646.200.3136.

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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Obligatory Trafficking Post

Mention you are a sex worker and you'll have to answer to the trafficking issue. Here are some facts, along with my rant:

Today's trafficked slaves are also used for labor purposes which have nothing to do with sex. Isn't that equally horrible?

Human adults and children are sold for everything from farming & mining to sweat shops & begging ~ even "domestic servants" ~ and they are imprisoned and even disfigured so that they cannot runaway. Why doesn't anyone hold Merry Maids accountable for the enslaved maids, or ask a farmers union if they think they should put an end to farming because there's a trafficking problem? Where's the public outrage at these industries?

There's none.

Because it's ridiculous to hold an industry accountable for the actions taken outside of the industry, for a problem past its own scope. Slavery is the issue, not the industry itself. And so it should be with sex work. In fact, keeping prostitution illegal & stigmatizing sex work only helps those trafficking as they use the fear of police action to keep individuals from trying to get help.

And even when these companies and industries have slaves, folks just don't care about it like they do sex trafficking.

Hell, Nike knew of it's own sweatshops, and when the buying public discovered such facts they continued to buy the shoes; no one thought it necessary to put an end to making shoes or even Nike's way of making shoes with slave labor. This information didn't prompt the government to any great action, or even stop the consumption of Nike products because hell, it was only slavery.

It's the new corporate colonialism; it's fine if workers are locked in, can't use the toilets and work 12+ hour shifts with a 10 minute break.

Nike worked to keep consumers happy too. Brand your logo with a celebrity face and mention how you add to economy, and voila! you are no longer offensive. People will buy anything, even at these prices ~ and I do mean the cost in human lives.

Maybe sex work just needs the right celebrity endorsement. The dollars of adult entertainment are already known to be pretty staggering... Perhaps we need to have a 1.7 billion dollar advertising budget to get our message out.

By the way, guess the demographic of the average Nike slave? Women aged between 19 and 25.

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Reveal The Goddess In Me? Sure, But Let Me Reveal The Bull-Shit In You

I was watching TV, being a lazy lump. And then, something (he claims) innocuous happens, and I get all foamy-at-the-mouth (my phrasing, not his). I am more than awake, I am incensed.

First a commercial for the Venus, the pink razor for women, followed by an ad for one of the smoking cessation patches... Like a rolled-up newspaper hitting me upside my head, the insanity strikes me.

Why the hell are they peddling pink girly-girl razors at me, as if the curves of my legs and pits are somehow more confusing, complicated and, perhaps even more disgusting just for being female, than those contours of a man's face? I've seen plenty of men walking 'round with white tp dotted faces, red circles of blood holding them fast, to know that whipping a razor around ~ any razor, no matter the color ~ can cut skin. It's not made for women so much as marketed to them... Because we're silly girls who love to shop for pretty pink things.


But then there's the smoking cessation commercial right afterwards. A patch, to be precise. A product that boasts of its 80% fail rate ~ and fails to disclose that the fail rate is even higher for women. But then, the patch doesn't come in pretty pink, or have unicorns on it, or anything which would indicate it's supposed to appeal to me. So maybe I'm not supposed to really pay attention to this ad.

Corporate America and the society which supports it has decided it is more important for me to have smooth "sexy" legs than it is for me to stop smoking.


My head spins and I see red and at some point I'm aware that I'm ranting at the speed of light. So I slow down and say, "Why on earth do they push pink razors when they should be focused on products which really serve the needs of women, like smoking cessation? Oh yeah, 'cuz the 'right to control our bodies' has more to do with our come-hither appearance than our health."

His response to all of this?


When prompted (commanded) to comment, all he can say is that there's money ~ more money ~ to be made in pink girly razors because making plastic pink is a nominal investment in change as opposed to medical research. It's just marketing, not really a new product, so there's more profit to be made. Implication: I must be thick-headed not to see that.

I see it; I get it.

I love him; but he just doesn't get it.

Even going from white goo to pink goo (and pink goo that moisturizes so that "ladies" won't need "masculine" shave creme in cans) requires Gillette aka PG, monstrous corporation that it is, lots of dollars in R&D. (And don't forget the focus groups!) Why is it more important to create a need for such silly products when they (literally meaning P&G, by the way) could create something valuable for women?

Oh, right, I already said why.

The 'right to control our bodies' has more to do with the come-hither appearance of our bodies than with the health of our bodies.

As if this weren't sickening enough, check out P&G's new B&S:
“Now we’ve given women the permission to reveal her own goddess,” said Gro Frivoll, who has worked on the Venus account at BBDO for eight years. “Every woman can be the goddess of something, because this allows you to be your most feminine self.”
Oh yes, please let me be the goddess of cancer!

Oh, and just in case you think I'm being to rough on poor little P&G...
When Gillette pitches razors to men, it tends to emphasize technological innovations. But on the women’s side, “we focus more on the emotional end benefits,” Ms. Frivoll said. “Men want to know, What am I paying more for? If a man were paying $25 for lipstick, it would have to have more than the Chanel name on it.”
Ironically, the razors apparently have "35 patents pending or granted that cover the product’s technologies, designs and manufacturing processes" (heaven help us!), yet, by their own admission, the company's pushing the pink & fuzzy.

As if that amount of dedication & funding to hair removal weren't obscene enough, how about the ad campaign price tag, kids?
starting the biggest campaign on the women’s side of its business since the original three-blade Venus was introduced in 2001.

Procter would not disclose the amount it is spending on the campaign.

Yeah, they're just turning white goo pink... that's cheap enough.

But can they withstand my stomach turning too?

I just have one question for you, Procter & Gamble: How do you like the goddess in me now?

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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Corporate Johnson, You're In The Middle Of An Unjust War... What Are You Going To Do Now?

According to ThinkProgress, Baghdad is to get a ‘Disneyland’ style amusement park:
At the cost of nearly $500 million, a Los Angeles-based company is “developing the Baghdad Zoo and Entertainment Experience, a massive American-style amusement park that will feature a skateboard park, rides, a concert theatre and a museum.” The park “is being designed by the firm that developed Disneyland.”
In short, the plans include nearly everything hated about the west.

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Pink & Blue Gender Study Via Children's Consumption

Only two more days to see the The Pink & Blue Project in New York:

One would be mistaken to assume The Pink and Blue Project is frothy or light. Analysis of the images provokes conversation sensitive to issues in modern society that resonate on consumerism as well as how we define femininity and masculinity. Yoon scrutinizes the adage “pink for a girl, blue for a boy” as an examination of gender specific colors and how a modicum can cross-culturally imbed itself in buying patterns and identities.

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