It Takes a Village…to Traffic Girls

Please consider signing the petition:

Where Pimps Peddle Their Goods

Backpage accounts for about 70 percent of prostitution advertising among five Web sites that carry such ads in the United States, earning more than $22 million annually from prostitution ads, according to AIM Group, a media research and consulting company. It is now the premier Web site for human trafficking in the United States,according to the National Association of Attorneys General. And it’s not a fly-by-night operation. Backpage is owned by Village Voice Media, which also owns the estimable Village Voice newspaper.

Attorneys general from 48 states have written a joint letterto Village Voice Media, pleading with it to get out of the flesh trade. An online petition at Change.org has gathered 94,000 signatures asking Village Voice Media to stop taking prostitution advertising. Instead, the company has used The Village Voice to mock its critics. Alissa thought about using her real name for this article but decided not to for fear that Village Voice would retaliate.

Got Sexism?

I know this story is now a little old – I’ve been behind on posting – but, look, even the WaPo is late in the game! This is an article about a California milk ad that goes too far in portraying men as victims of women’s PMS. It’s one of those campaigns that make you groan, ugh…

PMS-themed California milk ad campaign shocks

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California milk producers have modified an eyebrow-raising advertising campaign that promoted their product to men as a way to lessen the effects of premenstrual syndrome in their wives or girlfriends. But some critics wonder if it’s time the dairy organization moved on to greener pastures.

Skechers want girls as young as 7 to shape up

An excerpt from Change.org:

Augusta Christensen is a recent college grad who remembers all too well what it’s like to be a little girl with a poor self-image, so she started a petition on Change.org pushing Skechers to discontinue Shape Ups for Girls.

Nearly 2,000 signatures later, the president of the “Skechers Fitness Group” wrote a column on the Huffington Post that attacked Augusta personally and claimed that the shoes are just the company’s way of getting involved in the fight against childhood obesity — even comparing the product to Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign. 

But if that’s true, why not make Shape Up sneakers for boys? (Plus, experts say the shoes may not actually increase fitness — and lack support and stability when you’re running.)

Augusta pushed back with a column of her own, and the controversy has since been covered by the Today Show, MSNBC, and ABC News, among others. 

But Skechers still refuses to discontinue Shape Ups for Girls — and it will take a bigger public push to get them to back down. 

Please sign the petition to Skechers at:  Change.org

NBC lineup to include female-led shows (but looks like top dogs are still male-led)

Granted, this is the only article I’ve read about female-led shows in NBC’s lineup, but it sures sounds to me like men are faring much better (and why this headline mentions kudos to females and not males is beyond me):

New prime time NBC lineup includes several female-led series

Among the network’s six new comedies and six new dramas are shows that feature Whitney Cummings as half of a committed couple; Debra Messing as the writer of a Broadway musical about Marilyn Monroe; Christina Applegate as an acerbic new mom; Maria Bello as the new Helen Mirren in a “Prime Suspect” remake; and a comedy based on late-night star Chelsea Handler’s book, “Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea.”

Okay, sounds great, but what kind of ratio are we looking at? Not that it matters much — look at who has the top jobs (here, all men):

On the other hand, NBC is relying on the behind-the-scenes production chops of Steven Spielberg, Lorne Michaels, Brian Grazer, Tom Werner, John Grisham and Peter Berg.

And, males get the advertisers to cater to them too:

…advertisers pay a premium to reach young guys, because they’re the hardest to reach. But aiming for a female audience is not a bad direction to go when you’re the mired-in-fourth-place network.

I didn’t study business, but would companies pay more money to reach a segment of the population that’s hard to reach? Hmm, guess so.

And more talk of men and a series based on a book written by a male:

Likewise, NBC’s TV adaptation of John Grisham’s book “The Firm” won’t be trotted out until it can follow the return of reality series “Celebrity Apprentice” on Sunday nights, post-football (with or without Donald Trump, depending on his presidential plans).

Something else that sounds male-oriented:

In truth, some of his new series, such as a drama called “The Playboy Club,”…

 Like I said, I haven’t read anything else on this topic so maybe there’s more to it – – but this article, it sounds to me like men are getting the best deals out of the lineup.

(Fat) Male privilege: Weight Watchers finally targets men

Where have they been?

Why the fat guy should lose his privilege by David Sirota

This is a significant question in a country whose debilitating weight problem is more male than female — and “more” means a heckuva lot more. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, almost 70 percent of men are overweight, compared with 52 percent of women. Yet, somehow, 90 percent of the commercial weight-loss industry’s clients are female, and somehow, this industry hasn’t seen males as a viable business. How can that be?

And he soon answers:

…The real explanation for the gender disparity is found in a chauvinist culture whose double standards demand physical perfection from women while simultaneously celebrating male corpulence.

Read on, he makes great points!

Only 5% of TV ads in the UK employ ethnic minorities

I imagine it’s somewhat similar in the US. I’m waiting for ads to feature males (white or ethnic) in cleaning commercials. I’ve only seen 2. I especially dislike the ads that feature a male announcer sounding like an authority on a product and the female demonstrating it – there’s a vacuum cleaner with a new technology (a ball that makes the vacuum turn better) that does this. grrrr.

Only 5% of TV ads feature ethnic minorities

Actors from black, Asian or other ethnic minority groups appeared in only 5% of the almost 35,000 TV ads screened in the UK last year, according to a report.

 The report by Clearcast, the body that vets all commercials before they are broadcast, found that TV advertising is “drastically under-representing” the ethnic minority groups. Black, Asian and those of other ethnic minorities account for about 13% of the UK population.

 Clearcast’s report, which marks the first in-depth look at the racial makeup of UK television advertising, found that of the total of 34,499 commercials given the green light last year just 1,845, or 5.3%, used actors from a non-white background.

J Crew ad sparks controversy over pink nail polish on a boy

Hmm, following up on the post that women naturally like dominant men….(which got me thinking today – actually, Justin Beiber is said to be so attractive to girls because he’s so non-threatening…just a thought). Anyway, J Crew has an ad of a mother with her young son. He’s got pink-painted nail polish on his toes.

Pink nail polish for boys, J Crew ad sparks controversy

The Today Show discussed this and I thought they did a great job. A psychologist said parents should accept their child as they are – I wholeheartedly agree for several reasons:

1) If gender roles are ‘natural’, then why do we need to force children to behave like boys or girls? I was on a bus in Hong Kong, sitting across from a couple with a young – maybe 5 year old – girl wearing  a dress. The parents kept smacking her when she fidgeted on the seat – she was squirming around – and, I suppose, might have looked immodest in her dress. That was my only guess. Why do parents have to force these roles on a child?

2) If parents are not tolerant of their children’s personality, they are teaching intolerance. I can see it leading to bullying – if they see their parents are intolerant of behavior/dress/etc., then they are sure to copy.

3) I used to think it odd that some languages, like Spanish or French, give objects a gender. It seems just as odd – not referring to foreign languages –  to give objects, colors, behavior, etc. a gender though, doesn’t it?

4) It seems limiting to say boys/men must do this/say that/etc. and girls/women must do something else/say something else – especially when you consider how large this world is. Why should this planet have just 2 roles a person should fall into?

Tilly’s teaches women how to listen

Please consider signing the petition against Tilly’s despicable, degrading, and indefensible T-shirts:

No comment:  Tilly’s teaches women how to listen

GREAT paragraph here –

Consumer activism like this is an indispensable tool to fight the widespread dehumanization of women seen in television shows, movies, advertising and even on t-shirts. Corporations are interested in drawing attention to their products, so they break through the clutter of messages with increasingly shocking content, too often at the expense of girls and women. The only way to break this cycle is to threaten their bottom line through organized boycotts, a disinvestment campaign, culture jamming or damage to the corporate brand through public truth-telling.

Bad Ads

In the Bad Ads department, we have this from AdFreak:

Summer’s Eve placed this big ad for its Feminine Wash in Women’s Day magazine suggesting that the cleanliness of her privates plays a pivotal role in whether or not a woman will get a raise at work. Literally the ad says that step one toward getting paid more is keeping yourself clean “down there.” The premise of the ad—that a woman’s ultimate worth is the sum of her ladyparts—is insulting enough, but the ad places use of the product above things like establishing your accomplishments and worth to the company.

Summer’s Eve ad:  Douche more, earn more