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Support MissRepresentation.org’s Indie GoGo campaign!

Our partners at MissRepresentation.org have started a campaign to raise funds for a Not Buying It cellphone app. As co-creators and huge supporters of Not Buying It, we encourage anyone who can to pledge the project! 

YOU can change the media. 

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Perpetual sexism in media campaigns / Not Buying It!

This is a blog post from our social media coordinator/program assistant Rachel. The opinions expressed are those of the author only and do not necessary reflect those of Girls For A Change staff, management, or partners.

I’ve been working at GFC for well over a year now and have had the amazing opportunity to work on several projects and campaigns with various other organizations. One of my favorites has been working with the good people over at MissRepresentation.org on social action campaigns. Last year we launched #NotBuyingIt to encourage the public to call out sexism and sexual objectification in commercials, television, film, music, and the media in general. And we’ve found great success!

Last week MissRepresentation.org monitored and reported on the sexism and sexual objectification on display at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. In particular, VOCO and Hyper were targeted for their particular brand of promotion. Hundreds of people (including Social Action Representatives but mostly the general public) Tweeted at these companies and left them Facebook messages telling them that they would not purchase their products until they stopped degrading women’s bodies for their own profit. As we reported last week, VOCO was forced to pull down their Facebook page temporarily to remove all the negative feedback they were receiving in response to their advertisements.

Hyper has also responded to the backlash on their blog: HYPER. They seem to think that this “Miss Representation” is a fringe activist group (or a sole individual?) that is maliciously attacking their company and “openly spreading hate.” I find their response bizarre, troubling, and most of all, sad.

Does calling out the sexual objectification present at the Consumer Electronics Show and countless other conventions seem frivolous and unnecessary? Perhaps to some. But I’d like to remind people who feel that way that the Not Buying It campaign was developed by MissRepresentation.org - a team of experts in the field of gender equity. Writer/director/producer Jennifer Siebel Newsom and the many staff members, consultants, and producers who made this film and organization a reality have been working for years to research and evaluate the effect that the sexualization of females has on young women. As anyone who has seen the film can attest to, the results are shocking. The facts show that the misrepresentation and rampant sexual objectification of females leads to self-objectification, which in turn has major repercussions. As Caroline Heldman reports in the film:

The American Psychological Association has found in recent years that self-objectification has become a national epidemic, a national problem. The more women and girls self-objectify, the more likely they are to be depressed, to have eating disorders. They have lower confidence. They have lower ambition. They have lower cognitive functioning. They have lower GPAs. How does this connect to women and leadership? Women who are high self-objectifiers have lower political efficacy. Political efficacy is the idea that your voice matters in politics, and that you can bring about change in politics. So if we have a whole generation of young people being raised where women’s objectification is just par for the course, that it’s normal, it’s okay, we have a whole generation of women who are less likely to run for office and less likely to vote.

Taking companies like VOCO and Hyper to task for their perpetuation of sexual objectification of women may seem silly to some. But those of us who are involved in creating social change are certain that these representations are extremely harmful. On another note, I find it bizarre that companies with big budgets for PR are content with repeating the same tired marketing techniques of using naked women to promote sales. It’s so completely unoriginal and uncreative…and has nothing to do with technology!

I will put myself on the line personally to defend the work of MissRepresentation and #NotBuyingIt. I’ve heard some people argue that women have it easy in America - the right to vote, right to a fair trial, “freedom” - but I think it is important to call out the sexism present at conventions like CES because they are evidence of a larger misogyny problem that is still extremely prevalent in our country. How many female presidents have we had? What’s the ratio of men to women in STEM fields? Why are we still talking about equal pay for men and women? Using naked women to stir interest in your tech company might seem innocuous, but these ad campaigns do not occur in a vacuum.

Need more evidence? Talk to middle and high school aged girls. Ask them how they feel about their bodies. Ask them if they feel shame around their sexual health and what their stomachs and vaginas and breasts look like. Talk to female gamers about how they’re treated online. Do a Google search for slut-shaming and victim blaming.

We live in a culture that is shadowed by sexism and violence against women. To believe that sexual objectification of women’s bodies in the media doesn’t effect and reflect the problem of gender inequity is a problem. 

This is what #NotBuyingIt is about. It’s about gathering the public and encouraging them to reflect on how sexual objectification is harmful and telling companies who use these tactics that it’s 2013 and we’re not buying into their harmful stereotypes. Criticism of the campaign will happen, and we welcome it. Today we have a chance to start a national conversation round these issues. Will you join us?

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In response to last week’s Consumer Electronics Show and the rampant displays of sexism monitored by MissRepresentation.org (#NotBuyingIt), Arizona blogger Julie reflects on how far we haven’t come. 

I didn’t go to CES (The Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas this past week, but I’ve read several articles about what went down..in particular, the convention girls.  Liz Gumbinner at Mom 101 wrote about the misogynist attitude at the show, the Daily Beast discussed the sexist attitude, and Miss Representation started a Twitter campaign #NotBuyingIt, about the use of naked booth babes at the convention.  Reading these stories brought up a long-forgotten,  painful memory of my former life as a marketing rep.  I was almost on the other side of the fence.  I was almost one of those convention girls.  


Want to join the movement? Use #NotBuyingIt on Twitter to tell companies that you will not support their sexist sales tactics!

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If you follow MissRepresentation.org on Facebook or Twitter you already know that the CES convention (Consumer Electronics Show) is going on in Las Vegas. Last week Miss Rep’s followers managed to bring down down VOCO’s Facebook page in response to their recent string of sexually objectifying advertisements. 

This week Miss Rep social media and communications director Imran Siddiquee reports on Hyper’s use of naked women to sell their products. 

The women at the Hyper booth (and in the video on their website) are portrayed as lifeless robots, covered in body paint and unmoving, they are meant to be valued simply for their sexuality – the way their bodies look. And when we portray women as nothing more than physical objects, we are inviting others to see and treat them as such. Which – to spell it out – means we are feeding rape culture in America.

Tell Hyper that you’re #NotBuyingIt!

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missrep:

Click here to let Spencer’s know you’re #NotBuyingIt

We’re NOT BUYING Spencer’s series of offensive and misogynistic t-shirts. 

missrep:

Click here to let Spencer’s know you’re #NotBuyingIt

We’re NOT BUYING Spencer’s series of offensive and misogynistic t-shirts. 

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The 2012 Name It. Change It. Awards For Most Sexist Media Coverage of Women Candidates and Politicians this year are awared to:

  • Most Sexist Interview Question:Chicago Sun-Times/ reporters Dave McKinney, Fran Spielman and Natasha Korecki for Lisa Madigan interview
  • Most Sexist Debate Question: YNN “Capital Tonight” anchor Liz Benjamin/ New York Senate Debate
  • Most Sexist Insult: Fox News’ “The Five” co-hosts Greg Gutfeld and Kimberly Guilfoyle
  • Most Sexist Columnist: Howie Carr of Boston Herald
  • Award For Creating Sexist Standards For Women in Politics: Huffington Post Politics: Ethan Klapper; Huffington Post Style: Ellie Krupnick, Jessica Misener, Fashion Whip Columnists Lauren Rothman and Christina Wilkie

Follow the link for details on each of the winners!

Tags: sexism media
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Thanks Melissa for another great video!

 ‎”If you look closely at this new musical trend – which includes young, pretty, mostly white women singing the praises of drunken debauchery and questionable sex acts (“Questionable” because of the circumstances surrounding them, not because of the acts themselves.) what you notice is that the “empowerment” that it is selling (that women have gained sexual equality with men) might not be so empowering” - Social Action Rep Melissa Fabello 


What’s your take?

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Mary on Facebook alerted us to these advertisements for a line of products being sold by Shoals Technologies (they’re also throwing a party tonight celebrating the products at the 2012 Solar Power International convention). Shoals is one of the largest solar manufacturing companies in the world, and their product is called “Nice Rack.” Really.

and guess how they’re choosing to advertise their product? 

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After the massive #NotBuyingIt campaign during this year’s Super Bowl, Go Daddy announced that they were hiring a new ad agency (Deutsch NY) to revamp their notoriously sexist advertising strategy. Unfortunately, new commercials aired during the 2012 Olympics show that Go Daddy’s new commercials just as misogynistic, if not more so. 

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jadelyn:

alimarko:

stfusexists:

newsweek:

nwkarchivist:

Who Ate It Better, 2003 vs. 2012??

You decide. 

Oh great, we’re objectifying women with asparagus now. It’s really good for you, it tastes great, and it doesn’t resemble genitalia - and yet Newsweek has still managed to do it somehow.

The newsweek tumblr answered my ask about the asparagus cover.

Welp. Non-apology and tone policing. Thanks, Newsweek.

jadelyn:

alimarko:

stfusexists:

newsweek:

nwkarchivist:

Who Ate It Better, 2003 vs. 2012??

You decide. 

Oh great, we’re objectifying women with asparagus now. It’s really good for you, it tastes great, and it doesn’t resemble genitalia - and yet Newsweek has still managed to do it somehow.

The newsweek tumblr answered my ask about the asparagus cover.

Welp. Non-apology and tone policing. Thanks, Newsweek.

(via )