What Liquor Ads Teach Us About Guys

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A village of eternal bachelors | Photographers Blog

By Vivek Prakash

With the world’s population set to hit 7 billion on October 31, photographers in India have been on the move to tell stories that talk about what those numbers really mean in a country as large as India – with 1.2 billion people and counting, this is supposed to be the world’s largest democracy.

When you take a closer look at the statistics, you find some surprising and scary figures – the ratio of female children to males born actually declined here over the last 10 years – from 933 females for every thousand males in the 2001 census, to just 914 in 2011. The combination of cheap portable ultrasound technology and a decades-old preference for male babies — who are seen as breadwinners — has enabled sex-selective abortions and made worse female infanticide. In a place as wide and as vast as India, these are things that are hard to control, no matter how illegal.

Much more at the blog entry: A village of eternal bachelors | Photographers Blog.

2011 — LUNAFEST Film Festival Tuesday April 12 UConn Storrs

News from the University of Connecticut Women’s Center.  Event starts at 6. Parking is free after 5 pm!

LUNAFEST 2011

Event date: April 12, 2011 6:00 PM
Location: UConn Storrs Campus, Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, Storrs, CT | Map

The LUNAFEST Team and the Women’s Center present the Annual LUNAFEST Film Festival here at the University of Connecticut. This year’s LUNAFEST will take place on April 12, 2011 in the Konover Auditorium in the Thomas J. Dodd Center. The mission of LUNAFEST is to celebrate and inspire women through the art of film and community fundraising. LUNAFEST is a national film festival that features short films by, for and about women. LUNAFEST was established in 2000 by LUNA, Makers of the Whole Nutrition Bar for Women, to simultaneously promote women filmmakers, raise awareness for women’s issues, and support worthy women’s nonprofit organizations.

Funds raised for this event will support the Breast Cancer Fund and UConn Women’s Center. LUNAFEST provides a very unique and diversifying experience for UConn students and the surrounding community.

This year we will be joined by one of the filmmakers, G. Melissa Graziano, who directed Love on the Line and is originally from Connecticut. Tickets may be purchased online. For more information about the films, please visit http://www.lunafest.org/the-films.cfm

The Konover Auditorium is wheelchair accessible. For additional accommodations, please contact the Women’s Center at 860-486-4738.

Pre-sale ticket prices:
Student $5.00
Regular $7.00

Night of the event prices:
Students – $7
Regular – $10

Cool **GUYS** don’t look at explosions

Great piece of satire on our media culture.   And I can think of many more films they didn’t catch here.  Message? Kill the bad **guys**. It’s okay.  No innocent women, men, or children were hurt during this explosion…

Cool guys don’t look at explosions…

real men have the nuts to walk away…

the more you ignore it, the cooler you look…

flames are hot but the heart is chill…

and don’t think about the people you kill…

AlterNet: Sex R Us: The Rise of Enlightened Sexism

Sex R Us via AlterNet: Sex R Us: The Rise of Enlightened Sexism.

I know this may not sit right with some of my readers, but many young women have been totally snowed by the patriarchy into thinking that dressing in the skimpiest of clothing is empowering and equalizing while it is neither. How many men do that? The male gaze is having a feast and not having to put in any effort on their part. Dr. Douglas explains this so clearly in her new book (excerpts below, more at AlterNet). Wake up, girls.

The following is an excerpt from Susan J. Douglas’ new book, The Rise of Enlightened Sexism (St. Martin’s Press, 2010). Copyright © 2010 by Susan J. Douglas

Here’s the twist that emerged. Some young women wanted sexual equity with men: that’s a claim for equal power. They didn’t want to be mere sex objects, they wanted to be active sexual agents. But while true and total sexual equality between men and women is still too threatening, it has nonetheless proved lucrative to flatter women that they have it. So the media began to highlight this message: it’s through sex and sexual display that women really have the power to get what they want. And because the true path to power comes from being an object of desire, girls and women should now actively choose—even celebrate and embrace—being sex objects. That’s the mark of a truly confident, can-do girl: one whose objectification isn’t imposed from without, but comes from within. You have to admit, this is a very slick contortion.

The best way to gain this kind of power is to cater to what men want. And you’re not acquiescing to men or to patriarchal sexual requirements: by submitting, you’re in the driver’s seat! Thus, in the hands of, say, Cosmo, the sexpert appreciates the ultimate requirement to please him (even at her expense or discomfort if necessary), to reassurehim about his performance, and to constantly monitor and refine her ability to look sexy and to do what he wants and needs. This persona of the sexpert is almost always white, young, heterosexual, slim, busty, beautiful, and middle- or upper-middle-class (i.e., the media’s target demographic). She is ideal for the age of enlightened sexism because she is a hybrid of empowerment and objectification. In this way, women’s hopes for sexual equity have become wrapped up in glossy images that sold jeans, underwear, magazines, music videos, and TV shows and allowed Victoria’s Secret to conquer the malls of America. And as the image and prevalence of the sexpert colonized more media outlets and hailed ever and ever younger girls, her image polarized women and men, especially along generational lines.

To check for this book in a library near you, here’s the link in WorldCat

The Op-Ed Project

Thanks to the National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA) for scheduling a workshop at their November Conference in Denver, CO, with “The Op-Ed Project.”  Here’s a bit of what they say on their website:

The Problem
The op-ed pages of our nation’s newspapers are overwhelmingly dominated—80% or more—by men. Because the op-ed pages feed all other media, the under-representation of women here perpetuates and exaggerates the under-representation of women in larger ways. For example, men are:

  • 84% of guests on influential Sunday morning political talk shows on TV
  • 85% of Hollywood producers
  • 85% of nonfiction books on The New York Times best-selling
  • 85-90% of radio producers
  • 83% of congress

Why this matters: Our leaders and our public are not getting the best information and ideas we need to make the best decisions. Our position is not that women need our help, but just the opposite:  we think the public, and more specifically public debate, needs women. Our national conversation is currently an echo chamber that reproduces the voices and opinions of a very narrow slice of society:  85% (mostly white, privileged) men.   Even worse among academics: a May 2008 Rutgers University study found that 97% of op-eds by scholars in the Wall Street Journal are written by men. What is the cost to society when half of the nation’s best minds and best ideas –  women’s minds and women’s ideas – are left out?   If you were trying to catch the best and biggest fish, would you fish in only half the pond?
In short, public debate all but excludes half the population.

If you can’t wait till November, The Op-Ed Project is holding several workshops across the U.S. in the next few months. They are $300 but they offer good scholarships for a “pay with words” agreement. See more on their site.  Here are the sites and dates:

  • Apr 24, 2010 – NYC
  • May 1, 2010 – DC
  • May 8, 2010 – SF
  • May 15, 2010 – Los Angeles
  • Jul 17, 2010 – Chicago

And here’s a blog post about the experience:
http://www.85broads.com/public/blogs/j-kelly-hoey/articles/saturday-with-the-oped-project

The Op-Ed Project web page has some great help right there so if you aren’t near or can’t attend a live workshop, you can still get started.  And be sure to check out their blog, The Byline Blog.

Get writing!

Dominican Republic guarantees women’s equality in technology initiatives and policies across the country | Association for Progressive Communications

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic, 17 December 2009 (El Nuevo Diario)

Dafne Plou Photo: APC

The Dominican Republic is the first Latin American country to act on their commitments to involve women in the information society nationwide. This Caribbean island nation of ten million has promised to include a “gender perspective” in every information and communications technology initiative and policy developed by the government from now on. The tool the Dominicans have chosen to design and evaluate all the public policies is the APC gender evaluation methodology (GEM). Training was carried out onsite by APC’s Dafne Plou (pictured here). Following is a translation of a news article which appeared in a national newspaper.

More at : Dominican Republic guarantees women’s equality in technology initiatives and policies across the country | Association for Progressive Communications.

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