Wednesday, October 31, 2012

High School Girls Decorate Bras for Charity

     Throughout the month of October, cheerleaders at a Florida high school sport a large pink bow in support of Breast Cancer Awareness. 
     Each game the girls walk around asking for donations and give pink bracelets as thank you gifts. The message and fundraising is wonderfully appreciated. 
      October's Breast Cancer Awareness Month is supported Nationwide through many schools, companies and communities. 
      Many high school football teams host a "Pink Out" game where attendants wear all pink and players show support with pink socks or stickers. But did one school go too far? 

One Florida cheerleading squad had a "bra decorating party" where every member bedazzles, painted and decorated a pink bra to hang as decorations at the game. The bras were hung from a tent were donations could be made. The display was merely a dramatic visual; until halftime. 

Halfway through the game, people had asked if they could purchase the decorated bras as a donation. Instead of people making their way to the tent, the teenage cheerleaders were told to walk through the stands and sell the remaining bras. 

Many girls held the elaborately decorated bras to their chests in display as they walked around. Boys and men alike made comments about the girls "trying them on for them first" along with girls making jokes like "my boobs won't fit in this size" (implying both large and small breasts). 
Was this attempt at fundraising too far? Or just good publicity? 

Reviving Ophelia:

This is a movie that all teenage girls should watch. They need to understand that violence against girls is unacceptable.
I hope the link works properly if not you can find the movie on You Tube.
I found this video through another class and felt it has a lot of insight to our teenage girls
and what they think about themselves.

Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls 


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Girls, Boys and Body Image

I found this interesting blog by Miriam Novogrodsky regarding body image that I thought was right in line with what we are discussing in my Girls' Studies class. The pressure to be thin effects both girls and boys. There is so much pressure on boys and girls to look, think, and act a certain way. Products are manufactured and advertised to sell the "perfect image" that, rarely, can anyone actually achieve. As we evolve, I often wonder if there will ever be a world where a person is not valued by what they look on the outside but rather by "who" they are on the inside.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Be a Rockstar at Kindness

Happy Kids

Halloween Costumes for Women

It seems women have little choice of halloween costume ideas since everything seems to be "sexy" this and "sexy" that. I think when women dress up, or more literally down, for halloween they make themselves victims of sexism. They are intentionally dressing to show how, even for one day, their bodies are the best and most important thing about them. A sexy nurse does not express education and a high career field, it embodies the outdated fantasy of having a sexy nurse care for a man in need. 

I love dressing up for halloween and it's nothing like a trash bag or anything too bulky. I'm not saying that celebrating this holiday as adults is wrong, but I think it's interesting to see how we fight so hard to end sexism and then voluntarily dress up as all different fantasies of men. 

This article sums up what halloween store are retailing and how the popular costume trends. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Power of ...

When I saw this, I first though it was a lesson in punctuation.  Upon taking a second look, I realized it was a lesson about the difference in how men and women each view the power of women.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Skinny Minnie!!

High-end fashion retailer Barney's of New York is planning a holiday ad campaign that features Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck.

This ad promotion is based on a dream sequence by Minnie where she and all of her friends are fashion models.  As such models they have been transformed to be 5' 11" and super skinny as it was discussed that "
the standard Minnie Mouse will not look so good in a Lanvin dress."  A petition has been signed by over 125,000 people demanding that Minnie be returned to her normal figure in an effort to promote a healthy body image in young girls.  There is controversy over this issue since this is a one time 7 second moving art video and there is a belief that activists are merely trying to draw attention to themselves.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Instructional Video for Wives

This is a video that is set in the 1960s and depicts how men would instruct their wives to act. Aside from it being something that decreases women's suffrage rights, how true do you think it is today? Maybe not as exaggerated, but I think it still holds truth that some men just want a wife to look good and not speak her mind...

Video Link

What guys are really thinking

I found this ad online for a car company. I thought this was funny because guys always talk about cars and sex, but when it comes to either they would pick a fast car. Sometimes girls just throw themselves out there and get crushed. This magazine basically is throwing out the fact that a girl is half naked and a guy would rather pick a car over her. This magazine ad is definitely being rude to this woman.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

As Akvile pointed out in her post regarding a Dr. Pepper commercial, advertisers often promote sexist stereotypes. Consider commercials regarding "feminine hygiene products". The name alone is sanitized and far removed from the actual experiences, suggesting that menstruation is wrong and is taboo. Recently on Facebook one user takes aim at at one UK  maxipad company for glossing over the real details and encouraging the magical advertising version of periods. This exchange gets even better when the company releases a video in answer to it.

Check out AdWeek's article which includes links to both rant and response video here.

Happy Halloween?

Halloween is coming up, and it's time to shop for costumes! I have been seeing a lot of comparisons on tumblr this month of the differences between men and women's costumes. The problem shown in this particular blog starts to effect girls in at least high school. Men get the option to actually look like the thing they want to look like, while the women get the skimpy version of that same thing. For example, from the above blog, here you see a man and he is clearly a banana, and the woman looks like she's just in a little yellow dress that you might be able to zip right off right down the middle.

Another interesting post I saw recently was called, "The evolution of the Slutty Bee". It shows girls from toddlers, through the adolescent and teen years, and then the more adult options. I imagine if each of those pictures had the male counterpart attached, like in the above example, it would be the same from toddler to adult.

I feel like this is a very known problem, but I thought these posts illustrated it perfectly.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Calling It 'Bullying' Doesn't Do Amanda Todd Justice by Jarrah Hodge


I posted an article about Amanda Todd the other day and this one is related but also an important read.  
"Talking about the suicide of 15-year-old Amanda Todd, it's tempting to look for quick answers, to condemn the technology she was using, to believe we can prevent future Amandas from making the same choice by speaking out against 'bullying.'
But calling it "bullying" or even "cyberbullying" doesn't do it justice. "Bullying" erases specific social factors and makes it seem like something that you age out of. Adding the "cyber" prefix doesn't necessarily make it more accurate. Technology was a catalyst, but webcams, cellphones, and the Internet aren't the key to understanding what happened to Amanda; systemic sexism is.

Girls in North America are under incredible pressure and subject to conflicting messages. On the one hand you're told to protect your purity in order to maintain your reputation. On the other hand, practically all the role models around you in the media -- in romantic comedies, advertising, even Disney movies- - are telling you that your worth is based on your desirability. You get the message that you are nothing without a boyfriend."

READ MORE: Calling It 'Bullying' Doesn't Do Amanda Todd Justice

Sunday, October 14, 2012

To Be Fat Like Me...worth watching!

As I was reading about how others feel about body image, a movie I had seen years ago came to mind. This is a lifetime movie network original and a true story.  Worth watching if you've never seen it.   The title is "To Be Fat Like Me, " with Kaley Cuoco and Caroline Rhea.  After losing her chances at a college scholarship due to a sports injury, Aly enters a documentary setting out to prove that heavy people simply make excuses for how they are treated.  She changes her appearance to overweight, but keeps her personality and humor.  See what she's pretty sad.

Here is the trailer link:

Melissa Harris-Perry Speaks to the Taliban

Melissa Harris-Perry speaks out on the egregious assault on Malala Yousufzai, the 14 year old Pakistan girl who has been working for the rights of girls and women. I hope that it moves you as much as it did me...

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Little Girls in Pretty Boxes

Even in the strive for Olympic glory young girls are losing the chance to be “themselves.” I was listening to other people talk about the Olympics and thought of how much each athlete gives up to try to achieve that glory. I found this book about what young girls give up and what they go through just for the chance to compete. Is it really worth giving up a life for a few moments of glory? 
Front Cover
Little Girls in Pretty Boxes: The Making and Breaking of Elite Gymnasts and Figure Skaters is a 1995 nonfiction book by sports writer, Joan Ryan. She details the difficult training regimens endured by young women in competitive sports such as gymnastics and ice skating. Ryan’s material was largely derived from personal interviews with nearly 100 former gymnasts and figure skaters as well as trainers, sports psychologists, physiologists and other experts, focusing on the physical and emotional hardships young women endured for the sake of Olympic glory and was ultimately critical of training practices. She argues that the image of these athletes’ beauty, glamour, class and sophistication conceals a troubled reality, with physical problems of eating disorders, weakened bones, stunted growth, debilitating and fatal injuries, psychological issues such as depression and low self-esteem, and life sacrifices of dropping out of school, losing the chance to "be a child", and becoming isolated from their peers and families. While decrying these practices, Ryan advocates for systemic change in figure skating and gymnastics, calling for raising minimum-age requirements, mandatory licensing of coaches and careful scrutiny by national governing bodies, and requiring athletes to remain in regular schools at least until they are 16.

Amanda Todd's Death was About More Than Bullying

This is such a tragic story, and not the first or last incarnation of such an outcome based on bullying. But it's not just about bullying, it's about much more than that. Read this important take on this by Krissy Darch (published in The Vancouver Explorer) in hopes that we can prevent such horrors from happening in the future, in hopes that Amanda Todd's death will not be in vain. --Leandra

Why Isn't Anyone Talking About the Misogyny Involved in Amanda Todd's Life and Death?

“Why isn't anyone talking about the sexism and misogyny involved in Amanda Todd's life and death? 'Bullying' is important, yes, but it is a vague term that glosses over the structural reasons for why it happens, like race/gender/class/ability. If we don't start talking about the specifics of power structures in high schools, every ‘bullying’ campaign will be a waste of time.”
“There was no discussion of the pressure girls like Amanda experience to measure their worth through their sexual desirability. From her story it sounds like this man had the hallmarks of a predator—he tried to use her photos to blackmail her and yet she's the one who got blamed. This comes from the idea that it's up to girls and women to protect their purity at the same time as all their role models in the media say that you need to ‘get a man’ to be a complete person, that you need to be sexually attractive to be liked, appreciated, and valued. She said the guy she showed off to was telling her how beautiful she was. Given our culture that can be really tempting for a girl.”

Friday, October 12, 2012

Bullied Teen Turned Hero

Sikh Woman Balpreet Kaur Turns Cyber Bullying Incident into Inspiration

Balpreet Kaur
After someone snapped a photo of her and posted it on onlineBalpreet Kaur was ridiculed for following the tenets of her Sikh faith. But instead of hiding or lashing out, she politely posted a reply—and turned a bullying situation into a inspiring example of tolerance, support, and inspiration.
The photo was taken apparently without Kaur's knowledge while she was waiting in line at the Ohio State University Library. In the photo, Kaur's hair is hidden by a large, black turban. She's wearing a T-shirt and yoga pants, glasses, and is looking down at her cell phone; her sparse facial hair is clearly visible. A Reddit user posted it to the "Funny" forum with the quip, "I'm not sure what to conclude from this."
Comments started pouring in, making fun of her appearance, asking if she was transgendered, and taking her to task for not plucking, waxing, or shaving.
After a friend told her about the thread, Kaur decided to respond to the taunts herself—and take the opportunity to educate people at the same time.
"Hey, guys. This is Balpreet Kaur, the girl from the picture," she wrote. "I'm not embarrassed or even humiliated by the attention [negative and positive] that this picture is getting, because it's who I am."
As a baptized Sikh woman, Kaur—who is from Ohio—said that she is forbidden from altering her body, as it is considered a sacred gift from God.
"The overarching principal is this body is a tool for service," she explained. "We have to maintain and take care of it while cherishing its original form." That means that going to the hospital and taking medicine is fine, because one should be healthy in order to be of service to others. But cutting one's hair or removing one's facial hair is forbidden, even if societal norms dictate otherwise.
"My hair doesn't stop me from being normal or doing service so its not a hindrance," she said in a later post. "I've been to the doctor regarding this and it's just a side effect of my hormone levels during my teenage years. The hormones have returned to normal, but the hair is still there. That's fine :) I don't regret anything, nor do I view it as an unfortunate thing....."

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Invest in Girls (by Marcia Cross)

"To say that 11 October, the International Day of the Girl, is an important day for girls around the world would be an understatement. Adopted by the United Nations last year, the International Day of the Girl is a critical day for girls around the world. It's a day to celebrate the power of girls, recognize their unique struggles, and champion their cause." Read the rest of the article HERE

International Day of the Girl is a movement to bring awareness to the injustices, inequalities and barriers that girls around the world face every day. It is also about celebrating girlhood!
A group of middle school girls drafted the first state proclamation for International Day of the Girl and Maryland's Governor Martin O'Malley already approved it, making it part of the celebration this weekend at the Maryland's Women Heritage Center.

They will be holding a virtual summit today at 7pm -

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Why bias holds women back

"Consider this riddle I heard as a kid: A man and his son are in a serious car accident. The man dies on the spot, and the son is rushed to the hospital. Upon entering the operating room, the surgeon says, "I can't operate on this boy; he's my son." It is an old brain teaser but it helps to explain that people are conditioned to see men as leaders. Read this article to understand why.

A study shows that established scientists unconsciously rate budding female scientists lower than men with identical credentials.

WWE: Putting down women and making it entertainment for the masses.

It's so scary to think that we actually find this entertainment... This is one of the highest rated programs and it's fake and shows disrespect to women. "Women are there plain and simple for the pleasure of men..." (3:12)

This is the link to the video.

Taliban Shoots Teenage Activist

Read this article about a 14 year old girl who just wanted to go to school. She was speaking out for girls' education in Pakistan when the Taliban targeted her and shot her. She wanted to be a doctor.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Victim or Monster? An Argument for An Increased Focus on Sex Education.

A fourteen year old girl, Cassidy Goodson of Lakeland, FL, is accused of killing her newborn baby and has been charged with first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse. She is accused of choking her newborn to death while the baby was still attached to her by the umbilical cord.  She gave birth to a boy in the bathroom of her home on September 19, 2012 and used scissors to pry the baby out of her body and into the toilet.  The deputies say she delivered a baby boy and then choked him to death.  After an autopsy was performed, it was confirmed that the baby was a full-term infant and that baby was alive and breathing before the baby’s death. The autopsy also confirmed the result of death was asphyxia from strangulation and blunt force trauma.
From what I have read, it appears the she faked two pregnancy tests to hide the fact that she was pregnant.  It appears that other family members thought she was pregnant while her mother was in denial. 
This does support the claim that we need more effective sex education for our youth.  This also shows a lack a communication and parental involvement.  I was watching the Nancy Grace show and it was reported that there were sufficient resources for assistance at her disposal. 
With all that said, I do have mixed emotions.  Was this girl failed by her parents and education system?  Is she just a cold blooded killer?  Some argue the fourteen year old girl is the victim and some argue the dead newborn boy is the victim.  What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Good advertising or insensitive?

As an advertising major, I can almost guarantee that a lot of research went into creating this ad which means that more men probably enjoy this drink due to some reasons such as calorie count. Advertisers work really hard, and are good at, directing who they advertise to but I believe this ad is borderline insulting. The tagline, "It's not for women," sends the wrong message of women being overly feminine and helps reinforce the female stereotype.

This is the link from YouTube.

What do you think?