"There is difference and there is power. And who holds the power decides the meaning of the difference." --June Jordan

Friday, July 30, 2010

Vintage Ad of the Day

American Airlines, 1950:


Copy reads:
VACATIONS are for Father but... Mother makes the plans!

In most families planning a vacation is mother's job. Carefully for months on end, she looks for just the right place to give father a good rest.

Today Flagship travel brings within her reach many wonderful places never before practical. Long tiring hours "on the road" are the thing of the past. By Flagship the trip is quick and easy. The family arrives rested and ready to enjoy those extra days of vacation.

So plan to vacation by Flagship this year. You'll find your holiday starts the moment you board the plane.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Real Dolls and the Problem with "Anatomically Correct"

One of my friends just shared this short documentary piece on the making of Real Dolls. There's also a super creepy series of photos from the factory here.

Honey Pie from California is a place. on Vimeo.

Real Dolls certainly give us feminists plenty to be bothered about, but when watching this video, the thing that probably bothered me the most is when the guy explained that when he started making these things, he got lots of questions about whether they were "anatomically correct", which is why they ended up with fuckable vaginas. And it struck me -- why, in our culture, does the term "anatomically correct" automatically equal genitals? When someone uses that term, we know exactly what they're talking about. (Sort of like how we know what the term "legal" is supposed to mean, when we're referring to young girls. Shudder.)

Shouldn't "anatomically correct" also refer to working brains? Central nervous systems? Hearts, lungs, bones, pores, blood cells, metabolism, digestion? These dolls, of course, have none of these things, but as long as they're "anatomically correct" in the way that serves the penises of the men who buy them, that's all that matters.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Video Chatting and the Male Gaze

So far, I've seen two of these new iPhone 4 commercials featuring the device's video chatting capabilities, and I'm really struck by how both of them feature someone who's male reassuring someone who's female that she looks okay.

In a culture where girls and women spend such large portions of their lives feeling self-conscious about how they look and feeling scrutinized by the male gaze, it's interesting to think about the types of political consequences face-to-face video chatting technology might someday have for women.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Thursday, July 15, 2010

More like Stereotypical

According to Allstate, "your typical teenage girl" is MAYHEM!

And so are "hot babes out jogging":

Good to know.