Sunday, March 31, 2013

Target Not Tweens--VS

Victoria's Secret issued this response on March 25, 2013, on their facebook page:

In response to questions we recently received, Victoria's Secret PINK is a brand for college-aged women.  Despite recent rumors, we have no plans to introduce a collection for younger women.  "Bright Young Things" was a slogan used in conjunction with the college spring break tradition.
I hope that puts parents at ease...Hope they know that when their girls leave for college and are all alone. away from family support that they are pressured from Victoria's Secret to appear a "sexy" and desirable "thing" .  When they want to emulate grown-ups they want to be objectified?  "Campaigns like this encourage girls to think of themselves as objects and not as full-fledged humans with ideas and feelings," says Udall-Weiner, a Santa Fe psychologist.  I can't even count the number of times "sexy" or "very sexy" appears on their advertisements.  

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Sexualization of Girls--The Outrageous Victoria's Secret

Victoria's Secret’s “Bright Young Things” line features lace-trimmed thongs for tweens (ages 9 to 14)  that have the words, “Call Me”, "I Dare You" and “Feeling Lucky” printed on the crotch. Chief Financial Officer Stuart Burgdoerfer of Limited Brands, a unit of Victoria's Secret, said these would appeal to the young girls because they would like, above all, to appear grown up.  Panties such as these are blatant objectification of women, and now young girls are made victims of sexualization.  Carrie Goldman explains that sexualization occurs when a person’s value is measured by his or her sexual appeal and is sexually objectified.  The process of socialization enforces gender based stereotypes--the idea that make-up and clothes are “cool” dominates the culture of the school girls.  Not only do the girls try to appear “cool”, but they are also socialized by media to attract men.  The “Call Me” panties seem like a lure to prostitution and profiteers like Victoria Secret are the pimps. They are not the least concerned about the childhood of these girls or about the degradation of women but perpetuate “the beauty myth”—a term coined by Naomi Wolf to indicate the entrapment of women into the never ending cycle of clothes, diets, make-up and exercise routines to achieve an elusive ideal of feminine beauty that men appreciate.  What is the message of “Call Me?” When it is on underwear, are these girls expected to strip and show their crotch? And “Feeling Lucky”?  These are sexually explicit messages and have no place in a girl or a woman’s life.  Unfortunately, these girls are too young to comprehend that such messages do not empower them.  

The following video is an excerpt from the feminist, author and film maker Jean Kilbourne's "Killing Us Softly" in which she explains media's participation in the sexualization of women.  


While on the subject of sexualization in the media, who ever decided pink was for girls and blue for boys?  A few months ago Honda released a new model named “She’s” made exclusively for women.  It is pink and apparently “adorable”, and comes equipped with a windshield that protects her delicate skin against the mean UV rays (pout, pout).  And oh, it has a lipstick holder.  Isn’t that absolutely peachy fun!! (Blink-blink with large Maybelline mascara-ed eyelashes).  As Alyssa Rosenberg quips, “To be fair, Honda is providing a UV-blocking windshield to stave off every girl's first face lift. But really, if you're not going to make the glove compartment heart-shaped and give me a makeup mirror in the driver's-side visor, how can you claim to be meeting my needs?” Women need to battle this ridiculous stereotyping.  In the same article Rosenberg writes, “..color coordination isn't the only thing I want out of a car. Where's the emergency kit in the trunk that comes fully equipped with an extra set of birth control pills, spare Spanx, and replacement heels in case I break one of mine running to whatever meeting I'm late to this time? What about an onboard GPS system that won't let me make hormonal navigation decisions? Or an OnStar system that summons only the cute AAA guy? And I'd really love a specialized Breathalyzer that can detect if I have too few Skinnygirl Margaritas in my system to go home with that guy.”
Remember women, that capitalism likes the fact that you are now independent and are able to spend money on products it can fool you into buying and still keep you degraded and dehumanized.  Women should concern themselves with developing a healthy self-image.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

10 Years After the Iraq War

The Huffington Post has an interesting poll.  It features a "Change My Mind" debate presenting opposing points of view on "Was the Iraq War Worth It?".  Pratik Chougule confirms it was and Hussein Ibish disagrees. The Post takes a pre-debate poll and a post debate poll.  The poll concluded that while 6% of the readers agreed with Pratik Chougule before they read his article, 2%  more readers agreed with him after reading the two articles  (I participated an hour ago).  He has changed the most minds with his rhetoric:
Numerous investigations after the war assessed that Saddam -- the only world leader who openly applauded the 9/11attacks--had extensive ties to terrorist groups, and was preparing to reconstitute his WMD programs.
And Hussein Ibish is wasting his sweetness in the desert air when he rejects Chougule's claim:
Weapons of mass destruction, of course, were most frequently cited, but it was clear at the time that there was every reason to doubt the administration's claims. And, we quickly discovered, these claims were as false as many of us were convinced they must have been. Given the way that intelligence information was processed and presented to the public, there is every reason for the American people to feel that they were deliberately misled by some key elements of the Bush administration regarding Iraqi WMDs.
There were numerous, and patently ridiculous, attempts, including by Vice-President Dick Cheney, to link Iraq to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Others argued that even though Iraq was obviously not involved in the attacks, the United States needed to make a show of strength in the region in response and this was a perfect opportunity to do that. Some endorsed the war as a human rights measure, and as a debt owed to both Kurds and Shiites from previous American engagements with Iraq. Others suggested it was necessary to secure American dominance in the oil-rich Persian Gulf region. Some even argued that overthrowing Saddam would be the key to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 
As Judge Judy would say, "Reee-diculous"!! Ask Ezra Klein who supported the war then.

All the old faces-- Rumsfeld, Cheney, Bush--showed up again on television last night making themselves look even more foolish (although, I cannot quite put the poll out of my mind).  Here is Rachel Maddow on her show last night (Tuesday, March 19):

These are the faces that have changed our future, and made Iran the most powerful country in the middle-east.