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Posts Tagged ‘sexism’

Trigger warning: sexual harassment

In preface to today’s guest post, a little background about chikan. Somewhere between 50-70% of young Japanese women experience chikan (“pervert,” often “groper”) on Japanese commuter trains in metropolitan areas (Burgess & Horii, p. 3).  To combat this, some train lines have created women-only train cars in major cities to help prevent groping in crowded train cars by providing safe spaces for women. Additionally, Japan’s camera phones make a snapshot noise that cannot be turned off to help prevent upskirt shots (see Stevens, Hayashi). Finally, in order raise awareness of the chikan problem, train stations and train lines have posted warning signs about gropers: “Beware of chikan,” “Chikan is a crime,” and so on.

When Juliana first contacted me about her personal experience with chikan, I was a little surprised, because groping on Japanese public transit is so common that a lot of us expats treat it as just another part of living in Japan–maybe not being groped regularly, but to the point where you’re convinced it’s bound to happen sooner or later. I used to consider myself “lucky” that I went 4.5 years without ever being groped, especially when traveling in Tokyo during rush hour. How horrible to think of this as luck, when that’s how everyone ought to be treated–to travel without fear or threat of molestation.

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Image from Abe's English-language Facebook page regarding his plans for "supporting women."

Image from Abe’s English-language Facebook page regarding his plans for “supporting women.”

Suppose you are the Prime Minister in a country with a poor gender-equality ranking and a potential population crisis on hand. In order to encourage the birth of more children, should you

A. Focus on wage discrimination and the glass ceiling* so that women can earn a living wage?

B. Focus on legal and social actions to reduce the unpaid required overtime and increase flextime/telecommuting?

C. Focus on building more affordable childcare facilities and training more workers in early childhood education?

D. Focus on revamping the adoption/foster/group home system?**

E. Focus on treating women as walking uteri devoid of logic and reason?

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Dove’s “Real Beauty” Campaign‘s latest attempt to engage consumers has gone viral, and you’ve likely seen some of the criticisms about it. The video “Real Beauty Sketches” depicts a group of women being asked to describe their physical appearance (faces) to an FBI profile artist who couldn’t see them; afterward, the women were described by strangers, including each other. The punchline is that the drawings on of the women based on their own descriptions are far less conventionally attractive than those based on others’ descriptions, and the tagline is “You’re More Beautiful Than You Think.”

Not buying it.

“A Social Experiment”

From Dove’s Youtube page:

Women are their own worst beauty critics. Only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful. [Ed: Where are your citations, Dove?] At Dove, we are committed to creating a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety. So, we decided to conduct a compelling social experiment that explores how women view their own beauty in contrast to what others see.

Several other writers have already taken the campaign to task. (more…)

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Via 16-Bit Sirens’ “CONsent.”

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In this reader: Bond gets hit on by a man, BBC Sherlock‘s Irene Adler is naked and that’s okay, a man does laundry, and women are not cattle. Don’t forget the “You’re Doing It Right” section at the end for some good news.

Jenna #1, detail. Copyright Alice Ross.

Jenna #1, detail. Copyright Alice Ross.

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Question: do you prefer reblogs or readers? I’ve been doing more reblogs lately, but I wonder if the old format of gender readers is better for this blog. What do you think?

Warning: some of today’s links deal with rape, rape apologists, and Steubenville.

Don’t forget, there’s always an item of good news at the end.

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This piece also appeared in Feministe on 1 April 2013.

One of the most striking scenes in the 2012 miniseries version of Ford Maddox Ford’s Parade’s End is one in which suffragette Valentine Wannop takes refuge in an art museum during a rally. While she is quietly admiring a painting of Venus, another woman enters and slashes the painting with a cleaver, shouting, “What are you all gawking at? Do you think that is all women are good for?”1

Parade's End, Episode 2: The Destruction of the Venus

Parade's End, Episode 2, damage

As someone with a deep love of art, I was alarmed as Valentine was. I do not believe in the destruction of art, but what the stand-in for Mary Richardson said stuck with me. Consider the status of women in the art world: often considered the “muse,” rarely the artist; lauded as the pinnacle of beauty but having no worth otherwise: the Venus forever looking in her mirror, the object of the (male) gaze, not the subject of her own agency. Should a gallery or museum try to strive for the inclusion of women artists (and artists of color, queer artists, and so on), there may be criticism of ignoring the masters, so-called “female privilege,” and the desire for a gender-blind meritocracy that simply does not exist at present. If you were wondering what such an article might look like, look no further than C.B. Liddell’s “The diverse works of Asian women artists,” a special to The Japan Times.

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Reblogged from I’ll Make It Myself: I Did Not Order My Beer with a Side of Sexism

While I’ve regrettably come to expect national-brand beers to perpetuate the stereotype of beer as a man’s drink and insult women in the process, what about craft beers? Caroline Wallace of  Bitch Beer recently discussed this in her article “How to alienate female beer drinkers in one easy step.”

Bitch Beer is a Austin, Texas-based beer blog written by a group of women. Bitch Beer’s name is similar to that of Bitch Magazine/Bitch Media:

We went with the name Bitch Beer because we want to disprove the old adage that women aren’t really beer drinkers. We’re evoking a name often given to sugary, low-alcohol content beer substitutes like Smirnoff Ice or Mike’s Hard Lemonade to prove that, from a stout to an IPA, these so-called bitches can drink any damn beer they please. You heard us, every beer is a Bitch Beer.

Wallace starts with a comparison of two beer ads seen at a local roller derby event… [full article]

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An update on the petition for Cibu to stop using Orientalist names for their products from (the one and only) Bitch Media:

Image via Bitch Magazine.

Image via Bitch Magazine.

Wash that Racism Out of Your Hair! After Protest, Cibu Brand Promises to Nix Racist Hair Product Marketing.

Using racial stereotypes for laughs in marketing is nothing new. Even these days, many people don’t seem to notice the casual racism of some marketing campaigns—especially when their culture isn’t the one being used as a punchline.

Case in point: Cibu International’s line of hair products with names like “Miso Knotty Detangler” and “Geishalicious Shampoo.” Many of Cibu’s product names lump together food and martial arts references from different Asian cultures. But the worst are those that play on creepy, fetishizing stereotypes about Asian women, such as “Miso Knotty Detangler” and “Geishalicious Shampoo.” In one image originally posted on Cibu’s Facebook page, a naked Asian woman is pictured on her knees, hands behind her back, eyes downcast with the words “Seduced by Geishalicious” written underneath.

Read more on Bitch.

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I apologize for the lack of a July gender reader. I always end up gathering links right as a topic explodes in the media, and my own fandoms have gone a bit mad lately, which resulted in a Sherlock marathon in between the Olympics, traveling, and trying to sort out my thoughts about Elisabeth. Lately I’ve been collecting links on two subjects: geek culture and bodies. Some of these are old news, but I hope that by gathering them in one place, I can show trends in subsections of this subject.

Warning: articles contain spoilers for some series; discussions of sexism, rape.

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