Bees in My Bonnet: Before the Holiday

Bee in the Lavender

Enjoy another great installment of “Bees in my Bonnet” and for those of you in the US have a great Thanksgiving! 

A dad examines the message that telling jokes about buying a shotgun when his daughter starts dating send.

One thing I’ve learned is that one person’s illogical belief is another person’s survival skill. And nothing is more logical than trying to survive.”  It is so easy to judge others, criticize what have not experienced and do not understand.

Over at Defeating the Dragons the author is doing a series called “learning the words.”  One of her posts is about consent and how she, and others in fundamental, or overly conservative cultures, can take back the word. 

Another Defeating the Dragons post about what Twilight and the movie Fireproof have in common and how they contribute to, and possibly even encourage abuse.

The myths about domestic violence, abuse, rape, and other forms of gender-based violence are becoming increasingly visible.  What isn’t being discussed as much is how supposedly safe and progressive spaces can also harbor abusive individuals and how to deal with that.

A woman struggles with purity culture, feminism, and the concept of virginity.

The anti-domestic violence movement is still fairly new, relatively speaking.  And it is mainly focused on hetero couples.  This does a great disservice to the experiences of those in same-sex relationships that are abusive.  Domestic violence does not discriminate based on sex, gender, race, economic status, or education.  This article does a great job of addressing the silent epidemic of abuse in same-sex relationships.

The Male Privilege Checklist, compiled by Barry Deutsch, is an adaptation of Peggy McIntosh’s The Invisible Knapsack written about white privilege.  Both challenge privileged groups (men and white people respectively) to not only open their eyes to the privileges they enjoy but to acknowledge them.  For example, I as a white woman can go to the store and by a flesh-colored band-aid knowing that it is my flesh color, but my driving ability may be questioned because of my gender.

An awesome post about some amazing men who are standing against misogyny and sexism.

“Being an ally isn’t a title you claim. It’s not who you are – it’s what you do…”  Another great post about male privilege in relation to feminism.

For (cringe worthy) fun 25 super inappropriate ads that somehow made is past marketing into our magazines.

“This short doc [It Gets Messy in Here] challenges gender assumptions and gender identities of all kinds by delving into the bathroom experiences of masculine identified queer women and transgendered men of color…”

via YouTube

For Your Eyes Only

No, I’m not talking about a James Bond movie.  In Spain an organization called Aid to Children and Adolescents at Risk Foundation (ANAR) came up with the idea to create an ad that shows adults and children different messages.  Depending on the angle you look at the ad you either see a child’s face with the words “sometimes, child abuse is only visible to the child suffering it,” or you see the same face with bruises on it and the message becomes, “if somebody hurts you, phone us and we’ll help you.”  It has to do with the height of the person looking at the ad.  Smaller people, ie children, are able to see the message if they are under a certain height.  The idea is that the child can see this message, along with the organizations help line number, even in the presence of their abuser, or aggressor.

I think this is an awesome idea.  In reading some of the comments on the video and other articles I’ve seen something that has come up for other readers/viewers is that this ad is exposing the “normal” or “innocent” children to abuse.  Disclaimer, I do not have children.  But if I did I would have no problem with them seeing this ad.  It is important for children to understand that bad things happen, and that bad things can happen to children.  I also believe in teaching children the correct and real names for their private parts.  Teaching children about abuse, letting them see this ad, is a form of empowering them to have a voice.  Even if that child is not being abused one of their friends might be.  We need to give children more credit sometimes.  They see and notice more than we think they do.  I’m not saying that you should go into graphic detail with a child about the types and forms of abuse but there is nothing wrong with teaching a child to recognize it.  Same thing with teaching them proper names for their genitalia.  First of all the words vagina and penis are not bad words.  They are part of our bodies.  Teaching that they are bad creates a culture of shame.  Second of all if a child is being abused and they do not have the language to express what is happening, or where someone is touching them, it is dangerous.  It keeps children in the dark, and their abusers in power.

So, without further ado here is the video.  What are your thoughts?  Do you think the ad has the potential to do any good?

Gender in Advertising: Objectification and Violence

I know that gender roles in advertising gets talked about a lot but I wanted to share this video anyway.  It is done by a group of students at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada.  I especially appreciated the role reversals towards the end.  Enjoy and don’t forget to think about what your mind consumes on a daily basis.

Representations of Gender in Advertising

Bees in my Bonnet: Return from the Holidays

Bee in the Lavender

Welcome back dear readers.  I hope you are doing well in the midst of this holiday season.  I was able to have a much-needed mini vacation from work and spend some time with my family.  I also saw Les Miserables which was amazing!  Highly recommend that you see it (unless you dislike Broadway musicals, then it won’t be your thing).  I haven’t been on my computer much in the last week so I haven’t been reading as much but here’s a couple of things I found interesting.  What have you been reading?

Patriarchy Survivor shares the testimony of a survivor who studied rape in college and asks survivors to stop blaming themselves and start focusing on healing.

Sexism in advertising: Harmless joke or powerful messages of misogyny?

A male survivor shares his story and his resulting feelings of guilt that he has a hard time trusting women.

An interesting article about modesty and self-hatred: “We need a better conversation because men should not be hating themselves every time a woman walks by.”

The 45 most powerful images of 2012 (according to buzzfeed).  See also the Big Picture parts I, II, and III (there is some overlap but it’s totally worth it).

Bees in My Bonnet: The Mythological Female Body and Homophobic Language

Bee in the Lavender

I have not had a lot of time to post lately as I was helping a friend move and orient herself in a new city.  Thanks for sticking with me and here’s what I’ve been reading this week:

People have believed, and sometimes still believe, the craziest things about the female body.  Jezebel sounds off with a few myths including a vagina that has teeth and a uterus that obstructs breathing.

“Show a little modesty, guys, and stop thinking that everything to do with my body has something to do with you.”  Sometimesmagical quips about modesty, patriarchy, and objectification.

“A Love Letter to my Body” was all over my Facebook feed a couple of months ago.  I didn’t really connect with it and turns out I’m not the only one.  Pam Hogeweide explains why she can’t write a love letter to “someone” she doesn’t know.

Language is incredibly powerful, so powerful that it can unintentionally damaging.  This website looks at homophobic language and how it is used pervasively, and without thinking.

A pastor writes about his journey from intolerance to acceptance of the LGBTQ community in a blog aptly titled “Coming Out (for straight people).”  I recommend clicking around the blog, it’s a fairly new one so it won’t take long.

One Woman led me to a great posting about how to not get raped.  There is also a follow-up posting where the author responds to “why shouldn’t she take some responsibility?” by trying to get the male commenter to look at the situation as if it had happened to him.  It really is brilliant (too bad he just doesn’t get it).

Totally inappropriate ad of the week!

What did you find interesting this week?

Fiat Car Commercials…Not Much Has Changed

I don’t usually watch television, mostly because I do not have one.  Recently though I have been staying with someone who has one.  These Fiat commercials caught my attention.

This one is from the 2012 Superbowl:

The other I’ve seen a lot has Charlie Sheen in them, who has a history of violence towards women.

After looking into Fiat’s advertising history they are repeatedly guilty of using sex to sell cars.  Granted they are not the only car company to do so.  Nor are they the only company to do so.  Sex and women’s bodies are constantly being used to sell products, no matter how unrelated the product is to women or their bodies.

Here are a couple advertisements from the 60’s and 70’s.

The best one though is a tv advertisement in Argentina created by the Leo Burnett agency.  What do you think, sexy or sexist?

Here’s to ending on a better note and the public showing resistance to the objectification of women in advertising.

The Shock Value in Advertising

**Trigger Warning**

A new campaign by a British organization called This is Abuse attempts to tackle issues of abuse, rape, and assault in relationships.  The website offers a variety of resources including, myths about rape, how to know if you’re being abused, how to know if you are abusive, and how to get help.  It really is a well done campaign.

The thing that has attracted the most attention though is their ads.  I even heard a morning talk show talking about the campaign ads while I was at work.  The show was discussing how far is too far and if these particular ads cross the line.  Below is the first ad I saw titled “If You Could See Yourself.”  The idea is that if you were an outsider and could see yourself would you call it rape.  It focuses on the fact that the majority of people who are raped are done so by a trusted friend, family member, co-worker etc., not by a stranger.  Please be aware that the video may be triggering and it is difficult to watch.

The first time I saw this ad I couldn’t help but cringe.  It stirred up terrible emotions inside of me.  But then I remember thinking how powerful it could be.  Not everyone who rapes another person would later regret it or recognize their actions as rape.  But bringing awareness to the fact that pressuring someone into sex that doesn’t want it is not consensual and therefore is rape.  It is not always recognized that way.  The word rape is scary and something that happens to other people.  People do not always think about the fact that rape can happen in loving relationships.  It can happen in a committed relationship where two people are dating.  It can happen in a marriage.  That is why I think these ads are a good thing.

The morning show I saw was talking about using the “shock value” in advertising.  They were saying that this particular ad bordered on going too far and just wanted to shock people to get them to watch it.  While it is true that we are becoming desensitized to violence and it takes more and more to shock us, I do not agree that this is the case with these ads.  Rape and sexual assault are shocking and rightly so.  The fact that it happens at all should shock people.  If we become complacent about this we lose an important piece of our humanity.  Sure, maybe little children should not be allowed to watch it but teenagers who are just starting to date need to know that pushing someone beyond what they are comfortable with is not okay.  Of course, it is not only teenagers but it is a place to start.  I almost think that something like this would be good to show in schools as part of the sex education curriculum.  Granted I do not have children so I do not know if I would feel differently if I did.  Those of you that do have kids what are your thoughts?  Is this ad too shocking and did they go too far?

Here is the second ad that deals with abusive relationships.

This is Abuse

What Exactly About Sexual Assault is Funny?

**Trigger Warning**

The following ad/picture has been circling around the internet since the end of March.  It has taken me a while to be able to post about it because I could not trust myself to keep from lapsing into an angry tirade.  While I am still extremely upset I have been able to sit and think on it for a while.

The ad above was originally posted on Belvedere’s Facebook page.  It (immediately) started receiving criticism, and rightly so.  The company took the ad down and tweeted an apology:

First of all this apology is incredibly passive considering the ad.  The ad is using date rape, sexual assault, and violence to promote vodka.  Sorry you were offended hardly cuts it if you ask me.  The apology also borders on “victim blaming.”  It implies that safe and responsible drinking can prevent rape and sexual assault.  The fact that the offender and/or the victim were drinking has nothing to do with it.  People are raped because the rapist makes the decision to rape someone.  A woman, because most survivors are women, should be able to walk into a room full of men, completely naked, and never be touched by another soul.  People are responsible for their own actions.  Always.  Blaming it on alcohol or the victim is completely unacceptable.

A study was done a while ago on college students.  Read the whole study called, “The Undetected Rapist” here.  The researcher, David Lisak, found that the perpetrators (in this case upper class men) basically “groomed” their victims.  They would find younger, and vulnerable freshman girls who often didn’t have any friends yet, and cozy up to them.  They built up their self-esteem and invited them to a party.  At that party they got the girls really, really drunk and then raped them.  The fact that alcohol was involved is not as important as the fact that they whole thing was premeditated.  To an outsider it just looks like they were drinking and got “carried away.”  This is not the case, the male student had been planning to sexually assault the female for weeks.  In fact, one interviewee in the study reported that he was upset with with woman when she started to struggle and protest.  He had worked hard to get her to that point and she was messing everything up.  He felt entitled to her body and sex.  That makes me sick to my stomach.  For a rapist is not about sex, it is about power and control over the victim.  Period.  The perpetrator will use exactly the amount of violence that is needed to keep the victim “compliant.”  This is what is known as escalatory violence.  In other words a sexual assault or rape may not be violent because the victim is not struggling.  That does not mean that she could have gotten away though.  The perpetrator matches her struggles with the level of violence.

Knowing all of this then, what about it is funny?  What could possibly make the above ad ok?  Nothing.  Using humor and sexual assault to sell anything is not okay.  As I followed the story of this ad it turns out it was a screen shot from a parody video and the actress had no idea it was being used in the above fashion.  Way to take non-consent to a whole new level Belvedere.  She is suing the company, and rightly so.

The ad promotes sexually violence and a woman’s terror as being funny.  It is perpetuating rape culture.  She couldn’t possibly haven’t meant no.  Ever heard, “no means yes, and yes means harder (or anal)?”  There are all kinds of articles out there teaching men how to turn a no into a yes…  Does anyone else see something inherently very wrong with this?

This ad, even though it may have been a practical joke, by no one of importance in the company, is dehumanizing and misogynistic.  The woman is obviously terrified and uncomfortable and he is laughing about it.  It doesn’t matter if it was a legitimate ad or not.  Someone thought it was funny and tried to use sexual violence to sell a product.  I hope the individual responsible was found and promptly fired.