May 27, 2009 at 5:53 PM (Uncategorized)

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New Poll!

May 27, 2009 at 5:53 PM (Uncategorized)

Check out the new poll and vote!

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“The Cougar”

May 22, 2009 at 2:28 PM (Uncategorized)

Coming soon…

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Peer Blog Response

March 3, 2009 at 1:51 PM (Uncategorized)

                This week my blog will not be focusing on my readings and findings, instead a colleague of mine from the course. This week I will focus on Jennifer Combs’ blog, but specifically her first entry entitled “Empowerment vs. Objectification.”  The link to Jenny’s blog is: http://www.stmjc.blogspot.com/

                In regards to Christina Aguilera, it is not about what she is trying to do, remember intent does not matter. Throw intentions out the window. Instead, her image is molded, created, and owned by her record label. The analysis of this photo and her image does not come down to Aguilera as an individual. If she was an independent artist she could create her own image entirely. Instead the analyzing her as a product is necessary because she is under contract. What she sings, what she wears, how she dances and poses for photos all comes down to her record label. Her label observes how her competitors in the pop market are portraying their (Britney, Jessica, etc) image and take it to the next level. When the artists’ voice is taken away, this is when they are objectified. Aguilera’s image was drawn out, like a blueprint, molding, tested, and then set out to the market. Similar to a car, or a hairdryer; both objects, the root word of objectification.  Her mold is set, and then she conforms. There is not an empowering voice, there is no voice. Remember that when a person is silenced, he or she is up for objectification. 

                The graffiti art is difficult to analyze, but Combs was brave to do so. Although I must disagree that the graffiti art is not absolutely empowering. I question who is objectified in this photo, the mother or the recipient of the poem? How do we know that the writer/artist was using this public space as a medium for expression and creating conversation around his or her piece? Is it possible that what he or she did was empowering? The correlation between R Kelly and the graffiti art unfortunately weakens the argument because the two subjects have no common ground. Instead of trying to use an R&B artist to strengthen an argument, why not look at other art? How has controversial art made its way into main stream media and advanced careers? It is possible that taking a leap for an artist is simply empowering. There were no names or photos represented in this art, so I would argue against objectification and say that his poem represents empowerment.

                Oh the Coors Light twins. First of all, they are featured in a “light” advertisement. Most of the light beer commercials we see are geared toward women. Beer companies expect that only women that drink beer are concerned about counting the calories and that men could care less. I would argue that every individual for him or herself. Some men obsess about their image more than their female counterparts, and vice versa. It would more concrete of my colleague to take a stance on this particular photo instead of just leaving it as the fact that anyone can argue that is can be either objectification or empowerment. Instead, look at the correlation between pornography and advertisements in popular culture. A popular theme in the adult film world is the girl on girl DVDs. Remember that those women are being viewed through the male gaze and they are pseudo-lesbians. What about this photo caught attention from America? Of course the twins were the spotlight, and therefore it is important to analyze the notion of male fantasy including incest. The women themselves could argue it is empowering to pose for Coors and use their bodies for marketing purposes. But when you throw intent out the window, it leaves us with the correlation between pornographic images and mainstream media that includes latent incest messages. Whether or not the advertisement “worked” or not as my colleague argues is irrelevant. What is relevant is the analysis of the advertisement and how it reflects the cultural expectations in the United States.

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The Mediums of Masculinity

February 11, 2009 at 8:21 PM (Uncategorized)

axe-ad

“Phrases to Get Her into Bed Tonight

By: Nicole Beland

These simple linguistic cues tell her you’re the right man for this evening.
Whether you blabbed a good friend’s secret or ran over the neighbor’s limited-edition bike, admit it. Confessing an error in judgment leaves you exposed and vulnerable, which makes a woman want to wrap you in her arms. Telling her about it wins her over even more—you’re showing that you value her opinion. The resulting combo of compassion and confidence will inspire her to make everything all better—or at least distract you.

1. “I screwed up, and want to hear your thoughts.”

2. “Did you know you have a heart-shaped freckle on the back of your left thigh?”
After the first few months of sex, inch-by-inch body exploration yields to cut-to-the-chase carnality. That’s a shame, because having her body mapped puts a woman in the mood for luxurious sex. Pull aside the blankets on a weekend morning and run your eyes and fingertips from her toes to her earlobes, making admiring comments along the way. You won’t get past her elbows before she pulls you in for a deep, wet kiss.

3. “I’m organizing a team of volunteers for Summit for Someone.”
Whether it’s climbing mountains with inner-city kids or carrying the neighbor’s groceries, helping others boosts your sexy factor for two reasons. First, altruism shows her that you can put your own needs aside, which inspires her to take care of them for you. Second, your good deeds make her feel as if she’s dating up, because clearly you’re a better person than she is. She’ll want to join forces with you on your life’s quest.

4. “You must be exhausted. Let’s take a hot shower and I’ll scrub your back.”
The number-one reason your partner turns down sex is because she’s stressed. And while she knows there’s no better cure for wound-up nerves than a spring-release orgasm, it can be hard to shake off the day’s distractions. By blasting the hot water and lighting candles, you’ll offer a tension-melting solution she can’t refuse. Once the hot water and your soapy hands chase the stress away, she’ll finally feel sexy again.

5. “I want to accomplish a few key things in the next 5 years.”
When a woman hears a man talk about the future with a “whatever” attitude, her level of respect for him drops and her thighs snap shut. She was surrounded by way too many of those directionless dudes back in college, and she has learned that men who have clear goals and realistic plans for achieving them are rare. She’ll appreciate your farsightedness all the more. Making up your mind settles hers, as well.

6. “I’m taking the day off tomorrow to chaperone my niece’s field trip.”
While a woman is impressed by a man who’s driven to succeed, she’s even more tantalized by a striver who’s willing to put a family member first—extra points if that family member is under 12. She’ll instantly flash-forward to when you’re the sweet, caring father of her children, at which point her heart will go all gooey. Come back from your kiddie outing with a cute stuffed animal for her and she’ll practically drag you into bed.” [Men’s Health Magazine online: http://www.menshealth.com/mhlists/Six-Seductive-Phrases/index.php]

 

How is gender defined? What tells us how to act in only two gendered groups; male and female, both social constructs.  Berkowitz, the author of Consuming Eroticism, explains the concept of “doing gender” as where men and women are both told by mass media how to act as a gender, and then he or she performs that gender where socially acceptable. Many of my blogs have focused on women and how they are objectified, this blog’s primary focus is men and how men are told to be masculine. How do the above advertisements, along with millions of others, tell men how to be men, or at least perform as men?

                In the documentary, “Wrestling with Manhood” the WWE is examined as to how it affects men’s views on women, sexuality, dominance, and violence. The film asks an important question, “What are the effects from the WWE on boys and men in the real world?”  The trash talking in the WWE is seen and heard on the playground, so is the bully and the bullied. Homoeroticism is clear in the WWE as lesbians and gay men are insulted to by wrestlers/actors to police boundaries. Even the gay characters in the WWE are hated amongst fans who yell hate words from the crowd. But the head in the crotch and assumed sexual positions between the heterosexual wrestlers are deemed OK because of the insults that police the boundaries amongst the open homosexuals.  In the clip attached, the owner of the WWE, Vince McMahon makes actress/wrestler Trish Stratus strip down to her underwear and crawl around the rink barking like a dog. The scenario was that Stratus has somehow offended the company and McMahon was punishing her. Often in the WWE women are beat up by their boyfriends or husbands in the ring and the men justify it by saying “she had it coming” or “she deserved it for being a slut.” The second quote is often heard amongst men that commit rape when they try to justify their actions. This only further normalizes gender violence and tells men that belittle and punishing women makes them more masculine.

                Then we have the article from Men’s Health Magazine online, declaring “These Six moves will make any woman sleep with you right away.” Often sex advice columns in men’s magazines are teaching men how to hunt and gather sex as soon as possible, as much as possible. Many sex advice columns for men tell them, “Hey if you do just do these six things, you can get any woman you want.” There is no emotional advice about how to handle a break up, or rejection. Many “real” men feel very anxious about sex to begin with and often rejection only hurts them and furthers that anxiety. Because the media is telling them to have sex with a high number of women, but they are getting rejected in real life, their anxieties rise, thus hurting their sexual health.  Fraternity college brothers face initiations where they are forced to count how many female co-eds they have slept with, and the top winners are inducted into the fraternity. This notion of sex for recreation for numbers (not for sexual exploration, just numbers) can often hurt future relationships both physically (STDs) or emotionally. Since men compare their sexual experiences with other men (women as trophies) it is always a competition. Everything from basketball to sex is measured in success by numbers for men, and that defines masculinity.  

 

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Socially constructed “appropriate” sex

February 4, 2009 at 9:36 PM (Uncategorized)

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"75 crazy hot sex moves" Cosmopolitan Magazineaaralphlauren

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 cosmopolitan_subscription

            What is socially constructed “appropriate” sex? Think of the normative in American society. What does history tell us about American ideologies of sex, gender roles, and sexual activity? If we examine social artifacts (magazines, music, advertisements, movies, internet, books, etc) we come to understand that women are sexual objects, martial sex is portrayed less on television and film than pre-marital, models on women’s magazines are gazing at men (not women), normative sex occurs between a man and a women (striving for long term and monogamy), and that women’s pleasure in the bed is irrelevant. Artifacts tells us that women need to focus on pleasing their men and giving “good” sex, while men need to focus on finding sex and having explosive climaxes. These images and messages somehow transpire down to teenagers and tell them that oral sex is safer because it prevents pregnancy. If we consider sexual history and how it has been taught in the schools and religious institutions we come to find that the biggest message taught to teenagers is that sex is an act for reproduction only, and anything else is recreational and “inappropriate.”  

            In the article “Twenty one moves guaranteed to make his thighs go up in flames: Depictions of “great sex” in popular magazines” authors Menard and Kleinplatz write “women tend to be portrayed as sexual objects, whose goals should be to attract and please male partners, both sexually and otherwise. There is a strong emphasis on female readers being sexually active in the service of men” (p.3). The research tells us that there is no room for sexual exploration of a women’s own body, or that of another woman. Popular magazines also leave out the possibility of same sex male relations. Society today, even in 2009, still tells editors that masturbation and homosexuality is too taboo to have photos or editorial content. Unfortunately there is also a lack of racial and ethnic representations of sex and partners.

            If you look at the photo of the man and woman in the kitchen portraying sexual acts (Cosmopolitan.com) what do you see? Man, women, hetero, white, middle to upper class apartment or kitchen, wine, and some photo of a sexy women eating dessert hanging on the wall in the background. Oddly enough, food was mentioned in the Sex and Love (love coming second, of course) section of Cosmopolitan’s website under an article entitled “Seductive Meals.” As Professor Freeman has pointed out in lectures, The Food Network has drawn a thin line between the production elements of pornography and cooking shows. The way a female draws food in to her luscious lip glossed lips, and sucks on it for a moment before swallowing (suggesting fellatio), and the way food that normally takes three hours of preparation suddenly is “oh finished” (suggesting the “money-shot” in pornography). This photo on the website not only furthers the ideologies of “appropriate” sex, but it points out that sensual foods and wine can probably lead to male fantasy of food and sex in the kitchen (somehow this couple manages to awkwardly rub on each other without falling off the counter). Perhaps the latent messages are those that bridge the gap between the sex and food industries. I would say so.

            Other artifacts presented in this weeks blog include Cosmopolitan’s sex games book which as the title tells us is exclusive for hetero “lovers,” a diamond ad that tells us marriage is for monogamous hetero couples, a magazine model whose gaze is directed at men and not it’s female consumer, and a Ralph Lauren Romance perfume advertisement that reinforces romance as hetero, but look at her ring finger. The model for Romance is wearing a wedding ring. Is she married? Is this her fiancé? We are left with these two questions. She is either engaged and this is “pre-martial” or she is married to someone else because the male model is without the band claiming commitment (male fantasy).

            While the language and paradigms in popular culture is changing, still much is left without discussion in depth. We must consider that sex advice manuals in the eighteenth century referred to women as servants both sexually and domestically to their husbands. Magazines before the Great Depression often referred to pleasing husbands, or cooking for husbands. Today we still see heterosexual language, but almost never the mention of husband and wives. The major problems with this “appropriate” sex ideology are the under representation of sexual minorities and interracial sex, the effects on women’s understanding of their position in the bedroom, strange ideas about how sex is supposed to look (hey Hollywood, guess what, sometimes people fall off the bed) and the effects on young people during their sexual exploration stage. What do these images tell teenage girls? If they lay their eyes on women’s magazines they will come to believe that it is their duty to perform amazing oral sex on their peers to gain status and some sort of reputation. These images are conflicting with the information teenagers receive in the “abstinence only” teachings in sex education courses implemented by the Bush Administration. Not only did teenage pregnancies rise, but so did STDs thanks to this teaching philosophy. While the media (and yes, President Clinton) are telling young girls that fellatio is just foreplay and not sex (because it is not vaginal), health teachers are teaching that anything sex leads to pregnancy, diseases, and possibly death (teaching on fear). Health centers in high schools are not allowed to prescribe birth control, or hand out condoms because of the abstinence only teaching laws making for a lot of unsafe sex and unwanted pregnancies. Because sex is taboo among teenagers it becomes more appealing, giving them a sort of adult, free way to express themselves in a rebellious manner, only leading to unsafe practices. This is a world where sex still requires one servant (female) and sexual teachings only repress teenagers and do not assume that ‘Hey! Teenagers will have sex regardless!’ Shocking, I know. Oh they drink underage and do drugs too! Let’s teach them the harmful effects so they can make safe decisions instead of judging them and telling them they are burnouts that will either rot on the street or rot in jail.

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Pornographic mainstream media

January 28, 2009 at 12:51 PM (Objectification, Pornography, Uncategorized)

Pussycat Dolls

“Sexy Can I” lyrics by Ray J featuring Yung Berg (Edited)

*Please take note of lyrics set in bold representing pornographic language

Sexy can I
Yeah, Yeahhh
All we wanna know is….

[Chorus:]
Sexy can I, just pardon my manners.
Girl how you shake it, got a n**** like (ohhhh)
It’s a kodak moment, let me go and get my camera
All I wanna no is, sexy can I.
Sexy can I, hit it from the front,
then I hit it from the back.
know you like it like that.
then we take it to the bed, then we take it to the
floor
then we chill for a second, then were back at it for
more
Sexy can I, just pardon my manners.
Girl how you shake it, got a playa like (ohhhh)
It’s a kodak moment, let me go and get my camera
All I wanna no is, sexy can I.

[Young Berg:]
Lil mama, it’s ya boy Youngin
G5 dippin, lui vuitton luggage (ay)
Gotta love it, ya boy so fly
All the ladies go (ohhh) when a n***** go by.
Gucci on the feet, Marc Jacob on the thigh
She wanna ride or die with ya boy in the shi.
That’s right, so I let her kiss the prince
so boyfriend, she ain’t missed him since.

[Ray J:]
Sexy can I, just pardon my manners.
Girl how you shake it, got a playa like (ohhhh)
It’s a kodak moment, let me go and get my camera
All I wanna no is, sexy can I.
Sexy can I, keep it on the low.
Got a girl at the crib, we can take it to the mo-mo.
You can bring a friend, or you can ride solo.
Let me get my camera, so we can take a photo.
(Oh,ohh,ohh) Now look shawty, look shawty.
Baby when we make love it’s like, (Oh,ohh,ohh)
(I don’t know what your man is like but shawty all I
want to know is)
sexy can I.

Sexy can I, visit you at work
When you sliding down the pole,
no panties, no shirt.
Then you climb back up the pole,
then you drop and do the splits.
How you make that booty talk
,
Baby damn, ???
(Oh,ohh,ohh) Now look shawty, look shawty.
I make it rain in the club like (Oh,ohh,ohh)
(I don’t know what your man is like but baby all I
want to know is)
Sexy can I

Sexy can I, just pardon my manners.
Girl how you shake it, got a playa like (ohhhh)
It’s a kodak moment, let me go and get my camera
All I wanna no is, sexy can I.

Young Berg:

I don’t care who’s ya boy hittin, or who Ray’s melon
When I give it to her, i know that she ain’t tellin’
See i’m a go getta and she a go getta
You already know she…
(Sexy can I)
Sexy can I sing for you red-eye
Fresh out the pool no towel
just let it air dry.
And if you ain’t .. tonight
Man you can watch that tour bus go by

[Chorus:]
Sexy can I, just pardon my manners.
Girl how you shake it, got a playa like (oh baby)
It’s a kodak moment, let me go and get my camera
All I wanna no is, sexy can I.
Sexy can I, hit it from the front,
then I hit it from the back.
know you like it like that.
then we take it to the bed, then we take it to the
floor
then we chill for a second, then were back at it for
more
Sexy can I, just pardon my manners.
Girl how you shake it, got a playa like (ohhhh)
It’s a kodak moment, let me go and get my camera
All I wanna no is, sexy can I.

Paris Hilton"The Hills" stars

Meredith Levande wrote in Women, pop music, and pornography, “Pornographic images are everywhere, but they did not magically appear. They are becoming increasingly corporate and are part of a larger business model. From the auto industry to wireless services to hotel accommodations, pornographic imagery has crept into the mainstream because it is owned by everyday companies.”  It is so easy for large companies, including The Big Six in media ownership, to sell pornographic images in the mainstream media, because they control all of it. With all of the convergence in ownership that happed in the Bush Administration, independent voices are unrepresented. Thanks to Britney Spears’ marketing campaign, we are left with young pop stars bridging the gap between “sexy” sixteen year old starlets and child pornography. Thanks to the Spice Girls, we see a pseudo-feminism backlash to actual feminist artists, in the “girl power” movement. The Pussycat Dolls are shown above straddling motorcycles, half dressed, with the word “domination” printed above the photo. This photo was the front cover for their 2008 album entitled “Domination.” With the back arching, and male fantasy of “doing it” on the back of his bike, it is clear that there is no girl power going on in the photo, only oppressed women using pornographic images to sell their album, and declaring to teen girls everywhere that “porno-chic” is cool.  The newly banned PETA commercial scheduled to air this Super Bowl Sunday, screams porno, and introduces a new fetish; sex with vegetables. The commercial could be put in the soft-core porn category, but it is not as shocking as some viewers may believe. Although the “objectification” of vegetables is “OK” (i.e. rubbing a pumpkin on a model’s vagina) these images are not new. Remember Paris Hilton’s Burger King Commercial anyone? Yes, that one. It makes you ask, were these testosterone driving Super Bowl Fans only turned off by the lack of meat? Would this advertisement be OK if it were women rubbing t-bones and porterhouse all over their breasts? Nearly naked women and meat…now that sounds like a man’s fantasy.  Another play into a man’s pornographic fantasy in mainstream media is the whole pseudo-lesbian theme. Not real lesbians, just really close “hot” friends willing to get it on a little to turn on a man. These images are everywhere. We even see twins being portrayed as lovers (think Budweiser and yes, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen).  Not only is this misogynistic, but can anyone say incest? “The Hills” stars, Heidi, Audrina, Lauren, and Whitney graced the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine in a photo that tries to balance the line between playful girlfriends, and playing in to the pseudo-lesbian fantasy.  We see Audrina who has in fact posed nude pushing up her hair gazing into the camera pelvis grazing Lauren’s rear, and Heidi standing almost on her toes (invisible stiletto) sticking her rear in to the camera’s main focus. All are wearing cute pajamas and panties making one question, “is this what my girlfriends and I are supposed to do at slumber parties?” Unfortunately many underage girls think that, thus donning the same attire and taking snap shots for their myspace.com pages.  These images are not going away, they are only getting worse.

            Thank you to Paris Hilton for being the obvious.

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Social Challenges

January 21, 2009 at 11:34 AM (Gender Norms and Expectations, Homosexuality, Uncategorized)

This week we will examine five images of sexual imagery being used as social critique or challenge.waygay

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The first image we see is an advertisement from Abercrombie and Fitch. Although there is no way of knowing for sure if this is a homosexual couple for not, the two men portrayed as laying around the house in a relaxed way. The gaze of the men looks to be directed at the male viewer, as this advertisement was found in the men’s clothing section of the 18 years-old and over catalogue. The shirtless man cuddles in closely to the clothed man. The both have mischievous smiles on their face which makes me wonder what exactly they were up to before lounging.  Rugby?  Probably not. Abercrombie and Fitch has made an effort to include pictures of couples of all sexual orientations, including a lesbian wedding photo in their clothing catalogue.

The Pink video has been revered as being one of the only pro women music videos that both celebrates female sexuality and transgresses the norms of it. While Pink may be a beautiful and sometimes scantily clad singer, the video “Stupid Girls” pokes fun at other young Hollywood starlets who compromise themselves for fame and fortune. Like the website Suicide Girls, Pink confronts the norms of male expectations. She makes fun of plastic, blonde, fake-breasted women and tries to show the little girl in the beginning of the music video that there is a power a woman can hold by being beautiful, smart, and athletic. Pink continues to challenge social norms of female sexuality while singing about girl power on her latest album.

The third image is from the Gay Times, a magazine published in the United Kingdom. Both images were posted in the Tube (London’s metro underground transportation), but one was banned. Both images suggest interracial male sexuality, but one was banned. Perhaps there was too much touching, and the fact that his hips were glued to his partner’s side gave him a personality, like a longing for one another. The second picture, which was allowed, only shows a man reaching behind the other man taking away affection, love, caring, and personality altogether. The man in front has a wide stance and a look on his face that declares “this is just a sexual image; I do not care about the model behind me.” While the touching of bodies, and face from the first image, show more than fashion. It shows a relationship, which was ultimately banned.  At least the Gay Times tried to challenge social norms.

The second video is from Bjorn Borg, a fashion designer who declares “Love for All” in her gay marriage friendly television advertisement. The ad features a church and wedding going on but does not allude to it being a male-male marriage until the final kiss. Not only is it a gay marriage, a female priest leads the ceremony. Bjorn challenges the norms of organized religion by saying, “love for all” and that women can be spiritual leaders also. While an ad like this has yet to make it to the United States, it is available for Americans to view on the internet and hopefully Europe will set the tone for acceptable sexual behavior on television; “Love for all.”

Bianco, a shoe company often features gay friendly advertisements in European catalogue and on the internet. In this photo, two women embrace one another on the edge of a bed. Although it transgresses norms of just hetero couples featured in ads, there are no shoes in the photo, and both women are barefoot.  I am not sure the advertisement exactly advertises anything they are trying to sell, but it is a step in the right direction. I say this because; these two women are not portrayed as pseudo-lesbians gazing in the male direction. Instead, they are portrayed as a couple that spends quality time together, and the soft touching of each other’s legs suggests a comforting relationship.

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“Objectified” vs “Empowered Sexuality”

January 13, 2009 at 9:22 PM (Feminist Theory, Objectification, Uncategorized)

What is the difference between images that objectify an individual in the media, and images that portray empowered sexuality? Let me define in my own words each concept before examining this weeks five images.

  • Objectified: The process of disregarding and depersonalizing a being, or a group of beings by making the subject nothing more than an object.
  • Empowered sexuality: Not to just fulfill a male fantasy (or other sexual partner, regardless of sexual identification) but to fulfill ones own sexual desires, images, and confidence. Could charge the sexuality of an individual, or group (often the oppressed group).     

Let us examine the next five images before analyzing them.

 

 

 

Tyra Banks for empowered sexuality

Tyra Banks for empowered sexuality

 

Barbi for empowered sexuality

Barbie for empowered sexuality

 

Marilyn Monroe for empowered sexuality

Marilyn Monroe for empowered sexuality

There are two objectified women portrayed above, and three sexually empowered women. Let’s look at the empowered images first.

 

             Model and television show host, Tyra Banks faced scrutiny for gaining weight after retiring from the modeling industry. She proclaims on the front of the People Magazine that she “still feels hot.” She is in a traditionally male stance, with legs apart showing her strength, and wears a one piece red swimsuit. Red signifies a lot of things, but here it stands for power and strength. She wears minimal make up, hair down, and no jewelry. The image of her stands in front of a white background, white signifying purity. Tyra’s image tells us that she values strength and confidence as beauty and empowered sexuality

 

            Barbie may not be a real woman, but many little girls aspire to be like her and have since the 1959. She is an unrealistic model of a woman’s body, in fact when replicated into a life size form, she falls over from having too big of breasts for too tiny of a body. But with the different waves of feminism Barbie has been updated to correlate with the lives of real girls and young women. During the third wave of feminism in the 1990’s Barbie started to own her own cars, mansions, make friends, own shops, etc. The Barbie in the image is part of the “I can be a….” collection. This Barbie is the “I can be a swim instructor” in the image. But Barbie can also be a “pet doctor” a gymnastics coach, a SeaWorld animal trainer, and the African-American Barbie has a culinary television show. All of these careers suggest either practicing, or perfecting a sport, learning leadership skills, and going to college. Little girls have more to look forward to in life than just being a hot roller skating babe now.

 

            Marilyn Monroe being chosen to represent empowered sexuality may come as a shock to some. Her entire career she was objectified as a sex symbol by the men that owned her contract. However in this picture she is photographed reading James Joyce’s novel “Ulysses.” This is both a lengthy and difficult read, especially for the nations bubbly dumb blonde. However Marilyn had an intelligent side, but the media decided that was not part of her marketing package. This photo was taken as a candid by a photographer walking through a park. Although Monroe still has lips open to a sexual pout, and does not look too comfortable, the fact that she let someone publish this photo shows her empowered sexual side. Monroe’s intelligence was more empowered than any nude shot she ever took.

 

            Beyonce was featured in a Direct T.V. advertisement in 2008. The video uses the age old “sex sells” theory by having her flaunt what her mother gave her. When we think of upgrading our cable we do not associate it with the images in this video. Beyonce is dancing in a tight gold dress, laying in sexually suggestive poses with the camera from the male’s perspective (on top of her, looking down) on top of piles of gold, and has a necklace in between her glossy lips that says “Upgrade.” During one dance scene Beyonce air “tickles” a man’s genitals, suggesting pleasure. Does upgrading our cable include this golden fantasy, and even sexual pleasure? I think not.

 

            Kate Walsh was used for the same reason as Beyonce, just for selling a car. The Cadillac, which is traditionally driven by the ultra successful Mary Kay sales women or those about to die, has a new mission: Sex the car up! The shifter is the cliché phallic symbol horny production nerds like to throw in, but Walsh’s language says it all. Her voice has a deep, soft, sensual tone as she dismisses important things like the navigator, and asks “when you turn your car on, does it return the favor?” She then pushes on the gas peddle with her stilettos, and revs the engine during the “climax” of her acceleration.

           

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Welcome

January 6, 2009 at 4:36 PM (Uncategorized)

Welcome readers,

  This is  a blog that fills a requirement for my communication 410 course at Portland State University, entitled “Sex and Media” taught by professor Jil M. Freeman. Each week I will examine five images/artifacts that are easily accessible to all ages that contain sexual imagery and messages.. The images will not be pornographic. In fact I would like my younger siblings to be able to read it, and learn from it. Although the content may be based from readings provided in a 410 level college course, the basic message is translatable for the use of educating youth (anyone under age 18 lets say). The artifacts will include lyrics, video clips from film, magazines, and so on. However none shall be so obvious, such as Maxim, Playboy, etc.  I hope to critically analyze each artifact and provide an academic perspective on sex in the media from the past, and today. If you wish to respond, please do so in a safe way that excludes any hate speech including but not limited to: racism, sexism, or homophobic language.

 Enjoy, and please by all means, feast your eyes and expand your mind!

-Brittany Dohman-Henning

PSU Senior and Communications Studies major

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