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thanks again alternet! below, an excerpt from sex pill for women article:

Even though Boynton declined, Boehringer-Ingelheim invited her to write a paper for the British Journal of Sexual Medicine. “They had clear instructions about what they wanted me to say and how this would set the scene that HSDD was a prevalent and distressing problem doctors ought to be aware of — presumably so they could be alerted to a problem and be more willing to prescribe a pill when said medication became available.”

Flash forward to March of this year when Boehringer-Ingelheim rolled out its Sex Brain Body: Make the Connection campaign starring TV personality Lisa Rinna — replete with glitzy disease branding web site in the Restless Legs/Excessive Sleepiness/Social Anxiety Disorder tradition. Nowhere is flibanserin, not approved yet, mentioned.

“If There is No Desire to Get Physically Romantic, You Could Be Suffering from HSDD,” blares a Top News article in June with the indicated boudoir photo, auguring the next “epidemic.”

Of course,  some gynecologists, sex researchers and patients welcome the fact that pharma is no longer ignoring women’s sexuality. Why should men have all the fun, they ask? But others see in HSDD marketing the same forces responsible for the terms “frigid,” “nymphomaniac,” battles for safe and effective birth control and reproductive health care and social tolerance of violent or degrading pornography — namely, men defining women’s sexuality for their own purposes. Nor do Google search images for HSDD, which are pretty “800 number/phone sex” allay fears.

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Or, alternatively titled: “Making the Brown Sex Week 2010 Poster”

(This is a cross-post from the SHEEC blog/my blog)

My goals were that the poster:

  • Wouldn’t imply a certain relationship status
  • Wouldn’t be objectifying and just like any other ad on TV
  • Wouldn’t be heteronormative (and ideally not homonormative, either, which is…not easy to do–most images out there are very either/or)
  • Would simultaneously bring something “non-traditional” to the fore but NOT in a “LOOK HOW RADICAL I AM!” way or in a “LOOK HOW FREAKY THIS IS!” way
  • Would focus on sexuality and sensuality, but in a fun, not intimidating, fashion
  • Re: above, would also not be too explicit or obviously and “traditionally” sexual, so that it could have more interpretations (including “platonic” ones?)
  • Would reflect an air of inclusiveness
  • Would not represent people from just one ethnic group (and this was the hardest to achieve while still trying to keep to the other points; I resolved this issue by making the skin tones a rainbow)
  • Would not glorify a particular body type, especially one that corresponds to the dominant ideas of beauty in the media
  • Would be welcoming and attractive
  • Would hold all the text necessary!

The RESULT:

Thoughts?

Do you encounter similar situations when you have to do the promotional material for events? How do you feel about the world of advertising/promo in college and/or specifically at your institution of “higher learning”?

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PETA Save the Whales Obesity Billboard

Dear PETA:

Sometimes you have pretty cool campaigns.

Sometimes you miss the mark entirely and produce crap like this.

I don’t know who thought “YES, this is a great idea! Let’s use one of the most derogatory words for fat women and put it on a HUGE billboard and imply that women are whales that need to be saved from their gross obesity through vegetarianism (because only meat-eating women are obese)! This will entice people to become vegetarians! GENIUS!”

No. You fail.

And “trying to hide your thunder thighs and balloon belly is no day at the beach”?

Really? Really, PETA?

I’m not even going to go into their implications that ceasing consumption of meat equal healthiness (because that’s just not true) and that the differences between skinny/fat and vegetarian/omnivore are all caused by the meat or lack thereof in people’s diets. Jeez.

————–

PETA’s press release:

Jacksonville, Fla. — A new PETA billboard campaign that was just launched in Jacksonville reminds people who are struggling to lose weight — and who want to have enough energy to chase a beach ball — that going vegetarian can be an effective way to shed those extra pounds that keep them from looking good in a bikini. The ad shows a woman whose “blubber” is spilling over the sides of her swimsuit bottom and features the tagline “Save the Whales. Lose the Blubber: Go Vegetarian. PETA.”

Anyone wishing to achieve a hot “beach bod” is reminded that studies show that vegetarians are, on average, about 10 to 20 pounds lighter than meat-eaters. The meat habit can ruin the fun in other ways too. Consuming meat and dairy products is conclusively linked to heart disease, diabetes, and several kinds of cancer — not to mention higher rates of infertility in women and impotence in men. And not only is following a healthy plant-based diet good for the environment, it is also the best thing that anyone can do to help stop the routine abuse of animals raised and killed for food. Animals on factory farms are subjected to mutilations like debeaking, tail-docking, and branding (without any painkillers) and are often slaughtered and dismembered while still conscious.

“Trying to hide your thunder thighs and balloon belly is no day at the beach,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA has a free ‘Vegetarian Starter Kit’ for people who want to lose pounds while eating as much as they like.

This makes me cry inside. Actually, it mostly just really fucking pisses me off because this body-shaming shit really needs to stop. Implying fat women are whales and that they’re covered in blubber and just…augh! I’m tired of people producing trash like this, especially after hearing stories (or witnessing them) about women whose in-laws didn’t accept them and even tried to sabotage their marriage because they (the women) were obese and “unworthy of [the in-laws’] son.” I’m tired of seeing girls whose diaries constantly talk about their weight and how they need to lose 20 pounds NO MATTER WHAT THEIR ACTUAL WEIGHT. I’m tired of the food-diaries with “today I ate 10 grapes, 2 Fig-Newtons, and a Jell-O cup.” I’m tired of the girls who are unhappy because they never manage to be “skinny.” I’m tired of people talking SHIT about others because they’re fat, speaking like they have a right to insult them just because of their weight and body shape. It’s not fucking okay.

And I realize all these examples were female-oriented, and I acknowledge that obesity and body-shame affect everyone to some degree, but I’m just speaking for myself and what I’ve been seeing lately. And, to clarify, I’m not tired that these situations exist–more like the REASONS WHY they exist. I’m not blaming the victims of fatphobia. The opposite, actually. I’m tired that people are made to feel unworthy, unlovable, unattractive, and ashamed. THAT’S why I’m tired of seeing these situations repeat themselves constantly.

I originally posted this on my personal blog, but everything after the PETA press-release is new text. This ranting is a result of looking through my journals from when I was younger (1996-2003) and being appalled at how much I mentioned weight. I spoke to a friend about it and she had the same issue, but a hundred times worse. I at least was fairly happy with myself most of the time? Ugh. I’ll probably post about the “findings” from reading all these journals. They’re really weird, considering the person I am now.

Anyway. I blogged more extensively about my thoughts on PETA and their advertising campaigns. Feel free to check it out here and comment if you wish. I posted this entry because it was much shorter and less pic-spammy than the one I’m directing you towards. ^_^

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img_0341So I saw this in the College Center last night and of course I’m wondering, what the fuck? For those who can’t read what it says, (sorry it’s a little blurry) it’s an advertisement for Vassar College’s Rowing team who have their Ergathon, where they row for 24 hours straight as a sort of fundraiser. The flyer is about three feet by 4 feet, I would estimate, and it’s hanging as a sort of banner in one of the most frequented parts of campus.

I know, who would have guessed from that picture?

I have nothing against rowing, or the Vassar College Rowing Team, but I’m so tired of seeing flyers just like this one posted all around campus, from all different orgs.

Why do we feel it is necessary to objectify women, and to reinforce dangerous hegemonic ideas of what it means to be sexy, just to get people to give money or come to an event. What, just because I see a white, skinny, half naked girl, I’m supposed to contribute some money to your organization? Thanks but no thanks.

To be fair there was a smaller poster I saw later on which had a white, muscular man, wearing a kilt, with the same message, “It’s gonna be hot”. And with this I’m forced to wonder, what’s going on? Is this some kind of irony? Regardless I still think it’s reinforcing these hegemonic notions of what is “hot”.

And of course, even if skinny, white, and half naked is what “hot” looks like (which I wouldn’t agree with), who cares? Why is “hot” such a big deal? Why wouldn’t it be enough to simply say, come to the Ergathon and see women show their athletic strength!? Why isn’t that something that makes us get excited?

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