Posts Tagged ‘exploitation’

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!



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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The following excerpt is from Eyes of the Heart, by Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the first democratically-elected president of Haiti, now in exile in South Africa.

Around the world what is called the informal sector makes up a $16 trillion-a-year economy. Of this women are responsible for $11 trillion. In Haiti, where official unemployment is about 70%, the informal sector is in fact much larger than the formal sector. And the economic strength of this sector in Haiti is a surprise to most economists. It has a total combined asset and property value estimated at $4.71 billion, or more than 72% of the total assets and property of the 123 largest private enterprises in Haiti. It is a complex network of economic activities that extends into every Haitian village and percolates through the urban slums, touching the lives of the rural and urban poor majority. Any economic plan for Haiti must begin here.

Any economic plan for Haiti must also begin with women. In Haiti we say that women are the poto mitan, or “center pole” of the household. During the past 20 years we can say that women have also been the poto mitan of the struggle. We are not surprised then when we see that over 70% of our Foundation are women. As at St. Jean Bosco, the majority of those who attended were women. In the struggle women are always well represented at the bases, if not in positions of power.

Women have unique skills for leadership with cooperation. When we created the cooperative at the Foundation we took some inspiration from the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. We decided to lend money to people in groups of five, with each member being responsible for the others. The women understood and adapted to the system quickly. Many of the men balked. It was not easy to find four others with whom they could form a group, and when it came time to make a loan they did not want to sign for the others.

Studies around the world have shown that when household budgets are in the hands of women, they are more likely to be spent for primary needs (food, education, and health care). I predict that when the budgets of nations are in the hands of women we will see the same result. While I was president, women held major cabinet posts for the first time in Haiti. We had fifteen women ministers in three governments, including a Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Ministers of Finance, Education, Information and Labor. It made a difference.

Women, children and the poor must be the subjects, not the objects of history. They must sit at the decision-making tables and fill the halls of power. They must occupy the radio and airwaves, talking to and calling to account their elected leaders. Their participation will democratize democracy, bringing the word back to its full meaning: Demos meaning people, Cratei meaning to govern.

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in light of the recent earthquake and aftershock in Haiti, i want to make a post that is perhaps not directly relevant to our mission on this blog, but is nonetheless terribly important.

during humanitarian crises such as this, marginalized groups in society suffer the most. now i have absolutely no claim to an exhaustive history of women in Haiti, and women’s rights in Haiti. however, i tend towards the belief that women everywhere are marginalized, more often than not, and Haiti is not likely to pose an exception to this tendency. i do hesitate to say this, since there is a lot of terrible, misleading media coverage on this earthquake that make awful assumptions, and i do not want to contribute to that mess.

the point of this post is to urge that we keep informed, and keep an eye out on how this earthquake has affected marginalized groups, in particular, women in Haiti. and if any of us an afford to, it would be great to donate. partners in health is an org that i have heard a lot of good things about, especially from individuals who are critical of the patterns of colonial exploitation that america & europe has inflicted upon Haiti. this makes me trust them. click here to donate to this reliable org. you can also donate supplies/volunteer by going to this page. if youre really into it, you can even work for them!

other more-reliable-than-the-UN-and-wyclef-jean-orgs:

1. Doctors Without Borders (Medicines Sans Frontiers)

2. Haiti Action

3. Grassroots International

4. Oxfam

feel free to explore other links on the above sites, and share your experiences. Stand with Haiti.

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From this NYT article:

In the popular 1966 book “Feminine Forever,” Dr. Robert A. Wilson, a gynecologist, used disparaging descriptions of aging women (“flabby,” “shrunken,” “dull-minded,” “desexed”) to upend the prevailing idea of menopause as a normal stage of life. Women and their physicians, Dr. Wilson wrote, should regard menopause as a degenerative disease that could be prevented or cured with the use of hormone drugs.

“No woman can be sure of escaping the horror of this living decay,” Dr. Wilson wrote. “There is no need for either valor or pretense. The need is for hormones.”

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I was skeptical when all the buzz about the HPV vaccine began. This post reflects some of my concerns about it. We already knew that women everywhere, including in the west, are used as tools to uphold the current world order, which includes the enrichment of the super-wealthy corporations concentrated in the U.S. and Europe, and other such exploitative entities. Honestly, I can’t even forsee an end to the use of women’s bodies towards this end. This other post is also similarly skeptical.

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uncle sam

Now girls, you all know you’ll be demonized for deciding not to have children.  But you should know that if you have a child, and do everything in your power to provide for her, including risking your life in the military, there’s a whole new shit storm waiting for you.  We Americans sure do appreciate our veterans!

Yuck.  Just Yuck.


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