Cinderella – The Cheetah Girls

This is a clip from from one of those Disney channel original movies, “The Cheetah Girls”.  I found this clip interesting because most Disney movies I watch are definitely all about the man saving the day, and women being dependent on men and catering to men.  However, this song in this particular movie is all about the complete opposite, and I think is definitely and great influence on the young crowd that views it.  It talks about not waiting around for a “prince” to save you.  Also, that women are capable to doing things themselves and they should not be dependent on men.  I like how it mentions that “fairy tales” express this image that women need to be rescued, especially since it’s ironic in a Disney movie.  It lets girls that are exposed to all the “Disney princess” stuff know that they can accomplish whatever they want and are strong enough to be independent.

Classic scene from The Sandlot

I was watching this movie today, and as soon as this classic scene came on, and I actually thought about it, I knew I had to post it! I don’t think I know one person who doesn’t like this movie, “The Sandlot”.  However, I know many people are are completely ignorant about how sexist this scene really is.  They go on and on with insults, and everything goes quiet when the “worst insult” comes out “You play ball like a girl!”  It’s actually very offensive.  All throughout history, women have been discriminated against when it comes to sports, and it seems to me like it still goes on now to a certain extent, considering women’s sports and men’s sports are seperated, and men’s sports get more recognition and views then women’s.  Not only that, but I’ve never noticed an”end” to the whole men are stronger and athletic then women thing.  “In the 1930s, some doctors warned that high-stress sports might harm a woman’s reproductive system. If you watched the movie “A League of Their Own,” you know that players in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League of 1943 to 1954 had to attend charm school. There, they studied etiquette and beauty routines, including how to arrange their hair in a manner that would “best retain its natural style despite vigorous play… A turning point for women’s sports occurred when President Richard Nixon signed Title IX of the Educational Amendment of 1972, which states that any educational program receiving Federal assistance can lose its funding if it discriminates on the basis of sex. This legislation was a great opportunity for women because it gave female athletes access to better equipment, coaches, playing fields, and travel budgets. Before Title IX, Interscholastic competition for females had been declining over the years. In 1970, only one out of 27 girls played high school varsity sports. Now, due in part to Title IX, that number is one in three.” (Women in Sports: The Struggle for Equality, http://www.riverdeep.net/current/2000/03/front.150300.women.jhtml)

Who Run the World? Girls. – Beyonce Music Video

This brand new music video was just recently premiered this week.  It is for Beyonce’s song “Run the World”.  This song and music video is all about female empowerment.  The first thing that stands out is all the women in armor, and it seems as though they are set up in a war against the men, who stand on the other side of the room.  Their are several lyrics in the song that stand out and make a statement in particular.  In the first verse she says “make your checks come at they neck, disrespect us no they wont.”  I found this empowering because she’s making a point that we as women will not let men disrespect us.  Another line I liked was “Who will buy it for themselves and get more money later.”  This is making the point that women can get their own jobs and do not need to be dependent on men. Also, she  says “My persuasion can build a nation.”  I really found that line interesting, because if you think about it, women really can be very persuasive.  Another part of the song I liked and found empowering to women was “I’m “repping for the girls who taking over the world/Have me raise a glass for the college grads/Anyone rolling I’ll let you know what time it is/You can’t hold me/I broke my 9 to 5 and copped my check/This goes out to all the women getting it in/Get on your grind/To the other men that respect what I do/Please accept my shine.”  ALSO, “Boy you know you love it/How we’re smart enough to make these millions/Strong enough to bare the children/Then get back to business/See, you better not play me.” Basically, Beyonce is making the point that women can do anything and everything, and men need to respect that.

James Bond Star in Womens’s Rights PSA

In this video, Daniel Craig, the star of the James Bond movies, takes part in a PSA for women’s rights.  While you are watching him, the narrator shares a variety of important facts about how women are treated in the world.  I thought it was a good point that she mentions that the world is changing, but that women still are NOT equal.  This is a good point because the world is progressing, and with that many people do feel like women are equal at this point, even though there are so many things that still need change.  Another thing that stood out to me as having a good meaning is how as soon as he dresses in drag, and as more and more information on how women are treated is stated, he begins to take off the various parts of his outfit that make him look like a woman.  It’s almost like at first, like many men, he thinks being a woman is easy, and dresses up right away.  Then, once he realizes how hard it actually is, he realizes he wouldn’t be able to handle the inequality that truly exists in our society.  I like that a male celebrity was used for a women’s rights PSA, as well, because typically women are used to convey this information.  Showing that a man cares about these issues helps this PSA to appeal to a male audience, as well.  My favorite part about the video, is at the very end she says “So, are we equals?  Until the answer is yes, we must never stop asking.”  This promotes more and more advocacy and encourages a fight for equality until it is ACTUALLY achieved.

Analysis So Far…

From what I’ve had the chance to explore so far when it comes to popular feminism and the media, I’ve formed new opinions and learned a lot. One thing I’ve found to be true that has really stood out is that there is definitely more things in the media that LACK female empowerment and do the opposite, than there are things that express female empowerment and actually support popular feminism.

The only form of feminism/female empowerment in the media I have posted so far was the Christina Aguilera Video. This video made the point that we and women should not back down. We should voice our opinions, and be aware of the double standards that do exist and try to conquer them. This was the most modern/recent form of popular feminism I came across, and it probably the reason it was the most empowering for women, since in this day and age we have actually come along way in terms of equal rights for both sexes in such. That progress is shown in this video, but still makes the point that somethings still need change.

The other two ads were clearly oppressive of women (or at least the feminist movement). For example, the Yorkie bar was “Not for Girls.” This ad is just silly, because why shouldn’t a women be able to handle a candy bar? Not only that, but in order to relate and advertise to the target group of men, they have to make it seem like it’s too “manly” for women. The Clorox ad was just shocking. They took a popular feminism icon and tried to place it into the same category as stereotypical housewife work. By doing this, the company minimizes the importance and meaning of the icon, which is sad.

What I want to leave you with, is to think about how many there are ads out there that LACK female empowerment. Because this is definitely what I thought about and have been critically thinking about at this point in my blog. The amount of examples in the media that lack popular feminism easily outnumber the amount that support it. My goal at this point is to really tear apart all of these ads that try to place women into certain roles of society, as well as try to find more ads that actually do possess traits of female empowerment.

“Rosie the Riveter” and Clorox?

This ad is interesting because it makes use of a U.S. cultural icon, as well as a feminist icon.  This icon is “Rosie the Riveter,” who represented women who worked in the factories during World War II.  It is empowering to women and applies to the feminist movement, because during this time period, many women were housewives.  When these women went to work in the factories, they were assuming typically male jobs, and ended up replacing many of the male employees in the military.  This ad tries to combine this icon which is supposed to be empowering to females, with the old fashioned housewife/house cleaner role for women.  Instead of taking the “We Can Do It” slogan to mean “we can go out and get jobs and be successful like men”, it takes the slogan and turns it into “we can be successful at our jobs as housewives by using Clorox and cleaning better.”

Nestlé’s Yorkie Candy Bar Ads

This ad  is obvious as to why it has to do with feminism.  It blatantly has a “no girls” iconic sign posted on the front of it!  This specific candy bar was launched in the 1980s.  in 2001, the advertisement campaign for the candy made the slogan “It’s not for girls!”  This particular bar was made chunkier than the other chocolate bars and made for men as a target.  Therefore, Nestlé associated chunkier with “manlier,” and something girls just “couldn’t handle” like men, if you will.  The slogan for this bar caused lots of controversy, as you could imagine.  In 2006, there was a special edition Yorkie bar that “was for girls” and was wrapped in pink (the most feminine color, basically). For those who aren’t familiar with UK slang, “birds” is slang for women.  Also, it tries to say that women are not good drivers, and therefore should not waste their time with a Yorkie bar, because they cannot handle it, and have better places to spend money.  Honestly, this idea/ad is shocking to me, not to mention offensive.

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