From ‘hands that do dishes’ to a bathtime Flake: the changing face of brands on TV

 

Ads like the one for Harmony hairspray in the 1970s perpetuated the idea that a woman’s main aim was to appeal to as many men as possible, as a series of potential suitors asked: “Is she, or isn’t she?” A later campaign for the deodorant Impulse showed men who “just can’t help” handing flowers to a fragrant woman. However, as commercials moved away from predictable stereotypes, many of the conventional gender roles were helpfully turned on their head.

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From ‘hands that do dishes’ to a bathtime Flake: the changing face of brands on TV

 

Ads like the one for Harmony hairspray in the 1970s perpetuated the idea that a woman’s main aim was to appeal to as many men as possible, as a series of potential suitors asked: “Is she, or isn’t she?” A later campaign for the deodorant Impulse showed men who “just can’t help” handing flowers to a fragrant woman. However, as commercials moved away from predictable stereotypes, many of the conventional gender roles were helpfully turned on their head.

Read the full story here

Redrawing women: Tackling sexism in comics

 

Women are fighting back against sexism in an industry steeped in a history of hyper-sexualised female characters. Some in the comics community aren’t happy with this push for gender parity in the workplace, online and on the page but one way or another, the industry is changing.

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A plain woman’s guide to nylon for her husband

Simpler times (irony alert)
Simpler times (irony alert)

A brilliant (for all the wrong reasons) article from 1958 in which a Guardian journalist pondered the place of nylon in a man’s wardrobe.

Does the tired business man slosh it through in the bathroom basin, rinse, and drape over the edge of the bath or over the towel rail, to leave a puddle on the floor which is bound before long to rot the linoleum? Or does he leave it for his wife to run through in the morning? She would undoubtedly rather do her washing in bulk, however thankful she is to lighten the load of her ironing.

Who can argue that these are pressing issues? (no pun intended – unless you laughed).

The original Guardian article
The original Guardian article

Read the full story here – honestly, it’s well worth it!

In kids cartoons, 0% of princesses are engineers, 2.9% of characters are black, and Batman doesn’t recycle

Detective Dot book and apps

News via The Guardian of a new Kickstarter campaign to tackle poor representation of girls/women in STEM subjects (or rather STEAM – they quite rightly include the arts where they belong, alongside the other disciplines).

“In kids cartoons, 0% of princesses are engineers, 2.9% of characters are black, and Batman doesn’t recycle. And kids spend up to 9 hours in front of screens seeing this stuff everyday,” explains Detective Dot’s Kickstarter pitch. “We’re obsessed with buying stuff but we don’t know how it’s made or who made it. Kids media is heavily stereotyped. Children, particularly girls and minorities, need positive role models in engineering, science, technology, arts and maths.”

Read the Guardian article here and contribute to the Kickstarter campaign here

Jennifer Lawrence removed from Israeli Hunger Games posters

Posters for the final part of the dystopian action franchise in some parts of Israel have been redesigned so as to remove the Oscar-winning actor. Instead, Katniss Everdeen and her bow and arrow have been replaced with a mockingjay in a handful of cities across the country, including Bnei Brak and Jerusalem. “We discovered that public posters with the image of a female are often torn down in Jerusalem, while Bnei Brak does not allow posters with female images,” a representative of the film’s Israeli PR firm said to Ynet.

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The fight against sexist stock photography

think the peach needs to be shinier,” Bustle editorial director Isla Murray tells Dawn Foster, a staff graphic designer who has been slowly sucking a piece of fruit for the last several minutes. “Should we spray it with water? Or something else? How do we make it look more provocative?” Murray and Foster, along with several other editors from the women’s lifestyle site, are gathered inside a photo studio at the company’s Manhattan offices. The space is covered in props — melons, sprinkle cookies, plastic chili peppers, a fur rug, some sort of phallic purple thing covered in rhinestones that is almost certainly a dildo, piles of underwear, boxes of lip gloss, hot dogs stuffed into buns and slathered with ketchup.

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Girl, 8, strikes blow for equality over ‘boys only’ books

An eight-year-old who asked, “What if a girl wanted a pirate book?” has won a victory for equality, after children’s publisher Scholastic stopped labelling books as “for girls” or “for boys”. Els, from Bounds Green school in London, decided to get in touch with the publisher after spotting the title, Amazing Things for Boys to Make and Do – the “Cap’n of pirate fun books. Pure gold” – in a catalogue for the Scholastic book fair coming to her school. She wrote a petition, arguing that no books should be “for girls” or “for boys”.

Read the full story here