Feminist Philosophers

News feminist philosophers can use

Is it less objectifying if you smile? September 30, 2013

Filed under: advertising,appearance,objectification — philodaria @ 5:24 am

The OMA rejected one version of two almost identical ads for the skincare brand [Ella Bache] because the models, who were using their hands to cover their naked bodies, had serious facial expressions that were interpreted as “too sexualised”. A version where the three models were smiling was accepted . . . The chief executive of the OMA, Charmaine Moldrich, defended the decision and told Fairfax, “I know its nuanced and subtle but there is a difference between a woman who is empowered, and happy to be here and a woman who is being objectified. It’s our job to make that make that call.”

 Whatever you think about the mitigating power of smiling and objectification, it’s disturbing that an unsmiling facial expression is considered more sexually “arousing” than the facial expression of a woman who looks happy. Read more (and see the images) here. 


Men taking up too much space September 14, 2013

Filed under: appearance,body,gender,teaching — Jender @ 7:14 am

for next time you teach Bartky!


Thanks, S!


Tulsa school thinks dreadlocks, afros, and mohawks are ‘distracting’ September 5, 2013

Filed under: appearance,race — philodaria @ 1:16 am

A charter school in Tulsa prohibits its students from sporting dreadlocks, afros, and mohawks, because apparently they think it distracts from the serious academic work they are trying to accomplish. I tend to think giving a 7 year old girl a hard time about her hairstyle (which looks completely adorable and appropriate to me) would distract from academics far more.


Blurred Lines and Double Standards August 28, 2013

Filed under: appearance,gender inequality,gender stereotypes,objectification,rape — philodaria @ 3:57 am

This seems apt to me:

Dear Society,

If you think a woman in a tan vinyl bra and underwear, grabbing her crotch and grinding up on a dance partner is raunchy, trashy, and offensive but you don’t think her dance partner is raunchy, trashy, or offensive as he sings a song about “blurred” lines of consent and propagating rape culture, then you may want to reevaluate your acceptance of double standards and your belief in stereotypes about how men vs. women “should” and are “allowed” to behave.


Dr. Jill

For those of you who missed it, Dr. Jill is referring to the reactions to Miley Cyrus’s performance with Robin Thicke at the VMAs.


“Dark-skinned and plus size” June 29, 2013

If you are watching the trial of Zimmerman, who killed Trayvon Martin, you’ll probably get that the title above refers to Rachel Jeantel, with whom Martin was talking on the phone shortly before he was killed. It is from the Salon article linked to below.

I have seen her mostly on CNN, but I see many other members of the press to pick up the same theme: She is so different from white people, how can anyone side with her and her narrative? Well, at least there’s some recognition of the fact that racism is alive and well, but couldn’t they register that this is not a good thing?

Some commenters said she should have been trained to give testimony. I think that’s very close to saying that in court you have to sound like whites to be believable. On CNN Mark Garegos has been insisting that our court system is deeply affected by race. That certainly seems what most commenters believe. And there’s a lot of evidence in this trial – not to mention many others – that should frighten any supporter of a person of colour in a trial.

Back to the Salon article: Brittany Cooper tells us in Salon.com:

The thing about grammars, though, is that they rely on language, on a way of speaking and communicating, to give them power. And Rachel Jeantel has her own particular, idiosyncratic black girl idiom, a mashup of her Haitian and Dominican working-class background, her U.S. Southern upbringing, and the three languages – Hatian Kreyol (or Creole), Spanish and English — that she speaks.

The unique quality of her black vernacular speaking style became hypervisible against the backdrop of powerful white men fluently deploying corporate, proper English in ways that she could not do.  The way they spoke to her was designed not only to discredit her, but to condescend to and humiliate her. She acknowledged this show of white male power by repeatedly punctuating her responses with a curt but loaded, “Yes, Sir.”

Even more, she seemed very good at picking up on assumptions a question was carrying. “That’s real retarded, sir” was her (unfortunately abelist)comment on one.

If you look for her on youtube, avoid the comments unless you are feeling strong. I saw ones i’m hoping to forget.

Disrespecting one of zimmerman’s lawyers:


Al-Saji on Veiling June 15, 2013

Filed under: appearance,multiculturalism,race,religion — Jender @ 1:38 pm

An awesome-looking symposium over on SGRP.


Debenhams takes stand against photoshopping June 14, 2013

Filed under: appearance — Jender @ 5:22 am

Debenhams announces a ban on all retouched lingerie model shots.
The high-street department store puts and end to such images as they ‘want to help customers feel confident about their figures without bombarding them with unattainable body images’.


For more, go here.


MP asked to put her jacket on June 13, 2013

Filed under: appearance,gender,objectification,politics — philodaria @ 1:13 am

Earlier we posted about the No More Page 3 campaign, here; Caroline Lucas, MP, wearing a No More Page 3 t-shirt, was asked to put her jacket back on during a speech, in order to comply with Westminster’s dress code. You can watch the video, here, over at the BBC site.

There’s no transcript there, but after the MP chairing the session interrupts, Lucas responds (while holding up page 3 of The Sun): “It does strike me as an irony that this T-shirt is regarded as an inappropriate thing to be wearing in this house but apparently it is appropriate for this kind of newspaper to be available to buy in eight different outlets on the Palace of Westminster estate.”


Abercrombie and Fitch May 21, 2013

Filed under: appearance — Monkey @ 7:04 pm

They don’t sell plus sizes because their brand is only for ‘cool, good-looking people’ according to the CEO Mike Jeffries. Well, Mike, what did you make of this?


Berlin Leftists’ New Target: Barbie Dreamhouse May 17, 2013

Filed under: advertising,appearance,beauty,body,gender stereotypes,gendered products — David Slutsky @ 12:37 pm

Berlin Leftists’ New Target: Barbie Dreamhouse (WSJ article by Mary M. Lane, 5/17/13)
“Workers of the World Unite to Fight ‘Pinkified’ Resident, Stiletto Chairs”
…”It would be a huge danger for capitalism if working men and women were united, so one of the best ways to divide and conquer the workers is by enabling men to over-sexualize women and by preoccupying women with sexualizing themselves,” said group leader Michael Koschitzki, 27 years old. “This is why we need to oppose Barbie.”…

“Barbie has been around for over 50 years. Can you show me that’s really held back society with all the positive changes for women?” asked Jörg Niepraschk, a father of two girls he brought to the Dreamhouse for a preview on Tuesday.

“The Junge Linke adamantly say “yes,” arguing that Barbie is a symbol of proletariat repression and a consumerist society set in place by power-hungry capitalists…

“The Junge Linke argue that Barbie’s “pinkified” personality cultivates a desire in girls to focus on looks instead of careers and spend their cash on expensive beauty products…

One of many wonderful papers that quickly come to mind is Sandra Bartky’s “Foucault, Femininity, and the Modernization of Patriarchal Power”. (Click here for a PDF copy posted on the web for now.)



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