Category Archives: Media & Media Literacy

Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty” enters its teen years

Toward the end of January, Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty” celebrated its tenth anniversary. Ten years of raising women’s self-esteem and/or just telling us we’re not as ugly as we think we are (mileage varies). Continue reading

Posted in Advertising, Beauty, Body image, Media & Media Literacy | Tagged , | 1 Comment

The report is out on Rolling Stone‘s handling of the UVA rape story, and it’s understandably awful

On November 19, 2014, Rolling Stone published a lengthy and damning piece on the handling of sexual assault on college campuses, centering around a University of Virginia student, pseudonymously identified as “Jackie,” and her alleged gang-rape by members of one of the school’s fraternities. It was striking and stomach-turning — the attack, the response from fellow students, the response (or, more accurately, lack thereof) by university administration depicted in that story. It was also, the world would later learn, almost entirely unsubstantiated. A new report by the Columbia School of Journalism, commissioned by Rolling Stone back in December, meticulously outlines those mistakes. Continue reading

Posted in Crime, Media & Media Literacy, Rape Culture, Sexual Assault | Tagged | 84 Comments

It’s really about ethics in food journalism

Uh-oh. Someone better warn the “Food Babe” aka Vani “there is no acceptable level of any chemical to ingest, ever” Hari about that scarily ubiquitous chemical molecule dihydrogen monoxide and the evil conspiracy to make the world believe that DHMO is totally safe for us to ingest. Continue reading

Posted in Body image, Health, Media & Media Literacy | Tagged , | 12 Comments

More hashtag envy: “Meninists” complain that everything isn’t about them #LikeAMeninist

Always, the company that sells menstrual products, ran a minute-long Super Bowl spot trimmed down from their longer #LikeAGirl video released this summer. The ad challenges the stereotype that running, throwing, and fighting “like a girl” indicates weakness and ineptitude by running the expression by adults (and one young boy), and then by a series of girls who haven’t yet been told that “like a girl” is usually meant as a bad thing. And then it took about ten minutes for the meninists to start protesting the “inequality” that there wasn’t another commercial for #LikeABoy.

This is why we can’t have nice things. Continue reading

Posted in Advertising, Sports | Tagged , , , | 19 Comments

New Lego ad features girlchild, dragon, parachute, stuffed bunny surgery

I recognize, and have always recognized, that I’m kind of a sucker. And someone who’s spent as much time as I have working in advertising really should find herself less entertained by it. But here’s the thing: After spending so much time in recent times insisting to us that what Lego girls really want is pastel-purple bricks, “mini dolls,” and pre-made sets requiring minimal assembly, Lego has made an ad that I really like. Are they doing it to get money out of people? Yes. It’s what’s known in the industry as an “advertisement.” But it’s one that shows a girl playing with Legos the way research indicates girls play with Legos: Taking the world around her and creating a world of her own, using her imagination to see Continue reading

Posted in Advertising, Gender | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Important things people have said about Ferguson

People have said important things about Michael Brown, protests in Ferguson, and a grand jury’s decision not to hold Darren Brown accountable for killing an unarmed black teenager. Continue reading

Posted in Crime, Law, Media & Media Literacy, Racism | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Barbie’s male classmates can be computer engineers.

Barbie is one educated and versatile woman. She’s been, among dozens of other jobs, a dentist, a doctor, a sign language teacher, a special education teacher, a surgeon, a paratrooper, a jet pilot, an ambassador, a firefighter, an architect, an astronaut, a ballerina, a chef, an Olympic gymnast, an unspecified business executive, a news anchor, a cat burglar, a magazine editor, and the president of the United States. And now, per the book I Can Be a Computer Engineer, she’s a computer engineer (or at least can be one). Continue reading

Posted in Literature, Media & Media Literacy | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Time magazine: I can’t even.

Time magazine’s annual poll of the year’s “worst words” looks for words that make you “definitely cringe,” even “exhale pointedly,” even “seek out the nearest pair of chopsticks and thrust them through your own eardrums like straws through plastic lids.” And it asks people to “vote another word off the island” (and if I never hear that phrase again, I’ll be okay). This year’s poll includes bae, basic, bossy, disrupt, I can’t even…, influencer, kale, literally, om nom nom nom, obi, said no one ever, sorry not sorry, turnout, yaaasssss, and… feminist. Continue reading

Posted in Body image, Class, Discrimination, Domestic Violence, Feminism, Health, Media & Media Literacy, Popular Culture, Rape Culture, Reproductive Rights | 14 Comments

Young women: Less voting, more Tinder. It’s for the best.

Fox News’s “The Five” wants young women to know that you’re really too stupid right now to participate in public life. Not too stupid in general — someday, you’ll be old enough and conservative enough to vote or serve on juries. Just not right now. The Five discuss the age and gender gap as it could influence the midterm elections and then veers off to let young women know that right now, while you’re healthy and hot, you should just focus on Tinder and Match.com and let the grownups make the decisions. Continue reading

Posted in Media & Media Literacy, Popular Culture | Tagged , , | 14 Comments

“Fame-inism” for the rest of us

So. “Beyonce feminism.” Roxane Gay is against it. (Annie Lennox, too.) Continue reading

Posted in Celebrity, Entertainment, Feminism, Media & Media Literacy, Movies, Music | Tagged , , | 23 Comments

Quickhits: Ebola fearmongering, massacre threats, GassyGoat, who gets to pick up a gun and live?

Still not feeling up to sitting in front of the computer for too long while convalescing from my hospital admission, but here’s a few things I’ve noted filling my feeds: Continue reading

Posted in Health, Media & Media Literacy, Popular Culture, Racism, Terrorism | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

Quickhit: Stolen Naked Celebrity Photos Are Not A Scandal, This Is A Crime

The people sharing these images are perpetuating an ongoing assault. The people gleefully looking at them are witnessing and enjoying an ongoing assault. When you have been asked by victims of a crime like this not to exacerbate the pain of that crime and you continue to do so anyway, you are consciously deciding that your enjoyment, your rights and perhaps even just your curiosity are more important than the safety and dignity of the people you’re exploiting. Continue reading

Posted in Celebrity, Crime, Media & Media Literacy | Tagged , , | 48 Comments