Category Archives: Media & Media Literacy

Going Off: A chronicle of becoming unmedicated

[Content note for depression, anxiety, and the medical treatment thereof]

In a series of posts on the NYT’s “Anxiety” blog, starting in February, Diana Spechler has been documenting the process of (with her doctor’s supervision) going off of the prescription meds that had been treating her anxiety, depression, and insomnia for over a year. Going Off opens with “Breaking Up With My Meds,” outlining how she came into psychopharmacology and why she wanted to get out of it. Continue reading

Posted in Health, Media & Media Literacy, Medicine | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Bic celebrates Women’s Day by encouraging you to think like a man

Happy Women’s Day, South Africa! So, Bic is really bad at women. Last time, it was lady pens. This time, it’s an ad that encourages women to, among other things, “look like a girl” and “think like a man.” (#HappyWomensDay, y’all!) Continue reading

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Quick hit: New York magazine, Bill Cosby, and #TheEmptyChair

[Content note: sexual assault]

The current cover of New York magazine is significant not just for who’s there — 35 of the women who have accused Bill Cosby of rape — but for who isn’t there — victims of sexual assault who are afraid or ashamed to come forward. Those individuals are represented by an empty chair, including those unspeaking individuals in the “unwelcome sisterhood” of Cosby’s alleged* victims. Continue reading

Posted in Celebrity, Entertainment, Media & Media Literacy, Popular Culture, Sexual Assault | Tagged | 9 Comments

Catholic bigots are not alone! in new coming-out video

As coming-out videos go, it’s a heartbreaker. It’s pretty moving. They’ve got the style right on: black and white, sentimental music, earnest testimonies delivered straight to the camera. A little bit of tearfulness at the back of the throat, because seriously, it’s hard to come out. It’s hard to be honest with people when you don’t know how they’re going to react, that they’re not going to judge you. It’s scary putting yourself out there and saying, “Listen, I trust you to take this part of me, this vulnerable piece of me that I’m putting in your hands, and still love me once you know the truth. The truth, that I am…

… A CATHOLIC WHO’S AGAINST SAME-SEX MARRIAGE.”

It’s a coming-out video from Catholics who are against same-sex marriage. Continue reading

Posted in GLBTQ, Media & Media Literacy, Religion | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Introducing Caitlyn Jenner

This week, Caitlyn Jenner made her public debut via a stunning, Annie Leibovitz-shot Vanity Fair cover and profile. “Call me Caitlyn.” Yes, ma’am. Continue reading

Posted in Celebrity, Media & Media Literacy, Popular Culture, Trans | 3 Comments

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