Tag Archives: Capitalism

#ThisGirlCan have forreals feminist adverts

31 Jan

When Daisy first showed me this ad at my school feminist society, I almost cried. I think this might be the first truly feminist advert Ive ever seen.

In case you don’t know, #ThisGirlCan is an advert by Sport England on TV as well as a poster campaign to encourage girls to do more sport. I adore it so much because it actually promotes sport for girls in a healthy way. There is no mention of weight loss, in fact there was even some diversity in size (although no one who was “too” big. Let’s not get carried away, this is the fatphobic patriarchy after all), women of different colours and ages were shown having fun exercising as a hobby instead of the usual, suffering in the pursuit of the elusive (because it doesn’t exist) perfect body shape, promoting the Pain is Beauty narrative which justifies so much social and emotional violence against women (a.k.a. diet culture) in the name of “health”. The ad shows exercise as something positive in itself, not because it makes a company money, makes you more attractive or thinner, but because it might be enjoyable and make you happy. Full stop.

“Woah” I hear you say “something encouraging women to do sport by not fat-shaming them, profiting off their insecurities, pushing unhealthy diets PLUS showing a reasonably diverse range of women? This must be a hoax”. Now normally I would agree with you, it seems after some thorough googling that this is not a drill however #ThisGirlCan is by no means perfect. Some of the camera angles were *ahem* interesting (read: weirdly sexualising) and there wasn’t brilliant representation of of women with disabilities or older women either but all in all, I’ve definitely seen worse.

As far as I can tell, what sets this #ThisGirlCan apart from the usual “eat my product or no one will love you because you will be fat and ugly” or “give me all your money to join this gym and you too will be able to miraculously run a 10k with perfect hair, no sweat and be 7 sizes thinner” kind of ads usually associated with selling women a healthy lifestyle is precisely the fact that it is not trying to sell women a healthy lifestyle. If we look at some of adverts that have been trumpeted as a revelation and totally feminist for example Dove, Special K or CoverGirl no matter what the adverts say, no matter what stereotype they subvert and no matter what kind of diversity of female images they show, they all have one thing in common; their purpose.

Their purpose is to sell, snatch your money, do anything to get you to buy their product and everything else is just marketing strategy. Empowering women is not their aim and they do not give a damn about women, it’s not what they get paid for because, have no doubt, its all about making a profit. If these feminist ads like #GirlsCan (CoverGirl), Potty-Mouth Princess’ (FKH8) #LikeAGirl (Always) didn’t make companies money then they would give up and try a new strategy. A good example of this is Dove, in the West Dove says “Love the Skin You’re In” but all over Asia they sell dangerous skin bleaching products taking advantage of endemic shadeism that they encourage.

#ThisGirlCan is not from a company seeking to make money though, Sport England is a charity and at complete odds to previously talked about ads, the main purpose of #ThisGirlCan is female empowerment and women taking on a genuinely healthy lifestyle. This is the reason Sport England has been able to create one of the first sincerely feminist ads I have ever seen.

Capitol Cuties

24 Dec

This is Lilipop and recently I have been helping run ONE OF MY FAVE EVER campaigns with SPARK called Capitol Cuties. It is kind of parody of the Covergirl Capitol Collection because it is so unbelievable ironic and has zero self-awareness. You can read about it here! . There have been A LOT of criticism of the problem because there seems to have been a bit of a misunderstanding of our campaign. We are makin fun of the company Lionsgate, not the people who are wearing the Capitol Collection! Lionsgate is a massive company taking advantage of people they are aggressively advertising towards. It is the corporation making and pushing these products, twisting and suppressing the true message of The Hunger Games to make a profit. It makes me sick.

The new Catching Fire film has been the cataclysm for a lot of activism around classism/capitalism because it is all pretty much bullshit but the film really put it into the forefront of public discussion. The Harry Potter Alliance has started two campaigns, We Are The Districts and Odds In Our Favor. These are kind of the opposite to our campaign, they are framing the ordinary citizens of America as people from the Districts and the super-rich of America as the Capitol to highlight wealth inequality in America. They made this video to explain their campaign: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=BmVJaBuoEYA

In the spirit of Capitol Cuties, we decided we would re-blog their video on Tumblr but with our own “Capitol Critique” if you will of their video. I have got to say it is probably the best thing ever in the world. You can read it here.

I wrote the first draft of the critique, based on this speech by David “spoilt fucking Eton tory” Cameron about Welfare reform (not sure if a trigger warning is appropriate here but watching this video really upset me and I was crying for like and hour so here is a warning anyway: this video is really upsetting and contains unrestrained ignorance in power) here if you want to watch. I was very very proud of the draft I wrote so here it is!

 

So a few of you have already seen this video and I think we can all agree that these whiners just need to get a move on and stop complaining. I mean, if they hate being poor and this “inequality” thing then why don’t they just get rich? You just have to want it hard enough and work at it. My father didn’t get all his money just by sitting around complaining, as a Gamemaker he has to work sometimes up to 35 hours a week! You don’t get to the top without some hard work. These shirkers should just shut up and get on with it. You see all those sweet little guys working in the districts on TV, they never complain because they know that they are working for a higher cause, to bring prosperity and innovation to the great nation of Panem! Not to mention the cute kids that are on The Hunger Games (my fave show lol). Speaking of The Hunger Games, how can you say that the Capitol is so bad and shit when President Snow generously gives all these prizes and fame to the Victors, I mean come on, that is really nice of him. The Games are a necessary part of what brings us together as a country, they are an annual reminder to us all of the horrific things that would have been happening now if The Revolution had been successful. We saved the districts from the Rebels, support them through thick and thin and this is how they repay us? Truly they should be ashamed.

People say we don’t care but I really think the tough approach is best or these lazy protesters won’t ever learn. My father introduced me to Minister Flamsteed at the club and he told me about all his hard work, he started importing coal from District 12 when he was just SIXTEEN. If you want to get ahead, that’s what you have to do–build a good work ethic and start young. Really it isn’t even that much of a tough approach, look at all the charity and fair trade work that goes on nowadays. Even my mascara is ethically sourced for Godess’ sake. We have given the Districts it too good for too long and now they are getting complacent; we have papered over the cracks, subsiding the farms for too long now. The compassionate thing to do is to take a hard line approach to ensure that the people of the Districts all know the satisfaction of a full days work, then they will understand that complaining is just selfish. They should be thinking of the greater good and what they can do for Panem, not what Panem can do for them.

WE JUST CARE SOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH

13 Oct

This is Lilipop and today I wanted to talk a bit about tokenising of women and women based campaigns because I think it a thing that happens a lot without us even realising it. I thought it would be particularly relevant because this is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and there has been a lot of prominent tokenising recently, not just of breast cancer, and I think we need to recognise it. Breast cancer and Malala Yousafzai are two perfect examples of how our patriarchal, capitalist society tokenises, particularly, women and women’s campaigns. Both get incredible amounts of media coverage and public sympathy, the news and internet has been full of breast cancer awareness campaigns like “Save the Tata’s” and people talking about just how amaaaaaaazing and inspirational Malala Yousafzai is but what are we actually doing about either of these?

Although breast cancer is of course a very serious disease and I send all of my best wishes to anyone suffering with it, how is “raising awareness” of an extremely well known and publicised disease actually helping people who suffer breast cancer? And may I just say, “Save the Tata’s”?? I THINK WE SHOULD BE MORE WORRIED ABOUT THE PEOPLE NOT THE BOOBS and what kind of word is tata anyway. This reminds me a lot of when Angelina Jolie very bravely got a double mastectomy because of her very high risk of breast cancer, which is a thing many women have to go through and it was great to see a celebrity talking about it publicly however then the vulture misogynist descended. People were mourning the lose of her boobs and saying how they think she is selfish for “taking her boobs away from them” – I’m sorry what? I was under the impression that women are actually people and we should be worried about saving them rather than the lumps of fat on their chests? Also for fucks sake, those are Angelina’s boobs to do whatever the fuck she wants with them, it is none of your fucking business what she does with them, they are not yours to admire so shut up. We make such a song and a dance about raising awareness for breast cancer but wearing pink for a day or not wearing a bra for a day does not actually do anything for people with breast cancer. We tokenise breast cancer as this women’s disease and all the campaigns and ads and (capitalist, profitmaking) charity to make ourselves feel better like “look at what we are doing for all these poor poor women folk who need our help, aren’t we great” but actually the survival rate for breast cancer is actually 90% which is exceptionally high but the next most common cancer in women, lung cancer, is almost completely ignored. Lung cancer has a 16% survival rate which means that an estimated 95 people a day die from lung cancer a day compared to the 32 from breast cancer. It is awful that anyone is dying from these disease but tokenising them with pointless campaigns and universal media coverage to make ourselves feel better that we are doing something to help them, is not actually helping anyone.

Something similar can be said about Malala Yousafzai’s campaign for education for girls in Pakistan. Malala is an amazing girl and the work that she and hundreds of other girls around the region is invaluable. The work Malala has done is freaking amazing but the way we in the west are treating her and marketing her to a western audience is sickening. We are making her into this symbol, celebrity almost. As a she is a Girl of Colour, our society is used to hyper-objectifying her. We listen to her speeches, read about what she is doing, our politians and media outlets hold her up as a hero but, again, what are we actually doing to help? Nothing. In fact we are doing something much much worse than nothing, we are sending drones, bombs and violence over there that not only actively stops girls going to school because it is dangerous but it kills them as well. We are holding Malala and her work up on a pedestal, patting our selves on the back for saving the poor little girl from her terrible terrible life. We ignore all of the other girls that are just as radical and brilliant as Malala who are also campaigning for education, as well as a myriad of other things like child marriage, childbirth mortality rate, crippling poverty and corruption. We already have our trophy girl, Malala, to CARE SOOOOOOOO FUCKING MUCH about and make us feel fab about ourselves so why should we give a shit about the other stuff? I can just see the Malala merchandise now.

I would like to stress that I think Malala is amazing and breast cancer is definitely a worthy cause to support but I just hate the way that they are tokenised and held up by our media and politicians to make us feel good about ourselves. The way that our society markets both of these makes me feel sick and especially the way people are capitalise on causes such as these. The point I’m trying to get across is that these things should not be taken in isolation, and that to fully help people with breast cancer, or people who are suffering from the war in Pakistan, we must not ignore the wider issues and take these ‘trendy’ people as tokens for the much wider struggle. People are getting shit even when it’s not fashionable, shock horror!

A good link: cancer is not sexy

Capitalism, can you not.

11 Sep

A bit of a rant about capitalism from Lilipop. I didn’t even spell check so sorry for mistake and I would just like to emphasise this is not meant to make any sense!

I don’t even think I can fucking live in a capitalist society any more. My entire worth, the only thing that is valuable about a person is their earning potential. FUCKING PRIVITISATION. Our system is being Americanised faster than anyone realises but WHY. Its not like the American system is working in America, more children are living on or below the poverty line each year, politians think that’s its fine and dandy to leave people starving on the streets (“They have the choice of paying for their own houses food and medical care” go fuck yourself) social mobility is a fucking joke. We have this idea in the UK of the US as a shining golden meritocracy lolz no. Privatisation just means more and more and more and more money stagnating at the top 0.01% of the super rich elite. Productivity is soaring, record highs, however wages are plummeting in real terms! I don’t even know if I believe in wage labour and to be honest I don’t really know that much about all the socialist communist anarchist stuff but I know that when it is even a debatable topic for people to not have basic food and housing THERE IS A FUCKING PROBLEM. I just don’t understand, I really really don’t. HOW WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY do people think that it is acceptable for people in as developed countries as the UK and US to not have medical care? Oh and another thing. People, they are privatising our legal system. This means we are just going to have some kind of factory justice system. People wont get to choose who represents them in court and as legal aid is being slashed to a REDICULOUS degree a lot of the time people wont have any legal aid. And again, people are living without medical care and it is somehow a debatable topic???

This is in no way comprehensible and I am not an expert on any of this but I don’t think I can deal for another minute without crying so this.

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