Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What the...Wednesday: The Boob as Stress Ball

It's another What the Wednesday, and I've been excited about my post today.  I'm all fired up!

This past Wednesday, I went to a showing of the film Miss Representation.  If you know me at all, then you know I get a little cray cray when it comes to the topic of women and girls and how the media represents us/markets to us.  Miss Representation offers some alarming insights about how the media impacts our culture's and society's views toward women.

This topic is especially near and dear to me, because I have three girls, who are already unwittingly receiving messages aimed at them by multi-million dollar marketing campaigns. Sometimes, I feel like I'm no match.

The film was not surprising, but it was still shocking.  For me, it wasn't really new information but what struck me was just the idea that even if I try to remove as many harmful media  messages as possible for my own kids, they still live in a world where gender inequity will affect the quality of their lives.

Women make up a disproportionate number of the world's poor, and earn less pay for equal work.
Women are disproportionately victims of physically and sexually violent crimes.    These are very real consequences for the low value we as a society place on women, women's bodies, and women's lives! We want to believe that the media's messages and our choices when it comes to entertainment have nothing to do with these alarming statistics but in my opinion, the media's messages both reflect and perpetuate our cultures views of women.   I'll talk more about that in later posts...

Anyway, surprisingly, I stumbled upon this week's WTW AT the showing of Miss Representation.  At the door to the event, there were different groups advertising their services.  One of the groups with a booth at the door thought that a film about how women and their bodies are used as commodities would be a good venue to use a boob as a marketing tool.  The boob is an inanimate object that the user can choose to grope at will.The boob is bizarrely chopped off of the body it is supposed to represent.  It's oddly round and pink, and it's a STRESS BALL!!!  The table display was a pyramid made of boob stress balls piled high. That's not disturbing at all.

Feeling stress?  Fondle a boob.    Hardly an appropriate message to send about breasts!!! What the...???

The back of the boob is even more disturbing, it says, "hearing women into being."  Last time I checked, I don't need this stress ball boob to "be." Also, I kid you not, Harper thought this was some form of food.  It does slightly resemble her food source, in fact. I gave it to her to see what she would do, she poked at it confused, and then placed it directly into her mouth!  With that in mind, I wrote an open letter to the geniuses who thought this was a good idea.

Dear Counseling Center,

I would never, ever go to you for help (and that's a shame because what if I could actually use counseling service?) because you think it is okay to fashion a stress ball after a boob for people to fondle.  This, for your information, is not what breasts are for.  

Thank You Ever So Much,

One Very Annoyed Woman

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