Billboard demonstrating gender stereotypes as most people automatically assume that Alex is the boy.
Actually, I’ve studied design and advertising, and I can tell you that the reason people would look at this and immediately assume Alex is the boy is because, quite simply, the boy is the focal point of the ad.
English-speaking readers’ line of sight goes from left to right and up to down. This ad leads the viewer from the words MEET ALEX etc straight to the boy and then over and down to the girl. I didn’t even notice there was a set of parenthesis with words in them in the ad until I looked the fourth time.
This is a fallacious confirmation bias, as anyone looking at it will assume Alex is the focal point (i.e. The Boy) and then if they’re perceptive they’ll notice the words at the bottom. Aha! Those damn gender stereotypes gotcha again! Except no, because the ad literally forces you to read it as “Alex is the boy” by the visual language and lines of sight.
A better ad would have been structured from top to bottom instead of left to right, and wouldn’t have pushed the girl, the real subject of the ad (who, by the way, has been VISUALLY PUSHED OUT OF HER RIGHTFUL SPACE ON THE AD BY HER BROTHER) off to the corner as far away from her identifiers as possible.
Here, I’ll make you a better ad.
Bam. Shitty stock photo but you get the point. If anyone sees this and assumes Alex is the boy, they don’t have the the ad layout to use as an excuse for their internalized gender shittery. Likewise, the ad isn’t actively trying to make you read it a certain way and THEN making you feel guilty for interpreting it the way they designed it to be.
With all the heat Anita Sarkeesian gets for her Tropes series, you’d think it was a new topic, but Gene Siskel & Roger Ebert had a discussion on a similar theme when they were talking about the influx of slasher movies on their show in 1980.
34 years later and this is STILL relevant
RIP to both of these great men.
WHY BIG SUPERHERO MUSCLES AREN’T ‘THE SAME THING’ AS SEXY CURVES
As a man who reads superhero comics, I confess that I share a commonly-held prurient interest in big-chested, long-legged heroes in skin-baring costumes that barely cover their naughty bits — or as I like to call him, Namor.
Sadly, Namor is pretty much alone in his category. Contrary to the perception that male heroes in comics are frequently sexually objectified, it’s my experience that even Namor is only rarely presented as someone to lust over. Yet I’m fortunate that my tastes run towards the Hemsworth end of the scale. Like many straight men, I admire the kind of buff dudes that are the staple of superhero comics, even though they are rarely sexualized. If I shared the tastes of most of the women I know, I think I’d find superhero comics an even more frustratingly sexless wasteland.
Big muscles are a male fantasy. That’s not to say that women aren’t ever into them, but let’s face facts; women have never been the primary target audience for superhero comics, and male heroes are drawn with big muscles anyway. Make no mistake; women are there. But those big muscles are not there for women. They’re there for men; straight men who find male power exhilarating. If women didn’t exist, superheroes would be drawn just as buff as they are today — because as far as most superhero comics are concerned, women as consumers do not exist.
Yet I’ve seen it said more times than I can count that male heroes are objectified, sexualized, idealized, just the same as the women — because they’re big and ripped and dressed in tight costumes. It’s an idea that’s completely tied up in the narcissistic notion that androphile women are attracted to the same qualities that men find appealing.
Talk to a few women, and you’ll find that’s broadly untrue.
"its not fair girls can wear pants and guys cant wear dresses" stfu yes you can. go to jc pennys. buy a cute dress. wear the dress. if anyone says you cant wear the dress. slay them.congratulations you are wearing a dress
the best part is that this argument is used by guys to try and prevent girls wearing trousers, but who is preventing men from wearing dresses? is it women? oh wait no it’s men and the patriarchy, fucking again.
Read them all here, I felt like this should be remembered somewhere because it’s really good.
If you try to tell me the Hunger Games isn’t good enough to go toe-to-toe with shit like 1984, Lord of the Flies, and Farenheit 451 then we are gonna have to throw the fuck down
has anyone posted this yet? I love it!
This was perfect
A British one penny coin from 1903 defaced by the Suffragettes
Anonymous said: Are you going to use the answers for the girl thing for anything or is it just to help you think about something?
a lot of you asked for the “results” of this incredibly informal study (and holy shit, there were a lot of responses), so i’m compiling them generally here. some people asked not to be identified so i’m not identifying anyone.
cis girls said:
- they knew they were female because the label hasn’t ever felt uncomfortable— they hadn’t thought about it much, because they’ve never had to; it’s never felt wrong, so they haven’t really worried about it
- some said they really liked “femininity” and feminine presentation— however, a lot of these same cis girls also immediately said that they didn’t like saying that you had to be feminine to be female, and felt uncomfortable with that. (which i love u all for a lot.)
- the same thing happened wrt: bodies— a lot of girls said, “well, i feel female because i’m comfortable with x and y body parts”, and then immediately said “though i know having certain body parts doesn’t make you a particular gender, so idk.”
- cis girls said they identified automatically and strongly with female characters in media
- some cis girls said they identified strongly with the label “girl” because of the political baggage attached, which i thought was super interesting
- really, huge huge numbers of cis girls said “i know i’m female because feel a sense of community with other women”
- also super interesting: cis girls who said “if i had been assigned a different gender at birth, i honestly think i’d be totally comfortable identifying as that gender; since i was assigned female, i’m comfortable identifying as female”
- overall, it seemed like presenting as a girl and being called “she/her” made cis girls feel “comfortable, happy, and natural”— or, if not, it was important to cis girls to identify with the worldwide community of femaleness
from the genderqueer afab end:
- one person described it as “the label of ‘girl’ began to itch against my skin”, which i absolutely adored
- one person said that they realized they shouldn’t have to be working so hard to figure out how to be a girl
- a few people said that the body parts/presentation elements they have that identify them as “female” (long hair, breasts, etc) made them feel uncomfortable, and they were happier when those things weren’t clearly visible in their day-to-day gender presentation.
- one person said “i just decided that if i was so conflicted about being female, i probably wasn’t,” which i also adored
- and finally someone linked me to a fabulous “pronoun dressing room”, which is my new favorite thing ever
i did not get any responses from trans girls— if any of you wanna come and talk to me about your experience i would love to hear from youuuuu
When I was 8, I was confused about being called ‘bossy’ because I wanted to direct the plays that we would put on for our parents. But the boys were not. When at 14, I started to be sexualized by certain elements of the media, when at 15, my girlfriends started dropping out of their beloved sports teams, because they didn’t want to appear ‘muscle-y,’ when at 18, my males friends were unable to express their feelings, I decided that I was a feminist. And this seems uncomplicated to me. But my recent research has shown me that feminism has become an unpopular word.
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