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Pink Politics

In the 2016, the Trump campaign accused Hillary Clinton of lacking “stamina,” being “nasty,not looking presidential, and stated that she was unable to “satisfy” her husband, and therefore would be unable to “satisfy” America.  Though an increasing number of Americans might say they are open to voting for a female president, it is inarguable that some of the anti Clinton rhetoric was rooted in sexism.

Last Week Tonight covered the UK Labour Party’s similarly sexist tropes relied upon in 2015.  Labour defended the pink minibus campaign and continue to be critiqued for sexism from within the party.

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Commercial Activism

A Pepsi ad featuring Kendall Jenner recently made it into the news:

The ad was widely met with derision.

This is not a new phenomena.  Imagery and ideas of rebellion have been used to sell products for decades.  Sites such as Jezebel, Sociological Images, and this blog have previously looked at this issue.  Following are some additional examples:

Black Women’s Hair

Our Eurocentric society has a strong bias against black women’s natural hair.  For black women in particular, hair can be tied to a sense of self.  Whether or not to wear hair natural is heavily politicized.  Only recently did the US Army loosen hair restrictions to include braids and twists.  It is unclear as to whether or not an employer can legally discriminate against natural hair.  Currently, some companies cite vague terminology in dress codes such as ‘professional’ or ‘clean cut.’

thesocietypages  image from The Society Pages

White women are particularly terrible on the issue of black women’s hair.  Not only do white women judge black women’s hair as less professional and attractive, but we have simultaneously culturally appropriated black women’s hair styles, such as re labeling cornrows ‘boxing braids’.  Recently, white women have even been featured in advertisements for natural hair products historically marketed towards black women, resulting in an online backlash and apology from at least one company.

black hair whiteimage from The Independent

Ethnographer Dr. Yaba Blay speaks more about the issue in Color Complex: Untangling Black Women’s Hair discussing politics around black hair.

Race on Kinder bars

The article “German Pegida row over non-white photos on Kinder bars” explores reactions to the change in Kinder chocolate packaging.  Some white people were infuriated, saying this was a case of political correctness gone amuck.  It had to be pointed out that the new young men represented on the chocolates were, in fact, Germany’s football team as children.  The article does not address how white people like to use people of color’s bodies for sports, music, or tourism but are not concerned with their safety or social inequality.

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Hot Lesbians

Though this clip is a little old, it still holds true.  Femme straight women experimenting with other femme straight women is a sexual turn on for heterosexual men.  However, if any of these descriptors is changed it is no longer ‘hot.’

More recently a Canadian oil group received backlash for using femme lesbians in an advertisement.

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Sharing the Second Shift

The second shift references that women face inequality in the home after facing it in their workplaces.  The relative amount of housework women do has gone down, but their share has remained significantly higher than men’s.   Data from the 2015 America Time Use Survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows men average 1 hour and 25 minutes per day of housework while women average 2 hours and 15 minutes.

In this commercial for laundry detergent from India, which has one of the largest gender housework gaps, a father promises to begin to “Share the Load.”  The commercial ends with the words “Why is laundry only a mother’s job?”