Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A Thick Slice of Feminism

Lately it seems to me that feminism has become a very popular trend for mainstream media. From brands to pop stars, everyone has something to say about feminism and what it means to them.

Well even in the year 2014 a lot of people are still left confused about what it really means to be a feminist (I'm  pretty sure these are the same people who think homosexuals choose to be gay and all African Americans are poor and illiterate, but that's a different topic for a different day). Does feminism mean that women hate men? Does it mean that women should be opening doors for men? Does it mean that women should shame another woman for the way she may choose to express her sexuality? No. In fact, during her TEDtalk presentation "We Should All be Feminist", Chimamada  Ngozi Adichie, author of Americanah, put it in very simple terms:
"Feminist: A person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes".

So now that we are all caught up let's get to the real issue. 

Anything you recieve from some one was created for you and given to you with a specific message and purpose behind it. The media is a platform or a tool used by corporations to communicate to consumers. Don't be fooled, I'm not just talking about big brands like Nike and Pepsi. Any person who has a public presence has the potential to become a corporation because the opportunity  for monetary gain is available. Corporations have one message for the consumer: buy our product because you need it and it's the best product for you.

Corporations know exactly who their consumer is. They know you! They know what you like and what you don't like. Some people might argue "Well I'm different. Corporations don't know me because I'm not like everyone else". I'm sorry to burst your bubble of bullshit but you are not as unique and different as you believe to be. You, in many different ways, share similar characteristics with other individuals. And when those characteristics are grouped together they create 'Target Markets'. Target markets help corporations design their message in a way that efficient and relatable to the consumer. 

What does this have to do with Feminism? Have you noticed that more and more commercials are promoting feminism or 'Girl power. Have you heard your favorite singer/celebrity use the term feminism to explain why he/she dresses or speaks or do certain things? Why is that? I can't give you the answer because I don't know. What I do know and what I have noticed is an increased dose of girl power being throw into my face. And what I do know is that at the end of these messages logos, brands, and products are being silently sold and dressed in ideals. I am all for girl power and I consider myself to be a feminist. What I encourage you to do is to simple ask "why?". The more you knowledge you have about a sitituation the better equipped you are to make a decision.

Okay, so what exactly am I saying here? Let's say I bake you a nice moist fluffy red velvet cake just the way you like it. I cut you a huge slice and wrap it up just for you. I even add extra icing on the side because I know how much you love icing. You get the slice of cake and you eat it and think "omg. This cake is amazing! It's everything red velet cake should be". Now you feel satisfied because you believe that you just had the best red velet cake in the world. And the next time you have a craving for red velet cake you're going to come running to me. What you don't know is that I used harmful food dyes and eggs that have be pre-exposed to chemicals. That extra icing on the side is just to distract you from the bullshit you've just consumed. Know who's making that red velet cake, and whats being used to make it, and why its being made for you.

Here are two ads that encourage girl power and feminism while silently selling you a product.

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