Wow. Double sexism, eh? Makes out women to all be thoughtless and in need of protection from the menz, and plays to the "men only want one thing" stereotype.Of course, STIs and unintended pregnancies are important topics to be discussed, but they can occur in all sorts of situations.Hmm. Good find. What were your first thoughts upon seeing this?
*Disease and child birth may follow*LOL!
Isn't it...sort of good advice though?Avoiding men that appear to want to take liberties with you is a good thing, right?Telling women not to believe men that say they HAVE to have sex...also a good thing?The language is dated, sure, but that's the message I got:"If a man seems only to want you for sex, and appears to pressure you into it, gtfo asap."
It reminds me of the Underpants Gnomes. Step one - autoriding with boys, step two - ???, step three - child birth!
Seriously? Nobody else at all read it like I did?
Yeah, if you view women as too dumb to make that distinction in the first place. It's paternalistic.
the advertisement is a well-meaning advice, reflecting the mores of the period. yes it is paternalistic. but how about maternal too? i am amazed that the poster has been interpreted as yet another sexist, patriarchal poster out there to demean women. i have been a long time reader of this blog in an attempt to find an outlet for my womanist ideas. however, the more i read, the more i see an endless amount of victimization politics. as a woman from india, there are similar advices when women travel alone. additionally, i would never advise someone to wear revealing clothes (a.k.a. too much cleavage, or thighs) in public. such clothes are appropriate in elite circles of big cities like Bombay or Delhi, or simply within the confines of homes. such advice is appropriate within the context. thus, fellow impersonators, my point is - CONTEXT matters. before rushing to judge something, please look at its context.
Thanks for the comment, lalita. I am glad you have been taking the time to read the blog for so long, and I am sorry to see that you feel that we are writing about "an endless amount of victimization politics." However, I do have to disagree with you about the idea of context. For example, this particular health warning is from 1920s America. 1920s America was absolutely different (in social norms, etc.) than 2000s America. But to think that just because something was from a different time, it is therefore excused of its sexism, makes not sense. Sexism is sexism, no matter what era we dress it up in. As I said in my first comment, this particular warning plays on some doubly sexist ideas of women needing to be warned and protected from men, and that men "only want one thing" which is sex. Those ideas are sexist no matter the presentation of them. These same topics could easily have been approached in a more neutral manner but they were not - hence them being especially problematic. As for other kinds of advice, especially when it comes to how women should dress or behave, that is in a sense victim blaming, whereas, if a woman is assaulted or harassed because she did not follow this advice, it's her own fault for being victimized. That is not okay in my book because it does not address the widespread problem that men are entitled to do as they please and women are the ones who have to modify their behavior. Such advice may seem good-intentioned, but it is merely reinforcing the idea that women will be victims if they are not careful to modify their behavior. The problem is that men are free to act without thinking of how their behavior may effect others.That's basically from an American perspective, which is pertinent to most of the writings we do on this blog and this post in particular, which is about an American health warning.Now you mentioned being from India. In that sense, context may be important because it is important to be aware of cultural differences in countries. I do not know much about India. I am having a difficult time, based solely on what you said in your comment, seeing why "such clothes are appropriate in elite circles of big cities like Bombay or Delhi." Is that your personal opinion or something more based in the culture of India?
such advice is not about women needing to modify their behavior. it is common sense depending the context; of course, such advice pertaining to the US would be viewed differently. and no, there is nowhere i have advocated women-blaming. the reality is - if you dress certain clothes - you WILL get stared at, and possibly harassed. there are a multitude of reasons why such happen, but i speak from experience and from where i have lived. of course, men should also change their attitudes, and there are advices pertaining to that too. additionally, it is also NOT okay for men to be showing too much skin. that advice also applies to men. Just because there are advices about taking precautions on how a woman dresses does not mean that a women is to be blamed if she gets harassed. it is about taking precautions - knowing your culture, your surroundings, and the expectations. by the way, i do not feel victimized because of certain mores that my 'culture' reinforces (i put 'culture' in apostrophes because india has too many cultures, thus, what one region expects can be completely different from what another region expects). it is very easy to assume that a woman's experiences are universal. it isn't. that is one big mistake that "Western" feminist movements have made. and about certain dress styles being appropriate in elite circles (such as high-end parties, clubs, shows, and restaurants), that reflects cultural attitudes, not my personal opinion. it reflects the cultural attitude of "wearing this heavy-cleavage-showing dress makes me look more Western (a.k.a. 'modern') and thus, more 'sophisticated'". lastly, i agree that perhaps, the poster could be more neutral in its approach.
@lalita:the reality is - if you dress certain clothes - you WILL get stared at, and possibly harassed.When you say things like that my first response is that if the likelihood is that a woman will be "stared at, and possibly harassed," we shouldn't be focusing on how women behave, but how the people (typically men) staring and harassing behave. I say this because I believe in the ultimate goal of ridding the world of harassment and other problems. But of course, in the meantime, perhaps women should be careful about how they present themselves, but instead of making that the focus of our conversations, I feel as if we should be addressing the problem (male privilege) instead of the symptoms (harassment, etc.).of course, men should also change their attitudes, and there are advices pertaining to that too. additionally, it is also NOT okay for men to be showing too much skin. that advice also applies to men.Again, at least in my personal experience (which is the only thing I am really an expert on), the discussions of men changing their attitudes is limited, and that is part of the continuing problem. And in my experience, men are not so often instructed by society in the proper way to present themselves in public. That seems to be mainly a concern of women, who are often targets of acts that make it imperative for them to take care with their presentation. This may be a difference in our experiences, and that's perfectly fine, but that's where I'm coming from.it is very easy to assume that a woman's experiences are universal. it isn't. that is one big mistake that "Western" feminist movements have made.If this is in reference to something I have said, I offer my apologies. I tried to be clear that I was speaking from an American perspective about an American advertisement. Generally when I comment on things on this blog (either in comment threads or in blog posts) I do my best to not make generalizations because I know that I speak from a very particular perspective - and I welcome all voices who differ from my own. But I will be careful about this concern in the future.
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