Tell me what’s wrong with this PSA

Posted in Feminism, Misogyny by Dizzy on June 8, 2007

Or, more appropriately, what you think I think is wrong with this PSA:

I’ll give you 10 bucks, a cookie, and an ERA sticker if you get it right.


7 Responses

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  1. Congolia said, on June 7, 2007 at 6:27 am

    Is it the fact that her minister doesn’t appear from a misty cloud and protects her maidenhead with a large phallus-shaped sword?

    This PSA has been a sore spot with me and Advice Monkey for the last week or so. Good catch!

  2. baby221 said, on June 18, 2007 at 5:47 pm

    That it’s supercreepy? That it’s blatant and flagrant misuse of my given name?

    Or that possibly, it’s blaming the victim of harrassment for being harrassed?

    Ew. I saw a post of yours on my tag surfer (the male privilege checklist, yay!) so I thought I’d pop on over; I’m glad I did, but this was quite an introduction!

  3. Joseph Clyde Foster II said, on August 12, 2007 at 2:22 pm

    Right, ’cause we should totally be encouraging underage girls to blog about their tattoos and post pictures of their “whale tail” on myspace. I suppose you could argue that underage girls who don’t display themselves online probably suffer as much harassment because of the patriarchy, making this PSA moot. To parents, however, this is pretty well reinforcing what they should be telling their teenage daughters. Many if not most people are uncomfortable with sharing aspects of their intimacy with strangers, and young people can make innumerable mistakes in this regard. Myspace skin isn’t illicit illegal child pornography; that is, it’s not media taken of the subject without their express consent. To put it another way, putting sexy images of yourself on your myspace is inviting attention you may not want. No one’s placing blame on the girls for the attention of the skeevy old men but I am placing responsibility on the girl, as it’s A) her body B) her pictures of said body and C) her myspace. This isn’t a short skirt or a low-cut top. Chicken and the egg.

  4. Jim said, on August 14, 2007 at 7:01 am

    How ’bout “think before you gawk and harass,” or “she’s a person, not artwork.” Help me out here.

    Clearly it’s the kid’s fault that a bunch of horny perverts can’t keep their pants on.

    Folks are just clueless. The people doing the gawking and ‘bating should check themselves. That’s what’d really make the “Sara” safer. They need to recognize that they don’t have the “right” to be doing what they’re doing, because that’s a much bigger and more prevalent problem than captain three-name there was describing.

    I don’t buy into that “she was asking for it” horsesh!t anymore. It puts a band-aid on the real problem – a false sense of privilege.

  5. sabrina said, on August 21, 2007 at 7:32 am

    if you needed another example that the patriarchy exists….this is it!! even though it is clearly the men who are in the wrong we will not rectify this behavior. Instead, we will pass the blame onto the woman, i guess if she ended up getting raped by the freaking football coach it would be her fault too. Poor men can’t help themselves when you go around flashing your tatoos and such!!

  6. Jenn said, on August 29, 2007 at 7:27 pm

    Hey, I’m an antiporn feminist, but I’m also the mother of a teen (girl as it happens to be, but boy same thing). I think this uses how men really are to make teens aware of the risks of the net. A PSA showing an interview with a young man or woman and the interviewer saying “Hey- You’re Jacob [Sarah]- I read on your MySpace about stealing from your last job / getting coked up at a drug party / the many sex partners you’ve had / [insert your job offer preventing revelation here]- well of course there will be no job offer but can you score me some blow [cocaine]?” just would not hit home hard enough with teens now at risk of such net exhibitionism.

    Yet a PSA of a college admissions board doing the same thing might….

    Anyway I have to say, antiporn as I am, women who are porn stars or otherwise in the ‘public’ eye have offered a request for people to notice them. Yes they may have twisted bad reasons for doing so (or like this child not realize they are in the public eye) but we can not condemn men (and women) who stare at Janet Jackson or Madonna even when they are not on stage. If you do not want people to notice the color of your underwear keep it invisible. Sad that in truth so many might well want to stare if it were in view but I want my daughter to know that about men as well as the lesson about the net. I will show her this tomorrow and discuss it extensively.

  7. Nine Deuce said, on May 12, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    I heard the radio version of that commercial on Air America. I’m lazy, so I’ll paste what I had to say about it:

    I was in the shower listening to Air America the other day when I heard an ad that described the process by which photos are spread around the internet. It, like nearly every Ad Council project, was a seriously misguided and ham-fisted attempt at directing the behavior of teenagers who couldn’t give less of a fuck what the federal government thinks they ought to be doing with their weed or their digital cameras. The ad went on a progression from “here is one of your classmates downloading your racy spring break photo,” to “here is some asshole writing dirty comments about it,” to “here is your dad seeing it.” The whole ad was aimed at convincing girls not to post saucy photos of themselves on MySpace or Facebook. You know, because the problem in this scenario is the fact that the girl posted the photos on her homepage, not that her privacy has been violated or that she has been sexually harassed.

    The ad doesn’t say anything like, “Hey, asshole, don’t write gross shit about people’s photos on the internet.” Or, “Hey, fuck face, don’t spread around photos that aren’t your business to spread around.” Or, “Hey, missy, don’t let people take pictures of you without your clothes on. People who want to take or see naked pictures of you aren’t your friends, but rather are assholes who see women only as sexualized body parts.” Or, “If your photo gets passed around without your permission, you should get pissed and do something about it, like make a big deal out of how women and girls are being sexualized against their will and being openly sexually harassed online, then write a blog about it, write your senator about it, etc.”

    Instead, the message is, “The problem here isn’t that our culture treats women and girls like masturbatory tools, it’s that men can’t help themselves. They just have to degrade any female they can get a picture of, so it’s women’s responsibility to save these men from themselves by curtailing their own freedoms. You girls, if you should find yourselves victimized in such a way, ought to feel nothing but shame. Oh, and one more thing, your father owns your body until you get married, at which time the deed will be transferred to your husband. If he sees that his ownership has been compromised, he’ll be really, really disappointed in you. That’ll be all.”

    I suppose the fact that the Ad Council has missed the point isn’t a huge shock, what with the horrendously misguided “kid smokes weed and thus shoots self in face” or “kid smokes weed and then kills small girl on bike” ads that became complete jokes within moments of airing (and make even Reefer Madness look like a realistic depiction of the ills of pot smoking), but I’m unhappy to be confronted yet again with our society’s (and our government’s) tendency to blame women for the fact that our culture allows them to be routinely abused in such a manner.

    Did I get it right?

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