At the age of 16, Karen Lum created, directed, and starred in this award-winning film about gender, race, and unrealistic beauty standards. She and William Tsang are featured visually portraying the spoken word poem written and performed by Adriel Luis, whose voice is heard throughout the video. The poem starts with a young man hitting on a young woman with several unsuccessful pickup lines, ultimately eliciting an unexpected response when he blurts out, “girl, what is your ethnic makeup?” Through artful word play with makeup words such as foundation, lipstick, and eye shadow, the poem and video tells the story about how she proceeds to educate him about topics such as the commodification of beauty, unrealistic and unattainable Anglicized beauty standards, how women are measured and valued for their appearance, and the importance of learning the histories of your people within social and historical context. The film was shot in 2005 in Lum’s hometown of Oakland, CA. The full text of the poem can be found here.
This clip is from the Associated Press coverage of the appointment of Justice Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court of the United States in 2009. She was the Court's first Hispanic justice and its third female justice. In one of the opening images, Justice Sotomayor is seen standing alongside President Obama and Vice President Biden at a podium, a moment that the narrator describes as "a picture of diversity." Sotomayor describes herself as "an ordinary person who has been blessed with extraordinary opportunities and experiences." The AP portrays reactions to the appointment as a mix of praise from "Hispanic groups" and criticism from "conservative groups." The role of Sotomayor's life experiences in her professional judgement is also evident in an excerpt of the president's remarks in which he refers to "the wisdom accumulated from an inspiring life's journey." Emphasizing the theme of ideological differences in the Supreme Court, reporter Julie Pace concludes the AP report by stating that "many on the left" hope Sotomayor will be a "counterpoint to the Court's conservatives."
This video shows a few excerpts from the television series Soul City, an "entertainment-education" campaign in South Africa that successfully stimulated a community response to the issue of domestic violence. Entertainment-education projects aim to promote positive (prosocial) messages by embedding them into commercially viable entertainment programming for radio and television. Within the plot of this particular show, whenever neighbors heard a wife being abused by her husband, they started banging their pots at their windows, thus calling attention to the incident and condemning it at the community level. The series was extremely popular in the country, and soon enough people began to emulate this behavior and take action to oppose real cases of domestic violence by loudly banging their pots in the neighborhood. Through the power of narrative, this entertainment-education campaign helped challenge the general attitude of social acceptance regarding domestic violence in South Africa.
Brooklyn-based painter and illustrator Tatyana Fazlalizadeh started street art project Stop Telling Women to Smile (STWTS) in 2012 to address gender-based street harassment. The project consists of a series of posters featuring hand-drawn portraits of women with messages or quotations from the women’s experiences of street harassment. Captions include messages such as “Stop telling women to smile,” “My outfit is not an invitation, “Women are not outside for your entertainment,” “I am not your geisha, china doll, Asian fetish,” “Do not touch my hair,” “You can keep your thoughts on my body to yourself,” and “Harassing women does not prove your masculinity.” These posters are put up in the neighborhoods and areas where the featured women frequently walk through, as well as in other prominent places throughout the city. STWTS has traveled to several cities in the U.S. and internationally.
This is a print ad for Summer’s Eve, which sells a range of feminine hygiene products. The tagline for the ad is “No one’s ever told you to ‘grow a pair.’” The phrase "grow a pair" refers literally to the testicles or balls, but more generally references the attributes and values associated with masculinity. When used derisively, it is an insult directed towards men who are behaving in an effeminate manner. The tagline suggests that women are empowered, because they are born with the innate courage that men must be socialized to learn. Summer’s Eve then suggests that women should take care of their ‘courageous’ vaginas with the advertised cleansing wipes.