In this print ad for the US cotton industry, a woman carrying shopping bags is walking down a city street. The text above her reads, “I shop therefore I am.” The quote is attributed to “Mrs. Descartes.” This is a reference to 17th century French philosopher René Descartes, who is best known for the Latin statement “Cogito ergo sum,” which is translated in English as, “I think therefore I am.” Note that in reality, Descartes was never married.
This video is part of the #CoverTheAthlete campaign which aims to highlight and change the biased questioning, commentary, and media coverage of female athletes, which tends to trivialize their accomplishments and focus on their looks. The video features male athletes responding negatively to being asked the same kinds of sexist interview questions that female athletes frequently face, such as questions about appearance, hair styles, weight gain, dating and love life, and being asked to show off their outfit. The video states “Male sports coverage would never sound like this. How come female coverage does?,” and ends with a clip of 20 year-old Canadian tennis player Eugenie Bouchard at the 2015 Australian Open, where a male reporter, Ian Cohen, said, “Can you give us a twirl and tell us about your outfit?” The video ends with the words, “Ask the media to #CoverTheAthlete.”
This 2015 video shows writer, producer, and comedian Akilah Hughes responding to popular cultural critiques of how women speak, including vocal fry, uptalk, and saying “sorry” and “just.” The satirical video is presented as a newscast in a segment called, “This Shouldn’t Be News,” and Akilah Hughes takes us through a series of ways that women’s speaking patterns are scrutinized, sometimes publically by prominent, influential, successful women, and how this scrutiny and policing does not apply to men’s speaking patterns. She closes the segment by talking about gender income inequality, the historic and systemic privileging of men in corporate culture, and how women are graduating college at a higher rate.
This “Real Dad Moments” commercial was produced by Dove for Father’s Day 2014. The ad features a montage of children saying “dad” with varied emotions and contexts. Frequently, the calls for dad are accompanied by a father taking care of the child and helping or playing with them. Dove conducted a survey before the ad that found “three quarters of dads say they are responsible for their child's emotional well-being, while only 20% of dads see this role reflected in media.” Dove’s research team also found through surveys that “90% of men around the world say that their caring side is part of their masculinity and strength.” Dove goes on to justify the creation of the ad by stating “it's time to acknowledge the caring moments of fatherhood that often go overlooked.” The ad was launched with a hashtag campaign where Dove encouraged viewers to use the tag #RealDadMoments and #RealStrength to share memories of their father on social media after the ad was shown.
Created by activist for-profit T-shirt company FCKH8.com, “Potty-Mouthed Princesses Drop F-Bombs for Feminism” is a video featuring young girls assertively challenging gender inequality and stereotypes while wearing tiaras and princess dresses. The video begins by showing young girls upholding stereotypical visions of girlhood in tiaras and princess dresses as they say "pretty." The video quickly takes a sharp and explicit turn as one of the girls deflates the stereotype, cliaming, “What the fuck? I’m not a pretty fuckin’ helpless princess in distress.” The other girls join her to fight back against gender stereotypes, asking viewers to consider what is truly offensive--their language or the range of political and social inequities women face daily (the pay gap, sexual harassment and assault, slut shaming, beauty standards, etc.). The girls continually “drop the F-bomb” and use other strong language as they give these facts about inequality. The video ends with two adult women wearing the FCKH8 t-shirts (for sale for $15), who make light of the girls' language and ask us to focus instead on the sexism that women still face.