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.
In October 2015, mechanical engineering student Jared Mauldin sent a letter to the editor of his university’s student newspaper, addressed to the women in his engineering classes. Starting by saying that while he seeks to treat the women in his classes as peers, they are not in fact equal, not because of their ability or skills, but because of the systemic and institutionalized obstacles they face as women in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) fields. The letter is written from first person perspective, and illuminates the discrimination women face by describing it in terms of the often-unacknowledged privileges that men have in these same areas. For example, he explains the inequities by saying, “I did not, for example, grow up in a world that discouraged me from focusing on hard science. Nor did I live in a society that told me not to get dirty, or said I was bossy for exhibiting leadership skills…I was not bombarded by images and slogans telling me that my true worth was in how I look, and that I should abstain from certain activities because I might be thought too masculine….I have had no difficulty whatsoever with a boys club mentality, and I will not face added scrutiny or remarks of my being the ‘diversity hire.’ When I experience success the assumption of others will be that I earned it.” He closes by stating, “So, you and I cannot be equal. You have already conquered far more to be in this field than I will ever face.”
This is an ad for Tylenol-PM, a pain medication that is taken at night to help with sleep. The ad depicts the bare torsos of two men who are sharing the same bed. It implores potential buyers to not only think about how their pain is affecting their own sleep, but how it affects their partner's sleep as well: “His boyfriend’s backache is keeping him up.”