The FIFA World Cup is the largest sporting event in the world. The 32 best national male soccer teams compete, attracting an audience of more than 26 million people worldwide and costing billions of dollars every time it is staged. This time, the host country of the cup was Brazil, and advertisers and media outlets were happy to produce a variety of world-cup themed images in order to cash in on the soccer craze. Whether it’s beer, cars, lingerie, fast food or soft drinks, companies were eagerly drawing upon nationalist sentiments as well as staging their products within a Brazilian wonderland to attract millions of soccer fans to their brand.
These two strands – nationalist symbolism and the romanticization of Brazil as an exotic and beautiful playground – tie into another popular trope used in the World Cup imagery: that of the beautiful, scantly-clothed woman present merely as something to be looked at in order to complete the straight male soccer fans’ wet dream.
Russia’s Olympic team is trying to refute the stereotype that female athletes are “a mountain of muscle and manly figure,” but they’re doing it totally wrong. In a series of photos showing their female athletes in lingerie and revealing dresses, they’ve attempted to portray these women in a more “feminine” light.
(In other words, they’re trying to entice (male) fans to watch the games and attend the events. Blegh.)
Why do these women have to adhere to traditional ideals of femininity be considered “feminine”? Like Matt Essert said, “Isn’t it enough that they’re world-class athetes?”
-Katy (tweet me at @mamasgotchu)
According to the World Health Organization, violence against women can take many forms, including:
- sexual violence
- honor killings
- female genital mutilation
- forced and early marriages
- physical, sexual, or emotional abuse from intimate partners (most common)
"1 in 3 women will experience physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner at some point in her life."
Hello! The 18th of October is the first anniversary of the Twitter Youth Feminist Army. Help us celebrate by telling us about something amazing a self defining woman or girl has done this since TYFA began (18th of October). They can be from anywhere in the world and it can be anything you find amazing. Singers, athletes, politians, business women, teachers, activists, writers, artists, scientists, inventers, leaders or even your mum. One of these amazing girls or women will be tweeted out on the TYFA Twitter every 10 minutes on the 18th. Click on this link to tell us about your amazing lady .
SPARK girl Lili Evans (a.k.a. World Leader Lilipop of Twitter Youth Feminist Army) is hosting this awesome opportunity to celebrate a girl or woman in the world (from Hilary to your mom) who inspires you! And on October 18th, the 1st anniversary of TYFA, one of these amazing women will be tweeted out every 10 minutes. Claim a shout-out for an amazing girl or woman you admire!
There are also “catty” women who are considered petty, malicious, and aggressive, though also somewhat entertaining. Society enjoys pitting women against each other for the amusement of others (see: the majority of reality television) while also trivializing our anger. This is exemplified in the notion of the “bitch,” a word which nearly every single woman has heard aimed in her direction at least once, perhaps because one must only show the slightest expression of passion, anger, or discontent in order to be considered bitchy. As soon as she becomes indignant and raises her voice, a woman loses credibility because she’s considered annoying, whiny, high maintenance, or “nagging” (a nag is an old, tired horse).
Women are not a special interest group and fighting for the ability to live without violence is not a pet project.
One of the most unique, important things about SPARK is that we’re a movement by girls, for girls and girls’ allies. We center girls’ experiences and elevate girls’ voices because we know that “protecting them” from sexualization doesn’t work–we need to help girls develop their own strengths and speak out against the forces that harm them. Our SPARKteam is made up of engaged, passionate girls and young women who are building their own solutions and leading a movement against the sexualization, objectification, and violence against women present in the media. Wanna get on this team? Email Dana Hernandez, SPARKteam Coordinator. Wanna talk to one of our SPARKteam members for a story or media piece? Reach out here.
The Women’s Media Center invites girls from all over the United States, ages 14-22, to create a 1- 5 minute Girls’ State of the Union video in response to the President’s speech. Five finalists will be highlighted on the Women’s Media Center’s YouTube channel and a group of diverse and talented celebrity and new media influencer judges will choose the winner.
Like the President’s report, the Girls’ State of the Union will sum up the condition of the country—with special emphasis on the welfare of girls—and an outline of what the President’s legislative agenda and priorities for congress should be.
The winner, along with her parents or guardians, will be flown to Washington, DC to present her State of the Union report at the National Press Club in January.
Ever have a day where you’re just like “I really need to surround myself with media made by amazing women?” Us too, so here’s “Extraordinary Machine” by Fiona Apple.
Send us your favorite songs, books, TV shows, films, etc. helmed by women and let’s have a party!