Saturday, September 21, 2013

From VD to Miley: A Generation of Women as Dirty Objects

Talking about how women are represented in media seems to be a popular pastime on the interwebs. I'm not at all convinced that this chatter has in any way been a significant and effective intervention to change the ways in which we perceive, talk about, and represent women's bodies.

I'm including some of the more colorful World War II era venereal disease posters that sought to reduce sexually transmitted illnesses through the depiction of women as dirty vectors of disease and depravity. Compare that with commentary at the FCC about Miley Cyrus' performance on the Video Music Awards. Despite your feelings about the value and quality of her particular performance, note these observations about women, their value, and our cultural expectations.

Have things changed from these vintage VD posters?

Have any of us changed?

  • "Had I wanted my family to see a hooker perform a live sex show, I would have taken her to Tijuana. The opening...was disturbing enough, but once the little whore started simulated masturbation and intercourse..." (read more)
  • "My daughter was even surprised of Slutty Cyrus, shame on MTV for allowing that kind of TRASH along with the tasteless condom commercial after every break." (read more)
  • "She was dress (sic) like a whore." (read more)
  • "She has shown that she is acting like a devil flicking that tongue as deamons (sic) do." (read more)

And some more vintage images depicting our collective thoughts about women.

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