December 20, 2005

TLG MAIL BAG

Kevin Erickson of Walla Walla writes in psuedo-defense of Jars of Clay: "I am actually writing my undergraduate thesis on this ridiculous evangelical christian magazine called RELEVANT, to which the Jars of Clay singer contributes a column, and I was surprised to find that they are totally rad people, like constantly lecturing the fundies about how they shouldn't be so homophobic and self-righteous and how they should care more about the AIDS epidemic and poverty. I can't say anything about their music because I haven't heard it in years but they were one of the first concerts I went to, 10 years ago, with my mom. And really, they were doing the whispery-voiced sensitive christian boy thing long before Sufjan"

Kevin's blog is called Holy Moly, where part of this thesis is posted.

Marius Kaiser of Germany writes with a rhetorical quandry about American Apparel's holiday ad campaign: "The perfect state of affairs should be: (sexual) equality. A society in which everyone feels like they are being appreciated on their merits of being a human not on sex, skin colour, etc. Surely, in such an equal society, such an add as the AA one would pass, right? A female, white ass is, after all, just as stuffable as any other ass or orfice or thing and stuffable by anything. It would be neutral. Truth is of course right now it is the "white, female ass" that is being stuffed and that is a sexist negative portrayal of the female gender. Now, how do we go about establishing this "equality" mentioned above where a female white ass is just one of so many things that can be stuffed?"

Tiny Lucky Responds
This is a good question. If people of all races and genders were presented equally in ads as "stuffable" (or even as attractive) then the American Apparel "Stuff This" ads (and/or if we existed in a paralell dimension where all things are just,) it would be a non-issue. We would have to suppose, then, for the evening of the playing field: total sexualization and exploitation of all people equally in all advertising--in regards to BOTH the advertising image and also the exploitation of the desire of the person being advertised to. That seems kind of over the top and apocolyptic, but it might also being kind of pleasant. Could we rearrange our desires, or our consumer DNA to handle hairy, shirtless, underweight 37 year old Puerto Rican dudes being presented with the same assumed sexual force as young svelte white women are, on billboards or in print campaigns? Or 70 year old asian women being marketed as "stuffable"?

Creating that alternate, utopian landscape may, for now, be a matter of resisting, on a personal day-by-day basis. Not accepting advertising that sells girlbodies, white dominion and affluence, and keeping that resistance vigilant. I do not know so much about what the more active change-point might be to getting all people equally sexualized and marketed to on a larger scale. Suggestions?

Thanks for writing,
JH

Posted by Jessica at December 20, 2005 02:57 PM | TrackBack