Blackspot

Girl Revolt

For our parents, liberation started with burning bras. What will it be for you?

In November, culture jammers everywhere will rupture consumer society. In seven nights of carnivalesque rebellion, teachers will join with punks, churchgoers with pranksters, and homeowners with hobos to shake the foundations of the global consumerist tyranny. But there is one group in particular that has the potential to spark widespread revolt.

Girls, females between the age of 13 and 19, are perhaps the most oppressed group in consumer society. As a previous generation of feminists made clear, Western culture is marked by widespread violence against women. And despite the media blackout, which continues to this day, most people know at least one female who has either developed an eating disorder or been sexually assaulted. I'll never forget my first-year orientation at Swarthmore: We were warned that nationwide the first six weeks of university are considered a "red zone" because rape is dangerously common.

The feminist critique is still valid but it must also go deeper. Even for girls who are spared the terrors of anorexia or rape, there is still the debilitating psychological war waged by advertising.

Consumerism is the new patriarchy. The beauty industry is the beast. Advertising constrains the horizon of female aspirations, gendering their dreams before they're hatched. Girls, even when they are still a fetus in the womb, are the target of an unrelenting image assault. Pretty little girls is what this society wants and it gets it through a flood of erotically charged marketing that propagandizes half the population, and their parents, to sexualize femininity at an early age. Of course, boys get the message too. But their assigned role is as the aggressor party. Girls, on the other hand, are told that weak and vulnerable is sexy.

But all this gives girls a tremendous power. Even the smallest tremors of rebellion can start an earthquake. Beginning now, and peaking in November, girls will revolt. Break the chains of advertising, overthrow the patriarchy of consumerism, blockade the libidinal economy. A week without makeup, stink bombs instead of perfume, public burnings of Cosmopolitan… any of these could be enough to start a chain reaction against consumer capitalism.

For our parents, liberation started with burning bras. What will it be for you?


Micah White is a contributing editor at Adbusters and an independent activist. He lives in Berkeley and is writing a book about the future of activism. www.micahmwhite.com or micah (at) adbusters.org

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100 comments on the article “Girl Revolt”

Displaying 71 - 80 of 100

Page 8 of 10

Invictus_88

Wow. Some real blinders coming through in the comments here.

First time I've seen this blog, and wow. The blog entry itself is pretty weak, but some of the comments are spectacular.

Invictus_88

Wow. Some real blinders coming through in the comments here.

First time I've seen this blog, and wow. The blog entry itself is pretty weak, but some of the comments are spectacular.

Anonymous

in case anyone out there was still wondering why feminists usually arent fond of men in discourse re: opression, it tends to be because of exactly this sort of stuff, where a bunch of dudes will try to shift the topic to What About Us. the way gender norms affect males certainly isnt anything to take lightly its probably a good idea for them to chill out for a bit and hear what women have to say.
or just be dismissive, privelege is kewl

(btw i disagree w the idea that men cant be feminists but dang)

Anonymous

in case anyone out there was still wondering why feminists usually arent fond of men in discourse re: opression, it tends to be because of exactly this sort of stuff, where a bunch of dudes will try to shift the topic to What About Us. the way gender norms affect males certainly isnt anything to take lightly its probably a good idea for them to chill out for a bit and hear what women have to say.
or just be dismissive, privelege is kewl

(btw i disagree w the idea that men cant be feminists but dang)

Kris W

Why would anyone want to be a bigot? Feminism is a female supremacist hate movement!

For the last 30-40 year's boy's, young men and grown men have been systematically oppressed and institutionally discriminated against.

I really don't care about feminist's complaints. Why should we be concerned with the welfare of the oppressor class?

An 8 year old boy hangs himself in a Texan school and it is swept under the rug. But when a 16 year old who was known to have mental issue's commits suicide it sparks great outrage and immediate legislative action?

And you say " chill out and listen to what women want", I r-e-a-l-l-y d-o-n-'t c-a-r-e. The time for "chilling out" and the time for mutual debate and compromise has long passed!

We demand justice, we demand that our oppressors pay for what they have done!

Kris W

Why would anyone want to be a bigot? Feminism is a female supremacist hate movement!

For the last 30-40 year's boy's, young men and grown men have been systematically oppressed and institutionally discriminated against.

I really don't care about feminist's complaints. Why should we be concerned with the welfare of the oppressor class?

An 8 year old boy hangs himself in a Texan school and it is swept under the rug. But when a 16 year old who was known to have mental issue's commits suicide it sparks great outrage and immediate legislative action?

And you say " chill out and listen to what women want", I r-e-a-l-l-y d-o-n-'t c-a-r-e. The time for "chilling out" and the time for mutual debate and compromise has long passed!

We demand justice, we demand that our oppressors pay for what they have done!

friends of Aris...

You pretty much got it right, call it what you want for us all feminism should be a dimension of humanism. We should see the oppression for what it is: a divisive tactic that pits us against each other in competition and takes the real issue of human oppression off the table. Nothing is more cruel, abhorrent, grotesque and unnatural than division of the sexes. Man and women human beings are beautiful creatures but united we're fucking gorgeous.

friends of Aris...

You pretty much got it right, call it what you want for us all feminism should be a dimension of humanism. We should see the oppression for what it is: a divisive tactic that pits us against each other in competition and takes the real issue of human oppression off the table. Nothing is more cruel, abhorrent, grotesque and unnatural than division of the sexes. Man and women human beings are beautiful creatures but united we're fucking gorgeous.

Anonymous

Holy fuck, I have never seen a more distorted, pathetic collective consciousness than that of the people commenting on this article.

Women are the new oppressors? Because feminist theory has sought to dissect hundreds of years of sexism?

Honestly, men and boys suffer from sexism too. I'm quite sure if our patriarchical status quo were abolished, then males in our culture wouldn't be fighting nail and tooth to measure up to some hypersexualized, brutish idea of what "masculine" is. Don't blame your penis insecurity on some ladies who want to expose some culturally ingrained myths. Blame it on the pressure to be a dominant male in a more equal society. If you can't get over yourself, maybe you deserve to be "oppressed". Because personal insecurities are definitely on the same level as systematic rape, domestic abuse, that lovely glass ceiling, the institutionalized objectification of the female body, etc.

Anonymous

Holy fuck, I have never seen a more distorted, pathetic collective consciousness than that of the people commenting on this article.

Women are the new oppressors? Because feminist theory has sought to dissect hundreds of years of sexism?

Honestly, men and boys suffer from sexism too. I'm quite sure if our patriarchical status quo were abolished, then males in our culture wouldn't be fighting nail and tooth to measure up to some hypersexualized, brutish idea of what "masculine" is. Don't blame your penis insecurity on some ladies who want to expose some culturally ingrained myths. Blame it on the pressure to be a dominant male in a more equal society. If you can't get over yourself, maybe you deserve to be "oppressed". Because personal insecurities are definitely on the same level as systematic rape, domestic abuse, that lovely glass ceiling, the institutionalized objectification of the female body, etc.

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