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Allow me to paraphrase Reggie from today’s class. His summarizing representation of “the butt” in African American communities was, needless to say, a bit humorous.

I am posting some of the visuals we referenced today in class after discussing hooks, “Selling Hot Pussy: Representations of Black Female Sexuality in the Cultural Marketplace” and Aubry, “The Butt: Its Politics, Its Profanity, Its Power.”

A picture of Saartjie Baartman (Sarah Bartman), The Hottentot Venus

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I am not going to post links here—you can run on your own Google search and find plenty on Bartman. Great possible Final Project topic.

Representations of “video vixens”

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And of course, Sir Mix-A-Lot:

All easy images and to find on your own but I wanted to start a blog post on this topic as I could see that many of you had more to say on the subject but we ran short of time. (As usual!) So here you go, folks. Have at it!

Gail Collins on The Colbert Report
Review (click on Colbert Nation for clip)

Colbert

What initially struck me when I saw this clip was the fact that this is one of the rare situations in which you find Stephen Colbert being careful about what he says—at least until he has felt around a little to see Gail Collins’ reactions to preliminary examination of her topic. I just wanted to make a chronological overview of what I thought throughout this video.

So I knew that Virginia Slims were cigarettes, but I actually searched for “Virginia Slim ads” to see exactly what Colbert was talking about and found a whole slough of ads with usually either the phrase, “You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby” or “It’s A Woman Thing”. These cigarettes’ marketing campaign centered completely around the advancement of the women’s movement?!? Where have I been??

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Next, I found it a little off-putting when he was like “I assume you want the ‘Ms.’…writing about the women’s movement”. While yes, it is more respectful to call a woman “Ms.”, I found the situation to be a tad awkward, which…I know this is Stephen Colbert we’re talking about, but his guest’s response, “you can call me Gail” as if to say “I do actually have a name…”, was a good one to highlight the fact that there may have been a hint of the “big scary feminist” image placed on her before she took the stage. I think that Collins did end the interview well saying that men and women will win the battle together, which helped to dispel that image of a man-hating feminist.

Moving on though, I’m not sure if Colbert was playing dumb just to bring up the question, but I guess it’s the women’s studies background in me that literally laughed the inquiry about the continued need for a women’s movement. I think that Collins brought up a good point about the fact that part of the reason women’s roles have changed is because modern families often require two wage earners in the household, but women still seem to be held responsible for the care of the children in addition to whatever job she may hold. Colbert cited this reasoning to be a matter of biology – production of breast milk. While his anecdotes were funny, there are clear ways around this such as breast pumps, day care, etc.

I don’t want to sound like I’m bashing Stephen Colbert, because I love his show. However, I do think that he often lacks in how well he depicts the messages his guests wish to send.

In honor of our reading for class on Tuesday, the Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions, Seneca Falls Convention of 1848, I thought I might post these shots my niece took when she visited me this past winter.  This is where the Declaration was first read and the first American Women’s Rights Convention was kicked off.  The shell of the building still stands on Main Street in Seneca Falls, not 20 miles from campus:

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