EvilSlutClique's picture

Summer's Eve Update: Fail to the V

Last week we posted about an offensive ad for Summer's Eve that featured Cleopatra.  It turns out that the ad was just one part of Summer's Eve's new "Hail to the V" campaign, which features a whole series of ads that are sexist, racist, and just generally horrible.

Fleet - the company that owns the Summer's Eve brand - has launched a new campaign to promote their Summer's Eve feminine hygiene products. Attempting to portray their products as empowering to women, the “Hail to the V" campaign includes a series of video advertisements with Black, Latina and Caucasian talking hands, representing vaginas, that speak in a very stereotypical manner. The Richards Group, the agency behind these ads, has dismissed the criticism that the ads are racist, stating that their “in house multi-cultural experts” approved the campaign.

There is also a video ad that features knights jousting and martial artists fighting, backed by a voiceover that claims “over the ages and throughout the world, men have fought for it, battled for it and even died for it”. The accompanying series of print ads claim that famous women in history would have used Summer's Eve products had they been available back then. An ad featuring Cleopatra refers to her vagina as her “most precious resource” while an ad featuring Helen of Troy suggests that the fall of Troy was due to “more than her face”.

Their "Hail to the V" is really "FAIL to the V". The entire campaign is overwhelmingly sexist and insulting to both genders, as it reduces women to a single body part – “the center of civilization” as one ad calls it – and implies that all men’s actions are based solely on their desire for it. It also perpetuates stereotypes about black and Latina women. Summer's Eve ads claim to be about empowerment, but they're really about selling women the idea that we need their (unnecessary and often unhealthy) products in order to "feel fresh".

We've started a change.org petition asking C.B. Fleet to pull this entire offensive campaign.  Please sign and join us in telling Summer's Eve to correct this Fail to the V.

Change.org: Tell Summer’s Eve to End its Sexist & Racist Ad Campaign “Hail to the V"

Alex Karydi's picture

Green Eyed Lesbian Monster: Jealousy in Lesbian Relationships

It is not love that is blind, but jealousy.

    By Lawrence Durrell

WATCH YOUTUBE VIDEO HERE 

When I was growing up my mother always told me, “Do not be jealous of others. Do not wish for what others have. Do not fight to possess and control someone, because in the end you will be alone as nothing belongings to us but is merely an experience.” She was a wise Buddhist that attempted to sooth a young adolescents’ tantrums of wants that weren’t fulfilled.

It is true today, that I rarely feel jealous or envy, which I account for my upbringing and the love I was given as a child. Therefore, in the spirit of my mom I would like to pass on a footnote of knowledge hopefully, lightening up the weight of those emotions that have a hunger for our soul: jealous, anger and envy.

arvan's picture

[video] The Perfect Vagina

An interesting documentary on women's reflections, considerations and expressions on the physical shape of their vaginas

 

The perfect vagina from heather leach on Vimeo.

SmartAss Politics, I Have Them: Fathood

As I was writing about my politics as one piece, I noticed that it grew pretty big very quickly. I am breaking it down into parts, which will hopefully be less irritating, and allow me to explore each piece a little more coherently. I started writing about the politics of fathood a while ago, in response to someone being Wrong on the Internet. The timing of that incident has long past, but my views are still the same. So, come, and share them with me!

EvilSlutClique's picture

Would Cleopatra Have Used Summer's Eve?

In a refreshing change of pace for us, the most offensive thing in the August issue of Cosmo had nothing to do with the actual content of the magazine. That honor goes to a Summer's Eve ad that declares that Cleopatra would have been a big fan of their 'feminine hygiene' products. Let's break it down.

Cleopatra used sea kelp, goat's milk, and rosemary leaves. Life's hard even for a beautiful young pharaoh. Famine. Droughts. Marriage with a younger brother.

Yeah, you know how it is. Droughts, famines. Had to marry her brother, that must have been a bummer, am I right? At this point I was thinking that they had to be kidding, because nobody could possibly think this this was a good description of Cleopatra or summary of the hardships that she faced in her life. Unfortunately for me, I tested that theory by reading the rest.

But Cleopatra still found the time to take care of her most precious resource. No, not the Nile. We're talking about her V.

That's right, everyone. You may have thought that Cleopatra's most precious "resource" was her intelligence, political acumen, courage, strength, or charisma. Nope, sorry folks, it's all about the ladybits. I also can't help but read between the lines here. By saying that her most precious resource was "her V", are they going for a 'magical wonderful essence of womanhood' sort of a thing...or just implying that she used sex to get what she wanted? Like I said, I'm sure I'm reading into this more than the brilliant ad agency who wrote it intended, but I think this whole concept is pretty weird.

You can bet she would have loved to have Summer's Eve Cleansing Wash and Cleansing Cloths back then. Specially formulated, they help get you fresh and keep you fresh all day long. Now, what queen doesn't love that?

Since Cleopatra lived in a totally different time and a different society with its own rules and practices regarding hygiene, I can bet that she wouldn't. (And of course even here in our own time, many experts consider most of Summer's Eve's products to be unnecessary or even unhealthy for women.) What are the rest of the ads in this campaign going to look like? Maybe we'll find out that Joan of Arc was more successful in battle when she felt fresh, or that Marie Curie totally would have endorsed Summer's Eve's special formulas. If you need to get in a time machine to create an imaginary celebrity spokesperson for your product, maybe it's time to rethink your ad campaign.

[Cross-posted from Evil Slutopia]

Alex Karydi's picture

A Lesbian Infatuation… or is it Love?

Therapist: “What brings you in today?”

Love Sick Lesbian (LSL): “I can’t take it anymore…I love her so much but she plays with my heart…”

Therapist: “Tell me more about this Love.”

LSL: “It has been going on for years and I don’t know how to get over it… I don’t know if this is love or an obsession… or am I just crazy?”

Therapist : “Maybe it’s all of the above… mixed in with a little Infatuation.”

LSL: “Help me. Can you please help me get over her?”

WATCH THE VIDEO 

Funny? It is not meant to be. Everyday I get at least one email from a woman sharing this exact thought process. She is telling me in great detail about a woman sometimes even more than one she cannot let go of and has been holding on for months if not years. It’s unimaginable the time and energy we put into our “unforgettable” loves. UNIMAGINABLE, not only in feelings and emotions but sometimes sacrificing other relationships with others and financial goals.

arvan's picture

Fault Lines - Outsourced: Clinical trials overseas

US Pharmaceutical companies have moved their operations overseas over the course of the past decade. Instead of testing trial medicines on Americans, more and more of these tests are being carried out on poor people in faraway places. Russia, China, Brazil, Poland, Uganda, and Romania are all hot spots for what is called clinical research or clinical trials. Now employing CROs—or Clinical Research Organizations—the industry is big business, worth as much as $30 billion US dollars today.

One country has experienced a boom like no other in this industry--India. Spoken English, an established medical infrastructure, welcome attitudes toward foreign industry and most importantly legions of poor, illiterate test subjects that are willing to try out new drugs have transformed the Indian landscape into a massive testing ground for pharmaceuticals. Fault Lines' Zeina Awad travels to India to see what the clinical research practices look like on the ground. What role are the US regulatory bodies playing in overseeing the trials? Are participants aware that they are taking part in a clinical trial? Is the testing being held up against international ethical standards?

http://english.aljazeera.net/programmes/faultlines/

Jaded's picture

Fostering Hospitable Silences

As a person who works with survivors/victims sexual and domestic abuse, I’m quite used to getting calls from people all over the city, most times it’s when I’m at the center — I talk to them and we assess the situation, whether the caller is in immediate danger or not – generally they want someone to listen to them. Very rarely do I get requests to meet up with people — which can be dangerous for both of us — but every time I’ve met someone, it’s only to have them rushing back in a maximum of twenty minutes, for the time-window their abusers leave them, where they have some amount of unaccounted time-slot is often very less. Last week I got a call from a woman living in South Bombay, in one of the most reputed neighbourhoods and she wanted to meet me to discuss long-term solutions (which the group I work with occasionally handles as well). She called me after midnight and I was set to meet her the next day, and she wanted to change the location for she wanted to remove all possible run-ins with anyone who may report back to her family — and every place I came up with her was unacceptable for her. “Barista?” “It’s too public”, “[x] book store?” “that’s hardly the place for polite conversation”, “[x] place?” “We aren’t supposed to talk about these things there” and both of us eventually burst out laughing at how absurd this conversation — both knew what we were going to discuss and there wasn’t even a single space we could discuss those things — and then we both fell silent. We need silence now. Right? To keep peace? To keep the surface calm?

I want to talk about this silence, this polite hospitable silence — often used as a conscious or otherwise decision to mask, hide, distract or forget altogether about the rough friction, of intersecting differences, that de-stabilise us, that move together to move any ‘safe’ or ‘home’ space. This silence shows up everywhere we construct spaces to be “homelike” — in  classrooms, in actual homes, in well-loved literature texts – and we learn to nurture them. Last month a student came out to me as queer and she waited till our last “official” class was over and then did she decide to tell me — and when I asked her why did she have to wait till it got over considering we’ve talked about just about everything, she explained that she didn’t want to “upset” the rhythm of the class. Alternatively, I should have asked her why was “keeping” the rhythm so important to her, but that time I was quiet, parsing what she’d just told me. In home spaces¹, it seems the general reaction is to secure and perpetuate a sense of a border or a territory, a line we must learn to never cross. Many times, between friends, in classes, whenever the talk goes to any “taboo” topic, immediately and inadvertently my voice softens itself and then I have to remember to revert back to my general tone and loudness — and these are spaces I generally feel comfortable in, a performed home of sorts, and yet this silence is always around.

Alex Karydi's picture

How Wet Is Too Wet?

As much as I love learning about the topics that I write about, I always find myself getting into trouble for voicing the information in my habitual dry, crude, straight to the point kind of way. So, don’t think this will be any different, because when it comes to vagina’s well I am going to tell you like it is, plus I love trouble

arvan's picture

Call for submissions: Anthology Of South Asian Queer Erotica

(h/t Gaysi)

Call for submissions: Anthology Of South Asian Queer Erotica [title forthcoming]
To be published by Tranquebar Press in 2012

The spaces for expressing queer concerns have increased across South Asia in the last decade. Much is being written about sexuality, rights and queer lives. Yet, in all of this, sex itself doesn’t get written about very much and there is a dearth of queer erotica from South Asia. Contemporary queer erotica with a South Asian focus would make these queer lives apparent in newer and compelling ways. This anthology is an attempt to present queer, sexual, regional literature that pleasures and satisfies. It is about queer sex lives, erotic experiences and passions. Queer in this anthology represents non-normative genders, sexualities, lives and perspectives. It aims to bring out voices that have been limited to smaller groups or never heard before.

What we want:

We want stories of queer love, lust and craving. Sex, however you may define it, should be a big part of the story. We want gender play, auto-eroticism, dark fantasies, monogamous and non-monogamous sex, stories of bondage, domination, sadism and masochism. We are looking for stories of deep passions, stories that complicate sex. We want stories of desire, fulfilled and unfulfilled. Stories that defy the gender binary. Stories of how you sexed up your aids and appliances. Stories on masturbation or the pleasures of paid sex. Stories of how you steamed up a bus ride, ended a clandestine affair or fucked with sex toys. Share with us stories that confront, redefine, dispute and reclaim what sex is. Let your stories queer erotica itself.
We invite you to write short stories with South Asian themes, characters and places reflected in them. We are looking for a wide expression of experiences across age, region, class, ability, gender and sexual identities. Stories can be fictional, semi-fictional and non-fiction, but we are not looking for academic or solely autobiographical writing on sexuality. Your stories will shatter the silences around queer erotic lives and encompass their diversities, so let us have them.

Who can write:

We want to foreground the queer voices of people living in or originally from South Asia. Queer includes but is not restricted to identities like lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender, intersex, hijra, kothi, questioning, genderqueer, genderfluid and pansexual. Authors do not necessarily have to identify with one or more of these identities but the stories they submit should reflect non-normative genders, sexualities, lives and perspectives.

How to submit:

- We are looking for short stories with a word limit of no less than 3000 words. We regret that we are unable to include poetry.
- All submissions should be in English. Translations from other languages are allowed as long as the author owns the rights to the translation as well.
- Please submit the story as an email attachment on a word document. Please include a title and word count.
- Do not include your name or any other identifiers in the word document. As we are using a blind submissions process, we will have to reject submissions that indicate the author’s identity in the body of the story.
- Authors will be informed whether their work is selected by mid-October. At that time, we will request you to provide a name under which you wish to be published and a short bio.
- All selected authors will receive a one-time payment. The copyright of the story will remain with the author.

The deadline for submission is 15th September 2011.

Send your stories to queerotic.stories@gmail.com

Now get writing about the kind of sex you have wanted to read about. And get us swooning!

About the editors:

Meenu is a queer feminist activist. She has been involved with issues of gender and sexuality through women’s rights organisations and autonomous collectives for the last six years. She lives in Delhi and is an avid reader of erotica.

Shruti is currently based in Bombay. In the last eight years, she has actively engaged with the women’s and queer movements in the country. Over the years, she has worked as a researcher, social worker and counsellor.

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