Picture the two most varied images of women you can come up with and chances are they might coincide with two ad campaigns from Dutch multinational “Unilever”:http://www.unilever.com/. Over the past few years Unilever-owned “Dove”:http://www.dove.us/ has marketed themselves as a brand for “real women.” Their TV ads feature everyday women giving testimonials in favor of the soap company and its products. Off-screen Dove lives up to its image with the “Dove Self-Esteem Fund”:http://www.campaignforrealbeauty.com/, a non-profit subsidiary dedicated to being “an agent of change to educate and inspire girls on a wider definition of beauty and to make them feel more confident about themselves.” In short, Dove seems to be the perfect personal care company.
On the other side of Unilever’s gender coin is a different brand with a very different message. “Axe”:http://www.theaxeeffect.com/flash.html sells sex. They also sell body spray, deodorant and shower gels, but the biggest thing they sell is sex. Axe commercials set a whole new standard for female objectification by portraying women as nothing but walking playgrounds for men who get all randy at the very sniff of a boy wearing Axe, often stooping to animal stupidity to get there.
By pushing both campaigns, Unilever makes it very clear that they don’t really care about the issues. Good business is simply good marketing and as long as it sells, principle doesn’t seem to matter. Does this mean that feminists should stop buying Dove, or misogynists stop buying Axe? I don’t know, but it’s worth noting the hypocrisy in pushing both images.
In case you haven’t seen either ad campaign, I’ve embedded samples from YouTube below.
There are some strange things out there in the world–furries, aibo robot dog pets–but this is almost too much. “Honey Dolls”:http://www.honeydolls.jp/en/main.html sex dolls have taken the inflatable gag gift and turned it into a highly lifelike, modern sex platform. It’s the male answer to the Rascally Rabbit and from my perspective, wtf? Aren’t there better uses for this engineering talent?
Most people would probably not actually follow link I told you to after a post like this so I’ve decided to reproduce a small portion of the “about section”:http://www.honeydolls.jp/en/about.html here.
Here’s the reality, we need a better approach to contraception than the above comic. Seriously. A lot of guys have their own theories about how to avoid unwanted pregnancies, but ultimately it comes down to trust. Trust in partners on hormonal pills/rings, or trust on condoms. There are people out there researching ways for men to get a handle on the situation and “this article”:http://www.malecontraceptives.org/articles/gifford_article.php from Men’s Health magazine sums up the two best ideas so far.
# A Swiss physician working in India before independence developed and tested a regimen of routine VERY HOT 45-minute baths (116 degrees F) over 3 weeks that confuse sperm into immobility. Apparently this condition of temporary infertility can last for 6 months, but obviously it’s a bit more of an art than a science.
# Another trial going on in over-populated India is for a system called RISUG (reversible inhibition of sperm under guidance) which consists of injecting a polystyrene-based polymer into the vas deferens that chemically kills the sperm. The procedure can then be reversed by injecting harmless sodium bicarbonate, leaving the man completely fertile again.
The problem with both of the above simple solutions is that they are, well, simple. No pharmaceutical company will invest in something that is so cheap and effective. Where’s the profit potential. “MaleContraceptives.org”:http://www.malecontraceptives.org/ is a great resource for all sorts of information in the extremely slow-moving field of male birth control. If you know of any other good sites, please comment here and I’ll post them.
I don’t know where the hilarious comic above came from. If it’s your work or someone you know, tell me and I’ll properly cite it.
http://www.katieanderic.com/ are a young couple from Columbus, Ohio who are branching out. Neither of them had been all that sexually experienced before they got married three years ago but through each other discovered that they both had a lot more exploring to do. So, together, they're doing it. Like a lot of couples all over the world, Katie and Eric are trying out an open marriage based on complete honesty and to make it even more open, they're letting all of us watch. Well, not exactly like that. What they are doing is keeping an open blog at "katieanderic.com":http://www.katieanderic.com/ where they both talk about their fantasies, their experimentations, and their relationship in general. I come from a far less open place in terms of sex and relationships so to me this experiment is both thrilling and a little scary. I look forward to reading more about their experiences with polyamory as it goes on and hope at least some of you find it as interesting as I do.