CTS WK 2: Sexism reloaded by Rosalind Gill

We discussed the article ‘Sexism reloaded, Or, Its Time To Get Angry Again!’ By Rosalind Gill, in the beginning of the article she talks about Katherine Viner and how she explained that 10 years ago that “feminist academic research was in danger of losing its politics completely” she says this as the language being used is becoming to too complex and losing meaning so the state of things did not look to good it was at the point of depolitisation. She carries on the article to ‘Sexism is a dirty word’ and gill suggests that the word sexism is not used In the same way as racism or homophobia and to start using the word again can bring some sort of awareness, she talks about Judith Williamson saying, “the problem is that sexism didn’t go away, we just stopped talking about it”, and a solution that Williamson suggested was “is to just simply start using the term again”

We carried on the lesson talking about feminist issues these are a few of the issues we brought up:

  • Sense of whatever, lack of recognition, acceptance, compliancy, not taken seriously
  • Lack of recognition of subtle things
  • Emphasis on pay gap at expense of numerous other issues
  • Certain natural bodily functions seen as disgusting (period man – documentary)
  • Taxes on sanitary wear, contraception responsibilities
  • Sexual aggression violence, rape culture – double standards
  • Woman seen to be responsible for getting raped (either asking for it or a purity measure)
  • Domestic violence that women (violence)
  • Gender stereotypes

We then went on to discuss ‘Oral History’ which is a subsection of history making, its word of mouth before written history.


CTS: Feminist Visions

In our first feminist visions class we discussed the word feminism and if it relates to us and why we chose to study this topic, I chose this subject because I am interested as to how feminism came about and learn the history as well as learn about ‘the gaze’ and develop my knowledge on it. In the session we watched a music video by Lily Allen called ‘Hard out here’ many of us believed this video was very contradictive as the video was visually degrading but lyrically she was trying to defend women, we believed that the video could have been portrayed in a different and less contradictive ways. The video was quite racially degrading towards black women as she only had black women as backing dancers in provocative clothing and it seemed like the was the overpowering white woman who was fully clothed. Even though it was a parody like music video it was quite objectifying towards women. Overall I believe that Lily Allen was trying to create a sarcastic video that was not meant to be degrading towards women but meant to be a viewpoint from men and the media in a stereotypical way using sarcasm and irony.


Green washing and grocery store

In this session we looked at an article by anna kealey natural fantasy: on the myth making powers of food packaging design. This article is about brands and them making themselves look more eco-friendly when in actual fact it is quite the opposite “grocery store products have been redesigned to look closer to nature than they really are” this is a tactic being used by brands to help them gain more consumers and make them believe that buying these products is them gaining a healthier and more fresher option leading them to purchase from the same store again creating a profit for the store. Kealey also talks about how illustration and colour can have a major impact on the audience into thinking that the brand is a eco-friendly and fresher option.”There has been a general trend towards using creams, browns, blues and other colours commonly found in nature. White has become associated with sterile unnaturalness, so companies prefer colours that symbolise concepts of sustainability, wholesomeness and ‘getting back to nature'”, so by using colours associated with nature it becomes more luring towards consumers as these colours that are associated with nature dont look artificial making the food and company look unartificial. Kealey goes on to talk about pleasing pastoral; she talks about packaging and how its changed over the years, “The social value of sharing food gets lost; where food was once about the home, family and socialising, it is now about the individual. Yet this imagery of the natural environment is predominantly an illusion.” here she is talking about the green giant ad and how meaning has been lost and now its about portraying individualism.

Representation / Semiotics

in this session we learnt about representation/semiotics and read a few texts, for example we looked at Judith Williamson decoding advertisements ideology and meaning in advertising she talks about signifier which is the object, signified which is the meaning and sign which is the object and meaning together, she also talks about advertisements and how they convey a message through what is being said and how they say it; ”  what an advertisement ‘says’ is merely what it claims to say; it is part of the deceptive mythology of advertising to believe that an advertisement is simply a transparent vehicle for a ‘message’ behind it.”,  i believe that Williamson is saying that an advertisement can create a meaning by making it ‘look’ like it has evidence and proof of what its claiming it to be, but in truth it could be a completly different meaning.


Ethics ideologies and practice of design.

In this session we looked at ethics ideologies and practice of design which i found really interesting its about reinventing and claiming designs, design has lost its ethical sense as its about designing without thinking about the environment and its effects towards the planet, we looked at a text called ethics ideologies and practice of design and it talks about “why might we need an ethics of design?”. From then on we discussed this text and our views on it.

“Today, industrial design has put murder on a mass-production basis. By designing criminally unsafe automobiles that kill or maim nearly one million people around the world each year, by creating whole new species of permanent garbage to clutter up the landscape, and by choosing materials and processes that pollute the air we breathe, designers have become a dangerous breed

i believe here what Clive Dilnot is saying is that nowadays people are not thinking of the future or designing with an ethical mind set; its about what can be reinvented and mass produced and become quite popular.

This article also talks about the swastika and how “an ancient token of good fortune that was transformed into the emblem of Nazi Germany.”, this was analyzed by graphic designer Steven Heller; he talks about the emblem and how this was a “token of good fortune” which was unfortunately designed into a nazi symbol; it was reinvented and claimed as the nazi symbol which leads to whether “we might need an ethics of design?”. I believe in some aspects of designing it needs to have an ethical sense to it as incidents like the swastika which was a highly valuable symbol for some has now got a ‘bad reputation’ due to the nazi claiming it as its own and has become known now as the nazi symbol.

Emotion and Branded object

In this session we looked at emotion and branded object and we looked at a text called ‘Apple’ by Judith Williamson; its about an apple ad which portrays an image of a little girl in bed holding up an iPad in the dark with the light from the iPad being the only source of lighting. “This gleam on her eyeball links the girl profoundly to the tablet she’s holding, suggests we are witnessing a sense of annunciation – she is being touched by something ethereal, even godly.”, this quote suggests that Williamson believes that this ad is conveying the iPad to be a ‘must have’ item and that with it being “godly” it shows that this branded object can give guidance giving the sense of comfort and feeling a positive emotion towards the branded object. Williamson goes on to saying how this ‘holy’ product is in fact quite the opposite in terms of producing “..in 2010 eighteen young workers attempted suicide at Foxconn facilities, fourteen of them successfully. Conditions there were alleged to involve twelve-hour working days,…” Williamson has stated that behind this amazing product which brings out such positivity, making the product has been an appalling process and has been made by people in such poor working conditions. “The use of the word ‘touch’ is a part of this process; ‘every idea we touch/Enhances each life it touches’. the overall implication is that design itself is a sort of Holy Spirit, and Apple is God, ‘touching’ the world through its products. In reality of course, the relationship is the other way round; those products are made by the touch of many exploited hands.” , here Williamson depicts the words that are used by apple and uses her research about process of producing this product and makes her conclusion about apple to be non ethical and a very exploitive industry, and this is overlooked because the products produced are in good quality and  ‘heavenly’ for consumers.


What is “Branding”?

Branding gives companies an identity; it is part of advertising, it gives a product/service recognition to the company they are representing for example when thinking of Apple you think of the lastest iphone. Branding can be expressed in different ways using colours, logo’s, slogan’s etc. depending on the way these aspects are applied to help in branding a company these aspects can attract a cetain audience

In my Contextual and theoretical studies class we were asked to brand our lecturer, she had given us some background information about herself and were asked to use this to help us “brand” her, my group learnt she was from Canada, Toronto and moved to the uk eight years ago and we learnt about what she does for a living and her interests, my group decided to create a logo and so we focused on her aesthetics and decided to combine that with canada and the uk, we decided that her glasses was her USP and we created a logo with black rimmed glasses with the skyline of london on one side and toronto on the other, we felt like this created a link to her aesthetics and her background and was a clear yet simple representation of sarah snaith.