Thursday, September 3, 2009

And back to reality

So, after my brief hiatus from the Choices Campus blog, mostly due to a lack of internet, I've returned. As many of you may or may not know, Sweden has a pretty good reputation for gender equality. There are some pretty great things over here, you know, the enormous amount of paid parental leave and the subsidized day care so women are back in the work force, for example.

However, while I was pondering the benefits of paid parental leave this morning on the train, I saw the ad on the back page of the Stockholm metro newspaper. It featured a woman tied and gagged to a chair, with her back to us. Facing her were two men, one that was loosening his tie and the other was maybe cracking his knuckles or something. Since I have a very basic level of Swedish, I have no idea what it was about, but it was a little unnerving to say the least.

And just now, while reading up on the events of the world, I saw some disturbing photos of Rihanna on the Huffington Post. I think the title "Rihanna Topless and Muzzled in Italian Vogue" gives you a good idea of what they are, and why I might find them so disturbing. Anyone who's read about women and advertising knows the meaning of having women with covered mouths.

Muzzling Rihanna just takes that to a whole other level. Not to mention, that there seems to be a general effort to silence women. There's a movement that's trying to silence women's voices about their bodies and reproductive rights. What does it mean to have Rihanna, a survivor of violence, shown muzzled?

We can't easily dismiss the types of images of women in the media because those are the images that people don't usually think about it, and they seem to point to the underlying issues and emotions of a significant portion of our society. Even in Sweden where they boast about gender equity, it means something that there are violent images displayed for all to see.
Photo courtesy of

1 comment:

Danielle said...

Have fun in Sweden! I'm really interested in learning more about gender issues and equality in Scandinavia, so please keep us updated!