Campus feminists across the country are organizing Love Your Body Day programs on October 20. There are junk food and pajama parties, prohibitions on body snarking, and poster campaigns. There are discussions on eating disorders, poor body image, and sexist advertising.
As you raise awareness on these issues on campus, take your activism to the next level. Use your votes and wallets to hurt sexist organizations and bring feminism into the mainstream. Some ideas:
Organize a letter/phone/fax bomb for companies that objectify women's bodies and profit from our insecurities. Ms. Magazine's No Comment section highlights a series of offenders in each issue, with contact info for each corporation.
Tired of the 'beauty' industry? Bring back the Freedom Trash Can to your campus, and hold a demonstration where your group discards your scuzzy old makeup, impractical shoes, uncomfortable underwear, magnified mirrors, hair dye, diet pills, hair removal implements, and other detritus cluttering your bathroom and bureau. Pledge to make economic decisions that will empower you, and not just line the pockets of cosmetics corporations and fashion magazines.
Collaborate with your campus arts department and local feminist artists to create and showcase real images of men, women, and everyone in between. Feeling racy? Include close-ups of real genitalia versus the vajazzled, dyed, waxed, surgically-altered genitalia prevalent in mainstream pornography.
Publicly boycott products, shows, and movies with misogynist themes, and support women filmmakers and writers whose films pass the Bechdel test. Host a good old-fashioned picket if necessary.
Get involved with/infiltrate campus and local media, and maintain your own feminist media sources. Petition your campus and local independent book stores to expand the feminist media they carry.
Learn about the Healthy Media for Youth Act that was introduced in the US Senate in September.
There are all kinds of ways to get political and reshape/reject the gendered images we see each day. Let us know the creative and subversive ways you are smashing patriarchy!
This blog post is part of the October eZine. To receive our monthly eZine, click here.