This week, people all over the country will march for women in the name of intersectionality.

World

1.18.2019

This Week in Women: It’s Time For The #WomensWave

Tonight, in cities far and wide, people will be painting signs and making plans to show up for tomorrow’s Women’s March. The Women’s March organization and event has shown remarkable resiliency through its growing pains, launching 2019 with a message and a plan for unity that is stronger than ever. This week we are also taking time to explore the effects and conversation around Gillette’s viral new commercial that is challenging the theme of toxic masculinity. Read on for more in This Week in Women!

Women’s March Returns with an Agenda

The Women’s March that catapulted activism and political participation in the age of Trump has evolved from a record-setting, global protest into an organization that is working to grow with the times. The challenges of fairly representing the interests and needs of many, has put the Women’s March under a lens of constant scrutiny and required flexibility and change in its mission, goals and leadership. This year, the organization is promoting an inclusive theme of intersectionality with an accompanying policy agenda.

“Intersectionality is a way to describe the experiences of identity that cross lines of gender, such as race, class, ability and sexual orientation, and come together to impact one’s experiences of moving through the world. The concept originates in black feminist theory and the word itself was coined by Dr. Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw to describe the ways that black women are uniquely impacted by discrimination in the workplace, the criminal justice system, education and more,” said the organization in an official statement about the new agenda. “Today, we advocate for an expansive understanding of intersectionality when we fight for social and policy change. This means, for instance, understanding that the problem of access to health care looks different for black women, trans women, disabled women and Indigenous women, and thus policies that address health care must take into account these different impacts and experiences.”

The Women’s March’s intersectional feminist policy platform focuses on priorities around ending violence against women and femmes, as well as advocating for racial justice, civil liberty protections, LGBTQIA+, immigrant and disability rights, healthcare access, and environmental justice.

More information about resources, partnerships and logistics-planning for tomorrow’s march can be found on the Women’s March website.

Gillette Ignites Conversations with New Commercial

With 19.8 million YouTube views and counting, Gillette’s “We Believe: The Best A Man Can Be” is an installment in the company’s new campaign approach that continues to break the internet each day with conversations, reactions and op-eds. This commercial is about more than a good shave. It address topics from toxic masculinity and sexual harassment to bullying and a “boys will be boys” attitude. The commercial shows how mainstream media and generational attitudes toward women have been passed down and notions of change have been discarded. The commercial switches gears with “We believe in the best in men” and showing men interceding in situations where toxic masculinity is on full display. The commercial ends with the narrator saying, “The boys watching today will be the men of tomorrow.”

Obviously this has ignited both sides of the issue. The comments from both men and women criticizing the ad as “leftist propaganda” and making “white men look bad” are expected, not to mention annoyingly cliché attempts to look the other way. The stubborn attitudes that there is nothing wrong with the way things are the same attitudes that encourage violence and hate against others.

Other critics argue that the brand is trying to be “woke” – capitalizing on socially relevant themes – and that perhaps Gillette is attempting to over simplify generations of sexism into a brief mention of #MeToo. But Gillette and its leadership have not backed down, sticking by its message and overall, the response from consumers has been positive. Survey results show that the ad was “well received” by viewers and that it positively showed the company’s social values.

Agree with it or not, ads are part of our generational pop culture landscape and conversations are the medium for progress. The woman-directed ad goes to show that there is still much to be discussed around what is being triggered. Gillette gave us another step in the right direction. It is also followed up with substantive action: Pledging $1 million to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America with the statement, “Gillette is committed to driving change that matters, starting with our own actions and expanding out to programs that support men of positive action everywhere.”

Stay tuned to Milk for more of This Week in Women and check out our previous installments here.

Related Stories

New Stories

Load More

K

Like Us On Facebook

X