witchwind interviews radfem-ological images.
Originally posted on radical wind:
I had the chance to interview one of the bloggers from Radfem-ological Images shortly after the project ended. Radfem-ological Images presents itself as “a public, radical feminist group blog dedicated to dissecting and discussing media images through a radical feminist lens.” They demonstrated how commercial ads support men’s power over women, and provided a radfem alternative to the boring “this is inequality” liberal critiques of media. They also created ‘the gears’, a very useful breakdown of the different patriarchal workings they identified in media images. I found it interesting that the project ended on a note that questioned the very practice of exposing women to harmful media, even for the sake of criticising it and demonstrating its harms to women. It was also very honest and rigorous to reflect openly about the effects of the work undertaken and what it meant to women. I thought it deserved a public blog discussion and wanted to expand on this more here.
Witchwind: Thank you for participating in this interview! So radfem-ological images has been suspended and the reasons for this were outlined in the article ‘Media Exposure as Harmful Cultural Practice‘.
Radfem-ological images: Yes that’s true. Actually I haven’t totally written off the idea of using it to post images under the “women’s culture/positive images” category but so far I haven’t.
When Belvedere Vodka published this advertisement clearly depicting a rape in progress, it kicked off a shitstorm of controversy, as well it should’ve. Even the mainstream was shocked and/or offended by this obvious rape-imagery and mainstream feminists demanded that the ad be removed, the brand boycotted, and people be held accountable for contributing to “rape culture” by making light of rape.
Interestingly, the woman depicted in the ad hadn’t even
consented been asked for her permission or given it to have her image used this way — she is now suing the company for using her likeness and for placing her in the center of this controversy.
But as usual, even though this extraordinarily rapey ad and everyone responsible for it deserves to be blasted for it, the mainstream response does not go nearly far enough, or into radical feminist territory at all. For example, what if we were to say that all media imagery depicting drug and alcohol use always contributes to rape and rape culture no matter how tastefully done, because drugs and alcohol reduce or remove women’s legal capacity to consent to intercourse?