For girls who want more

Image description: Subvertised Special-K ad showing a woman in a red dress. Originally the ad slogan was “For girls who want more”, above an image of a box of Special-K Clusters cereal. The cereal has been covered with blank paper and the word “Feminism” has been added, resulting in a new slogan: “Feminism: for girls who want more.”

A photo of the original ad can be found here on Flickr

Update: there’s an excellent rant on Special-K’s marketing strategy at AWOL (Angry Women of Liverpool.

ATOS re-branding competition

Image description: ATOS logo superimposed over Dr. Nick, the quack doctor from the Simpsons, with a speech bubble saying ‘Time for your assessment!’

The image above is our entry in the ATOS logo redesign competition. If you haven’t heard of ATOS, they are a French company which was contracted by the government to carry out assessments of disabled people to determine whether they qualify for Employment and Support Allowance (which replaces the old Disability Benefit). This is part of a general shift towards contracting out government services to private companies because it’s apparently ‘more efficient’. But it turns out that, shock! horror! ATOS hasn’t been doing such a good job at assessing whether people are fit for work. In fact they’ve done such a bad job at it that lots of people went online to compain about the way they were being treated. In a situation like this any responsible company would take the criticism seriously and attempt to open up a dialogue with disabled folks in order to address their concerns. That’s not what happened. Instead ATOS sent threatening letters to the Internet Service Providers that hosted the websites, and the ISPs shut the websites down.

The websites that were shut down did not contain any illegal content. In fact they were engaging in exactly the kind of free speech and debate that is necessary for a functioning democracy. However libel lawsuits are so costly that only the rich can afford to defend a libel lawsuit in court. Ordinary people simply do not have the money to hire a lawyer to defend a libel suit, even if the suit is blatantly unfounded, and so even the threat of a lawsuit is enough to get a website shut down.

However the Internet is fighting back. ATOS wants to silence legitimate criticism of them, but disabled people, activists, and bloggers are responding by turning the criticism up several notches. If you’re artistically inclined, or just like playing with Photoshop or the GIMP, why not join in the fun create your own redesigned ATOS logo? Here’s the original logo to start with.

Marilyn statue stickered

Chicago’s newest statue is… a 26-foot tall Marilyn Monroe with her skirt blowing up. So tourists can, well, look up her skirt. That’s not objectifying towards women or anything.

26 foot tall Marilyn Monroe statue

Friendlyneighbourhoodcurmudgeon writes: “I went back to the Marilyn Monroe statue today and someone took my “this is offensive to women” sticker off.. SO I PUT ON ANOTHER and I got a picture this time.”

Marilyn Monroe statue with a pink sticker on its leg


Responses to racist anti-abortion billboards in the U.S.

Anti-abortion groups in the U.S. are currently running a campaign of unbelievably racist and sexist billboard ads specifically targeted at Black women. A group called Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice asked women what they thought about the ads. Here’s one of the responses below.

The billboard ad in the background is a little hard to see: it shows a Black baby, with “Black & beautiful” written across the top, and “” across the bottom.

Cosmosaurus Rex says: contribute to a Cosmo parody!

Altered image of a Cosmopolitan magazine cover, with a dinosaur where the model would normally be.
Image description: a spoof of a Cosmopolitan magazine cover, in which the model has been replaced by a dinosaur. The text at the bottom reads: “Women have evolved. We have more interesting things to think about than following the latest fad diets, or tips on ‘how to please our man’. COSMO: A MAGAZINE FOR DINOSAURS”

OK, this hastily-Gimped spoof of Cosmopolitan magazine kind of sucks – could you do better? Some students at York university were angered when female students were targeted with “Cosmo on Campus”, a smaller version of the regular Cosmo. So they’re going to put together a Cosmo spoof, and they’re calling for submissions.

The boundless popularity of Special-K Lady, and a vintage feminist subvert

The subverted Special-K lady ad was featured in a Sociological Images post: Resistance to Objectifying Advertising! This post features a few other nice examples of feminist graffiti we hadn’t seen before.

This one is especially cool, apparently it was done by an unknown subvertiser in the 70’s:

Image description: black and white photo of a billboard ad with a photo of a car, a “Fiat” logo and the text: “If it were a lady it would get its bottom pinched.” Someone has spraypainted on: “If this lady was a car she’d run you down.” This photo originates from a Flickr page here.

Special K

Subvertised Special-K ad

Photo description: a bus shelter ad for Special-K featuring a model in a red swimsuit, over which strips of paper have been pasted with the text: “Hey there Special-K Lady, I know you think I should diet so I can be slim just like you thing is, I think I already look pretty fabulous the way I am also, Special-K tastes like cardboard, so piss off.”