Wednesday, 9 April 2014


Cropped gender-flip example; see original article.
A neologism (new term/concept) for you: gender-flipping, the practice of exposing sexist (usually patriarchal and/or misogynistic) practices by re-creating media texts with the opposite gender to that originally shown.
Here's an example from a Guardian piece on this - the men's mag GQ had its cover gender-flipped; click on the article link to see the resulting image (containing a degree of nudity).
Sometimes the best way to make a point about sexism is also the simplest. Australian comedians the Bondi Hipsters parodied this month's British GQ by showing heavily bearded Dom Nader mimicking the naked poses struck by model Miranda Kerr. Their shoot went viral. Christiaan Van Vuuren, Nader's real-life alter ego, told the Huffington Post that the idea was a response to "the over-sexualisation of the female body in the high-fashion world. For some reason, as soon as you put a man in there … it's an entirely different thing that we aren't used to seeing."
Gender-flips used to challenge sexist stereotypes are having a moment. Last week, in a Guardian video, Leah Green went undercover, acting out scenarios reported by women to the Everyday Sexism website. She asked a barman if he'd give her a lapdance, for example, prompting obvious bemusement.
Last month, Jennifer Lopez's video for the single I Luh Ya Papi, began with one of her female dancers asking: "Why do men always objectify the women in every single video?" and proceeded to show Lopez, fully dressed, surrounded by half-naked men in a bed, a pool and sponging down a car. This followed the viral hit , Oppressed Majority, released by French filmmaker Eléonore Pourriat in 2010, which depicts a man struggling with routine chores and childcare, before being attacked by a group of women in the street and poorly treated at a female-dominated police station. The video became a sensation when Pourriat added English subtitles in February this year, and has now been viewed almost 9m times.
But the gender-flip certainly isn't a new way to make a political point. In early 1908, illustrator Harry Grant Dart used it to show the fearful possibilities if the campaign for women's suffrage proved successful. His image of "Mrs PJ Gilligan's saloon", a shocking dystopia where women smoked, drank and partook of free fudge, now just looks like an excellent night out. In 1978, Gloria Steinem turned the technique to feminist advantage, with her famous essay, If Men Could Menstruate, in which she wrote that periods would, in this case, "become an enviable, worthy, masculine event: men would brag about how long and how much."

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