Act 41

April 29, 2009

Feminist Cookies

cookie--meets minimum standards

We talk about cookies a lot in the femoblogosphere, but it seems to me that this is a subject that is greatly misunderstood and misinterpreted. The most common thing I hear with regards to cookie misunderstanding is “but why *shouldn’t* people be rewarded for good behaviour?”

So today I am going to address this.

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Act 37

December 12, 2008

Look What I made!
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Act 36

November 28, 2008

The New Feminine–Flickr group and tagging project

Organic Farmerunder the umbrellaNatasha

As we are coming to the end of the year and I am beginning to wrap up the 52 Acts project I have been looking back on some of the previous Acts and thinking about some of the ways in which I have wanted to further the knowedge I have gained from them. Early on in the project I had a look at Flickr images and the way in which they were tagged (see Acts 5, 6, and 7. I feel this was an important element of my work because the idea of ‘tagging’ (attaching several descriptors to an item for the purposes of searching) rather than categorising is central to the concept of web 2.0.

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Act 33

November 12, 2008

Watching Women Street Art–Part 2c WOC Edition–Turkish Gold

One of the biggest offenders in the gender ads WOC gallery seemed to be cigarette advertising. The Virginia Slims ads are particularly bad using stereotypes to sell the sexiness of their cigarettes while using the tagline “find your voice”. Firstly, cigarettes have long been proven to damage and actually remove your voice, secondly, using a stereotype and calling it individuality is just plain baffling.

I chose to use this camel cigarettes advert as the basis for my third and final stencil in part 2 of the series. It seems representations of Middle Eastern women are either belly dance/mysterious/spicy/sexy or completely veiled. It is the virgin/whore trope taken to extremes.

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Act 32

November 12, 2008

Watching Women Street Art–Part 2b WOC Edition–Reebok Geisha

Following on from the Aunt Jemima stencil I became interested in other representations of women, and particularly women of colour, in advertising. I found GenderAds.com which is a fantastic resource, particularly useful was their WOC exotics section. I was inspired by this old reebok ad depicting a shy geisha girl stereotype wearing reebok sneakers.

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Act 31

November 12, 2008

Watching Women Street Art–Part 2a WOC Edition–Aunt Jemima

Back in March I worked on Act 12, Watching Women Street Art, a set of three images that I shared on the Internet for use as street art stencil and sticker templates. The images were created using iconic images of women in western art, women whose images were created purely for the pleasure of the viewer. Inspired by the recent creation of the Hollaback Australia site I had repurposed the images as viewers themselves.

In the comments of Act 12 Mehitabel Moody Moss Said:

In my city we would need some African-American iconic women for such a project. For the US I’d suggest Queen Nefertiti, Aunt Jemima, Angela Davis.

I decided that I really wanted to take this on board and to include some images of women of colour in my next watching women street art set (I had always intended to do three sets of three images for this project).

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Act 28

October 4, 2008

Putting Us Back Together Again–Cyber-Flip-Doll

I am stoked with this weeks act. I am really happy with it because it fulfills one of the goals I set for 52 Acts which is to use conventional items or programs in a way which they were not directly intended. To creatively misuse technology.

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Act 26

September 26, 2008

Cut-Up

Commentary eludes me today. This is a work looking further into the phenomena of cutting ourselves to pieces with photography. Make of it what you will.


It was created using Animoto, a neat web app that lets you add your still images and turns them into an animated slide show either with music from their free use music library or from music you upload yourself. It is very cool, and allows unlimitted free 30 second mini shows–which at first I found a little frustrating, but then came to enjoy the challenge as it made me really think about how to get my message across in a condensed time frame. Big thanks to Aphd31 for her help talking me through the ideas with this one.

All images used in this work are used with gratitude to the original artist who made them available under creative commons licences. A list of URLs for all the original images used in this project and the previous Frankenstein’s Daughter image is available here

Act 20

July 1, 2008

Dr Frankenstein’s Daughter–Anonymity and Pieces of Women on the Web

Frankenstein's Daughters

For the next several weeks I really want to look deeply into the question of ‘how are women represented within web 2.0’ and I started this week by hitting the ‘random journal’ button on Live Journal (which I believe disappeared the day after for some mysterious reason, but never mind, it served me well) and observing the kinds of default icons people have with depictions of women in them. One thing that struck me–apart from the fact that people seem far more likely to have an image of a woman as an icon than an image of a man, particularly if it appeared to be a self portrait–was that it seems to be very common for womens bodies to be pictured as pieces cast a drift from the whole.

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Act 9

February 29, 2008

Viola’s Bookshelf – A Gender Exchange Library

I was really pleased with the way last weeks piece, the gender exchanged version of Cory Doctorow’s Scroogled, turned out, so much so that I wanted to expand the project. I also thought that people would be more likely to read the story if they did not have to download it, but instead were able to view it through their browser.

To achieve this I have created Viola’s Bookshelf, a new blog dedicated to making available gender swapped versions of copyright available fiction.  I have started it off by uploading the version of Scroogled I adapted in act 8, and will upload a second piece later this week. After that I plan to add one new story adapted by me per month, and as many from other people that get submitted.

From the Viola’s Bookshelf ‘about’ page:

Viola’s Bookshelf is a project blog dedicated to publishing altered out of copyright, or creative commons licensed fiction, where the character’s genders have been reversed. The idea behind this is to help provide an understanding of gender construction in fiction and to an extent in everyday life. It is also expected to have the added benefit of increasing the stories available with female protagonists and background characters.

I anticipate adding new stories to the library at the rate of one per month, in addition to any sent to me for uploading by readers. If you have a legally available story that you have given a gender exchange treatment to and you would like me to include it on the site please email me at ’sajbrfem at g mail dotcom’ (without all the spaces) and let me know.

Please enjoy the stories and comment liberally, open discussion is encouraged and appreciated. Also feel free to suggest future stories that you think would be interesting with this treatment.