Brooklyn Broads Keeping Fingers, Legs Crossed For Obama Victory
Jezebel reports on some artsy, politically minded womenfolk from
Brooklyn, New York, who, in a show of support for Barack Obama, have
chosen to update an "iconic 1960s anti-war poster featuring Joan Baez
that said 'Girls say yes to boys who say no.' The new (pro-Obama)
poster reads 'Girls say yes to men who say Obama.'"
Controversy has ensued! Salon's Rebecca Traister, who spends more
time being offended by 8 a.m. than you do all day, is offended! She
says that "the idea of any kind of political action being taken to
impress the opposite sexor that guys would only vote a certain way
if a woman promised sex at the end (that's also totally the only way
you get them to pay for dinner, incidentally)sort of makes me want
to drown myself."
We can sort of see her point. One shudders to imagine how she might
have reacted to the group's original call to action: [See URL for photo.]
Yeah, she probably would have been pissed.
Are "Girls Saying Yes" To A Tasteless Political Message?
Some Brooklyn denizens have taken it upon themselves to recreate the
iconic 1960s anti-war poster featuring Joan Baez that said "Girls say
yes to boys who say no." The new (pro-Obama) poster reads "Girls say
yes to men who say Obama," and it's creating a wee tempest in the
ladyblogosphere. The women of Bust are pro-poster, calling it
"cheeky" and adding, "It's nice to see that politics can still be
fun." The women at Salon aren't so amused.
They call it "obnoxiously retrograde", "gross", and firebrand Rebcca
Traister remarks, "the idea of any kind of political action is being
taken to impress the opposite sex or that guys would only vote a
certain way if a woman promised sex at the end (that's also totally
the only way you get them to pay for dinner, incidentally) sort of
makes me want to drown myself."
Personally, I think it's a little self-consciously cutesy, certainly
derivative and ironically playing into outdated sexual mores, but
ultimately harmless. However, these ladies are not the first to give
the election a sexual tint. Radar has a roundup of politically-themed
porn, and writer Erica Sackin asks, "When did we start channeling
support for candidates through our Kegel muscles?" She also wonders
whether or not political porn is partisan.
"The difference in what appeals to people seems to have less to do
with if they're Republicans or Democrats and more to do with how old
they arethe younger they are, the more enthusiastic they are for
somewhat ribald takes on the election," she argues. Aw, porn:
reaching down pants on both sides of the aisle!
Girls Say Yes
A group of cheeky ladies in Brooklyn have found a way to show their
support for Obama while encouraging youth participation in voting
(and lookin' good). They updated the iconic protest poster of Joan
Baez and her sisters taken by Larry Gates in the 60's. It's nice to
see that politics can still be fun.
The updated photo was taken by Casey Brooks and features Anna Bean,
Karen Maine, Dana Gluck, and Lindsay Withers.
Putting out for Barack
Oct. 23, 2008
It's a theme as old as ancient Greek theater: Women give or withhold
sex in order to achieve some sort of political end. The latest
version comes from a quartet of young women who have created a poster
that reads, "Girls say yes to men who say Obama." In smaller print,
at the bottom of the photo, the women tell us, "Sarah Palin is not a
women's choice. Vote November 4th." Their version updates a classic
'60s antiwar image of Joan Baez and her sisters, emblazoned with the
slogan, "Girls say yes to boys who say n0."
The ladies at Bust are all for the poster, and I certainly have no
qualm about its pro-Obama and anti-Palin sentiments. But I have to
admit that somewhere between its boring, overdone sexual politics and
its hipster aesthetics, it makes me cringe a little bit. And it turns
out I'm not alone. I asked a few Broadsheeters whether they found the
poster adorably retro chic or obnoxiously retrograde. Here's what
they had to say:
Rebecca Traister: Makes me want to put a fist through a wall, put a
hammer through my skull and move to France. During the primary, a
variation on this was one of the (less overt) vibes cited to me by
some college women I spoke to who were considering voting for
Hillary: that there was a derisive attitude from boys that anyone who
would consider voting for her must be an unsexy feminazi, but
supporting Obama made you sexy to the guys. I know it's different
when McCain is the competitor, and I realize the suggestion here is
about boys voting to impress the women, but still, the idea of any
kind of political action being taken to impress the opposite sex --
or that guys would only vote a certain way if a woman promised sex at
the end (that's also totally the only way you get them to pay for
dinner, incidentally) -- sort of makes me want to drown myself.
Kate Harding: It really bugs me. Both the concept of a vote-for-sex
transaction and the "obnoxiously retrograde" notion that women are
merely gatekeepers for our own vaginas, not human beings with actual
sex drives. We just say no as a matter of course until men do
something wholly unrelated to sex (buy dinner, vote for Obama), which
makes us decide they're worthy of coming inside us. We certainly
don't want sex for its own sake! And that's without getting into the
heterosexism. Where's my "Straight girls say yes to, and sometimes
even initiate sex with, boys they find attractive for any number of
Also, if they had to do it anyway, "Girls say 'Yes, we can' to boys
who vote Obama" would have been funnier.
Sarah Hepola: It doesn't bother me as much, but it's kind of gross.
Are the women in this photo going to say yes to every boy who says
Obama? Because if so, they are going to be very, very tired. And sore!
Considering this poster was made, according to Bust, by "a couple
cheeky ladies in Brooklyn" -- where I (and Rebecca and Judy!) proudly
live -- I would suggest it should be tweaked to read, "Girls say yes
to boys who say Obama and also wear skinny jeans and have scruffy
hair and buy me Stella Artois while I crochet an adorable bong cozy."
Also, I'm really irritated by the tag line "Sarah Palin is not a
woman's choice." Look, I despise her policies, too, but I don't
pretend to tell other women what they can and cannot do.
So what do you think? Adorably retro chic or obnoxiously retrograde?