Michael Fumento will be my Blog Talk Radio guest today at noon.
Update We talked about the Gathering of Eagles in Washington and how it was reported, how the media doesn’t report Iraq, and then Siggy called in.
Michael Fumento is the author of,
Remember the Dolce & Gabanna ad I posted about last Friday?
Tue Mar 13, 1:58 PM ET
Italian fashion house Dolce and Gabbana said on Tuesday it would stop all its advertising in Spain after it was forced to withdraw an advert for “justifying” violence against women.
Also on Tuesday another Italian fashion icon, Giorgio Armani, expressed surprise over similar criticism in Spain for one of its advertisements.
“Following the harsh criticism levelled by the Spanish authorities against an image in (one of our) publicity campaigns .. Dolce and Gabbanna announces the withdrawal from Spain of all its advertising campaigns to protect the creative freedom that has always characterised the brand,” the company said in a statement.
“Recently, Spain, with its climate of censorship, has shown itself willing to negatively interpret all messages even when there is no reason to do so,” the Dolce and Gabbanna statement said.
“Even though it goes against the interests of Dolce and Gabbana, the decision to halt brand advertising in this country has become unavoidable,” it added
The offending advert showed a woman pinned to the ground by a bare-chested man holding her wrists, with other men in the background looking on impassively.
In February D and G was forced to pull the advert after the Women’s Institute of Spain, a government agency, and a consumer association said it glorified “chauvinist violence”.
It was also banned in Italy in March and subsequently pulled from the world market.
The spanish women’s institute said the advert allowed people to think it was “justified to use force against women.”
In a reference to similar criticism in Spain of an advert by Giorgio Armani, D and G said it “hoped other stylists … will take measures against Spain, which is not only the first country to make illegitimate accusations, but which has also helped spark controversy in other countries.”
A local Madrid official said last week that an Armani advertisement showing two young girls wearing lipstick was “borderline,” indicating that he would seek to have it banned.
“I do not consider it normal that two girls so young should appear with make-up on their lips,” Arturo Canalda told Spanish media, claiming the advert could promote “sexual tourism.”
Yesterday was International Women’s Day
Celebrated on 8 March, International Women’s Day (IWD) is the global day connecting all women around the world and inspiring them to achieve their full potential.
Well, that’s a nice sentiment, but I for one believe that all people should be inspired to achieve their full potential.
Women don’t need to look to the UN for inspiration. Or to the government, or, least of all, to the thought police.
As it happened, yesterday morning I was discussing women with Spanish journalist Maria Blanco. Maria’s latest article (in Spanish) deals with a weird Dolce & Gabbana ad that has caused quite a furore in Europe, and the thought police are calling for more government intervention to protect us from ourselves.
The ad has caused a huge controversy in Spain, France2 was scandalized into reporting on it, and now Amnesty International in Italy is asking that the ad be pulled from Italian magazines.
Think about that for a moment: millions of men, women, and children are opressed around the world, abused, enslaved, and executed, and AI/I finds time to protest an ad in a fashion magazine.
As Maria explains in her article, D&G’s ad features their characteristic
transgresion, provocation, the erotic wink, and as they themselves explain, the ad campaign is about images “that explore the thin border between morality and immorality, two parallel dimensions that coexist and divide the world”.
As it turns out, the Spanish government’s Instituto de la Mujer (IM) (Women’s Institute) is being pressured to ban the ad by the Green party, the leftlist Facua – a consumer organization affiliated with the University of Havana, that bastion of free thought – and others, because of a possible violation of section 3 of the Advertising Law (oh, yes, the Spanish have advertising laws) banning advertising that might exploit women, shows women as stereotypes, or promotes violence against women.
Maria Blanco looks at the ad and explains
In the first place, the woman in the ad is a model who has voluntarily agreed to the use of her body in a photographic composition
On the second issue, Maria explains that what raises the feminists’ hackles is the highlight on the woman’s desireable body.
So the feminazis [Maria’s word] that indoctrinate us for our own good and that penalize what they so unfortunately describe as the “objectifying of women”, are only rebroadcasting the idea that our bodies are shameful and shouldn’t be shown off as we will. We can show our other gifts, particularly those that make us like men… but not our sexual gifts.
Additionally, the Spanish Green party is also criticizing the ad because one of the guys is holding a glass (the photo above is cropped and doesn’t show it, not because I wanted to but because this is the one I could find), which would incite people to consume alcohol.
I kid you not: the Greens believe that showing a photograph of someone holding a glass is going to drive you to drink.
No wonder they think this overstylized picture will incite the masses into a frenzy.
The picture mainly portrays a woman’s sexual fantasy… She’s calmly offering herself to one or several, voluntarily, in front of other good looking men. There’s no violence at all, no pornography.
As Maria sees it,
What there is, is eroticism, fantasy and subtlety.
But there is a larger issue here:
In all, this preocupation with our well-being shows the immaturity of our female leaders. They didn’t get past the image of the neolithic man that kidnapped women from other tribes to rape and to replicate his genes. As a (male) friend said, they have remained in the ideological adolescence of the 1960s and 70s. By doing so, they have becomen women’s worst repressors, the worst agressors against the sexual freedom of each of us women.
The political comissariat indoctrinating us is missing out on a great deal of pleasures.
France2’s reporter in Italy interviewed several people on the street, and the one man they talked to said, “I don’t like it, but if you don’t want to look at the ad, don’t buy the magazine”. Of course, the ideologues would never ever think of that, because it’s all about the ideology. They know what’s good for you.
But, as Maria later asked in an email,
And what about us women who like tenderness, with imagination, fantasy, and dreams but without going too far beyond… are we stupid?
Hay que defenderse y dar la cara, la cara tierna, libre, imaginativa, femenina y, de nuevo, por si alguien tiene dudas… la libre, la cara libre de la mujer.
We must stand up for ourselves, and show our faces, the tender, free, imaginative, femenine face, and again, if anyone has any doubt, the free face of a woman.
That’s what happens when you are not popular with the bien pensant, even on International Women’s Day.
My friend Laura posed an interesting question,
In view that it’s leftist groups asking for censorship, I wonder what the reaction would have been if Christian groups or the Vatican had been doing the asking?
Augusto, Beth, No Pasaran and LGF are talking about this,
France bans citizen journalists from reporting violence (emphasis added):
The French Constitutional Council has approved a law that criminalizes the filming or broadcasting of acts of violence by people other than professional journalists. The law could lead to the imprisonment of eyewitnesses who film acts of police violence, or operators of Web sites publishing the images, one French civil liberties group warned on Tuesday.
The broad drafting of the law so as to criminalize the activities of citizen journalists unrelated to the perpetrators of violent acts is no accident, but rather a deliberate decision by the authorities, said Cohet. He is concerned that the law, and others still being debated, will lead to the creation of a parallel judicial system controlling the publication of information on the Internet.
And what’s next?
The government has also proposed a certification system for Web sites, blog hosters, mobile-phone operators and Internet service providers, identifying them as government-approved sources of information if they adhere to certain rules.
Reporters Without Borders is worrying about “excessive self censorship”
The journalists’ organization Reporters Without Borders, which campaigns for a free press, has warned that such a system could lead to excessive self censorship as organizations worried about losing their certification suppress certain stories.
I’m certain that the French government censorship will spare them that worry.
The law will punish operators of websites that publish such images with prison or a fine of nearly $100,000.
As it was, the French media did their best to not report on, and then underplay as much as possible, the stories about the Halimi murder, the 2006 New Year’s day rampage on a train from Nice to Lyon, and the 2005 rioting banlieus, which continued into 2006. Since I’m not as optimistic as Reporters Without Borders, I expect a full news blackout on anything that doesn’t reflect well on La Belle France. Everything else will be whitewashed to an appropriate shade.
Additionally, where France goes, the EU follows. Not that this is news.
Yesterday she shredded to bits the ever-obtrusive Couric, Gore and Clintons, and she starts with,
We need new names in both our politics and our news broadcasts. The same damn people have held sway over everything for too damn long.
Read the whole post.
Yet I know exactly how she feels:
These people all make me tired. I’m tired of looking at them, reading about them, listening to them blab on and on. I’m tired of their tired excuse-making and double-talk. I’m tired of hearing that these people are greatest of people and that only haters could not absolutely adore them, at all times.
The Dove advertising campaign got launched at the Church of Oprah, where self-esteem is built on ignoring the obvious.
“Every woman is beautiful”: Political correctness is now oozing out of a tube of hand lotion.
Can anyone possibly believe that “every woman is beautiful”, any more than “every man is handsome”?
What are they, blind?
The elderly mother of one of my friends is a most attractive woman. She has great legs even at the age of eighty, beautiful hands and great complexion. She’s been married and widowed three times. She’s well dressed and has a great personality. But she has Mary Wickes‘s face, not Ava Gardner‘s.
(Ava Gardner used to stay at the hotel where my father worked. Of all the famous and beautiful that visited that hotel over the decades, she was the only one that the hotel staff considered as naturally beautiful even as she aged.)
Patrick Stewart has tremendous stage presence. He is well dressed, and when I’ve seen him on stage he’s been in great shape. He has a most sexy voice. But he’s not the young Errol Flynn.
Heck, even the old Errol Flynn wasn’t the young Errol Flynn.
And Errol Flynn was never Humphrey Bogart, either.
As Virginial Postrel points out,
Like the rest of the genetic lottery, beauty is unfair. Everyone falls short of perfection, but some are luckier than others.
Luck is hard.
Self-confidence is even harder.
Not every woman is beautiful. Not every man is handsome. Deal with it.