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Women Activists Challenge Re-Modelling Derry

category derry | gender and sexuality | opinion/analysis author Thursday February 11, 2010 21:21author by Eleanor Report this post to the editors

On Tuesday's issue of the Derry Journal, the newspapers editor highlighted the city's 2013 bid to make Derry the Culture Capital of the North.

Whatever peoples views on the issues surrounding Derry's 2013 'cultural bid', in the article itself the editor published an image of the model Donna Feldman poising as a giant in her underwear at under Ferryquay Gate.
City of Culture 2013?
City of Culture 2013?

The image itself and more importantly, the decision to publish it in the local press in a bid to promote the city for the 'UK City of Culture' has created much discussion and debate. As women activists tackled the editor and issues surrounding how women are used and abused by the media or as part of 'popular culture'.

The debate rumbles on...

You can listen to part of the debate in a piece during today's Sarah Brett's Show on Radio Foyle as the discussion is added to by local women activists and local women who work with young women in Derry on serious issues such as this daily.

The story kicks off around 18 minutes and 56 seconds into the show...

If you wish to voice your concerns on the issue you can email complaints to:

Derry Journal

Editor Martin McGinley

Derry City Council (Who are promoting the city's bid for the city of culture 2013)

Related Link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/b00qplhf
author by Derry Womens Collectivepublication date Thu Feb 11, 2010 21:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The following letter by the Derry Womens Collective has been sent to the Derry Journal and the local radio in response to above issue.

Dear Editor,

We’d like to take this opportunity to express our disbelief and disgust at the picture published in your paper on Tuesday February 9th in which a woman in underwear was used to promote the “UK City of Culture” campaign.

We also did note that you, the editor, have personally requested use of image on the ‘designers’ website at flickr.

We believe that it is inexcusable and thoughtless to publish such sexist advertisement and to assume it to be socially acceptable. Unless of course your aim was to objectively inform the general public in Derry City just what kind of culture it can expect from the campaign…

Well, we think it’s not socially acceptable.

The objectification and sexualisation of women in advertisement is a very influential and powerful means in commercial society. The Advertising Standards Council’s Code for Self regulation defines advertisement as a paid-for communication, addressed to the Public or a section of it, the purpose of which is to influence the opinions or behaviour of those to whom it is addressed. In short, a message designed to influence consumer behaviour and thinking

Sexualisation of women in pornography and mainstream media reinforces subconscious or fully-conscious views that women are sex objects and free to be used.
More alarming, there are studies that show that the dehumanization of women perpetuates sexual violence against women and young girls in societies throughout the world. Other forms of sexually explicit media even outright encourage it.

The irony of this story at this present time and moment is the belief that women have been given more freedom when in reality women have become free to be preyed upon.

Therefore we would ask you to publicly express your regret for the inappropriate representation of the women of this city as simple commercial objects, thereby abusing your position as editor of a local newspaper.

Related Link: http://www.derryjournal.com
author by lucy parsonspublication date Fri Feb 12, 2010 14:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fair play to these activists for tackling the local media.

The bottom line for local media is now sadly whatever generates controversy or captures our unthinking attention is good for sales. This is a far cry from having the media as the fourth pillar in a functioning democracy, addressing pertinant questions to those who excercise power, or publishing articles that invite us to examine our assumptions or imagine new ways of building a future society.

Perhaps the 'Derry Journal''s use of this page 3 type image is but an honest reflection of its status as a subsidiary of Mirror Group Newspapers.

author by confusedpublication date Wed Mar 31, 2010 18:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It says at the start Derry is bidding for Culture city of the north which is ok but later than it says its bidding for culture city in the UK, no one more worried that we are including ourselves in some make believe place, wheres the UK. Wasnt very united the last time I checked. none of the femminists amongst us anti-imperialist either ,no? Come on girls, go the full hog

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