Wednesday 28 February 2018

To guard the loveliness he loves

When he comes home, will he find you as lovely as his heart has dreamed you'd be? Day's end or year's end ... will the sweet look, the soft touch of you ... be just as he remembered?
For his sake, guard your loveliness. Choose your beauty soap with care and caution. Know what it is made with!

Consider, for example, that of all leading soaps, Palmolive alone is made with Olive and Palm Oils. Into its making go no animals fats ... only those fine vegetable oils ... treasured as beauty aids since Cleopatra's day.
No wonder millions of women thrill to the way Palmolive helps keep skin smooth, petal-soft and at its radiant best. No wonder Palmolive is the world's largest-selling beauty soap. To guard the loveliness he loves ... turn now to Palmolive's gentle care!
Now more than ever ... keep that schoolgirl complexion

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image via

Monday 26 February 2018


"It is anchorman, not anchorlady. And that is a scientific fact."
Champ Kind (Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy)

Australian TV anchor Karl Stefanovic saw the sexism his female colleagues had to deal with and decided to start an experiment. He wore the same blue suit for a whole year (2013/14) every morning on Channel Nine's Today programme. There was absolutely no reaction. His female co-host Lisa Wilkinson, however, kept receiving feedback (e.g. "Who the heck is Lisa's stylist?", "Today's outfit is particularly jarring and awful. Get some style.") (via).

"No one has noticed; no one gives a shit. But women, they wear the wrong colour and they get pulled up. They say the wrong thing and there's thousands of tweets written about them.
Women are judged much more harshly and keenly for what they do, what they say and what they wear.
I've worn the same suit on air for a year – except for a couple of times because of circumstance – to make a point. I'm judged on my interviews, my appalling sense of humour – on how I do my job, basically. Whereas women are quite often judged on what they're wearing or how their hair is ... that's [what I wanted to test]."
Karl Stefanovic

"Today’s media landscape, particularly for women, is one now so focused on the glossy and the glamorous, it often eclipses and undermines everything else. When you’re a woman doing breakfast TV, you quickly learn the sad truth that what you wear can sometimes generate a bigger reaction than even any political interview you ever do."
Lisa Wilkinson

Quotes from the movie (via):

Ed Harken: "A lot of you have been hearing the affiliates complaining about a lack of diversity on the news team."
Champ Kind: "What in the hell's diversity?"
Ron Burgundy: "Well, I could be wrong, but I believe diversity is an old, old wooden ship that was used during the Civil War era."
Ed Harken: "Ron, I would be surprised if the affiliates were concerned about the lack of an old, old wooden ship, but nice try."

Ron Burgundy: "Do you know who I am?"
Veronica Corningstone: "No, I can't say that I do."
Ron Burgundy: "I don't know how to put this, but, I'm kind of a big deal."
Veronica Corningstone: "Really?"
Ron Burgundy: "People know me."
Veronica Corningstone: "Well I'm very happy for you."
Ron Burgundy: "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany."

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image of Will Ferrell, "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy" via

Saturday 24 February 2018

NBC's Winter Olympics' Gender Coverage Gap and Gender Marking

 "[This all] sends a powerful message about the value of women’s sport. We may be picking up on this during the 2018 Olympics, but none of this is new. There’s a whole history of examples of similar things happening, it’s just that sometimes we have these moments where we can really notice how even in 2018, despite the tremendous gains we’ve made, women’s sport is still occupying second-class status." 

NBC's primetime broadcast of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games is - so far - not gender balanced. Significantly more men's events are highlightened than women's events. In the first ten nights, men received 48.5% of the coverage, women received 32.9% (18.6% were dedicated to mixed-pair events). The 15.6% gap is smaller than the average gap found in the past two decades but wider than it was in the first half of the Sochi Games (via).
"The results of the first week of NBC’s primetime coverage of PyeongChang are a bit disheartening because of the continued press for equal coverage." James Angelini
Weiller, Greenleaf and Higgs analysed TV broadcasts of the 1991, 1996 and 2000 Summer Olympics which were all covered by NBC. They focused on sports that had male and female participants and noticed an increased amount of coverage of women's sports and athletes from 1996 to 2000. In numerous sports, gender marking (identifying the gender of the athletes, e.g. "swimming" vs "women's swimming") was evident.
"In track and field, audiences were reminded 57 that they were watching the U.S. Women's Track Team. They were reminded only 12 times that they were watching the U.S. Men's Track Team. Similarly, during the rowing competition, there were 27 instances of gender marking for female athletes during the one hour and 45-minute time frame televised. Little gender marking occurred for male athletes in rowing."
Karen Weiller
Gender marking of female athletes implies that in sports, male is the norm and female the deviation. For instance, we have "football" and "women's football". There is no "men's football", it is just "football".

There was also a hierarchy of naming as athletes of the women's rowing competition were called "girls" ten times; male athletes were never referred to as "boys". Women competing in swimming and diving were referred to by their forenames 87 times, gymnastic commentators used women's forenames 104 times (for men 11 times and 64 times) (via).
"It is obvious that media coverage of an event like the Olympic Games is critical in setting the tone as to how women are represented in the sports media. But as Olympics coverage shows, men's sports continue to enjoy a level of focus and sophistication that women's sports are missing."
Karen Weiller
"Comparison of female athletes to males in the same sport suggests a standard differential and standard comparison, most often with the female athletes being identified as the lesser of the two."
Karen Weiller
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Photograph of Elisabeth Demleitner and Stephan Hoelzlwimmer (West German luge team) with their latest design in helmets, Innsbruck, 1976 via

Thursday 22 February 2018

Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, and the Creation of Social Groups

"The aim of the studies was to assess the effects of social categorization on intergroup behaviour when, in the intergroup situation, neither calculations of individual interest nor previously existing attitudes of hostility could have been said to have determined discriminative behaviour against an outgroup. These conditions were satisfied in the experimental design. In the first series of experiments, it was found that the subjects favoured their own group in the distribution of real rewards and penalities in a situation in which nothing but the variable of fairly irrelevant classification distinguished between the ingroup and the outgroup. In the second series of experiments it was found that: 1) maximum joint profit independent of group membership did not affect significantly the manner in which the subjects divided real pecuniary rewards; 2) maximum profit for own group did affect the distribution of rewards; 3) the clearest effect on the distribution of rewards was due to the subjects' attempt to achieve a maximum difference between the ingroup and the outgroup even at the price of sacrificing other ‘objective’ advantages."
Tajfel et al. (1971)

In 1971, Tajfel et al. showed eight high school students - who thought the study was on artistic taste - paintings by Paul Klee (1879-1940) and Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944). Based on their preferences they were assigned to two groups (X group and Y group). Then, they were given money which they had to allocate to the students of their in-group and the out-group (but not to themselves). The participants showed two tendencies: 1) Money between two students of the in-group or the out-group was allocated in a fair way, i.e., each received the same amount. However, 2) in-group favouritism could be observed as more points were given to the students of the in-group than to the out-group. In other words, gains of students of their own group were maximised in comparison to the out-group. That also meant that students were willing to give their own group fewer points if only the out-group got even fewer ones.
Example: Students chose to assign 8 points to their own group and 3 to the other group although they could have chosen to give 13 points each group (Stangor, 2004). Categorisation into groups based on arbitrary criteria and there it is: group favouritism. Tajfel (1971) concludes that discrimination is not necessarily related to a history of social conflict or hostility.

"Perhaps those educators in our competitive societies who from the earliest schooling are so keen on 'teams' and 'team spirit' could give some thought to the operation of these side effects."
Tajfel (1971)

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- Stangor, C. (2004). Social Groups in Action and Interaction. New York & Hove: Psychology Press
- Tajfel, H. (1971). Experiments in Intergroup Discrimination, download
- Tajfel, H., Billig, M. G., Bundy, R. P. & Flament, C. (1971). Social categorization and intergroup behaviour. European Journal of Social Psychology, 1(2), 149-178.
- image of Wassily Kandinsky via

Wednesday 21 February 2018

Tuesday 20 February 2018

The Sir Peter Ustinov Foundation

The Sir Peter Ustinov Foundation was founded by UNICEF goodwill ambassador Sir Peter Ustinov and his son in 1999. Its focus is to grant children access to education and an optimistic future "irrespective of their cultural, social, religious or financial background". Ustinov was convinced that education is the key to a better future, to a world with less poverty and fewer conflicts. He was also convinced that prejudices are the origin of all conflicts. The foundation actively looks after vulnerable children such as orphans, children with facial disfigurement and young trafficked prostitutes.

Currently, there are eight Peter Ustinov schools in Germany dedicated to living an open-mind culture and fighting prejudices. There is also the Ustinov College in Durham (where students are called Ustinovians) and the Ustinov Institute in Vienna, both support research on prejudices in order to eliminate them (via).

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images via (copyright by respective owner/s)

Thursday 15 February 2018

Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations

Spock's IDIC (Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations) medallion first appeared in the dinner scene of "Is There in Truth No Beauty?" (season 3, 1968). It was inserted into the script because Gene Roddenberry wanted to sell it at his Lincoln Enterprises (he had already tried to include the IDIC at the end of the episode "Spock's Brain" but his suggestion was ignored, probably because it was too late to implement it). As Nimoy, Shatner and other actors were not amused, Roddenberry agreed to rewrite the dinner scene and use the Vulcan IDIC in a less prominent way (via and via).

"Our first day of filming, Tuesday, July 16th, arrived, and I was greeted with a mutiny on the Enterprise. Bill Shatner and Leonard Nimoy had very strong objections to a portion of the scene we were scheduled to do that day and were refusing to film. Since the objection was to dialogue involving a piece of jewelry that Gene Roddenberry had designed, he was summoned to the set. (I have since learned that Leonard Nimoy first phoned producer Fred Freiberger to tell him of the problem. When Freiberger refused to take any action, Leonard called Roddenberry.) The morning was spent in a round table war with the six characters involved in the scene plus Gene and me. But the battle was strictly Bill and Leonard vs Gene. Bill and Leonard felt Gene was using the scene as a promotional commercial for a pin he had designed; the pin was part of Leonard’s costume. Gene vehemently denied these accusations, but the guys were adamant in their refusal to be a part of something they considered to be commercially oriented." 
Ralph Senensky

"I got my script change, read the new scene and with my jaw still hanging open, I called Fred down to the set, asking him, 'What's this IDIC thing about?' I knew that Lincoln Enterprises would soon be selling these things, and there was no way that I was going to muck up a perfectly good story line just so we could include Gene's rather thinly veiled commercial. With that in mind, I flatly refused to do the scene. Freiberger hemmed and hawed about the difficulties involved in re-revising the script, but as I spoke to him recently for this book, he finally admitted that he was actually relieved that I wouldn't do the scene. It was probably the first time in history that a producer was glad to be dealing with a 'difficult' actor...
Leonard and I had both seen through Gene's marketing ploy, and one after another we'd refused to play the scene. Still, when Gene came to the set, he did his very best to push it through. To his credit, Roddenberry was completely honest about the situation and didn't try to mask his free publicity scam behind any half-baked creative half-truths. He simply stated that Lincoln Enterprises would soon be marketing these medallions, and that he'd really appreciate our cooperation in getting the product into this storyline.
So I went through a great deal of soul-searching and teeth-grinding over the situation, and finally I just had to say, 'Gene, I'm sorry, but I can't do this.' Roddenberry accepted my refusal, but kept working on Leonard." 
William Shatner

"Although I didn't appreciate Spock being turned into a billboard, I at least felt that the IDIC idea had more value than the content of the original scene. We filmed the scene as Gene had rewritten it. But the whole incident was rather unpleasant; Roddenberry was peeved at me for not wanting to help his piece of mail-order merchandise get off to a resounding start, and Fred Freiberger was peeved at me for going over his head."
Leonard Nimoy

"I go by the Star Trek philosophy. We called it IDIC, an acronym for infinite diversity in infinite combinations. To have a good, vibrant society, we need to recognize that as an asset - something that makes us a much more progressive society but also, a more engaging society.
George Takei

"Infinite diversity and infinite combinations is what makes the world beautiful and it's true, as true today as it was then. And that's where a place of in my heart. I thank Gene for that legacy."
Nichelle Nichols

Original script:

No, I was merely looking at your Vulcan IDIC, Mister Spock. (looks up, curiously) Is it a reminder that as a Vulcan you could mind-meld with the Medeusan much more effectively than I could? (to the others, but smiling) It would be most difficult for a Vulcan to see a mere human take on this exciting a challenge.

McCOY (to Spock) 
Interesting question. It is a fact that you rarely do wear the IDIC.

I doubt that Mister Spock would don the most revered of all Vulcan symbols merely to annoy a guest, Dr. Jones.

SPOCK (to Miranda) 
In fact, I wear it this evening to honor you, Doctor.


SPOCK (nods) 
Indeed. Perhaps even with those years on Vulcan, you missed the true symbology. (indicates medallion)
The triangle and the circle... ...different shapes, materials, textures...represent any two diverse things which come together to create here...truth or beauty. (indicating the parts, looks up) For example, Doctor Miranda Jones who combined herself and the disciplines of my race, to become greater than the sum of both.

Kirk can see Miranda isn't fully sold on Spock's intentions ...he changes the subject.

Very interesting, I might even say...fascinating.

And here the official description of the IDIC pendants:

"SYMBOLOGY [sic] OF THE IDIC. There are two basic shapes and two basic colors and textures, i.e., the circle and the triangle. Generally, they represent that all things meaningful or beautiful are created by the joining together of different things. The pyramid can represent man and logic while the circle represents all of creation, i.e., man and creation joined together to create beauty. Also, the triangle-pyramid represents man and the circle represents woman and the jewel represents the beauty that their joining together is capable of creating. Or it can mean the truth which comes out of the blending of different ideas and creeds or the strength and beauty that comes out of the joining of different races, or the rich life which comes out of surrounding oneself with friends who have ideas different from your own and the rich cross-fertilization which occurs in such associations.
The Vulcan in it, is that the glory of creation is in its infinite diversities and infinite combinations possible. As such, the IDIC represents and idea of universal brotherhood far beyond that represented by any other symbol we know of."

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images via and via and via

Monday 12 February 2018

"Well, here's one thing you can be sure of, mister..."

Stiles: I was suggesting that Mr. Spock could probably translate it, sir.
Captain James T. Kirk: I assume you're complimenting Mr. Spock on his ability to decode?
Stiles: I'm not sure, sir.
Captain James T. Kirk: Well, here's one thing you can be sure of, mister: leave any bigotry in your quarters. There's no room for it on the bridge.

The Original Series episode "Balance of Terror" introduced a new enemy: the Romulans. It was the first time that Romulans and humans got to see each other after a war they had had a century before. As Vulcans and Romulans look similar, Lieutenant Stiles shows his prejudice toward Spock. This is when Captain Kirk replies: "Well, here's one thing you can be sure of, mister: Leave any bigotry in your quarters. There is no room for it on the bridge." (via)

Related postings:

- Leonard Nimoy
The Conscience of Star Trek
- Leonard Nimoy on what he would say upon being the first man to set foot on the moon
- Spock, the Outsider
- Dear Mr. Spock,... (1968)
- Tuvok, the Black Vulcan
- Love. It Comes in All Colors.
- My Captain
- Captain Kathryn Janeway
- Half a Life
- The Drumhead
- The Nonstereotypical Role of Lieutenant Uhura
- Hoping dream becomes reality, by Nichelle Nichols (1968)
- Captain Pike has a female first officer & Captain Kirk hugs a mountain
- The Star Trek Opening Monologue
- The "First Lady of Star Trek"
- It's as simple as that
- Trekkies
- Quoting William Shatner
- "Well, here's one thing you can be sure of, mister..."
- Quoting Gene Roddenberry
- "Trek Against Trump": For a Future of Enlightenment and Inclusion
- More on space, spiced with some science fiction and a lot of diversity
- It's OK to be Takei
- Quoting George Takei (I)
- Quoting George Takei (II)
- Quoting George Takei (III)
- Public Library
- "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield"

And here an article on Star Trek and diversity in German:
- Zukunftsvisionen, kulturelle Phasenverschiebung, Vielfalt und eine Hommage an Star Trek

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images via and via and via

Thursday 8 February 2018

Nike's Girl Effect

The "Girl Effect" was founded by the Nike Foundation in 2004. Today, the independent creative non-profit is supported by UNICEF, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Australian Government, and many more (via).

"We create for young people, in ways they love and interact with. We build vibrant youth brands and we work globally, creating mobile platforms. Everywhere, we use insights into girls’ lives to shape our work, while rigorously measuring its impact. 
We focus on a girl’s whole world, along her entire journey to adulthood. And we create with her, so she can tell her story. 
Through our work a girl can start to express herself, value herself and build relationships. With the belief and support of those around her, she can then seek out the things she needs – from vaccination to education."
Girl Effect

More Nike postings:

::: The Iron Nun: LINK
::: Title IX: LINK
::: "Equality should have no boundaries." Nike.: LINK
::: Football: No to Racism: LINK

image via

Wednesday 7 February 2018

"There's a Coke for he, and she, and her, and me, and them."

The Super Bowl is the annual championship game of the US-American National Football League but also an investment into marketing for companies which see it as a "social media and PR phenomenon" and "the anchors of extended marketing campaigns" (via). Companies pay about 5 million dollars for a 30-second spot during the game (via).

This year's Coca Cola Company's Super Bowl commercial "The Wonder of Us" celebrates the beauty of diversity and "the things that make us different" (via). Coca Cola is one of the first companies to make a non-binary reference by using the gender-neutral pronoun "them" (via).

image via

Tuesday 6 February 2018


"Almost anyone under the circumstances would have doubted if [the letter] were theirs, or indeed if they were themself."
Emily Dickinson, 1881

Using "they" as a singular pronoun when referring to someone whose gender is unknown or of no relevance is nothing new. In fact, it has been consistently used as a singular pronoun since the 1300s. What is new, however,  is that it is now also used for a person whose gender is known but who does not fit into the binary system and does not identify as male or female (via).

"There have always been people who didn’t conform to an expected gender expression, or who seemed to be neither male nor female. But we’ve struggled to find the right language to describe these people—and in particular, the right pronouns. In the 17th century, English laws concerning inheritance sometimes referred to people who didn’t fit a gender binary using the pronoun it, which, while dehumanizing, was conceived of as being the most grammatically fit answer to gendered pronouns around then. Adopting the already-singular they is vastly preferable. It’s not quite as newfangled as it seems: we have evidence in our files of the nonbinary they dating back to 1950, and it’s likely that there are earlier uses of the nonbinary pronoun they out there."

MR: What pronouns would you like me to use?
LP: I use she and they so you can use whichever and you can switch them too.

"My name is Laurence and I’m a photographer, curator, director, based in Montreal. Photography is the main thing that I do but I also try to do a lot of curatorial work and directing and video work and it’s all kind of based around identity, colour theory, and queer communities.
(...) I was... thinking of what kind of work I wasn’t seeing out there and as someone who identifies as non-binary, and a lot of my close friends are non-binary, it was something I just wanted to make for myself. It’s really just a passion project. I just wanted to challenge the trans representation that is out there in the media.
(...) non-binary is a term for basically any trans person who doesn’t fit in the binary of man/woman. But it includes a lot of identities some of the people I photograph are non-binary trans women, intersex, gender fluid. So it encompasses a lot of different identities."
Laurence Philomene

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photographs taken by Laurence Philomene via