So I was walking down University Avenue, a few blocks from my home, when I passed the T-Mobile store.
In the window, my eyes were drawn to a super-size poster showing a photograph of an Asian girl and her cell phone.
The girl, who looked about fourteen, was wearing a parochial style school uniform. Or maybe more like a Manga-style sexual fantasy version of said uniform.
The pink skirt was plaid, only very, very micro. The white blouse was form-fitting and unbuttoned to show her micro-cleavage. The black tie was loosely knotted and curled around her micro-breast.
This girl’s bare legs were spread wide open. Using both hands she held her cell phone right up to her crotch. The intended message of the imagery was extremely clear and highly offensive.
Of course I marched into the store, asked to speak with the manager, and politely requested he take down the poster. He refused.
When it became certain that he would not listen to reason, I told him that until he complied, I would be exercising my First Amendment right to freedom of expression, loudly, in front of the store. And so he did. Comply.
It felt good that my small action yielded such a quick and successful response.
Still, I couldn’t help thinking of those Jean Kilbourne films they’ve been showing at high schools for more than twenty-five years. The ones about the objectification of women in advertising. Killing Us Softly. We saw the first one when I was in school. They’re up to Volume 4 now.
Guess we’ve come a long way backwards, baby.
© 2013 Jaclyn Schrier. All rights reserved.