Sociological Images 2015

3 men 1 women on lift sign

The above sign was at the Melbourne Docks in December 2014 when I was returning from a cruise. I have no idea why there are 3 men and 1 woman on the sign (and a dock worker was also surprised when I explained why I was photographing it). I wonder whether a sign that had 3 women and 1 man would ever have been installed or not noticed if it was installed.

rules for asking questions at LCA2015

At the start of the first day of LCA 2015 the above was displayed at the keynote as a flow-chart for whether someone should ask a question at a lecture. Given that the first real item in the list is that a question should fit in a tweet I think it was inspired by my blog post about the length of conference questions [1].

Astronomy Miniconf suggestions for delegates

At the introduction to the Astronomy Miniconf the above slide was displayed. In addition to referencing the flow-chart for asking questions it recommends dimming laptop screens (among other things).

sign saying men to the left because women are always right

The above sign was at a restaurant in Auckland in January 2015. I thought that sort of sexist “joke” went out of fashion a few decades ago.

gendered nerf weaponary

The above photo is from a Melbourne department store in February 2015. Why gender a nerf gun? That just doesn’t make sense. Also it appeared that the only nerf crossbow was the purple/pink one, is a crossbow considered feminine nowadays?

Picture of Angela appropriating Native American clothing

The above picture is a screen-shot of one of the “Talking Angela” series of Android games from March. Appropriating the traditional clothing of marginalised groups is a bad thing. People of Native American heritage who want to wear their traditional clothing face discrimination when they do so, when white people play dress-up in clothing that is a parody of Native American style it’s really offensive. The site has a tag for articles about appropriation [2].

The above was in a library advertising an Ebook reader. In this case they didn’t even have pointlessly gendered products they just had pointlessly gendered adverts for the same product. They also perpetuate the myth that only girls read vampire books and only boys read about space. Also why is the girl lying down to read while the boy is sitting up?

Above is an Advent calendar on sale in a petrol station. Having end of year holiday presents that have nothing to do with religious festivals makes sense. But Advent is a religious observance. I think this would be a better candidate for “war on Christmas” paranoia than a coffee cup of the wrong colour.

The above photo is of boys and girls pipette suckers. Pointlessly gendered recreational products like Nerf guns is one thing, but I think that doing it to scientific equipment is a bigger problem. Are scientists going to stop work if they can’t find a pipette sucker of the desired gender? Is worrying about this going to distract them from their research (really bad if working with infectious or carcinogenic solutions). The Integra advertising claims to be doing this to promote breast cancer research which is also bogus. Here is a Sociological Images article about the problems of using pink to market breast cancer research [3] and the Sociological Images post about pinkwashing (boobies against breast cancer) is also worth reading [4].

As an aside I made a mistake in putting a pipette sucker over the woman’s chest in that picture. The way that Integra portreyed her chest is relevant to analysis of this advert. But unfortunately I didn’t photograph that.

Here is a link to my sociological images post from 2014 [5].

3 comments to Sociological Images 2015

  • Thx! It’s always good to have such a material to explain issues to people.

  • Eugenio

    In the lifts sign there are two women, one wears pants though.
    Great post. Thanks.

  • stefon: I’m glad you like it.

    Eugenio: LOL. But seriously the issue of being female being defined as wearing a dress is another sociological issue.

    One thing I didn’t get around to photographing is the signs about bikes at Melbourne university which had a figure that would usually be interpreted as male due to a lack of a dress. Some student activists had used duct tape to put dresses on half of those signs.