mollybh on 25 Nov 2000 02:18:26 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] cell/mobile/security

Hi cell/mobile netters, 
Well, as a female, i think it is a good thing that cell phones help security
for women, but what if privatized companies making cellphones become the primary 
security-promoters? I don't know, you know, it is weird but in all the 
corporatization that is going on, it seems as though less and less of these
sorts of "societal" issues are being judged and handled thru municipalities or 
even being instilled in people...megamedia supports the endless
spectacle of police and judicial power at least in the US...corporations and 
police protect the nation(s)' global economy--global protests are secured in 
the mainstream eye as a picturesque contest between the angry mob and police...
security is great as a female, but it is also something, that in our increasingly
vulgar and brutal globalized economies, where fierce competition and a backlash
towards women and girls is taking place...where the body is denigrated and 
genetic cloning is an engineering issue...where major arts festivals can be 
critiqued for supporting arguments in which rape is seen as natural, it is 
something which needs to be thought about, taught about, and once again, and i 
know i'm on an old saw here, perceptions of females as other, of dare I say 
HUMANS as other... need to be changed...women and persons of color in the US
belong to one systematic underclass, with varied "attributes" for getting out. 

I guess my point is, that an ad which shows a woman getting a cellphone for 
safety reasons can be a way of putting her back into the isolated consumer-mode
she is in when she buys soap - i mean the equation of 'safety = women' as an 
issue is easy to exploit, especially in cultures like the US which equally 
promote excessive cinematic violence towards women, police forces as the dominant 
protectors, sensibilties and scenarios in which women and little girls (see line 
of jeans commercials, i think it was Calvin Klein) are acting out the cute
little sex-pot roles for sexist-oriented spectators. In the spectre which is 
adverstising, it seems to me that not much has changed to support new roles for 
women, and consumption can still be based on oppositions --whether we are 
talking security=women or not. i mean on the one hand its good that women who can 
afford cellphones are smart enough to get them for safety reasons--it is good 
that an ad supports this, though it probably is not for a love of women...until 
cellphones are as cheap as payphones are in the States, however, we aren't in 
a democratic economy...not everyone can afford them, least of all women in 
poor neighborhoods. And i think there is an increasing climate of sexism in ads
and in the new global economy primarily BECAUSE of women consumers. Personally, 
I'd rather not leave my personal safety in the hands of corporations...somehow
cultures need to be less sexist, violent and anti-social. Until then, I guess
carrying a cellphone is a good stop-gap. 


> > (and tangentially, given the massive uptake of mobiles, you'd
   > > suggest their marketing strategies are pretty accurate, hence the
   > > survey data they're basing their strategies on must similarly be...)
   > Their marketing strategies are based on fashion and sex appeal, not on
   > safety.  I haven't seen any adverts that even mention the security
   > benefits of mobile phones.

   really? wow. the most sucessful mobile phone ad here in aust was one from
   the mid 1990's that featured a young woman in a car in an alley at
   night; car breaks down, woman gets out of car, looks around worriedly,
   gets mobile out of purse, calls help, and everything ends happily ever
   after. even today, network operators still use the poster campaign of this
   ad - the woman standing by the car at night in the alley, with a tag line
   along the lines of 'if she had a mobile she'd be home by now', or some
   such (that's a paraphrase) - in their sales offices. it apparently beats
   the crap out of all the upwardly mobile and/or sexually suggestive mobile
   ad campaigns.




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