Don’t worry this photo is okay..?
Normally culture jamming is against the dominant discourse. Feminism can hardly be described as such, there is no denying that in most societies patriarchy has held this position for a very long time.
Patriarchy is a form of social stratification that forms a hierarchy based on masculine power; a social system with traditions of elitism and offers privileges for being male. It is important to remember that there are multiple intersections of oppression working at the same time, such as race, class, ability/disability, etc. It is due to this that it may be more prudent to think of society in terms of Kyriarchy.
Kyriarchy – a neologism coined by Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza and derived from the Greek words for “lord” or “master” (kyrios) and “to rule or dominate” (archein) which seeks to redefine the analytic category of patriarchy in terms of multiplicative intersecting structures of domination…Kyriarchy is best theorized as a complex pyramidal system of intersecting multiplicative social structures of superordination and subordination, of ruling and oppression (Glossary, Wisdom Ways, Orbis Books New York 2001).
Example: Slavery – this is a well-documented example that contradicts patriarchy; black men did not have power over white women and some women (wealthy, white, standing) had power over men and women of colour.
(read more about this Here).
Now, it is most likely that this image was created by a male simply because of the patriarchal world in which we live. However, it is also entirely possible that it was created by a woman because of the Kyriarchy society supports.
Either by man or woman, this culture jam appears to be a response to campaigns such as #nomorepage3 and #loosetheladsmags. Such campaigns aim to end the sexual objectification of women by removing the product from the shelves, in turn ending demand for the sight of a nude or semi-nude female.
If created or used by a man, this picture highlights the censorship and fetishizing of the bare breasts of a woman. It pokes fun at the aim to end the sexual objectification of women by removing images of women’s breasts from the consumers eye. Its saying that if we want equality, why is a male bare chest okay, but a female bare chest not? It could be seen to be
misogynistic as it is using a feminists argument, to not want images of bare breasted women in print or online, to silence the same argument; by subverting it to show such campaigns as not promoting equality amongst sexes.
If this culture jam was created or is used by women, then it is challenging the legitimacy of the current dominant form of feminism. A basic understanding of feminism tells women that we are subjects of sexual objectification and that this is wrong on any level. This form of feminism asserts that sexual objectification is used by men as a form of power over us, so posing as a glamour model harms all women.
‘So can culture jamming and feminism be friends?’
Certainly, other forms of feminism have successfully used culture jamming to form a critique of the sexism found in advertising campaigns by big brands.
It has been used to promote reproductive rights. here a sticker was placed on a leaflet designed to discourage abortion, therefore jamming the message in leaflets given out by pro-life campaigners.
A culture jamming street artist critiques the lack of intersectionality and racial tensions in Europe by focusing on fashion advertising. Under the street name “Princess Hijab” she has targeted advertising campaigns around Paris covering images of fashion models in paint to veil their face behind a thick dripping pigment of black.
The most important thing about culture jamming feminism, whether for or against, is that it offers anonymous dialogue; reducing consequences for the jammer if the message is not willingly received. It offers those who have their voice silenced to shout back, and as a feminist your voice is often silenced. You do not need to be an academic, you do not need to be in the public eye, you donot need to be able to wield a spray can . All you need is the want to have your voices heard and a pen.
You can find more information about the pictures following these links:
And more about patriarchy here