News & Politics » The Reader's Guide Feature

Women's Rights--One Man's Battle

by

comment

"Have you seen the one with the naked woman selling the Palm Pilot?" Manivong Ratts wants to know. "Or the Gucci hat ad where the woman's head is cut off?" Ratts, a counselor at College of DuPage, is rattling off examples from about-face.org's "Gallery of Offenders," a collection of magazine ads. He'll be using these examples and others to stimulate audience participation in Sex and Violence: Images of Women in the Media at the college this week. "I'm an Asian-American, so I've always been sensitive to race issues," he explains. "But it took until I got married to realize that--wow--as a man I've got it good." Now, steeped in the work of writers like Naomi Wolf and Jean Kilbourne, Ratts is a cultural critic and women's rights advocate. Along with his colleague Nathania Montes, he'll deconstruct the ubiquitous images that cast women as powerless and imperfect sex objects, connecting the dots from starved body types and staged violence to real-life eating disorders and physical abuse. "I think it's important for men to hear men talking about this," he says. "I'm really passionate about it. These attitudes keep us from getting to know women, limit how close we can be with them in all realms of life. It's not about censorship, but about what happens when you're exposed to media." Ratts and Montes will present "Sex and Violence" at noon on Tuesday, January 28, and at 6 on Wednesday, January 29, in the Student Resource Center, room 1450, at the college, 425 Fawell in Glen Ellyn. It's free; call 630-942-2004 for more information.

Add a comment