Pose women pose?

So what are the feminists saying now? Will Red Code for Justice ‘unpick’ its teeth (Bajan for open its mouth)?

Only last week, Red Code for Justice spoke out against a Bank Breweries advertisement, carried in the Daily Nation newspaper, which featured a young woman in shorts and top saying ‘Brown never look so tasty’ and ‘My brown ting, my Banks’.  Now, international entertainer, the official face of Barbados, Rihanna is posing in a very suggestive way on the cover of the recent edition of Gentlemen’s Quarterly (GQ) magazine.

Only a few people, albeit in Red Code’ backyard, will see the Banks advertisement but millions are likely to see Rihanna on GQ’s cover which ‘starlights’ its drawing card item as “Men of the Year and one hot woman”. Rihanna appears partially naked holding her hands erotically between her legs, pointing out what makes her woman; this image will help make the GQ edition a grabber.  Men of the year with one hot woman! Real suggestive, GQ, lots of mental images, there!

So I am listening for the feminists’ response as well as that of the other side for I am still working out some unanswered questions related to a person’s rights and responsibilities.  My alter ego, Avram, cautioned me against waiting for a reaction.

You think it is the militant burn-your-bra days, when placard women would have marched on companies, she said, that wasn’t Caribbean people. Today, Caribbean feminists give ‘polite lady-like’ responses. In fact, she said the feminist movement here is for the most part safely fastened in intellectual halls overseen by women in air-conditioned rooms who deliberated and theorised while avoiding the trenches that are necessary to generate the fruits of true advocacy.

She recalled that we didn’t see a word in our local newspapers or on local radio from feminists about the Bank advertisement. Apparently, the company didn’t hear a word either. If something was said the volume was too low to be heard and it certainly did not dissuade Banks from placing a new and more suggestive advertisement in the newspaper a few days later.

In any case, how cares about what the feminists say, Avram added.  She doesn’t think that what the Banks model or Rihanna’s does has another to do with feminists. The feminists’ view about adverts is an old fashion construct, today’s women are in control of their destiny and intelligent women are choosing their lot; isn’t that what the feminists were agitating for, she asked. In fact, she was able to find a quote from Rihanna  her (Avram’s point).


rihanna (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

Sometimes a person looks at me and sees dollars.They see numbers and they see a product. I look at me and I see art. If I didn’t like what I was doing then I would say I am committing slavery.” (Rihanna)

In any case, while people are arguing about the ‘taste’ of the Rihanna cover, Barbados’ Minister of Tourism was in glee over the exposure that Rihanna is giving the country’s tourism product. The star has a three-year contract with Barbados Tourist Authority (BTA) and its chairman, Adrian Elcock says the organisation “is expecting the marketing power of Rihanna to drive Barbados’ finances as a tourist destination like never before …”

So who is noticing Red Code or the feminists? Avram asked.

(N.B. I wrote this about a week ago.)


5 thoughts on “Pose women pose?

  1. Hi. Just found you through the weekly WordPress challenge. I’m American, but I visited Barbados for the first time last summer. I love it there and can’t wait to visit again! As far as this blog post I would say: 1) Explain that Banks is the national beer brand (I only know this because I was there for cropover), 2) make a statement about what the feminist movement was/is, and 3) Give your own view about the Rihanna GQ cover. Do you feel strongly about it?

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