Where’d The Women Go?

Today is International Women’s Day.

My social media feeds were filled with posts about empowerment and the status of women. But what’s interesting, most posts did not feature women at all.

Those posts featured the tag #NotThere and showed advertisements, that once had women in them, now empty. It was part of the Clinton Foundations No Ceilings initiative. The campaign was meant to show that women were “not there” yet in terms of gender equality.

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And it was not just advertisements that removed women. iHeartMedia removed women’s voices from well-known songs on radio stations. Social media users were encouraged to change their profile pictures to blank silhouettes. Vogue published a blank cover for a window display in Manhattan. Even Mona Lisa was not in the Mona Lisa.

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The initiative’s website said,

“On International Women’s Day, the world woke up to find that many women were not there. This symbolic act reflected what a new analysis of women and girls’ progress says about the state of gender equality: we’re NOT THERE yet.”

It’s a new twist on the pervasiveness of media. It’s certainly not the first (or last) time the media has used it’s power for a reason other to sell, promote or entertain. Today they banded together to promote a new stereotype. One where women, like media, were not only used to sell, promote or entertain.

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