Ms. Magazine
-Just the Facts
-Word: Bi
-Women to Watch
Diary of a Slam Poet
National Poetry Slam champion and outspoken feminist shares a year of her life on the road. By Alix Olson
In these two articles, we explore some of the ways ads affect us.

Hooked on Advertising
Cultural critic Jean Kilbourne takes on ads offers new insight into the not-so-obvious messages lurking behind the luster. By Clea Simon

Consuming Passions
Today's advertising execs and their big- business clients are betting that consumers will buy products made by companies that support social causes. Are the ads just talk, or is there substance behind the slogans? By Dan Bischoff

Book Reviews
On the Ms. bookshelf
Saturday's Child by Robin Morgan
The Crimson Edge: Older Women Writing (Volume Two) by Sondra Zeidenstein
Gun Women by Mary Zeiss Stange and Carol K. Oyster

Her Way by Paula Kamen
Feminism is for Everybody by bell hooks
Black, White and Jewish by Rebecca Walker
Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver

by Marcia Ann Gillespie

-The Latest on Tamoxifen

-In Poland, Feminism Is the News
-The Right's Stealth Tactics
-Gloria Steinem's Wedding Day
- Newsmaker: Aloisea Inyumba
- What Will Mexico's New Government Mean for Women?
- Opinion: Blaming the Messenger
- Clippings

Elouise Cobell Takes on the Feds

Aunt Jemima in the Mirror

What's a Hacktivist?

The Body Shop's Anita Roddick

Shirin Neshat Sees Beyond the Veil

by Daisy Hernandez, Patricia Smith, and Gloria Steinem


Is the feminist movement stuck in mid-revolution? According to this well-known lawyer and activist the answer is yes. Now it's time to move on and harness our power.

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"The truth is that there's no way not to be influenced by advertising," asserts Kilbourne, whose lectures have been documented in several films, most notably the three Killing Us Softly documentaries, the first two made in 1979 and 1987 by Cambridge Documentary Films and the most recent made in 2000 by the Media Education Foundation. And in 1999, after years of rejection letters from publishers afraid of printing criticism of the advertising industry, Kilbourne published the book Deadly Persuasion (Simon & Schuster), which was rereleased by the same publisher this November with the new name Can't Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel. With the book and the new film, Kilbourne is now reaching out beyond her previous audience of primarily college students to bring her message to the masses. Broadening her audience is imperative if we're going to counter the negative impact of advertising says Susan Faludi, author of the the feminist classic Backlash. "Kilbourne's work is pioneering and crucial to the dialogue of one of the most underexplored yet most powerful realms of American culture," comments Faludi.

Ad after ad implies that girls and women don't really mean "no" when they say it, that women are only teasing when they resist men's advances. This perfume ad, running in several teen magazines, features a very young woman, with eyes blackened by makeup or perhaps something else, and the copy, "Apply generously to your neck so he can smell the scent as you shake your head 'no.'" In other words, he'll understand that you don't really mean it and he can respond to the scent like any other animal.
-Jean Kilbourne
Kilbourne and I leaf through a fat issue of Vogue, paying particular attention to the ads, and talk about advertising and addictions. We come across an ad proclaiming "Strength isn't always a shout." The woman in the picture is beautifully made up, but her mouth is closed. "That's the message women get all the time, you know, be strong but don't speak up too much, don't be too loud. Don't." And then there's food-advertising encourages women to substitute eating for love, Kilbourne maintains, even while showing us images of impossibly thin women. "You eat partly to numb the pain you feel because you're in a miserable relationship," she says, pointing to a chocolate ad in which a woman appears to float into a romantic fantasy with just one bite. "But it also becomes the substitute for a relationship. There's tremendous cynicism in the culture about relationships," she says. Many marriages fail. She herself is divorced. "So it's very seductive to think that the things in our lives will be permanent. The advertisers have played upon that. But what's new is that it's not the case anymore that if you buy the car, you get the woman. It's if you buy the car, you don't need the woman." CONTINUE>> 
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