Inspired by Jack Myers' new book "The Future of Men: Masculinity in the Twenty-First Century" (out now!), this is a weekly blog focused on gender equality, gender politics and the shift in gender norms in business and culture. Read on for this week's news roundup.
Viacom has launched a series of PSAs in a campaign titled “Witness the Power of the Story” to combat gender and racial bias, Adweek reports. Each of Viacom’s networks, including MTV, CMT, VH1, Spike and BET, will roll out a different message of social good targeted at their audience. After strategically picking NYC buildings related to each cause, common stereotypes and stats were projected onto them creating the effect of giant digital billboards. MTV’s video, for example, tackled sexism, highlighting the destructive messages that both men and women hear, including, “She’s so sensitive,” “This is a man’s job,” and “Man up.” “Ending bias starts with seeing it,” the video concludes. CMT’s campaign, projected on the side of an armory, focused on veterans; VH1’s asked passersby at the Brooklyn Academy of Music to “Save the Music,” and BET’s message sought to empower African American Millennials. Viacom viewers and passerby were encouraged to share their own #story4change on social media. Click on the images below to watch MTV’s and BET’s videos.
According to new research from Pinterest, baby showers that are more inclusive of men are more popular than ever, and traditionally masculine pleasures -- i.e. beer, BBQ and poker -- are emerging as popular party themes, Mashable reports. Last year, the search for “man showers” increased by 149% and the gender-neutral “co-ed showers” increased by 255%. While baby showers are still largely female-only events, new dads and couples are slowly challenging this long-lasting tradition, and more and more brands are coming out with male-friendly childcare necessities, including stylish diaper bags for men. "There's a lot of 'American' tradition around bridal showers and baby showers for women, so it was nice to put something on the calendar for my friends. I'm sure a lot of other men would enjoy the same. Some of my guy friends who are now parents had planned something similar (like a gathering or a weekend trip with their friends)," one dad told Mashable. Check out how some dads prepared for their “Dad-chelor” party below.
After being hit with a lawsuit accusing CEO Gustavo Martinez of sexist and racist remarks last week and leaving the whole industry wondering how parent company WPP would respond, JWT and Martinez have parted ways “by mutual agreement,” according to the company. The discrimination suit was filed by global communications chief Erin Johnson and, until yesterday, JWT reported that they could find no evidence to her claims. Adweek reported that JWT may have been too quick to defend Martinez and that the agency was consulting with crisis experts. Campaign editor Douglas Quenqua wrote a column last week that corroborated some of Johnson’s claims about racist comments, and Johnson’s lawyers stated they possessed recordings of another incident at an agency retreat in Miami. According to a MediaPost column that featured interviews from top female advertising professionals, an amendment filed on March 14th forced JWT’s hand, and chief client team officer Tamara Ingram took over the top spot. The suit remains active and, as we continue the dialogue around diversity and female leadership, the industry is watching.
During Women’s History Month, UN Global Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson has been championing new initiatives for her HeForShe organization, which promotes gender equality across the globe. In a new video created for International Women’s Day, she joins “Hamilton” creator and co-star Lin-Manuel Miranda in a fun freestyle about feminism (they are pictured at top). In a playful exchange, Miranda asks Watson to beatbox, while he spits a few lines about gender equality: “Yo, it's Lin and I have to laugh, how can we not be equal, we're like half. Like women are half of the people on Earth. And yes they should've been equal since birth. That means all day, every day, equal pay, every way." Watch the collaboration below.
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