Category Archives: Pop Culture

Sweet Tweet

Yes, I tweet. I use twitter. I’m a tweeter, twitterer… whatever you want to call it. While a lot of people don’t understand what twitter and I see in each other, I’m here to tell you about a pretty cool twitter community to support women. #WLSalt was designed to support, lift, encourage, and promote women leaders.

One of the founders of this community, @tbump, said in an email to the other founding sisters “I send at least 1 DM (direct message) a day to someone who has publicly diminished herself.  I’m looking to help build their self esteem, self respect, and encourage them to take their place at the table with confidence and the support of women like us. We can create a network of women who value what matters and will enthusiastically help each other achieve, score the best opportunities and see this world as their oyster. Are you in?”

Women and men are encouraged to use #WLSalt for tweets that:
*WL: Women Lead
* Support: Provide support, connections, and resources for leadership, academic, and career opportunities
* Affirm: Highlight the success of women as leaders at all levels
* Lift: Lift up the voices that may be quieted in other venues
* Transform: Facilitate the continued success of woman in higher education

#WLSalt has expanded to having its own twitter handle (@sawomenlead) and blog, Just reading through some of the blog posts today have inspired me and challenged me.  And just knowing about this hashtag makes me think more intentionally about my interactions with women.  For example last week I had the chance to sit down with an amazing woman on campus, someone who is getting a dual PhD, has a family, does volunteer work and more.  So having the chance to just sit with her for 20 minutes was a pretty big deal.  I feel like these days if I have a few extra minutes, I jump at the chance to answer a few emails or catch up on facebook. But having real-life interactions with people are huge!  So after our chat, I was inspired and sent a simple tweet. “Glad I took 20 minutes to sit down and chat with a wonderful woman on campus. She balances joint PhD program, family, volunteering #WLSalt.”  It’s meant as a reminder that there are wonderful women out there and that it is valuable to take time to talk with them.  Having the #WLSalt hashtag sends little reminders every day that I am important and I can get through the day.

Be sure to check out #WLSalt on twitter today (April 12) – you’ll see a flood of support from people across the spectrum supporting equal pay for women!

Want to engage on twitter? I’m @mandajeanne.
Amanda Martin is doing a practicum at the Margaret Sloss Women’s Center. She can be reached at or on twitter at @mandajeanne.


30 second impact – commercials and the Superbowl

To me, the Superbowl is a day to enjoy awesome appetizers and good company. To be honest, the commercials are typically more entertaining to me than the game. (Catch me during the World Series, I’ll have a different story for you, football is just not my sport).

Anyway, I did have a few favorite commercials this year – the Chrysler ad Eminem starred in about Detroit was powerful. The Volkswagen commercial with the little Darth Vader was adorable.  I have to admit the Doritos house sitting commercial got me rolling when grandpa came back to life. And the Bridgestone “Carma” commercial with the beaver warmed my heart.

But then… there were the other commercials that made me shake my head in disgust.  Many Superbowl commercials are known for being violent and sexist. GoDaddy? Really? Thanks for leaving your “mature content” on the web. Their commercials basically consisted of women in short shorts, leather, and high heels. It must be pretty effective to focus in on a woman’s breasts when advertising the web address, huh?

Then I was confused as to how Eminem could have done such a great commercial, and then such a distasteful one for Brisk. “I get asked to do commercials all the time, and I always say the same thing. First, I need some hot chicks.” (Cue dancing claymation women in short dresses). And then singing a jingle about iced tea, where all the words are beeped out? Classy. And why not end it with throwing a guy off the top of a building?

Hmmm, how to even choose between Pepsi Max’s violent and/or sexist commercials? Did you see the one where a woman and man are on a first date? And what’s going through the man’s mind? “ I wanna sleep with her, I wanna sleep with her, I wanna sleep with her.” Or the one where a husband is sitting on a park bench with his wife drinking Pepsi Max, and a runner in pink running shorts sits down? Don’t get whiplash there, buddy.

What kind of affect do these commercials have on people? According to ISU Marketing professor Russell Laczniak, who co-authored a study called “Television Commercial Violence: Potential Effects on Children” kids who viewed violent ad content also had more aggressive thoughts, which can lead to more aggressive behavior.

The local TV station WHO interviewed a father who, while he was concerned about the violent commercials, was even more concerned about the sexual content. Laczniak suggests “co-viewing” commercials with your kids. Watching the commercials together and then talking about them.  It’s so easy for violent and sexist behavior to became second-nature, especially when we’re watching them on TV. But let’s watch carefully the messages the media is putting out to us, and make sure we’re not letting it get engrained into our minds as normal behavior.

I hope as the years continue, we get to watch more and more heart-warming, inspiring, and meaningful commercials. Something as simple as a bottle of coke bringing together enemies from opposite sides of the border.

-Amanda Martin

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