Home > Daily Kos > More on the Ruth Institute logo

More on the Ruth Institute logo

May 12th, 2010

As a new guest blogger, I must admit that I hadn’t really noticed the logo.  I assumed it was a star or a flower.  Now, looking at it more closely, I can see a circle of women, but I just don’t see the “old-fashioned dresses”.  The logo appears to depict a stylized female form, with a narrow waist and wider hips.

That seems like a pretty typical way to represent the female shape.  But I got curious–what sort of image or symbol would a “feminist” website use?  A search of Google Images using the term “feminist logo” turned up mostly the circle-over-cross female sign, with or without a fist (or a paw print, for vegan feminists).  There was only one site (the Minnesota DFL) that had a stylized female form.  I wonder why feminists would so avoid any representation of who they are (human women), and instead use a scientific symbol.

Print Friendly
Be Sociable, Share!
Categories: Daily Kos Tags:
  1. Arlemagne1
    May 12th, 2010 at 15:28 | #1

    You could have addressed this post to Dante Atkins and entitled it “Moron, the Ruth Institute Logo.” Same pronunciation, different meaning.

  2. Ginny
    May 12th, 2010 at 20:12 | #2

    Now, now, I think the rules said “no name-calling”! :)

  3. Arlemagne1
    May 12th, 2010 at 21:07 | #3

    Couldn’t help it.

  4. nerdygirl
    May 13th, 2010 at 08:21 | #4

    Feministing’s logo is stylized pin-up (specifically the kind seen on mud-flaps) flipping the bird. I imagine in part the use of an actual symbol or scientific logo is in part to show that women are capable of rational thought and logic. Particularly in the early days of feminism (and still today sadly) some people believe women are ruled by their emotions, and as such would merely dismiss any argument or statement made by a woman as such. Using a non-humanoid symbol is less emotional, and as such suggests a more logical, thought out approach. Another reason may be that women come in many shapes and sizes, as feminism stands against idealized beauty standards, that are often physically impossible for most women to achieve, they may be hesitant to use a female figure for fear of subconsciously excluding some women.

  5. Ginny
    May 17th, 2010 at 22:21 | #5


    Hi, nerdygirl. I tried to respond to your comment last week, but it got lost in the ether somewhere. (I probably hit the wrong button!) Let’s see if I can remember what I said…

    Perhaps instead of “scientific symbol” I should have said “medieval symbol”; since it doesn’t represent science, per se, but represents the goddess/planet Venus. (Certainly an emotional being!)

    As far as avoiding exclusion, you make a good point. I myself have noticed marketing changes over the years, that seem designed with that in mind. An example: 20 years ago, the label on cans of ProSobee infant formula used to show a mother rocking her baby. A few years back, I noticed that it had been changed to a picture of an anthropomorphic “mommy rabbit” and her baby bunny. (Kind of like a Beatrix Potter-style drawing.)

    I figured that the manufacturer decided that no matter what the human mother looked like (black or white, young or older, thin or fat, plain or pretty), someone would look at it and feel excluded. So they went with a non-human character.

    I think this attitude has become very common in our culture. While it is good to acknowledge our differences, we seem to forget that it is also good to celebrate our similarities. We don’t look at an image and see what we have in common. (“She is a mother; I am a mother, too.” “She loves her baby; I love my baby, too.”) Instead we see what separates us. (“She is a different color/age/weight than I am; therefore she does not represent me; therefore, I am excluded.”) And I think that our culture is the poorer for it.

  6. nerdygirl
    May 18th, 2010 at 17:44 | #6

    You think the culture is poorer for it, I think it forces advertisers to try harder. No you can’t just get away with the pretty blonde for every freaking ad. You have to come up with something different and yet still appealing. If anything it strengthens our visual culture.

Comments are closed.