Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

    Laney’s class schedule designed in bad taste

    Women on the covers depicted with overtly sexual expressions

    By Eva Hannan

    Eva Hannan

    The glossy cover of the Laney College Summer and Fall 2018 Class Schedule, though well-executed in a design sense, is puzzling considering the makeup of Laney’s student body.

    In the visual culture of mainstream America, women and people of color typically find only limited and stereotyped representations.

    The 1950’s pop art style of the cover seems to be an homage to that era — to a fault.

    The cover is an illustration of a female-appearing person with her eyes closed and a slight smile on their lips. She has a cute bob haircut, pale skin, and a thought bubble that reads “Time to reach my dreams!”

    Her closed eyes and sensuous posture say her dreams are for a delicious meal or a satisfying lay, not an affordable education.

    The woman on the back cover appears in an even more passive role. The upper half of her face is concealed by a virtual reality headset. Her only visible features are her gaping red mouth, blond hair and upturned jaw.

    In case we erroneously think she is engaging intellectually, she has a speech bubble that reads “OMG!!! I can see my future!”

    Both representations of women are without hands or eyes. They don’t appear to be doing anything. They are without personality, and they represent what a lot of people would like a woman to be.

    This image dominates the back cover of Laney’s printed Summer & Fall 2018 class schedule.

    The reason this matters is because as a member of the Laney students, administration, faculty or staff, we agree to limit on-campus activity to things that fall within certain standards.

    All over campus there are signs urging Laney students to better themselves, become involved, learn how to respect others and enjoy the learning environment enabled by these standards.

    Last time I looked, the campus was full of students of all genders, body types, and abilities, striving to make more of their lives despite myriad attempts to put them down with hyper-sexualized ideals constantly presented to them by advertisements.

    I have often heard from friends of mine who do not fit into these idealized “norms” that it makes them feel self-conscious, or worse, self-loathing to be bombarded by sexy pictures of passive, young, skinny white women. That is why, more than anything, I’m surprised at the subject matter that was chosen for the class schedule.

    The technical abilities of the artist are proudly displayed, but I wish the subject matter was more in line with awareness of male dominance in our culture.

    Eva Hannan is a Laney Tower staff writer.

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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