'The media's the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that's power.' Malcolm X

Sticks and stones

The accumulation of words labelling groups is, of course, one of the aspects we consider when thinking about the concept of representation. Fathers4Justice recently sought to highlight what they saw as the negative representation of males on the Mumsnet website, but their advert was banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The ban has obviously resulted in the usual increase in publicity that such decisions bring. It’s important that both sides of such an argument have a say, however, in order that representations and stereotypes can be scrutinised and, where necessary, corrected. In banning misleading advertisements the ASA is providing a useful prompt to challenge and debate representations; you can’t unsee something, but you can be encouraged to think again about your perception of an issue.

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Posted July 4, 2012