Just a short post while I contemplate a longer one: The Mongolian presidential and parliamentary elections are coming up in May and June, which has thrown Mongolian political participation into the limelight. It will be super interesting to see how women’s political participation becomes a hot topic in the following months considering how parliament recently reinstated a woman’s quota in parliament; the original 30 percent quota was revoked in 2007, which has now been reinstated at 20 percent after the number of women in parliament dropped to 3…
But anyway, I just came across this Mongolian news article, which discusses a recent municipal election and the previous low rates of political participation amongst Mongolian youth. The most interesting aspect to me, however, was the attached picture of a poster commissioned by the General Election Committee aimed at revving up youth political participation, which happened to prominently feature the American porn star (who, it is noted in the article, is ‘touching herself’), Tera Patrick, and the statement: “Youth, I’m waiting for you in the polling station…don’t forget your polling and ID card…”
The article also mentions that the committee did not have to work very hard to get this poster spread quickly, which subsequently became the face of the election and elicited many comments from passing boys about the size of that woman’s breasts.
Besides not being a very politically oriented statement, the poster both utilizes a hyper sexualized female body to detract from the seriousness of political participation, and reinforces the stereotype of a dumb, helpless woman (‘I went to the polling station, but forgot my card, silly me, can you get it? I’ll just stand here and touch myself until you arrive’). Maybe the Mongolian election committee took a few notes from the following United Russia advertisement that also utilizes sex to shock people and gain votes (as if I didn’t need another reason to dislike Putin).
I suppose this shouldn’t really shock me, but a poster like this would have never have worked 15 years ago in Mongolia. Is it a sign of our (globalizing) times that a picture of an American porn star is being used to garner votes in a municipal election in Mongolia? Uuuugggggggh.