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Feminist Fistbump: Cindy Gallop

Hello, and welcome to the inaugural post of our new series Feminist Fistbump where we offer up props to those warriors fighting for gender equality today! This first Feminist Fistbump goes out to advertising consultant, startup guru, and all-around badass Cindy Gallop.

Smiling white woman in black tank top against white background.

I first learned of Ms. Gallop when I came across her web platform IfWeRanTheWorld.com where visitors to the site suggest what they would do if they had the type of global influence usually reserved for giant corporations and governments. These crowd-sourced ideas then connect the user to different "microactions" provided by other users who are also trying to change the world. IfWeRanTheWorld.com is a great representation of Gallop's own personal philosophy of dreaming big and doing big things. She is the self-described "Michael Bay of business" and her career history shows she has indeed been "blowing shit up" for some time now.

Born in the UK and raised Brunei, Gallop first entered the marketing world after graduating from Oxford with a degree in English Literature. She began her career in theater publicity, but after a few years decided to take on the male-dominated monolith of the corporate advertising world. Starting as a trainee account executive at a small, London-based creative agency, over the next four years Gallop worked her way up to an executive position at famed advertising agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH) where she became the first ever female board member and founder of both BBH's Asia Pacific and US branches. These accomplishments established Gallop as an advertising head honcho and essential member of the BBH team. For many, rising to the top of a powerful, global, male-dominated company would be enough excuse to sit back and bask in the glow of their successes and accolades. However, Gallop left BBH in 2006 to start her own consulting agency, Cindy Gallop LLC, and committed herself to creating platforms for users to turn ideas into action.

Cindy Gallop's latest venture MakeLoveNotPorn.tv looks to provide a counterpoint to today's online porn industry and is perhaps her most ambitious yet. The idea grew out of Gallop's website MakeLoveNotPorn.com where users contribute to a database of user-produced porn videos featuring all types of people having the sex that feels right for them. Unlike most mainstream pornography, on MLNP.tv shaved pubes, huge boobs, and porn staples such as coming on a woman's face are welcome, but not required. Check out Gallop explain MLNP in her own elegant words in the below video of her 2009 TED talk where she first lauched the website.

MakeLoveNotPorn.tv builds on the original website's premise that porn audiences should have access to all different types of sex and not just the typical porn industry offerings. What is particularly great about Gallop's project is that she does not condemn pornography as wrong but rather emphasizes its importance in modern culture and calls for a revamping in which human experience dictates pornography and not the other way around. In a day and age where labiaplasties are on the rise and sex education in schools is under constant threat, MLNP.tv could be a welcome alternative to the homogenous and largely unrealistic sexual standards much of porn has given us.

Unfortunately, MakeLoveNotPorn.tv is still in its invitation-only beta stage. Even more unfortunate is that this writer and Gallop fan only got her beta invite this morning, so I can't give a definitive review yet. Luckily, some other invitees have been kind enough to share their impressions of the site. Molly Oswaks of Gizmodo kindly shares this preview:

Still in its invite-only beta phase, MLNP.tv provides a platform for its users to upload and share their own NSFW content—#realworldsex, rather than "porn" per se—which is reviewed and selected by the site's backend staff and published at their discretion. Each submission is $5, a nominal fee Gallop hopes will keep out the spammers and trolls. Published content can be rented for $5 for three weeks at a time; there is a 50/50 profit split between the content creator and the house, which Gallop hopes will serve as incentive for users to promote their own content—in other words: pick up some of the marketing slack.

Gallop has high hopes for MLNP.tv, as she does for all the hundreds of ideas generated by random users at IfWeRanTheWorld.com. There's no telling what impact the site will have on the business or aesthetic of the pornography industry. Taking on such a popular and powerful industry is just as much revolutionary as it is daunting. Does that matter to Cindy Gallop? Apparently not because SHE IS DOING IT ANYWAY.

In addition to her successes in business, Cindy Gallop recieves this Feminist Fistbump because she uses her celebrity and online presence to help other women struggling to get their start-ups off the ground. Gallop's Twitter feed is a daily source of links to other female-founded startups and resources for other women looking to get their startups off the ground. If this sounds like you, I'd suggest giving @cindygallop a follow. And if you think also think she's rad, perhaps you can give Ms. Gallop your own cyber feminist fistbump.

Bonus: Cindy Gallop is as much a style icon as she is a business icon. Check out this Dwell.com video tour of Gallop's famed "Black Apartment." (Warning: This apartment may cause design fans to drool all over their keyboards.)

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Comments

3 comments have been made. Post a comment.

Shameless mention of a fun fact

The Black Apartment was used as a backdrop for the awesome video series "Reality Rehab," promoting Jennifer Pozner's essential book Reality Bites Back

If you have never seen this video series before, check it out beginning at this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAfnGEvxHtw

i like the video

i am agree with cindy gallop. make love not porn

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