Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Gender/Advertising

Based on our in-class discussion today, it seems to me that many of you think that advertising images at the present time are less "sexist" than the ones that Kilbourne published in her article.  Many of you did find offensive many of the images she used that depicted women as the victims or potential victims of violence but you believed that we see fewer such images now, in 2008.  Please try to find examples of advertisements that DO show women as any of the following: a) recipients of the male "gaze" (this was the idea that it is men who are painting or photographing or producing these images), b)  open targets for sexual advances, c) inviting sexual advances, d) persisting is the role of "inferior," in terms of power, to men, or e) themselves in the position of power over, or ownership of, the "gaze." Please also explain your choice of advertisement.

14 comments:

John said...

I would say this ad falls under both category c and e. The woman in this ad seems to be inviting the "gaze" while her attitude is that of being more than an object.

http://pzrservices.typepad.com/.shared/image.html?/photos/uncategorized/2008/08/02/zu_trail_destruction_1preview.jpg

nikki_ikkin said...

http://www.joystiq.com/media/2006/04/adcritic_hitman_pcgamer_BIG.jpg

This advertisement is for a video game called Hitman. It depicts a woman clothed in lingerie and high heels, lying on a bed with a bullet in her head, with the title above reading "Beautifully Executed."
After reading Kilbourne's essay, I was a bit skeptical; I didn't think advertisers flaunted violence towards women as much as she claimed. However, I found this disturbing picture on the first Google page under the broad search term "advertisement." This advertisement blatantly depicts, if not encourages, violence towards women and supports Kilbourne's position that advertising objectifies and harms women.

nikki_ikkin said...

http://www.joystiq.com/media/2006/04/adcritic
_hitman_pcgamer_BIG.jpg

The link above got cut off, this is the advertisement's full address.

NMT-MechE-LC said...

Hello, it's Dr. Newmark. Please be careful when posting your links. As Nikki discovered, some of them are getting cut off.

Sam O. said...

http://www.ltcconline.net/lukas/gender/womenusebody/pics/usebody5.jpg

I found this add by following links off of wikipedia. The add is very blatant in advertising a way for women to gain the attention of men through sex appeal.

jon s said...

http://www.funnyhub.com/pictures/pages/bmw-face-advertisement.html

This was the first hit that yahoo images came up with for advertisement, which I thought was surprising, since I had thought that there was less of this kind of advertisement now.

tim said...

Some of you may be familiar with the advertising campaign for Snorg tees. While not overly controversial, it certainly objectifies the woman, Alice Fraasa. It really must be true: sex appeal sells.

http://images.yuku.com/image/pjpeg/d8015aebdfa11aa4ff8397e20af74a68124d419.pjpg

Also, with all the focus tending to be on the harm caused to women, I think it is only fair to question the effects that such an emphasis on sex and apparent female submission in advertising has on men. Based on the ads found in Kilbourne's article, it would appear that society believes that men should play the dominant role in interactions with women.

Of course, there are many cases where this is simply not true. I have witnessed countless relationships where the female plays a more dominant role--she "wears the pants." Since the man in the relationship appears more meek than is generally encouraged by society, he is somewhat of an outcast. He's whipped.

Kilbourne mentions this concept on page 420 of the seventh edition, but fails to discuss it any further than simply admitting its existence.

Alex said...

Here is an ad that I found that seems to be, according to the article, a better ad than Varsace is normally known for, I have no idea what that means, but I would say that this fits the a, b, and c, categories.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2204/2172633767_c33cb3cd3f_o.jpg

I also found another ad for Puma, that essentially fits all of the criteria, but I am not going to post it since it is a bit graphic, especially for a shoe ad. If you want to see it, search "Puma ad 2008" in the google image search, and the first 4 images are the ones I am talking about.

RoryRowley said...

I think amongst all the ads and campaigns casting women in a less than equal light to males, there are some companies trying to to make a difference in changing the "sex sales" only way of advertising.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hibyAJOSW8U

Dove not only has put out several videos about how advertisement not only casts women as objectifiable beings, but it also has based its campaign on creating work shops and groups based on helping young girls and women as a whole to find personal self beauty and self worth. Dove hopes to build a world where women are capable of accepting themselves as being beautiful, and giving them positive, un-airbrushed role models to look up to, to not only banish negativity about ones body in comparison to others, but to raise self esteem of not only young girls, but those who have lived in throughout decades of harmful falsehoods and negativity.

eric said...

This site has quite a few ads that collectively satisfy every category listed. I know at least one of them was already posted.

http://pzrservices.typepad.com/advertisingisgoodforyou/sexist_advertising/

And I agree with everyone else who was suprised at the degree of sexism that still exists in modern advertisements. The "Hitman" ad was particularly eye-opening.

Sam said...

I found one of the rare advertisements which put the women in a position of power over men.

http://www.wilsonsalmanac.com/images/voodoo.jpg

This picture is option "e" all the way. The women has all the authority while the men are brought to the level of beasts on a leash, literary. Notice how the women offers no target of sexual advance nor invites any. The woman's clothing is fashionable but not scanty, possibly symbolizing a sexual barrier. Also, her face is not visible, but I am divided as to why. Does the absence of a face symbolize that this women is unattainable? Or does it simply make the advertisement less personable? If it is the later, then the advertisement is implying that all women hold such power and not just some individual.

Vicky said...

http://www.ltcconline.net/lukas/gender/violentwomen/pics/violentwomen7.jpg

I chose something from category e. It was not surprising how difficult it was to find something in this category. This advertisement places the female in a place of authority, and the male as the victim. I found it interesting in that the woman is not curvaceous, she has no breasts and her hair is very short in the front. Her manner of dress is also not what you would call sexy or feminine. She herself looks somewhat like a young man.

Vicky said...

http://www.ltcconline.net/lukas/
gender/violentwomen/pics/
violentwomen7.jpg

Let's see if this will allow me to put the link down. If nothing else we can cut and paste, right?

Dan said...

I find this ad quite interesting and somewhat hilarious. "As any man with a woman that can go out and get the man a beer has found the right one". Here shows an example of a newlywed knowing what beer the man wants.
http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.ltcconline.net/lukas/gender/menincontrol/pics/mencontrol7.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.ltcconline.net/lukas/gender/pages/menincontrol.htm&h=446&w=330&sz=27&hl=en&start=15&usg=__sKP4Ilvb7pCimwrEvEsfS56gRcQ=&tbnid=Ml0RJQkwQGZrLM:&tbnh=127&tbnw=94&prev=/images%3Fq%3DGender%2BAdvertisements%26gbv%3D2%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Doff