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Reply #81: Thank you for your concern about sexist ads [View All]

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Book Lover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-23-07 09:00 PM
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81. Thank you for your concern about sexist ads
Now that you have shown yourself interested in this issue, may I point you to some ads that actually do offend women? I am sure you'd want your energy directed toward alerting folks to an ad campaign that actually does insult women, as opposed to this one, which does not.

First, some background.

# 1 Superiority.
Three common tactics used to establish superiority are size, attention and positioning. Notice how both men and women in the Hanes ad appear subservient because of their positions below and behind their partners. The Gable Film Festival poster lends historical reference to the stereotype that women, like the one in back, fawn over men yet cannot hold their attention.

# 2 Dismemberment.
Women's bodies are often dismembered and treated as separate parts, perpetuating the concept that a woman's body is not connected to her mind and emotions. The hidden message: If a woman has great legs, who cares who she is?

# 3 Clowning.
Shown alone in ads, men are often portrayed as secure, powerful and serious. By contrast, women are pictured as playful clowns, perpetuating the attitude that women are childish and cannot be taken seriously.

# 4 Canting.
People in control of their lives stand upright, alert and ready to meet the world. In contrast, the bending of body parts conveys unpreparedness, submissiveness and appeasement. The Capri ad further exemplifies head and body canting. The woman appears off-balance, insecure and weak. Her upraised hand in front of her face also conveys shame and embarrassment.

# 5 Dominance/Violence. The tragic abuse-affection cycle that many women are trapped in is too often glorified in advertising. Is the Revlon ad selling lipstick and nail polish or the idea that a woman must be kept under control? Note the woman's affectionate reward for her pleasant cooperation in being choked with her own pearls. It's not funny, Frank.

Also take a look here: for examples of ads which actually do offend feminists. You might want to check out / too.

Again, as a feminist, I thank you for your concern but I assure you, in this instance, it is misplaced. The image you are worried about shows a woman pretty well covered, and in an assertive pose (in fact, if you clicked through to he site, you'd see that she's pretty much in charge). She isn't poised to serve a man, she isn't shown as ready to strip off her clothes, and she isn't emaciated.
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