Shopping as an Education

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A recent back to school ad in Canada was pulled from its stores six weeks ago because of its sexist tone when advertising to young women. The Mic Mall ads show tag lines that prioritize the physicality and aesthetics of women over a woman’s intelligence. These ads try to make the statement that shopping is an education for women. This further feeds into gender as stratification because there are no ads that simultaneously show males making “humorous” statements about school. The ad continues to perpetuate the idea presented by Lorber, that the structured inequality between genders leaves women with less power, prestige and economic opportunities. Young girls who are consistently told by society that their physical beauty matters more than their processes of thinking and are not being told to demand intellectual worth will inevitably create a culture of women in the future who are not reaching their maximum intellectual potential because of the implications of gender being portrayed in media such as this ad.

Ad Source: CBC News

Citation- Judith Lorber, “The Social Construction of Gender” (1990)

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