Tag Archives: sexist

Ad Critique: Oh My God– SHOES!

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According to The DCist, a Metro ad features a dialogue between two women where one women is informing the other of how it takes over 8,000 miles before a Metrobus breaks down. The other women in response asks, “Can’t we just talk about shoes?”

Unfortunately, this perpetuates the immortal trope of the “ditsy, shoe-crazy woman”. This made me think about how when we were looking over the definition of “gender dysphoria” earlier today in class, there were still specific culturally gender-biased descriptions present.
For instance, part of the definition stated that gender dysphoria includes, “a strong conviction that one has feelings and reactions typical of the other gender” (DSM-5). This part of the definition implies that there has to be certain “reactions” or interest that apply to each specific gender, which is essentialist and false. Also, this seems to reinforce a binary that there are only two kinds of people/two genders in the world.
It’s also interesting to see that the ad features two presumably cisgendered women, since as Spade mentions, “…a central endeavor of feminist, queer and trans activists has been to dismantle the cultural ideologies… that say that certain body parts determine gender identity and gendered social characteristics and roles” (Spade, 2013). This ad seems to further pigeonhole women into these “gendered social characteristics” and implies that women must love to wear heels, thus assigning “femininity” to a body part.
Works Cited:
“Lady Wants To Talk About Shoes, Not Bus Reliability, Implies Sexist Metro Ad.” DCist. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Dec. 2013. <http://dcist.com/2013/12/ladies_love_shows_says_sexist_metro.php&gt;.
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5)
Spade, Dean. “About Purportedly Gendered Body Parts.” Dean Spade. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2013. <http://www.deanspade.net&gt;
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Tanning Ad For The Holidays.

“And so she comes to consider the surveyor and the surveyed within her as the two constituent yet always distinct elements of her identity as a woman.” (Berger p37)

200 words cannot begin to describe how racist and sexist this advertisement is. The overt racist message being sent here is white pale women should strive to be dark complected like Native Americans. The ad also hyper-sexualizes the Puritans and Native Americans with inaccurate ethnic portrayals even when there is nothing sexual at all about Thanksgiving. The message being sent to women here is you need to be dark and sexy for the holidays even if the weather doesn’t permit. Marketer’s constantly keep women thinking: “is this what I should look like, do I look this good or better?” These unrealistic beauty expectations only mask the true racist undertones that subvert a whole race of people to nothing but a beauty standard of privileged white women. Reducing Native Americans to nothing but a wonderfully complected party host does a huge disservice to this country’s native people. We need to hold these advertisers responsible for their part in perpetuating stereotypes and racism.

http://www.thegloss.com/2013/11/07/beauty/tanning-salon-racist-thanksgiving-ad/

Berger, John, From Ways Of Seeing The Feminism And Visual Culture Reader New York: Routledge, 2003. p37.

Evolutionary Husband?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9HMhSvnbmk This ad for the Samsung Smart TV perpetuates outdated assumptions about a man’s assumed role in the household. In the ad, we see a woman fantasizing about “upgrading” her husband’s role in the household just as she would a Samsung TV. In her dream, we see the man cooking, taking care of the baby, cleaning, and preparing dinner for his wife only to have the fantasy abruptly end and return to reality where the man sits around on the couch grunting like a caveman and eating food like a slob. The stereotyped representation of what a typical man looks like is so exaggerated that the man is literally sitting in a mess in a crumbs and farting while the woman is neat and put together. The portrayal of men as such is merely a stereotype and the idea of an “evolution” of the household dynamic as a futuristic concept is clearly outdated. As Belkin wrote, when it comes to changing stereotypical household responsibilities, “the perception of flexibility is itself a matter of perception” (5). The dynamic of the home can easily change if the couple is willing to make changes. If men in Sweden willingly take paternal leave, clearly not all men need to be technologically “upgraded.” Belkin, Lisa. “When Mom and Dad Share It All.” NY Times. 15 June 2008. Web. 01 Dec 2013. Bennhold, Katrin. “In Sweden, Men Can Have It All.” NY Times. 9 June 2010. Web. 01 Dec 2013.

Sexist Halloween Costumes

Halloween is just around the corner, which means I’m seeing ads and pictures of costumes anywhere.  I found this tumblr (http://fucknosexisthalloweencostumes.tumblr.com/) which compares men and women Halloween costumes.  Why must all the women’s costumes have to be sexy?  Especially when I compare the women’s costume to the men’s.  I’m reminded of a Mean Girls quote “In the regular world, Halloween is when children dress up in costumes and beg for candy. In Girl World, Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it.”  This just reminds me of the sexualization of the female body.  Even before skimpy costumes were manufactured for Halloween, there were women who used Halloween as an excuse to expose themselves.  And especially on a college campus, it is now almost expected for girls to be slutty on Halloween.  I wonder if the manufactures are male, who are okay with objectifying women because it’s what they want to see, or if it’s just because it’s what sells.  All I know is that I’ll be praying to the costume gods that I can find a cute but covered up costume this year.

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“Women drivers, no survivors”

Lately, I’ve been driving around some of my friends (male of course) who always seem to yell out “Women drivers, no survivors” when someone chooses to cut me off causing my to break immediately. 
I wonder, where and how did this stereotype come from? I have seen far worse drivers who were males than i’ve seen females. 

Watching this Allstate commercial, though I must say all of them are quite humorous, “Mayhem” is driving a light pink Dodge SUV. The first thing he makes clear is that he is a “typical, teenage girl.” (S)he is driving with the cellphone in his (her) hand and it continues to go off. (S)he immediately finds out that his (her) BFF kissed Johnny, but it’s a problem because (s)he likes johnny, too. “Mayhem” states that (s)he is now emotionally compromised and swerves into a parked car’s bumper. 

I find that this commercial portrays females in a demeaning way. We are viewed as beings that are emotional, reckless, and crazy. I don’t deny that teenagers are reckless when driving, but the commercial makes it clear that it is a female who is driving; The pink car, the use of acronyms (OMG) out loud, and the judgmental cattiness remark of her best friend who is “not even hot.” On that note, we are not all crazy, and we certainly are not all bad drivers! 

 

Lorber, Judith. Reconstructing Gender: A Multicultural Anthology. Ed. Estelle Disch. 4. 2006.

 

The Last Five Hours

In this 5-Hour Energy commercial, a man accomplished a lot of things – wrote a novel, learned Spanish, ran 10 miles, knit a sweater, recorded an album, etc. This seems to be a fairly non-gendered commercial; he did after all knit a sweater.

However, when compared to what a woman accomplished with her 5-Hour Energy drink in this commercial…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aox5enNvOmg

…the ad campaign seems much more sexist. The woman made a sandwich, cleaned the house, gave a Band-Aid, vacuumed, and changed a diaper.

Beauvoir quotes Benda in The Second Sex, “The body of man makes sense in itself quite apart from that of woman, whereas the latter seems wanting in significance by itself… Man can think of himself without woman. She cannot think of herself without man.”

The man who takes 5-Hour Energy is independent, progressive, and self-sufficient. He directs his energy towards bettering himself. The woman who takes 5-Hour Energy directs all of her energy towards cleaning up after and caring for others. As Beauvoir says, the woman does not stand alone; she is defined in her relation to others. She is not spending her energy on herself, on self-improvement, like the man is. She is passive and reactive to others. 5-Hour Energy perpetuates this damaging gender stereotype.

de Beauvoir, Simone. “The Second Sex: Introduction.” Feminist Theory Reader: Local and Global Perspectives. Ed. Carole R. McCann and Seung-Kyung Kim. New York: Routledge, 2003. 32-40. Print.