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Popular Culture Essay. In my essay I will scrutinise feminism in advertising. We live in a world surrounded by commercial advertisements

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POPULAR CULTURE ESSAY. In my essay I will scrutinise feminism in advertising. We live in a world surrounded by commercial advertisements. For a very long time advertisers have used tactics such as gender representations for targeting their audiences (customers). It is described by others as the science that capture the human mind long enough to get money out of it. With theories of advertising and their sophistication, my assignment will look at both the advantages and disadvantages of feminism in advertising. Society and social structure are immensely affected by popular culture. Strinati (2004) says, ?in modern setting, popular culture is the culture produced which is commercially created by a few for consumption by many?. Mass media such as television, films, magazines, bus stop shelters, billboards, internet and newspapers are the common forms of communication used by product manufacturers who portray and interpret society. Kellnar (1995, p 5) says ?media is the form of art that teaches us how to be men or women, how to react to society, how to be successful and popular?. These are some of the advantages for manufacturers concerned about the commercial success of their products hence presenting a culture that will be consumed by many. These few points by Kellnar(1995) are some of what manufacturers or capitalists with one thing in mind success of their product use as advantage forcing them to present a culture they believe will attract and be consumed by the most audience. ...read more.


The truth is advertisers continue to miss-represent the female body and women are still seen as cheap of free labour for house work in spite of all the changes in representation of women over the years. In television adverts for both sexes, men appear 76% more as experts than women (Hasseltine 1982). Hasseltine also says women are often portrayed as mothers or housewives without common sense knowledge about their roles. Recent study (Yoder et al 2008) has proved that although women still appear as housewives, they no longer appear as people without voice and mind of their own instead they are now competent, have a voice and perform professional duties just like the male colleagues. This shows a clear picture of change from the past couple of decades. Although changes in the way women are portrayed on adverts are said to have improved, the stereotyping still remains and are adding worthiness to some of the feminist objections about the portrayal of females in mass media. For examples women were seen as voiceless, passive sexual objects for male gaze, nevertheless today it is still the same, except women are no longer presented as inactive but as desirable sexual subjects who presents themselves in that objectified manner because they want to (Goldman, 1992). This is now post feminism and advertisers still use their narrow ideas that create feminine qualities and feminists are finding difficult to persuade advertisers to change these gender identities because advertisers put so much money towards these ideas and cannot afford to have low commercial results (Cortese 2008) ...read more.


In conclusion, there clear evidence that feminists do not agree about the origins of inequality between men and women. They argue that women have always been in a subordination position while some say gender inequalities originate from particular historical events (Haralambos and Holborn 2008). Women have suffered oppression in the past without a voice and today they have a voice but still experience oppression in one way or the other. In advertising we saw objectification of women in advertisements as harmful in the 1970s and 1980s and in the twenty first century the objectification of women in advertisement is still happening but is now called the sexual power of women over men. We have also seen that the stereotyping and portraying women as object is a tool for advertisers trying to achieve their targets for whatever they are selling. Stereotyping the depicting of women has been part of advertising and will continue to be a very useful tool for advertisers. The manipulation of images can have devastating effect on out women living them with all sorts of problems. Finally, feminism is a metaphor for transformation, having s voice, for women who did not have a public voice in the past and it is seen as moving from object to subject (Storey 2009). Today the feminism movements are still tackling the adverting industry with the introduction of new revolution ways to tackle mass media about these images that depicting women as sexual objects. ...read more.

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