Sunday, November 28, 2010

Does the media promote sexism?

The media uses one primary technique to sell a product, sex. It simply works. An attractive model on a magazine cover is a good way to grab attention and pull it to an otherwise mundane topic. Sexuality is one interest almost every adult consumer has in common. The most frequent topic of a magazine cover is an attractive model. She appeals to women who are constantly seeking to improve there own appearance. They may see the model and want to look at the magazine to get tips on makeup and fashion. The model also appeals to heterosexual men, who usually never object to looking at an attractive female. These adds purposefully target our emotions to get attention. Marketers have done the research, and know how to invoke as much of an emotional impact as possible. Sex is one common interest people posses and has a lot of emotions associated with it. Sex is considered the apex of a romantic relationship, and can be related to sensual feelings of pleasure, longing and desire more powerful then most others. Sex in advertising is everywhere, but sometimes it can get excessive. When to much of any ideas is trusted in our faces time and time again eventually it will have lasting consequences (Killing Us Softly 3). This kind of advertising can lead to misconceptions about sex, and promote sexism. 

This type of advertising works well for one reason; sex is the dominant value in society. Advertisements reflect the values and ideas of a culture. If sex is what the culture values then that is what will be sold. Obviously our societies values sex more then most everything else. Magazines at the check out counters always flash things like “get the body you want” or “tips in bed”. These are the ones that sell the best, that is why they are in front. If knowledge was the most valued thing in society then National Geographic would probably make it into that spot on supermarket shelves, instead of People, Cosmopolitan, Star or In Touch. 

The pop music industry demonstrates that sex is a dominant value in our culture, as well. In most of the songs lyrics are either about romance or sex. In many cases romance is just a euphemism for sex. Music videos on MTV, BET and VH1 are quite frequently vary sexual, and depict males and females in strict gender rolls. Female back up dancers roll their bodies in the background often when men perform the music. In tease videos women are often shown as nymphomaniacs who desire to pleasure men all the time. Even when a women does make it into the performing spot light they must also perform a sexulized role (Dreamworlds II Desire, Sex and Power in Music Video). Lady Ga Ga's video “Love Game” is the perfect example. The opening scene depict her, nude with two males touching her body as she sings. Males continue to grope her and she is shown nude several more times throughout the performance. The lyrics of the song and footage promote the idea of heterosexual one night stands with multiple partners. An image is flashed on the screen briefly of Lady Ga Ga making out with a female cope (Lady Gaga). This is just a simple reminder that it is ok to be lesbian if you are trying to get attention from males.

Film and Television are no exception to the rule. Reality TV shows about dating and getting a makeover to look sexy are ubiquitous. Sex is the theme of meany comedies, soap operas and dramas as well. Shows like America's Next Top Model and Next demonstrate the obsession with sex. The Secret Diary of a Gall Girl on Showtime is especially sexual due to the simple fact that it is a drama about a prostitute. The author of the series, Lucy Prebelle also wrought the other televisions series such as Sex and the City and The Sugar Syndrome. The titles of the shows speak for themselves what they are about.

Advertisements of Calvin Kline make frequent appearances in magazines. This company is also known for having especially sexual advertisements. One add that was on billboards across America illustrates what appears to be a fore-some between three males and one female. They are all wearing Calvin Klein jeans, and not much else. Two of the men handle the young women roughly,Wile one lays on the ground as if he is tired from already having a sexual excursion (James). This add demonstrates the idea that the role of women is to be sexual tools for men.

All the sex in the media says have an impact on individuals, weather they want it or not. If you where to really stop and analyze the ads around us you would see that the most prevalent technique to sell is sex. As the years progress using sex in mass media is becoming more and more excepted, now it is everywhere. Sexuality in the media is vary unrealistic and fantasized. It is almost always shown between attractive, heterosexual young adults. The act is shown as a whimsical and spontaneous behavior with no risks. Sex in the media is almost always made to appeal to men. They polarize the gender roles in ways that are unfair to both men and women who may not fit perfectly into them (The Guerrilla Girls 89). Some of the most sexist portrayals of women are often when the media uses sex to advertise.

If You are more interested in the topic here is one of my sources

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