Essay about Two Ways a Woman Can Get Hurt by Jean Kilbourne
1577 WordsApr 29th, 20107 Pages
For the longest time now, advertising has played a huge role in how we identify ourselves in the United States with the American culture, and how others identify themselves with all the cultures of the rest of the world as well. It guides us in making everyday decisions, such as what items we definitely need to invest our money on, how to dress in-vogue, and what mindset we should have to prosper the most. Although advertising does help make life easier for most, at the same time it has negative affects on the people of society as well. Advertisement discreetly manipulates the beliefs, morals, and values of our culture, and it does so in a way that most of the time we don’t even realize it’s happened. In order to reach our main goal of…show more content…
Before even beginning the reading, the audience through the title, “Two Ways a Woman Can Get Hurt,” is able to understand also the personal tone the piece exhibits as well, especially for those who are female. Kilbourne’s support for her argument relies on the Appeal to Authority she makes, citing specific ads of big time companies and businesses to demonstrate how these ads are encouraging sexual aggression and violence. She alleges that ads affect us on an unconscious level stating we’ve become immune to the fact that these ads affect us (417). At the same time, she declares ads are pornographic, since they encourage rape and sexual assault. Kilbourne maintains that all women are vulnerable because “in our culture there is widespread objectification of women’s bodies, glorification of disconnection, violence of women, and blaming of the victim” (433). It all refers back to Kilbourne’s main claim that ads depict individuals as things which encourages sexual hostility. For evidence, she provides data about sexual assault: “According to a 1998 study by the federal government, one in five of us have been the victim of rape or attempted rape, most often before our seventeenth birthday. And more than half of us have been physically assaulted, most often by the men we live with” (430). On top of that, Kilbourne makes it a point to provide visuals and ads
How and why sex and violence is used to represent women in advertising?
In our competitive world of business and products, the sale is the highest goal for the companies and the most effective so far tool to raise it is throughout the advertisement. The sellers are willing to pay a big money for a short message that will be watched by the potential viewers. The industry consider an add as effective when brings to the sale of the product. Nevertheless, in the world where the potential financial resources of viewers are limited, the immediate sale of the product will only occur if a specific add win over tens or hundreds of others watched at the same day by the same viewer. Therefore, the advertisement must be original and appealing to be able to persuade the viewers to buying the product.
Another problem for advertisement is the limited memory of the viewers. For that reason, the marketing people concentrate on creating images that will not be easily forgotten. If the add drew the attention of the viewer there is a big chance the product for gaining a prospective buyer. The easiest way to do that of is to link the product with the ideas that all people are familiar or the opposite: the ideas that will shock the viewers. Therefore, the sex and attributes of gender as well as violence are so widely used in a modern world of advertisement. The advertisement researchers know that neutral scenes do not stay in our memory as long as violence and sex scenes.
The differentiation between the genders are one of very important skill a man learns when he/she is a child. Soon follow the rules, the girls wear dresses and play the dolls while all boys have short hairs and play with guns and cars. The little girls are taught from the young age that females are sensitive, gentle, and nice. These girls grow the women who believe that to be good wives they must depend upon men and that their role in a relationship with a man is passive. The men are believed to be protectors of family, the person that held responsibility for the financial wealth of a family. Our culture demands from men to be strong and independent even to be aggressive while the women must be weak, nice, and good looking.
The advertisement people use that and others ready social formulas to create links with the images of the objects. The objects become the important factor that woman or man needs to have to be considered physically attractive. The sex and human body are presented in such ways that become objectify while the real object is suggested to give man fullness, make him more beautiful and happy.
The physical attractiveness of women is stressed almost everywhere. The woman should be beautiful, young looking and the most important – slim. Most advertisements of feminine products seem to suggest women should use a given product to look more attractive for her man. This is huge industry tells women what they should do or they should not do this way creating new markets or eliminating competition.
Another way the woman is presented in advertisement is as a prospective victim. Jean Kilbourne author of “Two ways a woman can get hurt” tries to explain why “women would find this image compelling and attractive. (…). Perhaps is simply designed to get our attention by shocking us and by arousing unconscious anxiety. Or perhaps the intent is more subtle and it is designed to play into the fantasies of domination and even rape that some women use in order to maintain an illusion of being in control. Whatever reason is for violence on women being shown; it creates the image of a women as being not equal to a man and deserving to be treated violently because of her feminine side that is seem in our culture much worse then a masculine side.
In the conclusion, the media demand from women not only perfectly looking but also subordinate to a man. They suggest that a true woman will always do whatever takes to maintain positive relationship to a man whatever it takes: making herself beautiful for him or being his tool to fulfill his sexual desires and to ensure himself that he indeed represents something better than she does. (BIL ANNA)