We try to tell ourselves that we are progressively moving from a predominantly patriarchal society to a more equanimous one. In this progressive society, women have equal opportunities of education and men cry when they want to. Sexism is a textbook concept, a reminder of an era that was. But are we actually that progressive?
Something contradicting these claims surrounds us everyday. What? The advertisements which grace our screens and our newspapers, which cling behind buses and decorate walls like this one :
Source : Adrants
Are they trying to tell us that there was no better way of showing a drop in prices? Personally I think a parachute launch would have been more logical than a girl dropping her pants. Just as illogical as this playstation ad :
Source : Forbes
Or this jewellery ad :
Source : Find a wedding venue
Or this organ donation ad :
Source : Hoyden about
These ads are sexist in two ways primarily. One which aims at the objectification of women and the other which is building the male power fantasy. Now objectifying women is a simple enough concept to understand. Here are some examples :
Source : The Richest
Source : Metro
Source : Girls on Pitch
Source : adrants
Logically, I don’t see the relation between naked women and alcohol, naked women and cars or naked women and chips. All of these ads focus on marketing their products by objectifying the female body.
How is this different from other ads where scantily-clad women appear? Like this one?
Source : Pinkvilla
Well, for starters, it is an ad which is supposed to cater to women and hence her presence here is warranted. Then, she is in a confident position, not a vulnerable position like these ads :
Source : Adweek
Source : Pagesix
Source : Business Insider
Now, it’s not like naked men are not featured in advertisements. This ad which wants to sell salad dressing is a case in point :
Source : Adsoftheworld
And it’s not like gender stereotypes don’t play against men in ads. Aren’t you tired of all those ads proclaiming why men need to be real men? Like these ones :
Source : Aurora
Or these ads which proclaim that a husband is responsible for all financial expenses:
Source : Coloribus
But when scantily-clad men appear in ads, are they always objectified? That’s not how simple it is. More often than not, they are being chased by women. Like here :
Source : Tinypic
Now that is a boost for men, who again see women as objects. Something like a raise or an expensive car?
The prevalence of such images of men and women in advertisements is highly problematic. It normalizes their objectification while perpetuating stereotypes.
I wish these ads would stop asking women to eat something to get their husband’s attention :
Source : Blogspot
And these ads would stop telling men that finances are solely their responsibility :
Source : My ad post
And these ads would stop telling us that a man’s responsibility is limited to buying good detergent while a woman’s duty is to use it :
Source : Blogspot
Abandoning such marketing measures will go a long way in changing the gender stereotypes and thus contribute towards building an equanimous society.