“A Woman’s Place”
In 2013, the American woman can vote, be the CEO of a business, start her own company, and wear pants. Many would say that a woman has the exact same rights as a man in today’s society- and is treated the same as well. However, in addition to glaring economical evidence provided through data stating that women still earn 77 cents to every man’s dollar (Basset, HuffingtonPost.com), we find that women are still entrapped socially- by sexualisation and objectification of them. Sexualising and objectifying women in advertisements leads to the de-humanisation of them.
From a young age, women are taught that to be successful and happy they must reach a certain standard of beauty first. Rather than grow up thinking that the most important asset a woman can have is her self, young girls are taught through advertisements that their value rests on their appearance. This is an immense social issue. Today being a successful woman means wearing a sexy outfit that shows just the right amount of cleavage and curve. It means turning heads everywhere she goes- men looking after her in lust, women looking after her in envy. A successful woman is desirable and beautiful, confident and sultry. Her worth comes from her ability to gain men’s attention. If she is not servicing men by being physically pleasing to the eye, she is of no use. This is a dangerous mentality that is thriving in the United States, and unfortunately growing throughout the world. Just last month one of India’s senior policemen and leader of the Central Bureau of Investigation, Ranjit Sinha, compared rape to unlicensed betting, stating, “it is very easy to say that if you can’t enforce it, it’s like saying if you can’t prevent rape, you [should] enjoy it” (Burke). This was said in the midst of ever-increasing sexual violence in India, of which only four out of ten rapes are reported due to lack of interest by the law enforcement.
Advertising is a $250 billion dollar a year industry in the United States (Media Education Foundation). The average American is exposed to over 3,000 ads ever single day (Kilbourne), and many people don’t believe that they are susceptible to messages of advertising, insisting that they aren’t really affected by what they see or hear. But the reality is that advertisements shape our lives, and even tell us how we should be living them. The advertising companies depend on the subtly of an advertisement’s influence in order to make deep impressions on society. The editor in chief of Advertisement Age, the major publication of the advertising industry, stated, “Only 8% of an ad’s message is received by a conscious mind. The rest is worked and re-worked deep within in the recesses of the brain.” (Viewpoint: Who Knows What Lurks in the Hearts of Consumers? The Inner Mind Does) Whether we like to admit it or not, advertisements do stay with us- and they affect and define the way we view success, love, sexuality, happiness, self worth, values, and most...