Media Profiting From The Seduction And Rape Of Women

1368 words - 5 pages

"Rape is the current advertising metaphor" (Wolf, 79)

   When did sexual assault become a legitimate advertising tool or form of entertainment? At some point in time, it did because it's prevalent in society today through films, television, and magazines. One of every eight Hollywood movies depicts a rape. Magazines are full of ads that depict either explicit or implied sexual assault of women by men. I was more than a little surprised by magazine ads that depict rape. One for Chaleur d'animale perfume showed a naked women chained to a naked man. Why? What on earth does this have to do with perfume? How is rape supposed to sell any product? Why are advertisers using such images?

 Images of women and "beauty" become more extreme. As advertising executives told The Boston Globe, "You have to push a little jolt, shock, break through. Now that the competition is fiercer, a whole lot rougher trade takes place [Rough trade is gay male slang for a sadisitic heterosexual partner.] Today, business wants even more desperately to seduce...It wants to demolish resistance.(Wolf, 79)

 There are also some images which aren't overtly rape, but serve to degrade women sexually and objectify them, which tends to have horrifying consequences. "...In a raft of Rock and Hip Hop videos, women get turned into pieces of booty served up for the pleasure of pwerful men..." (Mtv) A recent cover of Esquire magazine showed a naked woman covered in caviar. Pictures in the feature article showed the woman's face covered in honey, her eyes closed, her mouth opened with her tongue provocatively exposed.

 "Turning a human being into a thing, an object, is almost always the first step toward justifying violence against that person...The violence, the abuse is partly the chilling but logical result of the objectification." (Kilbourne, 274 ) What problems do these ads cause for women? Perhaps the most terrifying effect on women is actually the ad's effect on men. "Male violence is subtly encouraged by ads that encourage men to be forceful and dominant...Advertising often encourages women to be attracted to hostile and indifferent men while encouraging boys to become these men...Men are also encouraged to never take no for an answer..."(Kilborne, 272-273). Some critics insist a three minute video or an advertisement in a magazine has no affect on viewers. If these really have no influence, why are advertisers willing to spend near a million dollars to air commercials during the Super Bowl? In 1999, one such commercial aired during the Super Bowl in 1999 advertised Victoria Secret's website with a barrage of women dressed in lingerie. After that 30 second spot, one million viewers turned away from the game and flooded the web site. Is that no influence? (Kilbourne 34). In videos where women shake their bodies for the pleasure of male onlookers, their sexual allure exists only for men. The women is no longer a person, but a body part, something for the...

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