Control, Sexuality, Violence & the Hero: Males in Advertisement

Essay by livebythebladeUniversity, Bachelor'sA, November 2006

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"Defining men as the perpetrators of all violence is a viciously immoral judgment of an entire gender." No longer are women the only sex to objectified and exploited. In increasing numbers television and print ads use men and the male figure in a demeaning way. Just as many of us are outraged about the depictions of females through advertising we should be equally concerned with how males are misrepresented in print ads. "But the men I see in those posters with their stern, humorless looks remind me of no one I know here" (Ehrlich 315). Even in the overly populated city of New York, the male stereotype doesn't have a living breathing mold on which it was based. There are several different negative models based on male stereotypes that are used unreservedly in advertising today. Male Control ads contrast with the common association of femininity with weakness; in the case of males, they are seen as powerful and invincible.

A sexual ad looks at the construction of male sexuality, typically through domination, prowess and power. Violent ads are explicit contexts in which males commit violence against women and sometimes, though a bit rare, other men in advertising. The Hero in advertising is the common representation of men as saviors, as those who save women from peril or harm. All of these continue to influence our society and explicitly how society views men.

Control ads are the most basic and primitive. It is a social fact that men still universally hold power over women in most societies, and in terms of how advertising portrays visual power. This is not contested. There are different ways in which the ad conveys control in detrimental favor of the male. The varied dimensions of posture, position of bodies, location of body parts, height and...