Feminism and reading advertising images.

Essay by sarzlwUniversity, Bachelor'sA, June 2003

download word file, 6 pages 4.5 1 reviews

Downloaded 165 times

These days most young women in western society have grown up with feminism as a part of their lives. Younger women's priorities have changed and they can no longer relate to what they perceive feminism to be. Part of this is the way traditional feminists handle supposedly sexist or offensive images, particularly in advertising. Young women may now see this as over-reacting or unnecessary and prefer to express feminist ideas in alternative ways even if they do not realise that they are practicing feminism (Stewart, 2001; Bail, 1996;4). One way, in relation to advertising, is to learn a new way of reading images - a way that will empower women and men rather than stress women as a lesser sex. Feminist views can be so entrenched however that a new feminism, that will attract younger members, "needs to recognise, develop and enhance women's abilities to negotiate images"(Lumby, 1997;25)

One of the most controversial advertisements recently has been selling Chivas Regal Scotch Whisky (see appendix 1).

It gained widespread notoriety through media coverage and apparent public outcry. The image consisted of a young woman wearing a mini skirt getting out of a car. Her legs are bare and some cleavage is showing. Her head is out of the shot. The accompanying caption reads "Yes, God is a man" (NWMC, 1996). It is blatantly sexual advertisement. Feminists contend that they should show more 'realistic' women. They should show a more diverse range but bare legs and this type of clothing on women is a common sight. Censoring these kinds of images does not help women to use their minds to negotiate meaning but reinforces the idea that we need protecting. A lot of women these days realise that this is not their bodies and are learning that they don't want to be...