Who Said You Can't Have it Both Ways?: The Double Standards of Promisquity analyze an advertisement using feminist theories about sex, race, and class.

Essay by cleopatrawUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, November 2004

download word file, 4 pages 4.3

Downloaded 58 times

Playboy is the leading men's magazine in the world, with an 18-35 male demographic and more than 3 million copies in circulation in the United States alone, and 4.5 million worldwide. Not only do the nude photographs of women, and suggestive and provocative cartoons provide a vivid illustration of issues in the understanding of intersectionality, the magazine's influential advertisements do as well. One particular ad for LifeStyles brand condoms, for instance, vividly demonstrates two vectors of analysis in feminist theory: gender and race.

Intersectionality not only focuses on the gender aspects of racial discrimination, it also seeks to provide a tool for analyzing the ways in which gender, race, class, sexuality, age, nationality and other forms of social distinction, produce situations in which women (and men) are discriminated against (George). In the subject of gender and race, men are the superior sex, and women the inferior. Similarly, Caucasian is thought of as the superior race, and people of color, the inferior.

In the Lifestyles ad taken from the September 2004 issue of Playboy Magazine, there is a cartoon depiction of a white male with his shirt unbuttoned and a scantily clad woman, one white and one of color, in each arm. The caption underneath the cartoon says, "Who said you can't have it both ways?", and underneath that, a picture of the product; a condom and a bottle of lubrication and the caption "With LifeStyles, you can play it safe and have a great time doing it!".

The ad being primarily focused on three drawn characters portrays a sort of fantasy story-line. The male being the dominating character and the two women his play things. Not only do the women seem to only be interested in having sex with the man in the picture, the white female seems closer...