Bringing the Zest or the Sex?

With competition in the industrial world, companies are willing to do anything to help push their products over the top.  But what gets products over the top?  Nowadays from companies selling watches to companies selling cereal the common factor is a vulgar gendered message.

After browsing around on the Internet, I came across many disturbing advertisements.  But just when I thought I had seen everything, I found one that really caught my attention.  The advertisement had a picture of an almost naked man lying on top of a picnic blanket.  Next to him was a bottle of dressing and other foods.

I thought to myself, What company is this man working for?!

KRAFT’S “Zesty” campaign man.

 Then in the top right corner in a small print, I saw the logo KRAFT and under it read the words “Let’s Get Zesty.”  I then did some research on KRAFT’S Zesty Italian dressing and a dozen different ads all with the same “zesty man” came up.  I was shocked because I thought it was outrageous that a company that sells dressing is using a naked man to sell their product.  This made no sense to me!

This ad is degrading towards men because it objectifies them.  Since I am a girl, I guess never really noticed and I was not really bothered by ads like these; but now that I have taken the time to analyze an ad like this, I now see that they are degrading. The zesty man is eye-catching and not hard to look at, but I know that if I only look at the ad in that state of mind, I will be falling into the same trap as every other women.

Also this ad is degrading towards women because of the gender stereotype that women would be the ones in the kitchen.  It is implied that women would be the ones who will need this zesty man to bring them this out of the world Italian dressing as well as satisfy any sexual fantasies.  I never came across a “zesty woman” and I know that it wouldn’t be hard to come up with one, but because of the gender stereotype it would seem unnecessary and out of place to market this dressing towards men.  An outside article by Libby Copeland comments on how a product is advertised can sway whether something is gender acceptable to buy.

From a quick glance at this ad it seems like nothing out of the ordinary.  But after taking a few more minutes to analyze and to reflect upon why this company took this kind of picture and what was their intention, can change one’s perspective on not only this picture, but also media itself.

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Fight On

The unequal distribution of power between men and women will never fully cease to exist.  Unfortunately with men having the upper hand, women are left to fend for themselves.  An article written by Did Kirsten Tatlow entitled Pushing for a Law Against Domestic Violence in China, highlights the negative effects of China’s lack of instilling a law against domestic violence.

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Ms. Lee, a victim of domestic violence by her husband, Mr. Li, has experienced much hardship in gaining the proper legal settlements to protect her from her unstable ex-husband.  After their divorce he would send her texts like, “’You need me to beat you again to make you better, you greedy, American (Ms. Lee is from America) psycho.’”  A text like this is unacceptable but yet the best thing that Ms. Lee got of this was a protection order with unclear guidelines and was only admitted for a mere three months.

The feminist activists in China are pushing to show the courts that domestic violence should not be treated as a “private matter”, because someone’s life is at risk everyday.  Although domestic violence should not even be committed in the first place, for some people, there needs to be a law in order to stop them from committing this horrifying crime.  China has some of the smartest people on this planet, and leads the nation in education and technology, but they still cannot see that women are in desperate need of a domestic violence law.

As I was reading this article the song “Blurred Lines” began to play in my head.  Why is this song played on every radio station when it basically saying that guys are allowed to treat women like dolls and “smack their asses” like it was just a normal everyday thing.  To me this is sick and I feel that this song needs to be banned.

Domestic violence shows the unequal social, physical, and political power between women and men. I mentioned in my prior blog that because of our human nature to be prejudice of men and women, we struggle everyday to discern equal rights.  There will never be true equal rights for men and women, but that doesn’t mean that feminism needs to stop!  Feminism, like in the case of Ms. Lee, stands for protection.  Women may not have the same rights as men, but who said we can’t protect ourselves.

For Eternity

Females.  Males.  Feminism.  Malinism?  We know that “malinism” is not a word, but why is that?  Oh, maybe it is due to the fact that males never needed to have a word to summarize all the trials and tribulations they would need to face in order to gain equality.

Feminism is a term that is used as a common base for women across the world in their fight of obtaining equality.  I have listened and heard about many women from the 20th century to modern day and their efforts such as rallying outside of factories, capitols, and cities as they strive for equal rights.  Women fight for equal job wages to government positions.  I know that in some cases only a fraction of what the women expected to obtain in their rallies are given, but in most cases nothing is obtained.  The time and preparations that go into organizing the women and posters in itself can be very laborious and tedious, but yet we still see many feministic movements.

Feminism movement outside of a factory in 1901.

 

Feminism movement in 2013.

Being alive for 18 years and studying about women in history for about five years maybe even longer, I have noticed that no matter how hard women try to obtain equality, and even when they do obtain equality, there will always be something new that won’t be equal.  I’m not saying that feministic movements aren’t making a difference, but I feel that some things are just not meant to be gender equal.  Being politically, economically, and socially equal is ideal, but it’s not realistic.  Men are perceived as stronger, more dominant and women are seen as weaker and laid back. It’s a part of human nature and instinct to have these prejudices, which is why some things like gender equality cannot be obtained.

Personally I feel that feminism although it is suppose to embody the essence of women and their fight for equality, it can also be seen as a sad reminder that women are STILL fighting for equality. And on the sad side, our society will never fully let men and women be equals.  The day that the word feminism is abolished will be the day that the world ends.