<The Gender ADs Project>

 

Captured and Controlled

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<Background: Numerous contexts of advertising present women as either captured objects or as objects of control. The common theme is that women are denied their agency as well as their identity. This particular theme is common in pornographic genres and is here presented in the numerous contexts of advertising. The Ads: Disturbing cage scenarios are reflected in ads 11, 16, 18, 19, 36, 41, 43. Equally disturbing are the "buried alive" scenarios in ads 13, 14, while other ads display male power in the situation of a captive woman. Unfortunately, this trope is becoming more common in the advertising world. Keep in mind that the trope of capturing and controlling is not always literal (as in the cage ads). Ad 37 uses a more abstract visual approach to suggest that one can capture a woman, akin to a fish, by using jewelry as a lure. Considering that rape is still a major problem in society, Ad 5 is also quite disturbing.  Questions: (1) Why are women frequently represented as captive objects in advertising? (2) Why do images cages come up so frequently in these ads? (3) Discuss image 58 (the PETA ad). Specifically, how do you respond to PETA's use of objectifying women in order to address the plight of animals in society?  >

 

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<presented by Scott A. Lukas, Ph.D.>