<The Gender ADs Project>

 

Dehumanization of Women

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<Background: Women are not only portrayed in decorative senses in advertising (Wiles 1991), but too often they are portrayed as less-than-human objects—humiliated and subjects of violence. These ads establish the problematic dimensions of gender and sexuality in western society. Quite simply, for those who deny the problem, have a look at these ads. None of these are harmless! The Ads: All of the ads use different techniques to dehumanize women. The Kix ad (5) is reminiscent of the disgusting Hustler cover found in the Death section. Ads 26 and 28 are some of the most disturbing depictions of women in advertising.  Resources: Here are some good links that relate generally to women and dehumanization.  Questions: (1) How is dehumanization created in the world of advertising? What specific types of images, positioning of bodies or other cultural associations are present in advertising promoting dehumanization? (2) What sorts of political and educational strategies are needed for more people to see dehumanization, as it occurs in so many contexts of advertising, as a major social problem? (3) Are there similar examples of men being dehumanized in today's advertising?>

 

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