<The Gender ADs Project>


Men in Control



<Background: Erving Goffman’s study Gender Advertisements (1979) considers the myriad ways in which women are negatively depicted in popular culture. Of interest to this study is Goffman’s semiotic understanding of the composition of ads as its relates to the relative levels of power of men and women. It is a social fact that men still universally hold power over women in all societies, and in terms of how advertising portrays visual power, we can say that Goffman’s study still holds true in today’s media ads. The varied dimensions of posture, position of bodies, location of body parts, height and depth of figures, all suggest that women are inferior, and men are superior. The trope that often runs through the ads I have collected is one of men in control. The concept that I develop here is that the hegemony of the gaze, the hegemony of the visual, the hegemony of the positioning of individuals in the ads parallel the hegemony of men within political, economic, and social sectors of society.  The Ads: Whether in visual means (ads 6, 10, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22) or specific situations, the message of this trope is that men control...they control society and women.  Questions: (1) How is power produced in the various ads on this page? How are specific positions of power in the ads created in visual senses? (2) Are there are common themes in terms of the ways in which control are manifested in the ads? (3) Can you discover similar ads in which women hold control over men or in which men hold control over other men? (4) What are the effects of these ads on children? What do these visual forms tell children about men, women and relationships? (5) Is there a connection between the issues of power in the ads and the particular products that are being sold?  >


Image 1

Image 2

Image 3

Image 4

Image 5

Image 6







Image 7

Image 8

Image 9

Image 10

Image 11

Image 12







Image 13

Image 14

Image 15

Image 16

Image 17

Image 18







Image 19

Image 20

Image 21

Image 22

Image 23

Image 24







Image 25

Image 26

Image 27

Image 28

Image 29

Image 30







Image 31

Image 32

Image 33

Image 34

Image 35

Image 36







Image 37

Image 38

Image 39

Image 40

Image 41

Image 42







Image 43

Image 44

Image 45

Image 46

Image 47

Image 48

Image 49

Image 50

Image 51

Image 52

Image 53

Image 54

Image 55

Image 56

Image 57

Image 58

Image 59

Image 60

Image 61

Image 62

Image 63

Image 64

Image 65

Image 66






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