<The Gender ADs Project>





<Background: Since the 1960s the attacks on academic and popular feminisms have been numerous and widespread. A number of popular films, such as Disclosure, Fatal Attraction and Basic Instinct, dramatic works, like Mametís Oleanna, and popular television shows (the Man Show and Rush Limbaugh are but two examples) illustrate a politicized effort to silence what is one of the most profound social movements of the last century. Though the representations are less numerous as compared to the other media, we still see significant reflections on feminisms and womenís movements in popular advertising. The Ads: The following ads present feminism as well as the general status of women in negative political contexts. Consider the political motivations of the following ads: 8, 12, 13, 14. It is important to assess the way in which political language is deflated and turned into a commodity. Image 8 reflects the idea that a woman's body can be more powerful than her vote, her participation in politics or her running for office. Image 12 takes the politics of the polls to another pathetic level.  Discussion Questions: (1) What tensions are highlighted by these ad's emphasis on depoliticizing women and relegating them to subordinate statuses in society? (2) Can you find examples of advertising that does the opposite of these ads, such as ones that exemplify the progress nature of feminism and women's role in politics? (3) If you were to create a typology of the themes evident in advertising's portrayals of power and politics, what themes would be represented in your typology? >


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