<The Gender ADs Project>





<Background: Thorne’s article (1997a) on gender arrangements in elementary school indicates the prevalence of “distance” in gender relations between men and women. By distance I mean the gender separation that develops in patterns of social relations and social institutions. As Klaus Theweleit’s illustrates in his understandings of the relationships of masculinity and the fear of the feminine in Male Fantasies, the nature of contemporary relationships between men and women is unfortunately undergirded by fascism (1987). Shuttleworth's quote offers an interesting perspective on the issue of relationships between men and women: “throughout Western culture, the male/female divide has operated as a crucial site of ideological deployment” (Shuttleworth 1990: 52). The Ads: The implications of the following ads are quite depressing. Consider ad 25: what does it say about relationships in our society? Or in terms of image 5, would men truly want to be regarded in the light that they are presented in? In terms of ad 27, can we ask if we should allow our relationships to be dominated by commodities? Or, in terms of image 11, how do we feel with the idea that we are telling men to use alcohol to assault women? We should all be ashamed of the society, OURS!, that produces these ads. As you will note, the two majors forces that are portended in the ads' understanding of relationships is alcohol and consumerism (such as in diamond rings). Questions: (1) In what ways are relationships connected to materialism and consumer culture? Are there any common themes? (2) What strategies can be used teach people to appreciate the qualities of their relationships as opposed to the values of relationships purported by companies and advertising? >


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