Patriarchy in Advertisements

Topics: Gender role, Gender, Woman Pages: 11 (3467 words) Published: December 13, 2012
The Use of Patriarchal Love in Print
Patriarchal love was originated around 6000 B.C.E (Hall). It is a part of the popular patriarchal system, in which men are dominant over women. A patriarchal relationship consists of many elements that portray the lack of equality between the two spouses. Those elements have still managed to remain present in a society that has begun to show more devotion for a soulmate relationship, in which both spouses are equal. Print advertisements are one aspect that helps contribute to maintaining patriarchal love. The advertisements display multiple aspects of patriarchal love which heavily influences individuals of our society. Patriarchal advertisements are mainly displayed using a male perspective. The main goal of the advertisements is to show what would make a woman appropriate or desirable for a man.

In a patriarchal relationship, love develops over time and does not have to be present at marriage meaning that a wife can be replaced if necessary. In order to be irreplaceable, a woman is expected to have a central quality in which she has to be loyal to her man. She is expected to follow the requests of her man in thought and action, even if she disapproves of what he wants her to do. Gender roles in a patriarchal relationship are fixed, meaning that the man and the woman are expected to play specific roles that differ, which is a part of the inequalities of the relationship. In a patriarchal relationship, the most important part of a woman is her sexual body rather than her intellectuality. The man also dominates the woman sexually. Sex is a service provided by women rather than a mutual expression of love (Hall). In a patriarchal relationship, male domination is present through multiple aspects such as through violence, control, or ideal superiority.

According to Andrea Dworkin in her book “Right Wing Women”, “Male dominance in society always means that out of public sight, in the private, historical and present world of men with women, men are sexually dominating women (Dworkin).” Dworkin is referring to essential elements of the patriarchal system and patriarchal love in which a man is dominant in society and in a relationship, in which he sexually dominates the woman. Dworkin also used the words “historical and present” which relates to the aspect that patriarchy and patriarchal love has been present for an extensive period and continues to exist. Widespread influence, including print advertisements contribute to its existence.

Lucy Hawke speaks about the different gender roles in a marriage in her essay “Gender Roles with American Marriage”, in which she says “I learned that society defined marriage gender roles as one where the husband worked outside the home and, two, where the mother stayed in the home, caring for the household duties and children (Hawke).” Hawke’s statement shows how gender roles in a patriarchal relationship are fixed, meaning that the man and the woman are expected to perform specific and different roles. She also says that “The husband has traditionally held the role of the breadwinner (Hawke).” The term “breadwinner” has a deeper meaning that is linked to control, which is also linked with dominance. In other words, Hawke stated how the husband holds the role of the controller. She shows the patriarchal aspect that the man is “above” the woman.

The most typical aspect of patriarchal love is that the woman must obey the man. Hank Prez portrays this in his discussion article, “Teaching the Wife Obedience”, in which he discusses his patriarchal point of view with his wife. He says “I told her that wives were to obey their husbands and she immediately disagreed. I eventually mentioned divorce (Prez).” Prez’s statement relates to two aspects of patriarchal love in which the central quality of a woman is loyalty to her man and also that a wife can be replaced if necessary.

Male dominance is definitely a belief that is held...
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