Normalizing Sex and Violence

Topics: Violence, Woman, Female Pages: 4 (1058 words) Published: November 19, 2013
ENGL 2000-34
Word Count: 1,045

Normalizing Sex and Violence

An advertisement for Guiseppe Zanotti’s line Vicini portrays of a woman’s body stuffed in the trunk of a car with just her limp legs dangling lifelessly out of the back. A Dolce & Gabbana advertisement depicts a young women being pinned to the ground and a group of males towering around her insinuating an imminent gang rape. A Valentino layout shows a strong, stern man gripping the jaw of a beautiful woman. A 2008 Duncan Quinn advertisement was somehow supposed to be selling men's suits by depicting a strangled, bloody, half-naked woman lying on a car. All were almost instantly labeled extremely offensive, incredibly sexist, and evidently violent. These types of degrading advertisements have made their way into our mainstream media and fill the pages of popular magazines. Jean Kilbourne explains the effects of these advertisements and the dehumanizing of women’s bodies in her essay “Two Ways a Women Can Get Hurt: Advertising and Violence.” She explains how “normalizing” these views can lead to acts of sexual aggression (575). These hyper sexualized and violent advertisements appeal to men by devaluing women across the board and more so college age women, who are in the same age range as the women predominately shown in these types of ads. The images shown are negatively directed towards woman and can reap a mountain of consequences. They pave the mindsets of young males, pilot violent assaults and ultimately create a culture of fear. The reducing of women to merely sex objects and the constant maintenance of male sexual superiority seems to ultimately construct the idea of masculinity for young adults. Mainstream fashion ads portray S&M images that leave lasting implications on our society by depicting images of men sexually touching and assaulting women. If young males are continuously exposed to ads where females are portrayed as sex objects, they are more likely to be accepting of...

Cited: Dolce and Gabbana ad. Print. 2007. <
Duncum, Paul. “Attraction to Violence and the Limits of Education.” The Journal of
Aesthetic Education, Volume 40, Number 4, (Winter 2006), pp
Bonnie Lisle. New York. Bedford/St. Martin’s, (2010) 575-601.
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