As it has been told time and time again, “Sex Sells.” It is the promise behind millions of dollars of revenue for clothing, cosmetics, sports cars, entertainment, and anything else you can think of. But is this dangerous in the messages that they are sending of the commodification of women, and the value of masculinity and aggression? Even more importantly, does this advertising cause the misogyny seen in the world, or does sex only sell because society has placed a woman's value in between her legs? Because of the culture of images and actions that are presented to the public, society has come to accept sexual violence as a “norm.” The expectations created through the things we are exposed to every day desensitize, excuse, and even justify rape and sexual violence.
Advertising is one of the biggest promoters of women as objects that we experience on a daily basis. Twenty-first century ads fall mostly into one of two camps: products for “Manly Men” that will help them to sleep with attractive women, or products for women, which will help them to better be decoration and sexual object. Both of these types of ads contribute to rape culture by commodifying sex: men’s advertisements, by setting sex as the greatest measurement of their worth as a man, and women's ads by saying that the greatest thing a woman can be in her life is a hairless, perfectly groomed accessory for a wealthy man. In advertising for men, women are often “depicted as objects, rather than as subjects,” (McDonnell). This objectification of women and their bodies contributes justification of rape, and that exist that a rape victim can be “asking for it,” because of how they’re dressed, their sexual history, or any other factor. Furthermore, Men’s voices are, “more likely to be featured in voiceovers, reinforcing the notion that authority is masculine,” (McDonnell). Aside from sexualization, the patriarchal idea of masculinity being the cornerstone of power contributes to the justification of...
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