Raunch Culture

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The issue of sexuality in advertising has been raised in the last ten years (Brooke, 2010; Bradley, 2007; Phillips, 2005; Kent, 2005 & Levy, 2005), hence the concept of raunch culture raises the question of whether women are being empowered or victimised. This essay will discuss whether raunch culture represents a wave of new feminism, focusing on whether women’s sexuality is being celebrated in a healthy and empowering manner or preyed upon by marketing’s misogynistic and exploitating image of the good life laid out in various media forms, from billboards to sex videos to television advertisements and movies. It will also identify the role and responsibilities of marketers in relation to the stakeholders involved. Subsequently, followed by our reflection on raunch culture. Raunch culture is defined as the ‘hyper-sexualisation of youth and in particular, female youth culture’ (Phillips, 2006, 17). Kent (2005) suggests that raunch culture is a ‘market driven’ approach developed during the 1970s and 1980s when pornographic conventions crossed over to women magazines, refelcting the producers’ aims, values and consumers desires. He also highlights that women were portrayed as assertive, even aggressive sexual animals, in active and dominant roles in advertising throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s. Therefore, implicating as of the 21st century, raunch culture has evolved as a cultural norm, especially when ‘women are sexually liberated and personally empowered’ (Levy, 2005, 197). As Kent states, this post-modernistic culture has ‘enabled taboos to be transgressed through pleasing erotic imagery packaged as fashion not pornography’ (435). Thus, just like any other cultures (like hip-hop and rock-and-roll), it is simply just another subculture, which certainly does not represent the new feminism. Under this culture, women gain freedom to do whatever they deem fit, based on their own decisions. They need not worry about misogyny or objectification. Via

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