Two Ways a Woman Can Get Hurt by Jean Kilbourne

Topics: Advertising, Rape, Sexual intercourse, Woman, Assault, Human sexual behavior / Pages: 46 (1589 words) / Published: May 8th, 2010
For the longest time now, advertising has played a huge role in how we identify ourselves in the United States with the American culture, and how others identify themselves with all the cultures of the rest of the world as well. It guides us in making everyday decisions, such as what items we definitely need to invest our money on, how to dress in-vogue, and what mindset we should have to prosper the most. Although advertising does help make life easier for most, at the same time it has negative affects on the people of society as well. Advertisement discreetly manipulates the beliefs, morals, and values of our culture, and it does so in a way that most of the time we don’t even realize it’s happened. In order to reach our main goal of prospering as a nation, we need to become more aware of the damage that has already been caused by this advertising and prevent it from negatively affecting us even further. Kilbourne’s major claim in “Two Ways a Woman Can Get Hurt” is that advertising has reached a point where bodies are portrayed as objects thereby normalizing attitudes that lead to sexual aggression. Right away the readers are able to trust and respect the word of the author because of the italicized introduction included prior to her actual argument. We learn that for the majority of Kilbourne’s career she trained and educated others in advertising, and right now is a professor at Wellesley College. “She has produced award-winning documentaries on images of women in ads (Killing Us Softly, Slim Hopes) and tobacco advertising (Pack of Lies)” (417). She was also part of the National Advisory Council on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and as of today she works with the Massachusetts Governor’s Commission on Sexual and Domestic Abuse. With all this experience in the field of advertising and abuse, it becomes almost impossible to question Kilbourne’s credibility and therefore serving as the piece’s ethical appeal. Being herself a woman, she attempts to


Cited: Kilbourne, Jean. “Two Ways a Woman Can Get Hurt: Advertising and Violence.” Rereading America: Cultural Contexts for Critical Thinking and Writing. Seventh Ed. Gary Colombo, Robert Cullen, & Bonnie Lisle. Bedford/ St. Martin’s, 2007. 417-441

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