Posts Tagged ‘gender’

Cyber Monday – Brad Bowen

Posted: December 3, 2013 in Uncategorized
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If Black Friday isn’t enough for consumers to become engrossed in purchasing and shopping, ‘Cyber Monday’ is right around the corner. Yesterday marked Cyber Monday for the year, which is the first monday of December that consumers must place their online orders for gifts, and pre-orders so they arrive in time for Christmas. Cyber Monday is a dangerous practice for shoppers, because there are banner ads, online deals, and pop-ups that promote even more reasons to shop. I feel as if gendered advertising, as we have discussed throughout the course, really comes to the forefront during Cyber Monday. For example, if a woman buys a dress online, the website may entail pop-ups and suggested articles of clothing for women, make-up, perfume, kitchen supplies, and other gendered products to entice the women to purchase even more. Overall, Cyber Monday is just another shopping holiday for us as consumers to drool over.


From last class, and the general discussion already started on the discussion board, I want to discuss the gendered toy advertisements and norms that are prevalent in todays society. Girls are told that playing with dolls and princesses is ‘right’ and that boys are ‘correct’ to play with super heroes and action figures. However these norms may be ubiquitous in society day, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it is the truth. In fact, many girls rather play with a super hero action figure, yet advertising culture suggests that it is wrong for them to do so.

This video is a great example of the truth behind the previously mentioned advertising tactics, and particularly unique because it is a young girl who finds the truth and explains the problem with these advertisements.

Following tonights class and discussion revolving around advertisements and gender, I wanted to follow up on the issue that seemingly in any cleaning commercial, a woman is always present. I looked for awhile online and searched for an ad that featured a male in a cleaning product advertisement. I only managed to find ads where it portrayed a man who only used the cleaning product because it was easy to use – and because he isn’t good at cleaning the house (portraying the idea that women are better at cleaning and can use the products more efficiently). However, I did manage to find one advertisement where a man is the main character of an advertisement and it seems like he knows what he is doing with the cleaning supplies in the ad is actually excited about cleaning as opposed to the other ads I found with men who are upset that they have to clean and don’t know how to clean. This ad is from the 1950’s and was one of the first Mr. Clean ad campaigns that was conducted. 

I went to Vaughan mills mall this week…going to the mall once a week has become a part of my routine, even though I don’t really ‘need’ anything…

-The mall was quiet, looks like people are saving their money for the christmas holidays coming up…

The connection I’m going to make with Fiske’s reading refers to Williamson’s politics of consumption. The fact that we don’t really have much control of our status being upper or lower middle class, but by buying a ‘higher end’ product we then feel like a million bucks.

Williamson talks about that ideology of “coping with the frustrations of capitalist conditions of production”. People continuously buying things because of the meaning they come with. As humans we’re constantly searching for meaning in life, whether it’s through relationships with people or with objects. That feeling of unwrapping an Apple product or that feeling of wearing on new clothes for the first time etc.

In a consumer/capitalist society…we give value to things…this is where the idea of branding differentiates buying a jacket from a lower end store vs. a higher end store, even though it’s all made in the same countries.

I completely agree with this point of view, that in real life when there’s something lacking, as a consumer and as a female I head to the mall to relieve whatever issue going on or buy things to make myself feel better. 

“Women’s place is in the mall”, this point stood out to me most…first I was offended by it, seeing that mall was replaced by the home. However, today, if you ask me this is not the case! The mall is full of both genders, and guys are purchasing and taking care of their physical appearances more than ever. In a culture where people have to fit certain ‘cookie cutter molds’, both gender are buying things look good, feel great and fit in.

Last point I’m going to raise on Bowlby’s part…is this: Is shopping, and the idea of the mall just another patriarchally constructed ‘place’ controlled and run by men and used by women?