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In the hetero-patriarchy, men are symbolically superior to women. In marketing and advertising, the brand owns the product. These two relationships of superiority and ownership are transferred to the women and men in the exemplars. Second, sexy women in the exemplars are not traditional sex-in-advertising rewards for download.
Rather, sexy women corroborate heterosexual manhood. When stripped of its fashion meanings, clothing essentially represents a 14 Journal of Research on Women and Gender Volume 6 — March - parity product with few distinguishing features to sell as unique selling propositions.
In the case of the exemplars, branding consistently means the same thing: Ideal men are brand men who consume, thus become, particular lifestyles. Ideal men do not really care about what they look like wearing fashions; nor do they especially care about the functional features of the fashions they wear. Ideal men merely need the appropriate lifestyle accessories symbolizing manliness. These ads invite the young men who view them to identify with the brand.
Women, the ads argue, are not partners in this branded lifestyle; women are accessories that function to prove the heterosexuality of the men who live the lifestyle. In each of the five ads, the man becomes the symbol of the brand, and, narratively speaking, the brand becomes the symbol of heterosexual masculinity.
However, we argue that the five exemplars shift the promise of sex with a woman from being a payout for download to a sign of heterosexual manhood. A Banana Republic man is a traveler. A heterosexual Banana Republic man travels with a woman; thus, a Banana Republic shirt and a woman are comparable requisite gear. Calvin Klein is not selling jeans; it is selling the promise 15 Journal of Research on Women and Gender Volume 6 — March - of a rugged, carefree heterosexual lifestyle for men.
Associating with this brand means strapping a pair of CK jeans, a motorcycle, and a woman to your crotch.
The Rockport man is also an outdoorsman. This guy needs a pair of Rockport shoes and a naked woman in his shower to corroborate his manhood as the heterosexual variety. The David Yurman ad is selling a lifestyle that can afford designer jewelry and the women who wear it. The David Yurman man is refined. He likes the feel of fine jewelry, as well as women who find him irresistible, against his skin. Last, Sketchers is not selling shoes.
Sketchers is selling a cartoon-like heterosexual adolescent action-adventure fantasy about being irresistible to a scantily clad petite dominatrix. In fact, none of the scenes in the exemplars signifies jobs, careers, or lifestyle-sustaining labor. These are leisure fantasies. In the ads, there are no messages about the symbolic, material, or emotional labor or cost involved in living these manly lifestyles, just as there is no work involved in getting women to find the men sexually attractive.
Sexually aggressive yet subordinated women in the ads have but one function—to prove heterosexuality. The Western visual tradition is built upon an ideology in which men dominate the landscape, always symbolically feminine Berger, Masculine power is enacted by colonizing space external to man as independent agent. As a visual logic, viewing man is positioned as owner of all that he surveys. In the representational landscape, man is visually positioned as master of the material world he has conquered.
Under capitalism, controlling nature evolved to include a formula that equates what can be seen with what can be downloadd Berger, This gendered way of seeing drives Western visual logics Berger, ; Mulvey, ; Rose Under this regime, women become objects to be seen and possessed Berger, ; Mulvey, Returning to the exemplars, men not only play the main characters in but also colonize the landscapes of the ads. In the logic of the five ads, a man does not rely solely on his material body to define him.
All that he possesses defines him as well, including commodities and the scenes of their consumption.
This tells a gender story that symbolically and materially privileges men with not just greater power than women, but power over women. In the ads, he is her master, and heterosexual seduction becomes her only agency. Her role is actively to woo him. Yet, while interaction between the men and women in the five ads is sexual, the sex does not seem to be a result of human emotional intimacy.
Heterosexual relationships seem to be defined as unattached casual sex. The exemplars also define masculinity and femininity. The ads argue that masculinity, to signify itself, requires being outfitted with the proper external possessions. Masculinity also requires an adventurous leisure landscape in which to enact mastery.
The exemplars depict scenes of leisure neither wholly public nor wholly private. This adventuresome masculinity is dissociated from a job or career—the labor necessary to acquire such a lifestyle for most people. Yet, the ads are not scenes of domesticity, either. Heterosexual femininity is defined in the exemplars as having sexual attraction to heterosexual men.
This cisgendered feminine sexuality is not merely passively available; it is insistent. Heteronormative gender, therefore, is defined in the ads as a hierarchy in which men are more important and powerful than women. As long as homosexuality is closeted, a straight man has little to fear that his masculinity can be read as homosexual because the presumption is heterosexual unless otherwise signified.
But today, for those to whom it matters, one cannot as easily presume heterosexuality as in the past, especially in the context of potentially feminizing metrosexual consumerism.
Hence, the heterosexual metrosexual may be required to announce himself the only way that he can—through sex with a woman. If women reject this role, whether for sexual identity or political strategy, heterosexual manhood may lose its power to signify itself as currently defined. The visual rhetoric of the five exemplars in effect sells idealized representations of so- called normal gender and sexuality that privilege masculine over feminine, men over women, and heterosexuality uber alles.
Furthermore, in terms of advertising and consumer culture, it is significant that brand and product have been gendered into a hierarchy that parallels asymmetrical symbolic and material relations between women and men. It also commodifies relations between men and women, including sexual ones, in an imagined ideal normal world inhabited by only one man and one woman who will not make eye contact with each other.
This brand-land, populated with women eager to have sex, caters to responsibility-free adventure. Yet, in the frozen narrative moments of these five ads, while the men clearly have access to sex with beautiful women, it is not always clear that the men want it. In the ads for Banana Republic, Calvin Klein, David Yurman, and Sketchers, the men appear nonchalant if not ambivalent about their sexual desire.
At the same time, in the Calvin Klein, David Yurman, and Sketchers exemplars, the women appear to have little choice but to be driven by their sexual desire. In the sexual dynamics of all the exemplars, the men are self-possessed and in control of the sexual moment. This formula in the exemplars communicates choice thus control for the men and an ever-present possibility of humiliation for the women.
In terms of evaluation, we argue that this visual rhetoric functions to rescue white heteronormative masculinity, for, indeed, four of the men in the exemplars read as white. In the cultural mythos of heterosexual white manhood, as well as in the exemplar ads, real men do not have to work to make their bodies sexually attractive by adorning themselves with fashion.
Thus, fashion advertising targeting young adult metrosexuals who have a penchant for personal grooming and consumer culture may tap into this threatened and perhaps youthfully insecure white heterosexual masculinity by reinforcing the myth of white heterosexual masculine supremacy as normal and normative.
We might conclude then that in the symbolic order of the exemplars, signifying masculinity only requires power and control, but signifying heterosexual masculinity requires the presence of a subordinated but sexually aroused woman.
In these representations, the arrogance of such a fragile heterosexual masculinity would be humorous if the consequences of such beliefs in the real world were not so serious since the symbolic order grants heterosexual masculinity the right to define women for its purpose and the power to keep her yoked to that purpose.
Any contemporary consideration of gender has to consider the ways that heteronormativity and heterosexism play into the status of women. In the five exemplars, masculinity is a detached and effortless mastery of the material and social world. The potential for abuse in promoting such a narrative should be apparent, even as we gloss over its daily manifestations in the flow of news about brutality, exploitation, neglect, and violence. The exemplar ads define U. Shoring up the primacy of white heterosexual men requires reinforcing current inequities and the prospect of even more restrictive symbolic, cultural, social, institutional, legal, and economic practices and policies for everyone else.
References Baker, C. Benwell, B. Men and Masculinities, 7 1 , Berger, J.
Ways of seeing. London: Penguin. Bordo, S. The male body: A new look at men in public and in private. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. Butler, J. Gender trouble: Feminism and the subversion of identity. New York: Routledge. Undoing gender. Clarkson, J.
Journal of Communication Inquiry, 29 3 , Courtney, A. Journal of Marketing Research, 8 2 , Damon-Moore, H. Albany: State University of New York. Fine, J. Advertising Age Midwest region edition , 76, Ford, J. Foss, S. A rhetorical schema for the evaluation of visual imagery. Framing the study of visual rhetoric: Toward a transformation of rhetorical theory. Helmers Eds. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Theory of visual rhetoric. Smith, S.
Moriarty, G. Kenney Eds. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Earlbaum. Visual communication in the basic course. Communication Education, 41 3 , Frye, M. The politics of reality: Essays in feminist theory. Gender advertisements. Studies in the anthropology of visual communication, 3 2 , l Golombisky, K. Feminist thought for advancing women in the academy. Meyers Ed. New York: Hampton Press.
Harrison, C. Real men do wear mascara: Advertising discourse and masculine identity. Critical Discourse Studies, 5 1 , Kay, J. Twenty-first century Victorian dandy: What metrosexuality and the heterosexual matrix reveal about Victorian men. Journal of Popular Culture, 42 1 , Kilbourne, J. Kolbe, R. Man to man: A content analysis of sole-male images in male-audience magazines.
Journal of Advertising, 25 4 , Krasses, N. Lambiase, J. Promises, promises: Exploring erotic rhetoric in sexually oriented advertising.
Batra Eds. Lambiase Eds. Cultural standards of attractiveness: A thirty-year look at changes in male images in magazines. Lindgren, S. Lundstrom, W. Sex role portrayals in advertising. Journal of Marketing, 41 3 , McRee, K.
Media Report to Women, 34 3 , 5- There's maybe a limit of devices i can load some content on, but I've never run into it. It just works, and it works everywhere. One of my favorite magazines was Paste Magazine , which had to stop printing a year or two ago. Shortly after that, they announced a weekly e-magazine available on their website for a couple bucks a month, and I've downloadd it. But honestly, I haven't really read it much I'm just not sitting at my computer at home thinking, "I want to read about music and movies right now.
Heck, their product last I checked doesn't really work on my iPhone for reading either. However, they have announced they plan to have an iPhone and iPad app sometime in the future, which promises more great reading time. Another favorite small magazine publisher of mine is Relevant Magazine. They are still committed to printing a magazine, which I love.
I still subscribe and do read them. But now they also allow me to read them on their website if I log into my account, and I appreciate that.
Their new website is very well-designed as well--it's amazing how it feels like a magazine, almost, with colorful graphics, enlarged blurbs from the article, and multimedia in the margins. It's one of the best publishing websites I've seen so far much like The Verge , which I will accuse them of plagiarizing a bit. Relevant does offer a beautiful iPad app, I'm told, but since I don't have an iPad, I may never experience it.
Still, though, I should be able to read Relevant everywhere. I'd read it more if they had an iPhone app in addition to the iPhone app. I'd read the articles on my Kindle if it didn't cost more and was an available option. Yes, I know, in these formats I would not get as much of the fancy graphics, the meticulous layouts, and the experience of reading a glossy, full-color magazine printing, but is that so terrible?
In the end, I want to read the content, and for the most part, it is about the content, not the presentation. Don't get me wrong: the presentation is great, where available. But I would rather be able to read the words anywhere and be aware that I am missing a bit of the experience instead of not reading at all. Another problem with digital distribution is the reader's lack of rights. If I get a paper version, I can meticulously save them on my shelf for reading whenever I want.
I can easily borrow them to a friend. I can even give them to my kids, if they do not fall apart by then. I own these books. These days, when you download digital books, you do not own them. You are given a license to read them that can easily revoked by the seller or the publisher. You get much less rights than with a paper book or magazine. A couple weeks ago, a woman's account from site was deleted and she was not told why.
Most likely, she violated some parts of the terms of service, but still, she may have spent hundreds of dollars on electronic goods that she no longer had access to and very little recourse to getting her books back.