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Gender Codes

  • Date Submitted: 09/29/2012 06:52 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 46.5 
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GENDER CODES
This article is a small attempt to analyse the role of women in advertisements. Basically advertisements are more about us, than it has to speak about the product. According to Erving Goffman, “We don’t come out of the womb with gender identity imprinted in our genes, rather our environment sets a pattern of behaviour for us. It’s difficult to watch young boys playing with dolls or small girls indulging themselves in action picked games. Each sex whether male or female has been given definite cultural orientation.
Every male is represented as strong, intelligent, competitive, active, dominant and powerful. Whereas a female is represented as dependent, emotional, empathetic, weak, soft, passive, delicate, submissive and vulnerable. Hence there is nothing natural or biological but the outside world lend us these gender identities of which we are unaware of. These gender codes are seen in the most concentrated manner in our advertisements.
          The very purpose of advertisement is communication and that communication which is not only quick but also very deep. What’s negative about these advertisements is that they don’t seem strange or weird to us at all. These advertisements tell us what culture holds as something normal. In India, our world of advertisements is governed by various Acts where Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986 fails to plays an important role.  
This Act defines “indecent representation of women” as the depiction in any manner of the figure of a woman; her form or body or any part thereof in such way as to have the effect of being indecent, or derogatory to, or denigrating women, or is likely to deprave, corrupt or injure the public morality or morals.
The basic intention of this Act is to prohibit indecent representation of women through advertisement or in other publications. But how far is this Act successful to fulfil its motives? Does the right to live with dignity that has been enshrined in the...

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