Culture Jam Assignment

Original Ad

While society has made great strides in gender equivalence over the past decades, there is still some evidence of sexism to this day. For example, in the careers aspect, men tend to be promoted more often than women and have higher salaries. To make matters worse though, this is only from the perspective of the developed side of the world. In more rural and third-world countries, women take on domesticized roles like in the past. They will mainly stay at home to take care of the house and kids; they don’t know how to read and write; and they are forbidden from finding a job. Although the ad above was most likely created many years ago, I feel it is still a good representation of some gender inequality that is still present today.

One of the more common gender stigmas is that women are mainly domestic based: they will clean the house, take care of the kids, and cook food. This is being depicted exactly in this advertisement. It can be seen in the ad how there is a Caucasian women leaning on the back of a man, most likely her husband. First off, this act of leaning is a subtle jab at how women are portrayed as “weak” and need to rely on a man in order to survive. As alluded to in this ad, they cannot even stand up by themselves and need a man’s help. In addition to this, the caption gives away another sexist remark: “The Chef does everything but cook – that’s what wives are for!” This statement implies how women must be the ones cooking as it is their sole purpose. Moreover, the first part of the statement – “the chef does everything” – highlights how the man takes care of everything and leaves the menial part of the job to the wives. They will provide for the family and could even cook if they wanted to; however, the ad implies that wives are made for cooking.

Revised Version

For the culture jam, one of the first edits I made was to switch the faces of both individuals in the ad. By doing so, I stress to viewers how women do not have to “lean” and rely on men for support. It can be done just as easily the other way around. Not just in a marriage, but in life itself, there are many a times when a man will need help from a woman. Women are just as capable as doing whatever a man can. In addition to this, I also changed the caption from “The Chef does everything but cook – that’s what wives are for” to “Wives can accomplish anything – they are just as capable as their husbands.” This new caption underscores how women do not have to be restricted to just a domesticized role where they cook, clean, and take care of the family at home. They can accomplish anything they desire.  Finally, my third and last edit carries on the point made from my second edit. Here, I have displayed pictures of the myriad of roles that women can take on in life, not just stay at home. For example, they can join the military, become a professional sports player, or become a police officer. When people normally think of these careers, they usually picture a man behind the uniform. However, with my images displayed here, I want to change this perception and show that women are just as competent and able to take on these roles.

In conclusion, I hope that my alterations can inspire the women of this world and change many of the stigmas surrounding their role. They do not have to take on the role of a housewife like the advertisement implies; rather, they can chase whatever dreams they have and become whoever they desire. They shouldn’t feel shackled by preconceived notions that they have to rely on a man to survive. Women are capable of accomplishing whatever men can accomplish. Hopefully, the world will one day move toward a society where both men and women achieve true equality.