Explanation of my Jammed Piece:
The original ad tries to subliminally tell the consumer (men) that men who have money and power do what they want, and therefore, men who wish to do what they want should buy their suits. Unfortunately, the other hidden message is that if you want to be a man in power, you assault women. Moreover, the ad shows that if you have power it’s ok to assault women, or those with less power than you. My Culture jam piece brings those messages to the forefront, and challenges them. These subliminal messages cannot hide in an image that becomes part of our shared public culture, only to normalize violence against women.
Though the scene is dark and dreamy looking (as if to hypnotize the consumer), the text is bold, red and loud, almost like a record scratch. Causing the viewer to not be distracted by the pretty people, the fancy clothes, the sex, and the subliminal messages.
I chose to use the “Got Milk” slogan as inspiration. The text of my piece reads: “Got male privilege? Got $$? Got Power? Got sexual assault!” The reason for this is because milk is such a popular food/drink in North American society. Here, I am attempting to show that the assault on women, by men in power is as pervasive in our society as milk. Therefore, not only do we need to bring these instances into light, but also ads such as this one need to be called into question, and they need to be stopped.
What’s Wrong With This Ad?
This ad for the menswear company, Suit Supply shows a young woman model wearing a short dress. She is sitting with her legs spread apart. A man, who is dressed in a suit, with an emotionless expression on his face, is lifting up the women’s skirt. He appears to be a businessman, and he has one hand in his pocket. The setting appears to be an expensive home, with marble walls. In the background there are alcohol bottles.
The problem with this ad is that it paints the picture of a man in a place of power because of his money and job. The woman is painted as powerless, and allows the man to do what he will to her (indeed, she appears to be either in the throws of passion or else intoxicated or high). Because of the man’s power, and the woman’s apparent lack of power, the man seems to be allowed to do what he wants with her.
This is, in fact, a major problem in our society. Where men in power feel they are allowed to sexually assault women because they have power over them, and then they are protected because of their power. The case of Harvey Weinstein is an example of this. Weinstein was a well-known, successful film director who assaulted many up-and-coming actresses. He abused his power, to do so, but because of his power he was also protected. Ads like this one only this behavior, and normalize it’s existence in our society.