Culture Jam Assignment
This ad ran in 2015 as part of pen manufacturer Bic’s celebration of international Women’s Day. As this advertisement was run for a day meant to celebrate and recognize women, it is assumed that the intent of the ad was to empower women. However, the misogynistic message it conveys about what women are supposed to be works to promote the antiquated ideas of gender norms that limit and hurt women. The first line of the ad “look like a girl” signals the importance of appearances in a woman, with the comparison to a “girl” suggesting traits such as youthfulness, femininity and innocence make women attractive to men. The following line “act like a lady” continues this idea that a woman is supposed to act in line with the traditional view of a “lady”, implying demureness and manners are valuable in a woman. When the ad then highlights a quality associated with intelligence and analysis, in this case “thinking”, it switches to a male descriptor. The idea that a woman needs to “think like a man” reinforces the sexist notion that women are inherently less intelligent than men, and suggests that if women are to be successful, they must adopt male qualities. All these statements see women through a traditional, male-centric gaze that assumes all women must look, act and think a certain way if they are to be successful or “empowered” in male eyes. These are standards that should not be imposed on women and is what I will be addressing in my “culture jammed” ad.