Each year in late January, we have a short-lived debate about the objectification of women in advertising as corporations spend big dollars on their Super Bowl moments. Last year the hype was around the since-banned Mercedes Benz commercial featuring Kate Upton. If we took the time to rank how awful commercials are on the objectification scale, this one would definitely make the top 10.
Let's not forget that one of the root causes of domestic violence and sexual assault is the objectification of women. If a woman is objectified, she is made less than human, making violence against her more acceptable.
This type of objectification of women is certainly not limited to Super Bowl commercials. Every media platform plays a role in equating a women's worth to that of her body parts. It is witnessed each day in magazines, TV commercials and programming, movies, talk shows, online, in classrooms -- the list is endless. We are completely immersed in a culture that condones the objectification of women all the time! And when we allow it to happen, or at the very least when we tolerate its existence, we continue to give it our stamp of approval.
These images and messages are most often employed to attract attention to sell products. And it's not uncommon to have difficultly deciphering what product is being advertised due to the focus being placed on the objectified woman. The objectified woman or her parts typically have very little to do with the product. And purchasing products or services that utilize these tactics only communicates that the practice is acceptable and encourages the cycle to continue. Companies X, Y and Z continue to line their already-fat pockets at the expense of women.
So this year I did not tune in to view these trashy advertising schemes for entertainment. Instead, I am speaking out to share the message that this pervasive exploitation of women is unacceptable. I will also continue to do my part by speaking with my dollars and choosing not to support companies that embrace this skewed sense of femininity.
I urge you to educate yourself and begin to recognize how this type of treatment of women has become commonplace.
To learn more, watch the film on this important topic. It can be viewed at Miss Representation.
Follow Beth Morrison on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Haven_Oakland