As products advance even the advertisements have to be creative and attractive. The market has grown and so has the number of competitors, giving customers plenty to choose from. This very reason makes the companies create ads that are better than the other, while they are at this some take it too far and often cross the line, making them sound gender biased. When we look at stereotypes in the play “The Doll’s House” it focuses more on women and their level in society and things like women working was looked down upon. Fast forward to present generation stereotypes, we quickly realise that women are still seen as an object. Women are often shown inside the house and seldom outside the house. Nora Helmer the character in the play “The Doll’s House” is no different. One of the most common gender stereotypes are often found in pickup lines used in advertisements example (of “Dr Pepper” a famous soda manufacturer, also perfume advertisements such as “AXE” and “Old Spice”).
An Advertisement from Electrolux shows a lady in the kitchen doing all the work. This was just an example almost all kitchen wear ad has only women, except barbeque grills, as this is associated to be more Manly. Who is the main one at fault? I have found myself in this situation many times and end up blaming the society for adopting the wrong idea that was influenced by an advertisement. Of course not everyone is like me and hence tend to go with the flow causing these stereotypes to find themselves in advertisements often targeting one group or a particular gender. Women fall victim to sexual and often demeaning roles in the modern advertisement industry. How do we relate this with Nora’s role in “The Dolls House”? We can see a thin or rather a virtual line that is separating Nora’s role from what sexual terms and other comments women in the present face in advertisements. Women are still given roles that involve them doing the same old mundane activity that you would associate a women to represent.
Nora was an early example of what women had to get along with in society and conveys what women were treated like by their male counterpart. Nora was often called names that would have put anybody in an uncomfortable position, an example of a modern advertisement would be from Nike created in the year 2005 by Wieden and Kennedy, which spoke about various parts of the women’s body parts in a very sexual way. Hate it or like it, it definitely affected Nike in a positive way. Social endeavour can be investigated through a feminist lens because it directly concerns women or because it purposefully neglects them and their point of view.
This topic helped me understand the reason and meaning behind some famous advertisements that belonged to some of the biggest multinational companies. For example one Nike of the largest sporting goods manufacturer proudly advertised using various parts of a women’s body just to display their products. A recent example that can support my idea is the advertisements from Motorola often their advertisements use human body parts such as lips while displaying their product. As technology advances day by day, we have new additions such as artificial intelligence and even they are given names, while I was researching I found some similarities. The main one being the name, we Alexa from Amazon, Bixby from Samsung and Cortana from Microsoft. If you view it the same way as I have then you will notice how there is a use of feminine names, this to some may indicate an indirect relation to women and how they have to do all the work.
This is due to the fact that women are often associated to be superior to men in social skills, hence we are used to being welcomed into hotels, aeroplanes, and various such occasions by women. Reasons like these make me believe that they gave their AI bots feminine names. How do we link this to The Doll’s House? In the play we see Nora the female character who is often ill-treated mainly due to her gender. Her husband uses her as what we now call “trophy wife”. Coming back to the topic of how modern advertisements and media portray such biases, I think it is safe to say that gender roles exist mainly due to the fact that society chooses to accept them. It is quite evident, for example try finding an advertisement that involves a girl playing with an action figure. One advert breaks free and that is Tide with the tagline “I am a stay-at-home dad” this line is stated by the leading make actor in the advertisements. Take a look at the one of the most popular television shows “The Big Bang Theory” the first few seasons had only one female character that was Penny played by Kaley Cuoco, penny as a character was added just create a little sexual tension by being an attractive neighbour. Hence it is safe to say that women often get roles that are not really helping their image or position in society, however there are a few adverts who beg to differ and break barriers by switching the roles played according to gender. In other words they want a balance in our society.
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