Thursday, April 12, 2007

“News and Gender” in Advertisements: Fashion Ads Touch a Nerve in Gender-conscious Spain

This news article by Victoria Burnett, issued from the International Herald Tribune, entitled Fashion Ads Touch a Nerve in Gender-conscious Spain is about how Spain is taking the initiative to ban and prohibit gender stereotypes in advertisements and fashion clothing stores.

The article mentions Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and his government on how they are intervening in “public and commercial life to try to change Spain’s macho culture” that seems to continue to oppress women.

As mentioned my Burnett, certain Giorgio Armani and Dolce & Gabbana advertisements deemed as sexists toward women and have disturbed society, especially Spanish women consumers. One particular advertisement that showed two girls with makeup and bikinis disturbed Madrid’s ombudsman saying that “It’s not dissimilar to the pictures that circulate on the Internet promoting sex tourism.”

Burnett also mentions in the article that due to these female gender stereotypes, the Spanish Health Ministry has campaigned to measure 8,000 women for a better ideal on the “average” women’s size for clothing and mannequins in top Spanish fashion companies.

1 comment:

Jessie said...

I think you found an interesting article here- especially because of the relevance to what we were discussing about pornography (and all of the related implications in class on Thursday); however, you seem to stop short of fully analyzing the subject of the article. I get the impression the lack of analysis is a codified/subconscious positive valuation on the Spanish government's intervention into this issue/industry. I could be off-base here, so having an analysis would have given me more to work with (as opposed to coming up with a potential rationale for no analysis). Think about the issues of choice, and paternalistic protectionist legislation at issue here...
Does society need the government's intervention in this case? Is the intervention meant to help women or further legislate what is acceptable in a given cultural context.
It's also interesting that this Spanish official is claiming cultural machismo as the primary problem--typically one culture will label another culture as the "pathological" (not the culture of one's own identity/affiliation) to inaccurately blame a problem that exists elsewhere (or nearly everywhere) as a culture-specific issue...like machismo for example--macho misogyny/sexist/whatever you want to call it-- exists in all cultures...so to make the issue culturally specific and negative for one's own culture seems a bit off-base with the normative blame-system. Therefore, my big question is: what's the big motivation for policing yet another area of women's (primarily women-oriented) lives and bodies here?