Killing Us Softly 4, By Jean Kilbourne

Decent Essays

According to Newman, sexism refers to “a system of beliefs that asserts the inferiority of one sex and that justifies discrimination based on gender.” This sexism has a large impact on the daily life of a women through things like social interactions, power differentials, and violence against women. Institutional sexism refers to the “subordination of “women that is part of the everyday workings of economics, law, politics, and other social institutions.” The media is one institution that communicates gender norms both directly and indirectly. Understanding gender role expectations and how they are reinforced through social institutions like the media is necessary in order to explain things such as the wage gap, segregation in the workplace, and how women are devalued on a global scale. Jean Kilbourne’s film, Killing Us Softly 4, depicts the way the females are shown in advertisements. She discusses how advertisement sell concepts of normalcy and what it means to be a “male” and a “female.” One of her main arguments focuses on how women aspire to achieve the physical perfection that is portrayed in advertisements but this perfection is actually artificially created through Photoshop and other editing tools. Women in advertisements are often objectified as weak, skinny, and beautiful while men are often portrayed as bigger and stronger. Advertisements utilize the setting, the position of the people in the advertisements, and the products to appeal to the unconscious aspect

Get Access