Thursday, January 28, 2016

Is Video the Right Vehicle to Battle Objectification of Women?

Relevant magazine reports on the video montage of sexual imagery in advertising that has recently gone viral. The video, originally released anonymously, is the brainchild of the Badger and Winters ad agency. In the past, the agency has apparently produced advertising based on the industry adage "sex sells." But now, says Madonna Badger, the firm is done with advertising that objectifies women.

That's a bold stand, as Relevant's article says. But "it's hard to know if it will catch on in the industry" because "women only make up 11% of advertising creatives." Good point.

But I wonder whether the video that sent #WomenNotObjects into the social media stratosphere has been so watched not because viewers object the objectification of women, but because they like what they see? I haven't seen the video and don't intend to, but have read descriptions of it.

Let's be honest, pornography and the objectification of women is a huge problem in our country. Porn has gone so mainstream--entering into mainstream TV, movies, books, and the Internet--that Playboy magazine has become passé. The publication has recently announced that it will now only present women clothed and its publisher Hugh Hefner is so strapped for money that he's put his famous Playboy Mansion on the market with the stipulation that he must live there until he dies. (The old pornographer is 89 years old.)

So, while I applaud Badger and Winters for their intentions and maybe they've gotten a healthy discussion started in this country. It's possible for me to be completely out to lunch on this, but I wonder whether their viral video hasn't unintentionally fed the objectification monster.

No comments: