Structured Racism from my Tiny-eyed View

Did you look at my face? Did you notice that I have a flat nose, comparatively smaller eyes than the rest of ‘mainland Indian’ citizens? You surely must have noticed my light hair and yellower skin…

Source: Structured Racism from my Tiny-eyed View

Female subordination in print advertisements


The representation of women and men in advertisements around the world in various magazines and other print advertising shows a high level of subordination of women before men. Most of the images show an uncanny depiction of the male gender dominating the female. Advertising doesn’t directly represent the actually depiction of genders of the real world, but implicitly diffuses their ‘ideals’ into the belief system of the society. The patterns observed among the general advertising has created aspirational values in the society, where the man yearns to be the centre of all attention and have more superiority over the women while the women is rendered powerless and fragile. The patterns we observe in advertising affect the gender domination or subordination in the society. It plays a vital role in assigning gender roles to the public and in influencing our ideologies.The social stereotypes of men being more superior to women is further reinforced through the magazine advertisements and other popular culture. Each of these pictures are strategically constructed so as to emphasise the social conventions observed in the modern day.

 

Erving Goffman, a Canadian-american sociologist critiqued these ideals of advertising by pointing out the socialising agents in advertising and how gender roles are played subtly through media. This exposure to gender stereotyping can closely affect the way society functions and perceives gender. In his book ‘Gender advertisements’, he noticed how the construction of femininity was made to look more fragile, dependant and powerless while masculinity in advertisements portrayed that men are powerful, muscular and have an irrevocable control over women. He also explained how this portrayal had nothing to do with what biology said, but with the obnoxious mindsets prevailing in the society. His study also revealed the different representations of women like ‘The feminine touch’, ‘Lying down’, ‘Bashful knee stand’, ‘Tilted head or body’, ‘Licensed withdrawal’ and ‘Infantilization’.(Goffman, Erving. “Gender advertisements.” (1979)).  The ‘Feminine touch’ is used in a wide variety of products ranging from jewellery to electronic products. The very acts of a soft feminine caress of the product is a depiction of the fragility of the woman and also shows that she’s sexually inviting. The ‘Lying down’ pose of the women indicates that she is vulnerable and in most of the advertisements she is found either at the feet of the man or defencelessly lying on the couch or the bed. This depicts that she’s sexually available or otherwise, being fully submissive to the man. The ‘Bashful knee stand’ shows the woman in a very vulnerable position where her one leg is bent at the knee or simply, off the ground. Again, this depicts vulnerability of the woman. ‘Tilted head or body’ of a woman shows the acceptance of subordination by the women. Popular brand like Gucci, D&G, Calvin Klein often showcase women posing with their bodies tilted towards the man, which can be explained as the woman playing a submissive role and the man, playing a dominant role.A woman shown throwing her head backwards with the full exposure of their throat indicates powerlessness. ‘Licensed withdrawal’ is where the woman seems to be in a dreamlike state and often avoiding looking straight at the camera or not making eye contact with the man. She is often seen holding the man for support while the man is shown with his hands in his pockets and looking straight at the camera boldly. ‘Infantilisation’ is a technique of showing women in a childlike manner where the woman is either seen in a playful position or with her fingers in her mouth in a seductive manner to implicate her naiviety, fragility, childishness and that she’s not thinking at all while the man is shown having an intense look on his face and thinking deeply like an intellectually smart person.

Several fashion advertisements have shown stereotyped depictions of women and the men controlling the women through their so-called ‘masculinity’.Gucci’s advertisement in 2010 for the perfume guilty was one such classic example of reinforcing stereotypes.(Lee, Han-sam. “Promoting Prejudices: Stereotyped Depictions of Women in Ads.” Fresh Ink: Essays From Boston College’s First-Year Writing Seminar 26 Aug. 2011.)
chris-evans-gucci-guilty-ad

The woman is seen looking submissively at the man, while the man stares boldly into the screen and is shown being more superior. The woman looks in fear or submission at the man who is strangely relaxed . The woman looks sideways with her teeth clenched and a pale face and looks up with her craned neck towards the man with her lips slightly parted which calls to the man for affection; again a gender subordination. The brand indicates the ‘guilty’ range which is explicitly seen on the woman’s face than the man. The woman is supposedly meant to be more guilty having sexual intimacy with the man, than the vice versa. The man has a chain with a lightning bolt linked to it which might have a close linkage with the greek god Zeus that indicates more power in the man than the woman. Goffman’s explanation of ‘ritualization of gender’ is more prominent in this advertisement. This ad depicts her as the victim and a sex object while the man as a more superior being who tends to be more powerful. Also, this ritualisation of gender spells out the leading role that men have in society as well as in relationships where the women are made to feel ‘guilty’ for a man ‘being’ seduced. According to Goffman, we can categorise this image as showing a ‘Licensed withdrawal’ and having a ‘Tilted body’ to picture her as unguarded and defenceless.
dolce-and-gabbana

Here we notice how Dolce and Gabbana has strategically placed the women in a sexually submissive position while the well-clad men are found gawking at her in their position of ‘power’. While she is found donning a cadaverous look with her lips slightly parted that indicates her attempt in seducing the men, the men are observed to have stern looks on their faces, some of them with their eyebrows raised and shoulders broadened to spell power. The woman also doesn’t make any eye-contact with the man or the viewer while the men are seen boldly looking at her.  There is also a glass of wine placed strategically towards the back which makes our view toggle between this glass and the underclad woman. Women and alcohol are in submission to the men. According to Goffman’s theory, we can categorise this as showing her ‘Tilted body’ in a ‘Licensed withdrawal’ while ‘Lying down’.

wardrobemain-454x500

The ‘Live Your Fantasy’ campaign of RedTape shoes was another such ad campaign primarily shown in India that adhered to the male fantasy of having a woman the man lusts for.Another gross objectification of women , which throws wrong thoughts into a man’s mind reminding him that fragile women are up for grabs. Also, all the women depicted in this scene are clearly fair and slender, which is again portrays the craze for fair skin in India and how men run after these. While the advertisement is supposed to be of shoes, the man is seen well-dressed, but the women are seen wearing skimpy clothes, trying to entice the man and seduce him. He is seen walking out with a woman of his choice after picking her from the group of girls who are again ‘up for grabs’. Even the campaign name’ live your fantasy’ calls out to the men to observe women in a patronising manner and consider them as nothing more than a sex-object. Success for a man is measured by what he can afford or ‘who’ he can afford to have and that includes these ‘beautiful’ women. This is what is then projected on the society and what the public grows to believe. According to Goffman’s theory, we can categorise this image as portraying women in a ‘Licensed withdrawal’ with a ‘Bashful knee stand’. All the women are seen posing in a bashful posture, avoiding the camera and seen fully focusing on the man while he stares right into the camera.

#ShareTheLoad and stop assigning gender roles

Gender prejudices are quite common not just today, but since the age old times when women were domesticated and the men were considered to be the sole breadwinner. Though women have started working and earning for their families, yet, they are still bound to be claimed fit for the domestic role no matter how much of a difficulty it may pose to hold. Whether it’s about keep the home clean, laundry or cooking, everything is considered to be a woman’s job, and men are given the freedom to take charge of nothing but the work that they claim to bring financial stability in homes.

What I don’t understand is how and why women are expected to multi-task responsibilities, when men are given a superior role of taking over the financial aspect. If the society changes its understanding about women, then we can bring equality between the woman and the man in every household. It’s time to bring an end to the long term prejudices and nip them in the bud, so that we can build a better country with gender equality.

Every girl child in India is forced to believe at a very young age that domestic chores are her responsibility and she can no way, shirk them off. She is taught these chores and persuaded to learn how to handle all domestic responsibilities so that she can take care of the household when she’s married off. Why do parents don’t teach the boys so? If these responsibilities are taught both to a boy and a girl, I’m sure we can bring about equality in everyone’s homes both in thoughts as well as in action.
Ariel along with Blogadda have reasoned this out, and found that most mothers are considered to have sole responsibility over the laundry being done at home. If every father helps the mother in doing these chores, then we could surely get rid of inequality starting from one’s household. 76% of the married men believe that not doing the laundry or engaging in domestic chores helps them in setting a good role model for children. Does doing one’s laundry, make him less of a man? This seems ludicrous enough, because by doing so, you’re just teaching children to preserve this foolish tradition of gender roles. It’s up to us to change the mindsets of children and the future generation, so that there wouldn’t be any assignment of gender roles in the future generation, so that we can rid of inequality, and help each other grow equally in every household as well as in society.

I am joining the Ariel #ShareTheLoad campaign at BlogAdda and blogging about the prejudice related to household chores being passed on to the next generation.

Stop gender prejudices by sharing the load

From time immemorial, domestic chores are restricted to the women in the household and so are women domesticated in the name of patriarchy. Whether it was years and years ago when our great grandparents followed this as an age old tradition, we in the current days, are still not completely unbound from these foolish traditions which we claim to be ideal for practise. This collective prejudice that has been flowing through generations over the years have tarnished the young minds into following them as a tradition.
Why is household inequality so much prominent in the present times when there have been exemplary personalities like Kalpana Chawla and Kiran Bedi who have explicitly showed how much they are capable of , and it’s not only the household chores that a woman can gain mastery over. Women are subjected to a whole lot of imbalance in society, and the patriarchy that is deep-rooted in people’s minds is strengthened more time and again. Societal inequality starts with household inequality and it’s time we start changing it here and now.
Ariel and Blogadda have together questioned these prejudices by taking a simple example of the work of laundry in one’s home. A girl, right from childhood to womanhood is forced to believe that household chores like doing the laundry is the sole responsibility of the women at home while the men in the home are kept ridiculously detached from these, as if the very idea of doing dirty laundry (most of which would belong to them) would tarnish whatever masculinity they perceive to believe. While kids scream at their parents for not cleaning their school uniform, husbands blame their wives for not scrubbing that shirt collar perfectly. It’s hilarious when we think of how legitimately the world has succumbed to blame a woman for whatever domestic issue.
78% of girls in the country are forced to understand that she would play a crucial domestic role when she grows up. What if we also educated the men in doing the same, after all, a home can only run peacefully and happily, when men and women together help each other in accomplishing their domestic role. No human can be assigned a gender role with a superficial identity that we created over the years. 2 out of every 3 children believe that washing clothes is solely a mother’s job. Who has instilled this understanding in their minds? If only men would contribute as much to the household responsibility, the future children of India would change their perspective of who should do the laundry, who should do the cooking, or who should do just about any other household chore. It’s time we broke these prejudices and helped India be a nation where there is equality between genders.

I am joining the Ariel #ShareTheLoad campaign at BlogAdda and blogging about the prejudice related to household chores being passed on to the next generation.


2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 950 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 16 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Who’s really #madeofgreat?

In this surprisingly fast paced world and with a gazillion different memories being woven intricately every day, every single moment, every breath, we may make little choices of who could be a role model, or somebody that we yearn to become. Somebody, whose shoes we like to step into, and somebody else whose cloak we would dream to touch. Somebody today, somebody tomorrow. But most of all, what remains in us, is the desire to remain true, to whatever we may become.

 

Only once in every gazillion of moments, do we encounter that person who not only teaches us to desire things great, dream what hasn’t been before, and maybe that’s who I call as #madeofgreat. One’s greatness doesn’t really get confined to one alone, but flows outward and infuses the others with that greatness too. The only beings, who selflessly pour out their greatness to us, are our mothers.

Mothers are those who think about their family more than anyone else does. They are #madeofgreat in their own sui generis ways. They are the ones who take the utmost trouble in bringing their children up. They toil and undergo all hassles to make someone else GREAT. To make us great. From the time you wake up in the morning, to the time you go to bed, they have taken care of you; most of it, when you were a child, because post that, you don’t see her anyway. You’re either buried under a stack of books to read, or sprawled on the couch watching television, and you just start to take her greatness for granted.
What drives mothers in doing what they do? It’s deep love, and that’s all it takes. We don’t see selfish motives or stealth rationale to what they do. They do it with an intention of spreading love, and giving us a life that we most often desire. They don’t have stealth intentions, let alone desire for any payback. That’s what I believe makes them great.

Mothers always have an impact on us. From the way our upbringing reflects in our thoughts and words, and to what translates in our actions, that’s where she’s always lurking. Her sayings and teachings, not once dubious are what we inherently like to cling the closest. Gentle gestures and soft words, and once or twice, a berating without which things don’t seem right; every one of those are partly or wholly influencing us in our day to day lives. The fact that we unknowingly or knowingly desire to follow someone, live up to someone’s greatness, or desire to please someone, is who I think of as great. We label someone’s greatness to how much they have impacted us, and most of it being positive. Bad influence is not greatness at all.

We don’t really need a mother’s day to express what we feel towards our mothers. Everyone’s mother, whether tall or short, fair or dark, stout or thin, is a mother, and she is #madeofgreat. CHEERS to our mothers.

The #madeofgreat campaign by Tata Motors is basically the brand association with the brand ambassador, Lionel Messi. The campaign builds upon Tata Motors’ DNA of trust, authenticity, reliability, simplicity, as well as its commitment to innovation.
There are several reasons why Tata considers him as an icon for today’s youth. He is a winner who is trustworthy, reliable, pioneering, simple and driven by self-belief, which is what is at the core of Tata Motors as well. Thus, proving to be an ideal fit for the role of Global Brand Ambassador.​

This post is a part of http://madeofgreat.tatamotors.com/

What do you think of Tata Motor’s association with Lionel Messi ?

 

 

Keep them #SoftestForBabySkin

In order to keep a baby’s skin safe and secure, there are a number of precautions that have to be taken care of right form day 1. A baby’s skin though soft and cuddly in the beginning can develop rashes over time if proper care is not taken, or if not moisturised regularly. There could be several reasons why this fragile body would be affected by rashes or patches. Dryness or even consumption of non-nutritious food could be the major reason. Therefore, it’s necessary that you consider these five things in order to keep your baby’s fragile skin nourished and soft.

  • Massage with oils: The baby’s skin gets dry easily with changing environmental conditions and in order to avoid dryness, it’s necessary that proper care is taken by massaging its body with oils like coconut oil, jojoba and bhringaraj. Oils strengthen the baby’s body and make it clear and devoid of dry patchy skin problems. Also, massaging the fragile body keeps it more nourished and healthy.
  • Moisturizers: Moisturising the baby’s skin is a must especially in the winter when the skin drys out pretty quickly. No matter what the season is, there is always a need to maintain the oil balance on the skin, in order to avoid rashes and itchy skin. Chamomile baths or milk baths would work fine once in a while and would also bring back the lost moisture in your baby’s skin. You could also find organic skincare products that are devoid of chemicals and work well on fragile skin
  • Baby baths: Bathing the baby numerous times would only make its skin dry and would eventually lose its glow. Therefore, you should always resist the temptation of bathing it now and then. You could give it an oatmeal bath that softens the baby’s skin, or otherwise simply give it a bubble bath with eco-friendly soaps so that the essential oils in the skin are all retained.
  • Heat protection : The baby’s skin is extremely fragile and it’s extremely necessary that you protect it from the UV rays outside. Use sunscreen if necessary in order to avoid sunburns and tanning. Also, as an alternative you could buy the sun protective clothing for the baby.
  • No rashes: Baby’s tend to get diaper rushes due to dryness and unhygienic conditions. Therefore, it’s necessary that the baby is given diapers that would prevent rashes and keep the skin soft and supple. Pampers brings you the softest ever Pampers Premium Care Pants. Its cotton-like softness is#SoftestForBabySkin and allows it to breathe, thus keeping baby’s skin soft and healthy, and your baby happy.

These 5 methods are sure to keep your baby’s skin soft, supple and sweetly irresistible.

Previous Older Entries

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 190 other followers