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The photo above is an advertisement for Chase and Sanborn Coffee. This advertisement ran during the 1950’s. The writing says “If you husband ever finds out you’re not “store testing” for fresher coffee …if he discovers you’re still taking chances on getting flat stale coffee… woe be unto you. For today there’s a sure and certain way to test for freshness before you buy”. Under those words there is a photo of a man sitting on a chair with his back to us with one hand raised, and a women, presumably his wife, laying, on her stomach, across his lap. These two are in this positing to depict a scene of a man about to spank his wife. She is looking at the camera, smiling, and kicking up one of her legs. The wording on the ad, combined with the photo displayed of this married couple, is an advertisement addressing wives, telling them that they need to be store testing their coffee to make sure that it is fresh before taking it home for their husbands, and that Chase and Sandborn Coffee is the best coffee to test in store for freshness.

While back in the 1950’s this may have been a popular ad, it is totally out of place here in 2016. Wives are no longer expected to be home makers, some still are but there has been a surge of women in the work force. So telling a woman that she needs to make sure that the coffee that she buys is fresh, isn’t necessarily relevant anymore. The actions depicted in this photo is also out of place in 2016. Spanking for children is now widely discredited as being a reasonable form of punishment, and is shown to have detrimental repercussions later in children’s life. But spanking adults, is considered abuse. This advertisement is literally showing a scene of domestic abuse and saying to wives, if you don’t test your coffee for freshness, your husband will hit you.

In this advertisement there is only the binary options for gender. There is only one type or relationship shown here, a heterosexual one, between a biological male and biological female. This excludes so many people that this advertisement jut couldn’t exist to day. People these days are  in homosexual relationships, they can legally marry someone of the same sex, people can be trans gender, people can identify as what ever they feel they are. This advertisement makes it seem that there is only one type of relationship that is legitimate.

Gender roles here are seen through the woman being a wife and house keeper, wearing a dress and heels, in full make up and hair, smiling, and the man in a suit, clean cut hair, being the controlling disciplining force in their house. There is no wiggle room here, these are the strict heterosexual gender expectations that our society has for men and women. This expectation was the only way that was accepted back in the 1950s but here in 2016, there is still this expectation that if you identify as a man you must be manly, and if you identify as a woman you must be beautiful, anyone in the middle is just lost. This advertisement just reinforces our same gender roles.

Thi advertisement is a perfect example of “gender imagery – the cultural representations of gender and embodiment of gender in symbolic language and artistic productions that reproduce and legitimate gender statuses” (Lori, 711). This advertisement shows only one way to do gender, and it is unchanging and unwavering. Thankfully advertisements as blunt as this one do not circulate in popular media outlets anymore, though we still have a long way to go before there is no gender imagery in advertisements.

Cite:

Lori Baker Sperry, and Liz Grauerholz. “The Pervasiveness and Persistence of the Feminine Beauty Ideal in Children’s Fairy Tales.” The Pervasiveness and Persistence of the Feminine Beauty Ideal in Children’s Fairy Tales Author(s): Lori Baker-Sperry and Liz Grauerholz Source: Gender and Society, Vol. 17, No. 5 (Oct., 2003), Pp. 711-726 (2003): 711-26. Sage Publications Inc. Web.

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