“Turning a human being into a thing is almost always the first step towards justifying violence against that person”

When I was watching the documentary “Killing us Softly” and I heard this quote, I immediately thought of the recent Stanford rape trial, and of course rape culture.  Advertising is the fundamentals of creating this hostile environment.  Not saying that the individual shouldn’t be responsible, but our society is flawed in such a way that creates this environment.

We are truly surrounded by advertisements everywhere we go.  This documentary mentions how only 8% of every advertisement actually reaches our conscious, however the other 92% is taken in by our subconscious.  Normally our subconscious isn’t swayed by one very brief encounter, but with the amount of advertisements out there, we are “swimming” in a malicious environment.

Looking at this Calvin Klein advertisement portrays everything that is wrong with the advertisement industry.  Klara Kristin is helping promote “rape culture” by saying she seduces and flashes in her Calvin’s.  It’s not just how she is objectified because her two quotes are sexual, but directly next to her on the same billboard, a male (Fetty Wap) says he makes money in his Calvin’s.  This billboard reveals the sexism in the advertisement industry, by showing a woman who is sexual, and a man who has power.

Klara does approve of the up-skirt shot saying people have become scared of the female body, and she sees herself as an ambassador to desensitize people to a woman’s body.  Obviously there are two sides to every argument, but in this case with the side to side comparison, I have to say this is sexist.  It is a combination of their quotes, and the pictures themselves.  Fetty Wap’s picture is zoomed in on his face not even showing his body.  You feel closer with him because you are looking directly into his eye.  On the other hand, you can barely see Klara’s eyes, and the attention isn’t on her face, thus objectifying her, and promoting rape culture.  If Fetty Wap did a full spread, and took a picture of under crotch, the internet would shut down.  Instead this is just another normal advertisement objectifying women.


Kilbourne, Jean. (2012). Women and Advertising. Retrieved June 10, 2016, from