During my first college Women’s Studies class, I kept thinking, “Why couldn’t I have learned this in high school?” Turns out some lucky high school students get to: Ray Salazar’s English class at Jones College Prep in Chicago brought women’s studies into the classroom when they embarked on a project inspired by a “No Comment” section of Ms.
The students recorded public service announcements about advertisements that use gender stereotypes as a means of humor–and promote sexism in the process.
Gabs Schreiber critiques a De Beers ad from “No Comment”:
While everyone at De Beers is trying to be funny with the ads, they are lashing out toward women, making them diamond-hungry mercenaries. But these ads do more than make women mercenaries, they accrue negativity to women as well. A report from the LA Times summarizes the ads as such: “We know your bitches are crazy and all, but if you buy her a diamond, she might just stop nagging…”
Janelle Perez discusses a Dodge ad:
Many men believe that women have nothing to offer them if they do not look sexy or act wild. As a result, women feel obligated to focus more on the way they look above than anything else.
Kudos to Salazar for working this into his curriculum. Oh the time and money I could have saved from straightening my hair and buying padded bras if I had only learned this kind of thing in high school!
ABOVE: Screen shot of a Svedka ad published in Ms.‘ No Comment section.
For those who want to tell Svedka Vodka what you think of this ad, here’s their contact information:
Spirits Marque One, LLC, 598 Madison Ave., Floor 4, New York, NY 10022; (212) 838-8383; firstname.lastname@example.org.