Author: hawagnerrutgers

Blog 2

Advertising is everywhere. We are submerged in it, and are drowning in the constant stream of messages we receive each day. Men and women are reminded of their gender roles so much that it is ingrained in our systems to act and expect others to act a certain way. More and more, we are seeing that the people we see in these advertisements are not only becoming dehumanized, but materialized. We live in a materialistic society where valuables are more important than values. We are desensitized to the violence and sex we see. Like a drug, we need more and more. I believe advertising is going too far with sexuality to reach target markets and should slowly return to a more traditional method to sell products.


Patriarchy is a dominant social system that is thriving throughout the world. Men are the primary authority figures while women are expected to support the needs of her counterpart. Advertising is doing everything in its power to reinforce these beliefs. In the past, we see that men were in the suit and tie and women were in the kitchen making dinner. Now, we see that men are violently overpowering extremely sexualized women to prove that they are still the center of the social system. Bell Hooks explains, “Clearly we cannot dismantle a system as long as we engage in collective denial about its impact on our lives. Patriarchy requires male dominance by any means necessary, hence it supports, promotes, and condones sexist violence” (24, Hooks). What Hooks is also saying is that by allowing men to slowly deconstruct and sexualize women more and more through media, our social perception of women is slowly being dismantled as well. The purpose of these images is to make the consumer aware of their product and it’s use, however, the problem with the ads we see today is that we believe in the possibility of becoming

Addicts go to rehab for drug addiction. They are slowly introduced to a more healthy way of living until they can hopefully become clean. The same should go for advertising. Perhaps if we slowly introduced a different set of images, such as empowered women that are supported by their proud male counterpart, we could slowly make a change. The change in the way society views imagery can’t happen overnight. Berger says, “Transform the woman into a man. Either in your mind’s eye or by drawing on the reproduction. Then notice the violence which that transformation does. Not to the image, but to the assumptions of a likely viewer” (64, Berger). The imagery we see is just a starting point to which our imaginations use as a canvas to paint the scenario being conveyed. Should those images slowly become more empowering towards women while directing men’s attention from the body of a woman to her brain, we could possibly see a change in the way these ads are viewed.


The advertising and media we see are deeply rooted due to the ability pop culture has for glorifying such objectivity. Every year, men drool as they watch Victoria’s Secret models walk down the runway in new “fashion”. It has become a phenomenon. The beauty, fashion, and entertainment industries have commoditized sexuality and objectivity. The young generations see what these models are wearing, how they look, and are they are perceived. Young men want to be with them, and young women want to be them. It is a vicious cycle. Young women should be following the footsteps and imagery of someone like Ivanka Trump, who is a successful businesswoman, dresses with class and dignity, and has a presence that shakes the ground she walks on. Instead, they are concerned (and probably confused by) the flesh colored jumper that Miley Cyrus paraded around in. Pop culture serves one of the many foundations for media and advertising

Advertising is going too far. Society is addicted to sexuality and violence and media is capitalizing on it. The images we see are trying to sell a product, but the messages further reinforce patriarchy and gender roles in the world. Pop culture serves as a strong foundation for the media we see and does not help any attempt to reform the cycle of gender roles. We need to implement a new wave of imagery that encourages female empowerment along with cooperative relationships between male and female rather than male being dominant.



Hooks, Bell. “Understanding Patriarchy.” The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love. New York: Atria, 2004. 20-33. Print.

Berger, John. “Chapter 3.” Ways of Seeing. London: British Broadcasting, 1973. 45-64. Print.



Final Project

Musicians have represented societal norms and stereotypes for many years. I have examined some of today’s artists and how they use their image to show gender roles, racial roles, and the evolution and change from one persona to another. These stereotypes include macho-masculine behavior, the empowered yet sexualized female, and the patriarchal roles of males and female. I also attempt to show how this will continue to influence generations in the future by exemplifying how influential these artists are on our culture and pop culture in specific.

I&C Final Project



Works Cited

Representation of Men and Women in Music

As we have learned about the how men and women are portrayed through imagery, we have seen the impact and toll it has taken on today’s society. Gender roles are somewhat ingrained into our systems and media is doing it’s best to sustain these patriarchal “norms” through dehumanizing men and women into mere objects. For my final project, I plan on writing a paper that examines how men and women are portrayed in music, music videos, and the artists themselves.

My initial thought is to start with an extreme example and that is Tyler, the Creator. I will explore some of his lyrics and how he tries to portray himself as someone who is ruthless and cold by rapping about raping women and hatred for homosexuals. Lyrics such as “Rape, katana, and then I skin ’em, all beige suit made out of white women” show extreme violence and disregard for the respect of the opposite sex. The music video to this song is equally as strong as it shows young men putting roofies in women’s drinks and taking them home when they collapse from the drug. With Tyler as my main example, he would serve as a strong comparison to the more popular artists that I examine such as Robin Thicke, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, and more. Robin Thicke, who’s “Blurred Lines” was somehow the biggest song of the summer, has a video that is equally as alarming with lyrics that I sending the same message as Tyler’s but in a more subtle manner. I want to prove that just because one image is more shocking than the other, the image is all the same. As for Justin Bieber, I believe as he is transitioning to a more mature musical stage in his career, he is seemingly forcing his young “Beliebers” to join him whether they are ready or not. For young women, such as my sister at the age of 13, to listen to their idol and personal God singing about “putting a woman down” in the bed room with accused rapist, R. Kelly, it is something that they may not be mature enough to handle, but nonetheless exposed to anyway. Lastly, I would like to take a look at a woman who originally came from a super religious family and eventually turned into an overly sexualized puppet, Katy Perry. While she has songs that make us feel like “fireworks”, she is often shown wearing next to nothing in her videos and in her photo shoots. The irony of the fact that she is being inspirational, yet becoming a modern-day Betty Boop is ridiculous.

With this final project, I plan to write a paper. When I present in class, I plan on speaking about my topics while showing images and portions of music videos that we have all probably already seen. My biggest concern is that I have to stay focused on the topic and not stray off in too many directions.

Hello there

Hey everyone, I’m Harrison Wagner and I’m a Finance major at Rutgers-Newark. A tad about myself – I used to play soccer for school, I enjoy sports in general but I am a bigger comic / video game / music fan than most athletic activities. Finance is something that I do because math is fun to me, but it isn’t something I see myself doing as a profession. My dream is to become a professor and I plan on taking the proper steps (whatever they may be) to get there. Outside of school work, I really enjoy spending time with my family / friends and the like. Harrison photo

This is a photo of me from 2010. My brother enjoys photography and he was fiddling with the new camera he had just purchased. While I don’t really have any musical or artistic qualities that some of you may have, I really love art and such. I hope to gain new perspectives from each of you as we go through this course. I tend to have a little bit more cynical view of media and when it comes to art, I find myself drawn to darker and gloomier paintings, photos, music, moves, etc. I guess I find myself always trying to figure out what happened to get to that mood or point in the respective art that I am viewing. I’m looking forward to this class.