gender roles

James Turnbull's picture

Korean Sociological Image #38: Gendered Marketing


With the exception of some medicines such as painkillers, presumably the majority of things that humans can eat or drink taste exactly the same and have exactly the same physiological effects on both sexes.

So why are so many marketed so differently to both, or even almost exclusively just to one? It’s really quite bizarre:

Already having deeply analyzed Korean examples of both however, and providing possible reasons for the divisions, today’s post is a light one just for the sake of providing a few more recent examples, starting with the opening commercial featuring the girl-group KARA (카라) for Pepero (빼빼로) chocolate sticks. And with 55% of Lotte Confectionery’s (롯데제과) annual sales of them being made around “Pepero Day” every November 11, then one can hardly bemoan the company for looking for ways to encourage consumers to buy them throughout the year. But still, I doubt that Lotte will go so far as to produce similar commercials featuring male groups instead, and especially not with their members pretending to make “V-lines” with the Pepero sticks in them.

James Turnbull's picture

Gender Advertisements in the Korean Context: The Mile High Club

( Source )

Quick question: for want of a better word, what vibe do you get from the above image? How does it make you feel?

Part of this Korean Air advertisement, how about with the caption:

From departure to arrival, only dignified services for our dignified guests.

Or with the fine print:

When you land, you should be in the same delicate condition as you were during take-off. That’s why our delicate service with a smile remains constant throughout the flight until you reach your destination.

In particular, do you find it demeaning to the steward in any way, or women in general?

Does the fact that only 11% of Korean Air stewards are men influence you in any way, Korean Air only hiring men from within its own ground staff since 1997, but women also from the general public?

FilthyGrandeur's picture

Hell, I wouldn't mind some hot sex for MY birthday

I was talking to my friend at work about presents we were planning on getting our male significant others for xmas, when she suggested "Just give him sex." 

And this got me thinking: why is it that every time I talk to a woman about what to get my fiance for a gift, they suggest sex?  Do men in heterosexual relationships encounter this when discussing what to buy their girlfriends or wives? Do men ever suggest to other men to give sex to their girlfriends or wives?  Does anyone make this suggestion to men and women in homosexual relationships, or is this strictly a heterosexual thing?

I just wonder about these things because within this one suggestion comes several assumptions: that men want sex, women withhold sex, and women should at least give sex to men on special occasions.  There is also this assumption that women don't enjoy sex (or at least shouldn't admit to liking it, or else they're filthy filthy sluts.  Or something.).

FilthyGrandeur's picture

Presentations of violence and gender in Twilight


Note: While I do not give a full plot summary, some of the analysis may touch on topics that reveal the plot.  Also, I embrace "the author is dead" perspective, since I do not know anything about the author or her motives.  This analysis is strictly an analysis of the novel in question, and is not a criticism of the author, though I do criticize the author's writing, which I consider to be two different things.

I recently finished Stephanie Meyer's vampire romance, Twilight. While it wasn't the most fantastic novel (certainly it took a lot of reading before reaching anything remotely climactic), it wasn't all that horrible. But it wasn't all that good, either. I didn't have high expectations for a romance novel as it was (admittedly I have read few, not having acquired a taste for the genre--yeah, studying literature makes you elitist. I'm no exception). This post will examine gender roles and gender presentations in the novel, as well as other problematic themes. 

FilthyGrandeur's picture

Revisited: Review of Pixar's Up

To celebrate the release of Up on dvd, I am sharing my review of the movie, which was originally published here.


I saw Up yesterday, and, of course, loved it, as I knew I would. Everything about it--the fantastic premise of a man tying balloons to his house to travel to South America; the sense of adventure; the cute little chubby kid; the goofy dog who becomes pack-leader--EVERYTHING.

I felt the story of Carl, especially, was wonderfully portrayed. There are happy times with him and his wife Ellie, but there is the usual life's disappointments, such as having to put off a long-awaited trip to pay bills. And then there is the sad scene where they find out they're unable to have children. I was choking up when Carl bought the tickets to South America, but then Ellie dies before they can go on their trip. I found it quite touching that Carl was so devoted to her that he fulfills his promise no matter what. Carl's character is wonderfully portrayed, and we sympathize with him as he tries to maintain hold over his house and self--even as there is pressure to enter an old folks' home.

LiberatingPorn's picture

My Experience With Gender Roles (In Parking Lot Street Fights)

Where I grew up, if you weren’t the alpha male, you had to at least pretend that you were in contention for the title. This posed a great problem for me, as I’m anything but.

FilthyGrandeur's picture

Does "lady stupid" exist?

Idiocracy was on tv last night.  I discovered it while channel surfing (I swear I don't normally watch Comedy Central a.k.a. Dudebro Central), and decided to watch it.  As I was watching, and admittedly laughing, it suddenly occurred to me: this movie is all about exaggerated dude stupid. 

Dude Stupid is a particular brand of stupid, that has recently been tapped and commodified in just about every fucking way possible.  What is dude stupid?  We've all seen dude stupid.  Think about every movie starring Seth Rogan.  It's Superbad.  It's the franchise that Judd Apatow is currently shitting out for a specific male demographic.  Dude stupid basically plays into the rise of the Man-Child:

The Man-Child's interests include smoking pot, drinking beer, watching porn and/or TV re-runs, pretending to be Gandalf and/or Darth Vader and/or other notable characters of sci-fi and fantasy film, playing video games, engaging in semi-dangerous XTreme sports such as smashing lightbulbs or setting things on fire, and generally just acting like a thirteen-year-old boy would if he had no curfews and no parents and no-one to stop him from being such an enormous loser all the time, my God.

Oh, and to dudes, women are only valuable if they put out and shut up.

FilthyGrandeur's picture

Sixth graders in Sweden file complaint against Toys R Us for gender stereotyping

Note: Sorry for the complete lack of posts on my part.  I've got a terrible cough right now, plus asthma, so I've been trying to rest when I don't have to work since I can't afford a doctor.  I'll try to get back on track when I'm feeling better, but I just wanted to let everyone know what was up in case any one was wondering if I fell off the earth.  Don't worry; I didn't.  Enjoy the post.

Just when I think the world really sucks, it's always a sharp group of kids to totally brighten my day:

Last winter, a sixth grade class at Gustavslund school in Växjö in south central Sweden reported Toys"R"Us to the Reklamombudsmannen (Ro), a self-regulatory agency which polices marketing and advertising communications in Sweden to ensure they are in line with guidelines set out by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

According to the youngsters, the Toys"R"Us Christmas catalogue featured “outdated gender roles because boys and girls were shown playing with different types of toys, whereby the boys were portrayed as active and the girls as passive”, according to a statement from Ro.

The group’s teacher explained to the local Smålandsposten newspaper that filing the complaint was the culmination of more than two years of “long-term work” by the students on gender roles.

Thumbing through the catalogue, 13-year-old Hannes Psajd explained that he and his twin sister had always shared the same toys and that he was concerned about the message sent by the Toys"R"Us publication.

“Small girls in princess stuff…and here are boys dressed as super heroes. It’s obvious that you get affected by this,” he told the newspaper.

“When I see that only girls play with certain things then, as a guy, I don’t want it.”

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