English Comp Paper

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EN 1103-57Composition #3/ Prompt #1 P.447April 8, 1999 One of the most remarkable aspects of living in the United States of America is being able to participate in the free enterprise economy. Just think about all the different types of products that are available to each individual, the choices are almost endless. In order for businesses to survive in this competitive environment they must market themselves very effectively, and this means presenting goods and services in a very appealing way. Unfortunately what is appealing to men does not necessarily appeal to women. The difference between how products and services are marketed to men as opposed to women creates certain ideas that people in general tend to adhere to in society. When Monday night football is on during the fall season beer commercials most of the time are full of young hot women. Implying the message that if a guy drinks a certain type of beer women will find them attractive. This of course does not take into account women beer drinkers suggesting that drinking beer is a man s activity. Beer commercials by themselves do not portray men as the only ones that can drink beer, but the message is still implied by the way the beer is marketed. As people go on with their everyday life it is difficult sometimes to be aware of the way beliefs and values are influenced by the constant amounts of information presented to each person. Sometimes, I do not know why I buy a certain brand of jeans over another. The material is the same, the color is the same, it fits just about the same, but somehow one feels better than the other does. Now why is this? When I think about it Calvin Klein is mostly associated with young and sexy people. Just the thought of being part of that image is enough to compel me to buy that particular pair of jeans over another. Somehow, I made the association that wearing jeans made by Calvin Klein would make me sexier. If advertising can make me feel this way, could it also condition the public? The way marketing targets men and women in a free enterprise economy creates certain beliefs in peoples minds, and there are examples all around to demonstrate this conditioning. For example, how many men are seen in advertising promoting how good Mr. Clean disinfects the home while cooking a meal for the family with low fat butter? During day time TV, how many fathers doing the laundry with new and improved Tide? Between time outs in the basketball game, are men shown on TV talking about how soft their hands are from washing the dishes with moisturizing Dawn soap? How often does the Chrysler Corporation portray a father in their new Dodge Caravan picking up the kids from soccer practice? All these examples are specifically geared towards women and their role in society as the homemaker. Because people are so familiar with these images it is awkward to think of men in these roles. in the other hand how many women are seen in advertising driving the new Ford tough trucks, buying Craftsman tools at Sears, mowing the lawn with the new John Deer riding lawnmower, and leaving the family behind to go away in a business trip on American Airlines. The way products and services are marketed suggest in a very subtle way what the role of woman is supposed to be, and what the role of man is in society. Even though marketing firms do not follow a sacred text or religious guidelines the effect is still the same in many ways. Marketing firms tend to mirror the changes that occur in society. And if commercials clearly depicting the role of a woman and the role of a man are still shown as mentioned before, then what does this say about the society in which we live in? Well one of the very first things that comes to mind when people compare the U.S. to other countries and cultures is how much freedom each individual has to do what ever they want. But stop and think for a moment, do women really have the same opportunities as men do? There are no rules and regulations stating that women have to stay at home while men earn a living, yet this is exactly how they are depicted in advertising. Maybe this society is not as gender biased as it thinks it is. Just because there are no guidelines as to what the role of a woman is versus the role of a man, does not mean there are not any.

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