Consenting Alcohol

Ok, so this is the last post I’m going to do in regards to print ads displaying food, gender, and sexuality. I chose this particular ad because it depicts two bodies which give a blatant sexual connotation to the product, much like the ad found in the “Rump or Ass?” post.

In this particular print ad, Añejo Tequila is being targeted towards the consumer. As seen in the ad, you can see that there is a suggestive image of a woman on the bed with her dress showing a lot of skin. On the other side of the ad is a man who is completely naked. Due to the symbolism in the ad, we can see that the bottle of tequila is a phallic symbol of a man’s erect penis. Another important part of the ad is the text that says “Extra Añejo for an extra long night” (Sharpe). Through all the suggestive material in the ad, you can assume that the two people in the ad are going to have sex because they drank this tequila.

However, once again there are many implications to this ad.

1) Due to the fact that these two people figures do not have faces and are completely reduced down to bodies…..aka objectification. Nowadays we hear about the objectification of women all the time, but in this instance we can also see the objectification of a man which is also problematic.

2) This type of ad creates a negative relationship to food. What I mean by this is that the ad tells the consumers that if they are planning on having an extra long night (meaning if they are planning on having sex that night), then they should drink their tequila. Let’s think about what this implies for a moment. It is telling us that we should always drink alcohol of some sort if we are planning on having sex, which is not the type of relationship people should be having with food, especially alcohol. Sure, alcohol might be able to give some people confidence and put them in the mood, but that is only in moderation and is partially psychological. Due to the fact that this ad says that people should drink and have sex, that is a problem in itself. It doesn’t reflect on the issue between the consumption of alcohol and sex. Alcohol can affect people in many ways and can blur the lines of consent, which is really problematic.

Reference

Sharpe, Gwen. “Non-Subtle Sex in Advertising (NSFW).” The Society Pages . W.W Norton & Company, Inc., 27 Jun 2008. Web. 18 Apr 2012. <http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2008/06/27/non-subtle-sex-in-advertising/&gt;.

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Is BIGGER better?

I’m going to start this post with 2 questions, and the questions are for you too!

Questions:

1)      What is your favorite fast food joint?

2)       When you think of that fast food restaurant, what comes to your mind?

Here’s what my answers were:

My favorite place is Burger King (BK).  In my mind, there is absolutely no competition between McDonald’s and BK because it’s so much better than McDonald’s.  When I think of BK I tend to think of the awesome chicken sandwiches, onion rings with barbecue sauce and how I’m going to get fat or clog up my arteries with cholesterol.

Here’s another question, when you think about that fast food joint, do you also think about sex?  I’m assuming the majority of you said no, and I would have to personally say that I too would never think about sex and BK at the same time.  So why the heck do we put the two together then?  It’s because sex, gender, and food are highly relatable.

Below is an ad that I fell upon and thought it was a prime example to inspect under the lens of gender and sexuality, especially in terms of gender roles.

First, let’s examine all the innuendo and sexual symbolism.  To put it bluntly, the positioning of the sandwich in regards to the woman’s mouth seems as though she is going to give a blowjob (otherwise known as fellatio) to the sandwich which obviously represents a penis.  Also, the word “blow” in the ad just further implies fellatio.  To make things even more apparent, the sandwich is described as “long” (7 inches) and “juicy” and is filled with a lot of mayonnaise.  Also, just read this little description found at the bottom of the ad and I think you’d be able to recognize some more innuendo:

“Fill your desire for something long, juicy and flame-grilled with the NEW BK SUPER SEVEN INCHER. Yearn for more after you taste the mind-blowing burger that comes with a single beef patty, topped with American cheese, crispy onions and the A1 Thick and Hearty Steak Sauce. (The Cajun Boy)”

So, what does this say about gender roles and sexuality?

Well, it once again reinforces our heterosexual society because it assumes that sex is between men and women only. Could you imagine if the woman’s face was replaced with a man’s?  People would flip out!

What it also shows us about our gender roles is that for people who want to have sex with men; they should strive to meet a man with a long seven inch cock.  But even when we have met what we desire (which is a 7 inch cock), we should still want more……………..just like that darn BK Super Seven Incher Sandwich!

However, these roles are problematic because what if we don’t meet these expectations?  If a man doesn’t have a seven inched dick then he could feel really inadequate.  Also, for us people who like having sex with men, what if a seven inch dick (or even bigger) is something we found but isn’t as satisfying as we thought?  It brings up the question, is bigger really better?  Not only does it apply to penises, but also to food.  Are bigger plates of food tastier than smaller portioned plates?

Think about it and let me know what you think.    🙂

Reference

Cajun Boy, The. “Eating a Burger King ‘Super Seven Incher’ Is Just Like Giving a Blow Job.” Gawker. N.p., 24 Jun 2009. Web. 23 Apr 2012. <http://gawker.com/5301856&gt;.

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Rump or Ass?

**As stated in an earlier post, we know that our society is extremely heteronormative…..so its especially important to keep this concept in mind while I discuss this post. There are many reasons why I chose this next ad.  Unlike the Baileys ad, this ad deliberately uses a woman’s body to make its marketing statement.  I also chose this ad because this decision to use a woman’s body also blatantly shows us our societal views of women.  **

So here we go:

Based off of our society, we know that people generally tend to have a mentality that women eat salads and men eat steak and potatoes.  Due to the fact that all men LOVE steak and women….what a better way to market towards men by using steak and women, right? This is exactly what this ad does.

This ad uses a naked woman’s body in order to depict the certain types of meat cuts you can find on a cow.

By doing this, we assume that people are buying their product because they can then connect this diagram of a woman to a cow.  We can also assume now that people make their decision of what meat cut they want based off of the cow diagram that they now have in their head.  However, is this really the case?  Are we really choosing the rump because we envision the cow’s butt to be delicious, or are we really choosing the rump because the woman’s rump is sexy and therefore the rump cut is attractive to us?

Why else is this ad important to us?

It is important to note that ads like these clearly express our views on food, gender, and sexuality.  This type of ad shows us that one of the easiest ways to show how an ad is relatable to us (as consumers) is to use gender and sexuality because everyone knows what a man/woman is supposed to be and everyone loves sex.

But for me, this ad is important because it shows us how our society thinks of women.  Due to the fact that a woman is used to relate to meat cuts, what does that tell us?  It shows us that women are reduced strictly to their bodies and are nothing more than pieces of meat for our consumption.  It may not say it in words, but this is what the image implies.

 

 

Reference

Sharpe, Gwen. “Sexualizing and Gendering Food.” The Society Pages . W.W Norton & Company, Inc., 25 Mar 2008. Web.  Apr 2012. <http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2008/03/25/sexualizing-and-gendering-food/&gt;.

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Breastmilk

Bam! So if you thought all the other things I wrote about was boring then you’re in luck because I’m finally getting into the interesting parts of my blog.  In this section, I’m going to be analyzing the print ads and how they are sexualized and gendered.

Here’s my first example:

The reason why I chose this ad is that they are examples of food that have been gendered and sexualized without using any people.

The first ad depicts a product that is being advertised by Baileys, a creamy chocolate flavored liqueur that is made up of Irish whiskey and Irish dairy cream (Product and Company Information).  If we were taking this ad literally, we would only see top views of two glasses of Baileys with chocolate in the center, “The Milk of Ireland” in the middle of the ad, and a Baileys label on the bottom.  However, almost nobody reads ads like that.  This ad is extremely gendered due to its placement and symbolism.  The top view of the two glasses with Baileys symbolizes a pair of woman’s breast and the chocolate centers are representative of nipples.  While on the other hand, the Baileys label is a phallic symbol for a woman’s crotch area.  Due to the fact that there is no actual outline of a woman’s body in the ad, the consumer is left to imagine the rest of the “woman’s” body.  Although it may seem as though the consumer is left to their imagination as to what the outline of the woman is, they are actually guided in how they should picture the woman’s outline by the “The Milk of Ireland” text.  The main goal for placing the text in the middle is to help the consumer outline the woman.

Not only is this ad completely gendered in that it represents a woman, but it is also extremely sexualized.  Never in a million years would you see a woman show her bare breasts and vagina out in public (except for maybe at a nudist beach or something to that nature).  Yet in this ad, because we are left to our knowledge of what a woman’s body is and imagination, we can conclude that the chocolate centers are nipples.  The sole reason why this is an acceptable in the public is because not a real woman’s body.

But how do we know for sure that this was the goal of the advertisers?

We know that this is meant to be a woman because of the placement of the items in the ads is relatable to a woman’s body.  Let’s pretend that the items on the ad had been arranged differently.  When we rearrange these items, there is no longer any correlation with a woman’s body.


Reference

“Product and Company Information.” Baileys. R.A. Bailey & Co. , 2011. Web. 19 Apr 2012. <http://www.the-baileys-lounge.baileys.com/en-us/Product-and-Company-Information.asp&xgt;.

Sharpe, Gwen. “Non-Subtle Sex in Advertising (NSFW).” The Society Pages . W.W Norton & Company, Inc., 27 Jun 2008. Web. 18 Apr 2012. <http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2008/06/27/non-subtle-sex-in-advertising/&gt;.

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What is Sexuality?

I’m going to just come out and say this, sexuality is complicated.  Sexuality does not have a concise definition like gender and because it is a part of a person’s identity, people will always have their own definition of what sexuality is.  For the purpose of contextualizing my blog, the following is how I’m going to try and explain sexuality.

The first thing to say about sexuality is that whenever discussing it, sexuality is associated with sexual orientation (which is defined as, who a person is physically and/or emotionally attracted to) (Sexual orientation and homosexuality).  The reason why these two are heavily associated with each other is because they are all part of a person’s sexual identity.  By knowing and understanding sexual orientation, people can then have a full understanding of their sexuality and how to express it (Self-Help: Sexual Identity and Orientation).

For example:  A boy (let’s call him Tom), at the age of 11, starts to understand that he isn’t attracted to girls like the other boys.  All Tom knows is that he is different from the rest of the crowd and is confused on what to call himself, how to identify, or how to express his “abnormal” desires.  Tom eventually enters high school and finds out that men who are attracted to other men are called gay.  Although Tom now knows that he is gay, he still does not fully comprehend what it means to be gay because he’s never had the chance to express it in any manner.  It wasn’t until college, where he could fully express himself as exactly who he was, that Tom really understood his sexuality.

Through this story, we can examine Tom’s development of himself from pre-high school to college.  By being able to understand his sexual orientation, Tom was able to understand sexual identity but through expressing this he was able to fully understand his sexuality.

In regards to sexuality, it is also very important to note that when people think of sexuality, many tend to think of heteronormative sexuality (meaning sexuality is in reference to straight sexual identities only, not like the gay sexual identity example I gave you) (Self-Help: Sexual Identity and Orientation).  This is important to take into consideration because this is also what our society thinks and is run.

 

References

“Self-Help: Sexual Identity and Orientation.” Student Counseling Center Office of Student Affairs. University of Texas Dallas, 19 Jan 2011. Web. 20 Apr 2012. <http://www.utdallas.edu/counseling/sexualidentity/&gt;.

“Sexual orientation and homosexuality.” American Psychological Association . American Psychological Association, 2008. Web. 20 Apr 2012. <http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/sexual-orientation.asp&xgt;.

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What is Gender?

As I stated in “Preparing for the meal”, I have to make sure that everyone is on the same page and knows what gender and sexuality is before we really delve into the content of my blog.   Although this section may seem a little more technical and academic, there’s just no other way of getting around what these words mean and they are crucial to understanding the entire blog.

The first thing to know about an individual’s gender is that it is different from that person’s biological sex.  The sex of a person can be determined by chromosomes and hormone levels.  However, a person’s sex is usually determined by genitalia, meaning a baby having a penis would be labeled as male.  While on the other hand, a baby having a vagina is labeled as female.  This is what sex is.

By knowing the sex of a baby, gender is and can then be assumed.  For instance, a baby is born and is determined to be female because it has a vagina (which is the sex).  When that baby recognized as female, it is then called and presented to the parents as a girl, which is an example of gender.  Gender is the social construction of a person’s self by others which is based off of their assigned sex (Eldis).  In a much simpler explanation, sex=male and female while gender= boy and girl (which are heavily associated with masculine/feminine).   By knowing a person’s gender, that person is then socialized into society’s perceptions of what gender is.

Ex: A girl is born and her parent’s buy her a pink dress.

These parents are socializing their daughter into the gender of being a girl by buying her a dress (which is something girls wear) that is pink (a feminine trait that girls are supposed to like and wear).  As children grow up, they will be heavily socialized and expected to fit into their gender roles (FAO).  But is this to say that there is nobody who breaks their gender roles or don’t fit to their roles?  Of course not. (Ex: tomboys)

Also, it is very important to note that because gender is a social construct based off of that society, other societies have different ideas as to what their gender is and how it should look.  (Ex. In the U.S., it is acceptable and normal for women to wear short skirts, pants, and dresses.  While on the other hand, in many places within the Middle East, it is unacceptable and unheard of for a woman to wear short skirts.) (FAO)

References

“What is gender?.” Eldis. Institute of Development Studies, 2012. Web. 9 Apr 2012. <http://www.eldis.org/go/topics/dossiers/trade-and-gender/what-is-gender&gt;.

“What Is Gender?.” FAO Corporate Document Repository. Economic and Social Development Department, 2004. Web. 9 Apr 2012. <http://www.fao.org/docrep/007/y5608e/y5608e01.htm

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Preparing for the Meal

For many of us, we have daily routines that we have been doing for our entire lives.  One of those routines is eating.  Since the time we were born, we have been eating every day, whether that is at home or at restaurants and bars.  To many of us, it is something we simply do and we don’t ever think about it twice.  However, what if we were to take a step back and examine what we do in regards to food?  When we take the time to do this, we start to see a whole new world in regards to whatever we were thinking about.  For me, taking the time to think about things has opened my eyes about our society and its relationship to food.

As mentioned in my first post, I will be exploring how our societal uses and views food in terms of gender and sexuality.  In order to understand how our society does this, I will be taking a look at many things within this topic.  First and foremost, I will be explaining what I mean by gender and sexuality in order to give an over encompassing context for this blog.

Once we fully understand gender and sexuality, we can then begin to look at the relationship our society has with food.  One of the first things that will be examined within our society is the media.  Taking a look at print and video advertisements along with television shows are important because they are so abundant and all around us.  Also, another reason why the media will be studied is because it’s one of the easiest and most visible ways to see the relationship between gender, sexuality, and food which is a direct reflection of our society and culture.

After taking a look at the media, we can then begin to look at how people’s decisions and choices on food are affected.  For some people, their decisions and choices on food aren’t heavily affected, but for others it is.

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Casual Blogging

After a review of my blog by my professor, I was told that my blog was too informal.  In order for me to be able to keep my blog more casual rather than academic, I was told that I had to write one blog post defending my position.  In this blog post, I had to explain why keeping my blog casual would be appropriate and how I could still keep my blog professional enough for a class like this.  Well, here are my reasons:

1)      Our class is titled “Sexuality and the Social Media”.  It is pretty obvious that this blog is the social media part of this class, but it is because of the fact that this blog is a social media outlet that I need to keep this more casual.

2)      Let’s think about why blogs are popular and why some are more successful than others.  Many blogs are popular and can be more successful because they are easy to read, relatable to a lot of people in the general public, and clearly exhibit the personality and writing style of the author.  If this blog was too formal (academic), I would not be able to cater to the readers that this blog was intended for, the general public not academic scholars.   This blog is intended to show YOU (the general public/my awesome readers) a different way to think about sexuality, gender, and food, not the scholars who think about these topics on a 24/7 basis.

3)      How am I still going to make it professional enough for a class?

  1. I’m going to give proper credit for all sources I use.
  2. Even though I’m being more casual with the blog, the content will still all be there.
  3. The organization and flow of this blog will be coherent.
  4. All content will be directly related to the topic of my blog in some way, shape, or form.
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Class Assignment from Hell…but not really :)

I’m so excited that this is my first post of a blog!  Ok, so I must admit, this blog is part of my grade for my Sexuality and Social Media class but hey, its a pretty cool assignment and I’m gonna have a blast with it, especially since my blog is about food and sexuality.  So here’s what we’re supposed to post for our first post:  a thesis on what our blog is about, sources we’ll explore in response to our thesis and why we chose that thesis.

Thesis: Gender and Sexuality have an unrecognized influence on society’s views on the treatment, presentation, and use of food.

Sources I’ll explore:

articles, tv shows, my own observations by going to restaurants (yum in my tum), and anything else that comes my way!

I chose this because I love studying food, sexuality, and gender and quite honestly if you love food, this is a different way to look at food and not just as deliciousness that we see before us.

Hope you all love my blog and if at first you don’t, keep reading cause I’m sure you’ll grow to like it.   🙂

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