Friday, October 8, 2010

Esquire and its Construction of Gender

process engineering

In Kenon Breazeale’s article “In Spite of Women” discusses the construction of the male consumer while simultaneously being critical of Esquire Magazine’s construction of the female consumer. I found this image relatable to the text because I found that it’s presence in the text was substantial. It can be seen by not only Breazeale’s statement that “Many periodicals disdained any connection with alcoholic beverages, so Esquire’s willingness to tout beer, wine, and liquor as adjuncts to the good life made those industries important early advertisers in its pages,” but also through the construction of woman through this advertisement, as supported by Breazeale. First of all, Breazeale discussed how, for a men’s magazine, how it was really about women, specifically the “exploitation and denial of the feminine.” This advertisement would imply that men don’t think about how they dress or what they drink, they just know what they like and are straight to the point. This is a blatant and one-sided comparison between male and female thought process that strictly makes the same argument that I believe Esquire would be trying to make. In the article it says, “In home décor women were also accused of overvaluing appearance, this time at the expense of comfort.” This attacks the not only the actions of women, but their thoughts behind their actions, depicting them as shallow and dim-witted. This advertisement’s copy of “Thank God you’re a man” also depicts this sense of hierarchy, that somehow being a man is so much better, directly correlates to the statement that “Esquire gave advice to counter the looming rhetorical prop of a woman who is doing all things wrong.” Basically, what I believe the advertisement to be saying is “drink our beer, and you won’t be a woman and this won’t be wrong.”

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