Here the 2nd post in Joanna Chiu‘s series of posts for Vancouver’s Battered Women’s Support Services on media representations of violence against women. Read the whole series as we cross-post them here, or check them out at the BWSS Ending Violence blog.
Before anyone had even heard of the show Jersey Shore, MTV leaked out a clip of Snooki (Nicole Polizzi) getting punched in a face by a man in a bar, and the clip went viral, prompting articles like “The Countdown to Snooki Getting Punched in the Face Is On!” (trigger warning for link).
The author of that article for Barstool Sports wrote:
“But as much as I enjoyed the first episode it was all overshadowed by the upcoming scenes when Snooki gets coldcocked in the face by a dude. I literally have to take sleep medicine now before I go to bed now just so I can relax and not think about how excited I am for it. Because I’m telling you right now this is destined to go down as one of the greatest moments in the history of television.”
That is just one of thousands of disturbing examples of violence against women being used for decades to promote everything from men’s suits to high fashion to vegetarianism (You can thank PETA for that one).
This 2007 ad for Dolce & Gabbana, which became known as simply “the gang rape ad,” depicts a man pinning down a woman while other men look on.
This isn’t just a case of “sex sells.” These tactics are continuing to go on and on because advertisers, organizations like PETA and entertainment companies believe that images of violence against women can sell products and influence behaviors. Read more