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The Feminization of Men in Advertising

            It is true that feminism has brought a positive change in the world. Women now, at least in westernized countries enjoy equal political opportunity, increased economic independence and lesser social stigma from promiscuity. The resounding motto of today is "what men can do, women can do better" or some derivation of that sort. Technically speaking it is true. Take a man and woman with roughly the same height and weight, train them in, say boxing, for the same duration and have them duke it out in the ring. Chances are the match would go either way. And so it would seem that feminism has it right in this point. It does come however at a price, with the masculinisation of women comes the femization of men.
             Here, we define feminization as men embracing effeminate values as the status quo. This also includes apparent subordination and appeasement to women which is actually more widespread as it is insidious in its subtleness which allows itself to go under the radar. Here we use semiotic analysis as the main tool. A semiotic analysis identifies the visual and linguistic signs in the ad, to see how the signs are organized by paradigmatic and syntagmatic selection, and note how the signs relate to each other through various coding systems' (Johnston et al 2000). Semiotic analysis allows us to decode the meanings intrinsic to the commercials. Here we explore the representation of men in advertisements. To clarify the concept, representation is "a set of practices by which meanings are constituted and communicated".
             In this race of the sexes, the media plays a vital role in spreading propaganda. A number of ads now represent men as meek and passive. It is this type of commercials that supplant the idea that somehow indecisiveness, timidness and sensitivity is something men ought to aspire to. This idea is captured in the recent Cadbury Chocolate ad wherein the ad revolves around the "courtship" of the boy to the girl by offering a gift of candy.

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