Art and advertising increasingly challenge binary systems of gender through depicting subjects in clothing, actions, attitudes, and roles that defy gender norms and expectations. Barthel expresses that advertisements signifies social realities: “The people who have created…
Some perfume and apparel advertisements, for instance, illustrate women in power, because they utilize their sexuality to attract or reject men. Other advertisements portray women in masculine roles, such as being a lawyer or doctor, thereby emphasizing their political and economic power. Although some feminists did not like this development on the sexualization of women, others believe that sexually liberal women are equals of sexually liberal men.
In addition, art, especially modern and radical ones, specifically attack the binary system to undermine gender roles. I remember seeing Mexican art from female Hispanic American artists that showed the “macho” Mexican dressed in woman’s clothing. His gesture is also feminine. These paintings subjugate the patriarchal system by defacing the ideal macho man.
Comics tend to still focus on traditional gender roles, although modern ones present gay characters, in order to represent the “lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender” (LGBT) community. Superheroes are still predominantly heterosexual men, such as Spiderman, Batman, and Superman. Several comics, however, are including gay characters. Marvels Astonishing X-Men recently released the same-sex marriage between Northstar and Kyle. Its front page shows them in the act of kissing each other. This is an example of comics that promotes realities that are not yet the norm, since same-sex marriage is banned in many states in the U.S.
Art, comic books, and advertising depict concepts of gender, race, and class through the relationships between characters and how they try to elicit certain gazes, whether it is a male or female gaze, or racial and sexual gaze. These different formats and medium confirm the notions of sense of self, representation/portrayal, and material objects from Perry, Barthel, Messaris, and Boymel Kampen. For example, Berger was one of the first theorists to describe the idea ...
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