1Diego André Aguirre OrtizBarbara DrakeInglés TI4June 25, 2012 Feeling Like a UFO in Another Place Pedro is a father who works all the time and he doesn’t like to do housework. He lives inPeru, and he work to make a lot of money to support his family. In his work, there are manymen who do the same thing. They just work to give their family a better life. But, there is onenamed Jordan -who is co-worker of Pedro- who just word few hours. One day when theywere talking, Pedro asked Jordan why he worked few hours. Jordan told him that it wasbecause he wants to spend a lot of time with his baby children. Pedro looks at him reallysurprised. He couldn’t believe Jordan were saying this. Pedro told Jordan: You know yourwife should take care of your baby children. We are men; we should just work all the day, sothat we can give them a better life. And according to some experts, your behavior “is quitedifferent from traditional masculine behavior in Peru.”(McCubbin and Blum Dahl) Jordan’sanswer was easy: “I know is not your fault to be thinking like that, I know it’s just the wayyou were socialized as a child.” (McCubbin and Blum Dahl) I don’t work too much becausemy wife also works, and is for that reason that each one can have enough time to spend withour baby children. Pedro felt confused and told Jordan that he was wrong. In this example, itis noticed that Pedro reinforces the stereotype that men should always work. And, Pedronotices that Jordan challenges with this stereotype because he doesn’t work all day and spendtime with his family. The media provides us with much information that influences out thoughts and ideasabout everything. When the media uses human beings in their advertisements and TV
2commercials, gender stereotypes are shown directly or indirectly. But, what’s genderstereotype? A gender stereotype is a general opinion or image about one gender. Thesegender stereotypes are reinforced or challenged in some TV commercials or ads. In two TVcars’ commercials, one of them for a 2009 Ford F-150 car and the other for a 2012Volkswagen Polo, stereotypes about men are reinforced –in the first- and in the second thestereotype is challenged. What these men are doing, colors and even the music are some ofthe things that are use to reinforce or challenge the stereotype about men. The first TV car’s commercial is for 2009 Ford F-150. In this TV commercial, somestereotypes about man are reinforced. This TV commercial reinforces the stereotype that menare tough showing men working with heavy things, and going from one place to another in acar. Also, the stereotype that men just work and do not do housework is reinforced. And howis this stereotype being reinforced? This stereotype is being reinforced when this TVcommercial shows men working, and not showing women. People can have these ideasbecause many other aspects like the colors and the music help to reinforce the stereotypes. This first TV commercial, for the 2009 Ford F-150, reinforces the stereotype that men aretough and they like things that are intense and not soft. For example, a man carries a bucket ofgasoline while he seems to be repairing his car. He looks so tough, and he doesn’t seem to behaving problems while carrying the bucket of gasoline because he is really strong and hedoesn’t need help. Also, everything in the commercial is so intense. The colors of the TVcommercial are dark colors like a dark orange and black. Also, the music is a very importantpoint. The music in the TV commercial is not relaxing, the music that is played in the TVcommercial is like rock music and there’s man who is talking and he has like a strong voice. Another stereotype that the TV commercial for the 2009 Ford F-150 reinforces is that menwork and women do not. In the TV commercial, many men are mechanical and they don’t
3seem to be sad to be working there with cars even though you use a lot of energy to carrythings from one place to another or when they have to keep on their hands the heavy thingsthat they use to repair a car. Another point to analyze in the TV commercial is that everythingseems to be dirty. There’s mud, and just men can be seen working with mechanic things.Also, no women appear. Only men appear, and that maybe influences to have the idea that itis okay that men work and women do not because that’s perhaps what the society expects. The second TV car’s commercial is for 2012 Volkswagen Polo. Different from the firstTV car commercial, in this some stereotypes about man are challenged. This TV commercialchallenges the stereotype that men are tough and that they just work. And how are thesestereotypes challenged? The answer is easy: a man who is very soft and protective with hischildren is shown. Equally important, a man who is not working all the time and doeshousework is shown. So, a different side of men is shown. People can have these ideasbecause many other aspects like the colors and the music help to challenge the stereotypes. This second TV commercial, for the Volkswagen Polo, challenges the stereotype that“men are tough and they like things that are intense and not soft” giving the idea that men aresoft. For example, in this TV commercial a very soft man can be seen. A father is shownbeing very loving, soft and protective with his baby children, and this challenges with the ideathat men are tough. In the TV commercial, the father never gets angry with the children, hehugs her many times and it is like if he were saying I am going to protect you always. Anotherimportant point to analyze in this TV commercial is that everything seems to be soft andrelaxing. For instance, the colors of the commercial are not so intense and there’s a specialshine that makes every color in the TV commercial a shiny color. Also, the music that isplayed with the commercial is very relaxing and emotional. The role of the music is veryimportant because it makes strong the idea that men are also soft and they’re not just tough. Incontrast with the TV commercial for 2009 Ford –F150, this TV commercial shows a man who
4is soft and not so strong and tough. Also, the colors of this TV commercial are not so intenseor dark. Instead of that, there are shiny colors with makes people feel really calm and relax.The music is another important point that plays a big role. The music that is played is not asintense as the other TV commercial. In this ad, the music that is played is just beautiful incomparison with the louder and not relaxing music in the other TV commercial. Another stereotype that is challenged in this TV commercial is that “men just work”because this TV commercial gives the idea that men can do housework and not just work.First, the man is not working; he is always at home with his family. He also takes care of hisbaby children and it’s interesting because here the stereotype is broken. Not just the mothercan take care of the baby, but the father too. Second, in this TV commercial everything seemsto be clean. Nothing seems to be dirty, and the brightness that there’s in the whole TVcommercial makes a person think that everything is clean. Third, in this TV commercial awoman appears but she doesn’t seem to have a big participation. And the most interesting isthat she is not doing what the society expects her to do like, for example, take care of herbaby children. In contrast with the TV commercial for Ford F150, in this a different side of aman can be seen. For example different from the TV commercial for 2009 Ford F150, a manwho is not working is shown. Also, he is at his home with his family and doing everything inthere. He cooks, cleans, takes care of the baby children. Also, this TV commercial is morerelaxing in comparison with the other TV commercial because everything in this TVcommercial seems to be clean and that makes everybody feel okay because when somethingis dirty sometimes make others feel a little uncomfortable. Also in this ad, a man is theprotagonist of the TV commercial, and a woman appears but she is not doing what everybodywould think she do. The society would expect her to be doing house work, but is the fatherwho is doing the housework. And in contrast with the other ad, the man never works, juststays at home.
5 Yet all was not different. Even though one of the TV commercials reinforces stereotypesabout men and the other challenges the stereotype about men, these two commercials havesome things in common. For example, they both have men as protagonists and not let womento be a protagonist. Also, both TV commercials give ideas about how men dress because inboth ads, men dress pants, t-shirts and snickers or shoes. These men are not wearing gowns orhigh-heeled shoes. In conclusion, the media provides us with much information about products wherestereotypes can be reinforced or challenged. TV commercials like the ad for 2009 Ford F-150reinforce the stereotype about men being tough and giving the idea that they just work. Whileother TV commercials like TV commercial for Volkswagen Polo challenges the stereotypesabout men showing a soft and loving father with his baby children, and showing a man doinghousework and not working. It is consumer’s decision to think if the stereotypes showed –reinforced or challenged- are true or just an exaggeration. Finally, TV commercials should bereally careful when they use human beings as protagonists because some stereotypes can beseen as reinforced or challenged for certain people, and this reinforced or challenged ideacould cause surprise as it could seen when Pedro was surprised when he knew that Jordan justworked few hours because he spent time taking care of his baby children.
6 Works Cited Althen, Gary. “American Values and Assumptions.” New Directions: Reading, Writingand Critical Thinking. Ed. Peter S. Gardner. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005.5-13. Ford. Ford F-150. TV advertisement. U.S. networks. 2009. http: Volkswagen. Volkswagen Polo. TV advertisement. U.S. networks. 2012. http:
7Este obra está bajo una Licencia Creative Commons Atribución-NoComercial-Compartir Igual 2.5 Perú. Diego André Aguirre Ortiz 2012 - 02