Some Lingering Thoughts and Ideas of “Sex Machine”

This week I will be talking about the article that our group did the presentation on, Sex Machine.  It will be more of a wrap up blog since we could not get to everything we wanted to due to the massive discussion/debate the class had started on its own.

We came up with an experiment that we wanted to try out on the class which involved four different products, two feminine and two masculine.  And our idea was to give the male groups (we would have a group of girls “think like a man”) the feminine products to create advertisements for and vice versa for the female groups.  Our goal was to see how genders approach opposite demographic products and how they would try to sell it to the target audience.  For example, one of the products for the male groups was body wash and another product for the male group was sneakers.  Of course, we could not try this out due to the little amount of time we had left after discussion, but it would have been an interesting group project to try.

Another thing we did not mention were some of the more basic, economic repercussions of hyper masculinity.  Countries, like China, that are hyper masculine see other places that dabble with Western culture to be weak or even emasculated and so to compensate, they take women from the country side to make them work in their factories.  Their economy runs on assumptions and theories according to Ling, not hearing a single political voice when it comes to decision making which damages the image of “classical Confucian womanhood.”  As we know, it is women who are put in factories under low wages and extended hours because men believe that they can handle the tedious work.  And in a hyper masculine country, it is difficult to break free of that stigma.

The one thing that China should consider is to never underestimate the power of Western liberal ideas.  Even if they do not want to fully succumb to the powerful West, they cannot help but absorb some of their techniques in advertising because it is so effective.  In 1910, Chinese advertisement featured well dressed, upper class Manchurian clad women.   They appeared to be maternal figures and on the older side and that proved to sell at the time.  Move ahead twenty years to the 1930s and it has evolved to younger women in sensual, tight fitting dresses that exposed legs and underwear.  Not only does this allude to Western ideals, but it shows China going through a period of modernization.  It is not to say that they are throwing away their traditions for new methods of selling and living, in fact that is what they are holding onto compared to Japan or South Korea.  But this shows how times can change for anyone and how universal Western culture is becoming.  It seems like a matter of time before China starts to catch up to modern methods, but I think they have a strong enough attachment to their own culture and traditions to put up a good fight.

By Christina Sportiello


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