Jean Kilbourne Transition Summary

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One aspect of an author’s argument is their ethical character. This is important in assessing how credible and fair the author is being when considering their subject. [Transition] Jean Kilbourne has spent most of her professional life studying and analyzing women in advertisements. She has produced the award winning documentaries Killing Us Softly: Advertising’s Image of Women (1979) and Slim Hopes, serves on the Massachusetts Governor’s Commission on Sexual and Domestic Abuse, and is a senior scholar at the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College (420). Kilbourne appears to be qualified to speak on the matters of women and advertising and a reader can trust that she has done the necessary research to have an informed opinion them. …show more content…

Kilbourne is aware of the varying viewpoints on these ads and seeks to be fair. She anticipated claims that she is reading too much into these ads and made sure to allow for more than one interpretation of the images. Furthermore, some critics point out that men are also objectified in ads. Kilbourne, again, reasonably acknowledges these critiques. She agrees that the objectification of anyone is not a good thing while still supporting her initial assertion that the objectification of women in ads is more harmful. One way she shows this is by having the reader reverse images that depict the objectification of men and asks whether the implications are the same. For example, she describes a coke ad where women ogle at a half clothed male construction worker. To a viewer this scene is funny. The reverse of that (businessmen leering at female workers) would be far more concerning and according to Kilbourne this is why: “And why is the Diet Coke ad funny? Because we know it doesn’t describe any truth. However, the ads featuring images of male violence against women do describe a truth”

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