Broomsticks and Chicks

This ad is for slacks, but upon first inspection, one would not know that. There is a group of men encircling a woman in her underwear, grabbing on her and smiling menacingly. Although she has a smile on her face, she looks like she is in sexual danger. Even the name of brand seems sexual. The actual words suggest that wearing these slacks or this brand makes a man a part of a “game” where the prize is a woman. By wearing this brand, a man becomes a winner. A woman is simply an object in the game to be won and owned. 

This ad depicts sexual violence against women. Although smiles may make this ad seem less violent, there is a group of men surrounding a nearly naked woman. To very few women in today’s society does that image mean something positive. The ad suggests that wearing these slacks gives men power over women.  As John Berger says in Ways of Seeing, “A man’s presence suggests what he is capable of doing to you or for you (37). By the looks of the ad, it is what a man is “capable of doing to you” that turns this ad from simply a game to a violent game. Factor in the fact that the woman is nearly naked, and the game turns from a violent game to a sexually violent game. 

The intended audience is heterosexual, young to middle-aged men, so naturally, a physically attractive young woman in her underwear will help sell pants to men. There is very little, if any, relation between the woman and men’s pants. However, there is a connection between half-naked women and young men. Advertisers exploit this relationship to tell men if they want to get chicks, they have to wear Broomsticks.


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