‘Place a woman behind almost every vacume cleaner being pushed… and the associative memory will pick up the pattern.’ (Fine 2010: 5)
Our unconscious mind is very susceptible to visual associations, it is one of the most powerful forms of communication. The images that are perpetuated through society can influence beliefs, emotions and attitudes. So what are the images we can not seem to escape from teaching our kids about gender and sexuality? Sex is often a key behaviour utilised by the media, to sell or grab attention. It can range from bordering explicit, to subtle sexual undertones.
When I was growing up I thought that to be an attractive women meant wearing the shortest skirt and showing off a bit of cleavage. I thought thats what made me desirable as a woman. The older I got the more confused I became. Men seemed to have a different association, they seemed to associate the way i dressed with sex. “She must want sex if she is dressed like that.” I was a virgin so that was definitely not on my mind, I was just trying to look nice. where did I learn this sexual association to femininity? why has it become a cultural norm for our young women to be objects of desire? There is so much pressure on women to be attractive, but do we ever stop to question who exactly are we being attractive for? and why do we long for acceptance so much? even if sex is not the intention of the young women, she can still be observed as a sexual being first, human second. We are not “bitches”, “tings”, or “thats” we are women.