When analyzing research conducted in the field of gender inequality and gender roles, there were recurring themes. The first being that traits are either labeled as feminine or masculine. The second being that femininity is associated with docility, whereas masculinity is associated with aggression and dominance. Lastly, women are treated as objects of desire for the consumption of men. These concepts helped to facilitate the analysis of objectification.
After merging sociological concepts with literary and media examples, it is apparent that the objectification of men and women relies on gendered traits and relations. For example, males and females perceive their self-worth differently. Men base it on physical performance and affinity towards science and technology. In comparison, women base it on desirability and servitude towards men. This creates a relationship where men are portrayed as dominant and independent, while women are fragile and docile. Furthermore, women are targets of voyeurism as they are perceived from the perspective of men. These dynamics are reinforced in ads, where men’s poses exude dominance and aggressiveness, and women are positioned in ways that exude auras of helplessness and passivity.
Returning to “Nolite te bastardes carborundorum (don’t let the bastards grind you down)” and its importance concerning the contents of this paper, the quote is a feminist rallying cry. Within the context of The Handmaid’s Tale, where women are denigrated to their birthing and housekeeping abilities, it is a memoir of resistance. When applied to society, the quote is reminiscent of the extreme objectification and dehumanization women face. Based on the contents of this paper, it is important to be cognizant of the underlying mechanisms that influence the portrayals of men and women in society. Especially in our society where media is rapidly consumed, it is necessary to be aware of the subconscious messages ads emit in order to work towards dismantling harmful objectification.