☆☆☆ "Appropriate & subvert the patriarchal semiotic hegemony of the hetero-normative dyad!" ☆☆☆

Monday, December 21, 2015

Post Modern Commodification & The Genderfication of Sexual Marketing

More jeux de mots . . . "genderfication" a Derridian differance from "gentrification."

Sex sells.

Ten minutes watching television tells you this. Sex drives sales. Sex drive sells.

Let us propose from empirical observation  (TV viewing), that the marketing of sex is founded on the hetero-normative dyad, and moreover that the extremes poles of the dyad are potentially the most marketable. "Sexy" would seemingly be the presentation at each end of the hetero normative dyad. We suggest this quantification based on theories of perception in fine art: Contrast provides the most visual impact. Ergo, that sexual presentation which most contrasts from the other sexual presentation should be the most marketable.

Clearly on the one hand, contrasting sexual icons is the key to marketing sexual desire, and accordingly product consumption of some sort.

On the other hand, marketing sexual icons is part and parcel of the discursive process generating gender presentation semes. These semes -- gender role models -- commodify gender presentation, making it a product to be marketed, commodified, bought and sold, consumed.

A cursory inquiry into the history of the skirt will disclose that "rectangular pieces of fabric wrapped around the body, unbifurcated for the legts,  have been historically worn by both men and women. The toga of Rome was the same piece of fabric worn differently by each gender. The sari of India is worn so as to indicate gender, social class, regional origin (and gender specific to cis-F) . . .


Any Scot will explain to you that a kilt is not a "skirt," that there are gender markers in the way a kilt is worn. The robe style attire worn in the Middle East is gender marked. Similar styles of clothing worn by both sexes in our culture (e.g. pants, shirts, jackets . . . ) contain gender markers if one knows what to look for.

Last time I checked, a few weeks ago, the US fashion industry was a $178.42 billion annual industry.

Let us suggest here that women's clothing is by and large marketed as "sexy."  Men's clothing is marketed for the most part as "practical" or "functional." Most men don't intentionally wear clothes that are marketed as "sexy." (Men seem more sold on patriarchal power and control.) Women wear clothes that are marketed as "sexy" -- but women also have options for functional, practical clothing, likely because clothing is socially mandated and a great deal of "sexy" clothing is impractical, if not just plain downright ludicrous. The "sexy" / "patriarchal" marketing set is about power and control.

And so . . . clothing is socially mandated. Clothing is a commodity, but also a gender seme laden cultural artifact.  "Clothes make the man." This marketing pitch has ontological implications. Accordingly, clothing affords gender presentation while concurrently serving as a marketing commodity which promotes gender stereotypes -- the genderfication of sexual marketing.

In the hetero-normative dyad Weltanschauung, the genderfication of sexual marketing may serve to facilitate pair bonding, sexual union, reproduction, perpetuation of the species . . . all those crucial metaphysical functions. By the same token, ("All readings are mis-readings."), this gender marketing of clothing very much problematizes the gender identity of the non-hetero normative.

Arguably too, this sexual marketing very much set up unrealistic expectations, marketed as performance "norms" as regards what it means in contemporary culture to be a sexual being. Anorexia and sex-role body ideals for young women would be one of the more egregious examples.

What it means to be a sexual being is mediated by law, religion, social convention, discursive function and the heuristic of the interpretive community. We have laws regarding who may and may not marry. Religions exclude and condemn the non-hetero dyadic amongst us. Social convention legitimates the transvestite on stage, but not the same transvestite on the bus.

We've asserted this before: I don't do "macho" and I don't do "en femme." Fundamentally, politically, post-modernly we do not buy into, we do actively resist and subvert the media marketing "massage" (Marshall McLuhan).

"Appropriate and subvert the patriarchal semiotic hegemony of the hetero-normative dyad."

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