Little kids are often told they can be anything they want to be. Firefighter, princess, football player, and dragon are among the more popular answers. One of the less popular answers is “Feminist.” Very rarely, if ever, do young children declare that when they grow up, they want to be Feminists. So, how did so many people grow up to be Feminists? At what point do people realize that they can be both firefighter and Feminist, orthodontist and Feminist, or seamstress and Feminist? Though there is no set timeline, it begins when people start to develop identities and fundamental beliefs that exist in alignment with the core ideals of the Feminist sociopolitical movement. This often happens subconsciously. The messages sent to a person that lead them to develop a Feminist or anti-Feminist identity are often subliminal and typically come in the form of popular culture that caters to those who assume gender is binary. In this project, the language and subliminal messages used in print and video advertisements for men and women’s soap, men and women’s shaving razors, tampons, and condoms is analyzed in terms of how it promotes or challenges fundamental Feminist ideals and how it impacts the development, or lack thereof, of a Feminist identity.
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Fletcher, Alicia, "He Said, She Said: the Impact of Language in Advertising on the Development of a Feminist Identity" (2019). Honors Theses - Providence Campus. 39.