In Spite of Women – Esquire Magazine and the construction of Male Consumer
Rhetorical Analysis One
During early thirties and forties which was right after the depression, government and corporate felt the necessity to revive the market. At that time, people thought women were the ones with dominating consumption powers. As Kenon Breazeale quoted in his article, “Women are indeed the shoppers of the world.” (Breazeale, 231). However, some people such as those in journalism fraternity regarded women’s buying power as “gullible vulnerability to consumerism’s trashy faddishness” (Breazeale, 232). Those people spread wide hostility toward women’s ...view middle of the document...
Through providing quotes from articles and columns in Esquire about food, home décor and drink, for example he quoted from Esquire “women can’t cook as well as men because…they are less generous …they have less imagination …they just do not enjoy good food” (Breazeale, 233). Breazeale here showed how Esquire trashed women’s taste in food and at the same time implied that male was much better in enjoying good food.
By quoting several similar examples about home décor and drink, Breazeale pointed out that all those articles weren’t written in any occasional incidents. By contrast, Esquire was knitting similar misogynistic threads for years to conceptualize people about the gender related meanings of good and bad taste. Food such as steaks and fowl, home décor with clean and functional features and alcohol were considered as good and related with masculinity. On the other hand, ornamentation, carrot teensie-weenesies and anti-alcohol were perceived as bad and femininity. As a summary of the function of text, Breazeale concluded that all Esquire did were trying to recuperate a female-identified role for men which need arguing against traditional gender related social roles. Yet at the same time, Esquire conveyed the message that any attempts of changing the traditional modes of patriarchal rules was not allowed. So it was necessary to emphasize the privilege that male had over female. This job was accomplished by the other function of the magazine – illustrations.
Breazeale argued that by showing erotic spectacles in all kinds of illustrations, the only one core idea which was men have absolute privilege upon women. Like Breazeale said in his article, the magazine implied that men do not need any political effort to dominate women, when they could easily enjoy the pure control of fetishizing over any woman who appeared in their sight. Those different illustrations Breazeale analyzed could be divided into fine arts, pinups, covers and cartoons, which have their different functions in the magazine. Breazealed showed us how Esquire deliberately expressed men’s privilege by utilizing those different illustrations.