Pioneer Pens

ENG 1023, Texas Woman's University (Fall 2012)

Unpacking: “Killing Us Softly 3”

Following our viewing and (brief) discussion of “Killing Us Softly 3” today, I’d like to leave a space open for you to share your thoughts on Ms. Kilbourne’s argument. What did you think? What would you add, or change?

I’ve included some resources and things to think about (below) but feel free to dive into this conversation in whatever way(s) you feel moved to.


Rhetorical Reading Strategies:

  • Who is the author? What is the context for this “text”?
  • Who do you think is the intended audience?
  • What are her main points? What is her purpose?
  • What “strategies and structures” build the piece?
  • Do you think Kilbourne means to suggest that ONLY advertisements effect us?
  • What support (evidence) does she offer for her assertions?
  • What further support would you  like to see?
  • Where do you think there are logical fallacies? of what kind/type?

Questions I’m curious about:

  • There IS a new version of this-“Killing us Softly 4” (2010). What do you think she changed? How would YOU change it, if delivering this to both men and women, on this campus, today?
  • What do you think “feminism” means to Jean Kilbourne?

47 comments on “Unpacking: “Killing Us Softly 3”

  1. Alinda Ford
    September 5, 2012

    Consider the following ad for Belvedere Vodka. What are your thoughts in the context of this week’s lecture(s)? Poke around online and see what others are saying as well.

    • Vanessa Chambers
      September 5, 2012

      Killing us Softly 3 was a very profound video. I feel that Jean Kilbourne brings up things that are so relevant yet so overlooked. I loved how she breaks down the effects of media, and how they can misconstrue the true meaning of a women.

  2. lizette estrada
    September 5, 2012

    killing us softly is a really nice video. it made me realize how society has been treating us since we are born. they teach us to be passive, care about ourselves(the way we look), the way we dress, and to always be the victim. and this is so true that makes me sad.

  3. drL
    September 5, 2012

    Lizette: do you think this is done on purpose?

  4. sleepincarnate
    September 5, 2012

    I think one of the things that needs to be acknowledged in these Killing Us Softly discussions is how we, as women, are often the enforcers of these standards. I would go so far as to say that we enforce the standards in other women more than we encourage one another to transgress them.

    A good example comes from within some circles of radical “feminists” (yes, that’s deliberately quoted, they claim to be feminists but do not follow true feminist ideals), who believe that femininity is a social construct meant to keep women down. Thus, they encourage cisgender women to put aside feminine trappings and to become more masculine in their gender expression as a “means of seizing power,” and yet when a transgender woman comes along, if we are not the perfect examples of the feminine ideal, they attack us for not being “true women.”

    Or in a high school setting, where often the worst enemies a girl has are other girls, making snide insinuations about her weight, her manner of dress, whether she sleeps around too much or not enough, etc. This is lessened somewhat in the college environment, but still exists well into adulthood for many women.

    Caitlin Fairchild

  5. Jourdan E
    September 5, 2012

    I thoroughly enjoyed the film and believed that it definitely makes the viewer reconsider how women are depicted in the media. As stated in the beginning, many people do not realize how the advertisements make an impact in our society and on the individuals themselves. For example, when purchasing clothing: a person is more than likely going to pick a “fashionable” item that they know will appeal to others. Indirectly, this could have been from media and advertisements that the person has viewed in which the art of attraction and looking fashionable is depicted as important.
    I would have liked to have had more statistics in the film to further of supported her points. She did not make any references in the film and the majority of her points could be taken from personal opinion. However, (in my opinion), the statements that she was making were credible and the images definitely made their own arguments.
    All in all I would recommend the film to others and would definitely watch the others that she has made. It’s unfortunate to see how our society displays women and how we set these unbelievable and unattainable standards.
    In the new film, I’d hope that there were more images of men that were depicted in the same ways that they women were. As sad as it is, it is in my opinion that it will take the ultimate exploitation of men for our society to realize that media needs to change. This is due to the fact that the sexual appeal of a naked women is more common and accepted than that of a naked man. For some reason we turn less of an blind eye to women than men; possibly because this could seem emasculating.

  6. Amy Summers
    September 5, 2012

    I responded to Killing Us Softly not only because Jean Kilbourne was engaging and entertaining but because Jean Kilbourne had evidence. She had evidence you could see, read, and listen to. After look at picture upon picture of these horrible ads I began to realize that, were they not all piled up like that, I probably wouldn’t notice just one or two on the streets. It made me aware and conscious of that fact that the ad agency has sadly gone downhill.
    Jean uses a number of rhetorical strategies. She compares and contrasts the different roles men and women play in advertising and even the different roles races play as well. I was surprised and then shocked when I realized her claims that more often than not men are looking down at women with a masculine stance while the woman is looking vulnerable and weak are true. Jean also had a great tone when she was presenting her ideas. She was funny and clever which kept my attention and I enjoyed watching her speech.
    Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this film and it has enlightened me to a whole new world of sexism that I thought had ended a long time ago. I’m glad we watched it in class and I’m excited to watch/read more things like that.

  7. Hannah Stafford
    September 6, 2012

    Once I began watching the film in class, I realized that I had previously viewed one of the “Killing Us Softly” videos. I am glad we watched it in class though because I completely even forgot about it. I think it is important to be aware of things like the deception and outlandishness of ads. I know when I see ads like those, they do affect me negatively. I either become insecure about myself and feel the need to buy their product, or I am upset that companies are even allowed to have ads like those. I understand they market their products the way they do, so people will feel the need to buy their products (that tactic actually works way better than I thought, now that I really think about it). I would say the new video would definitely have more ads concerning men, but I think the ads showing women would be just as bad as the previous video. I believe it is important to be aware of the effects of mass media and ads on individuals because then people are able to notice that while they watch various commercials, instead of buying into the gimmicks of the marketers.

  8. Maritza Mauricio
    September 6, 2012

    I think that Killing us Softly was a video that shows as how society is still similar to today. I enjoy watching this video because at one point I did not realize how women were used to bringing attention. It was interesting how she made comparisons between man and women. I think that i will like to see more of these videos and see how in the future it might change.

  9. Selene Chavez
    September 6, 2012

    When i watched the film, i though it was pretty interesting. Although I tought that some of the media really felt like it made a negative statement about women. It was suprising to see how the society would display women. I do think that some ads were done on purpose because it is a way they would get a woman’s atttention of what they are expected to be like or look like. I also realized that it is very important to be aware of how it can affect you personally, and what to do to change it. i enjoyed watching this video, and i am willing to watch more of this in the future.

  10. Cristhian Bardales
    September 6, 2012

    “Killing us softly” its an excellent video with a lot of descriptive ideas and with a lot of emotions on play. I like the idea that it brings out small comments and opinions that us, the men, don’t see as offensive or oppressive. I think the issue presented by Ms. Kilbourne it’s very deep and it will not be solved any time soon. I do have a negative comment about it, she goes really harsh on men as well, even though she assures that she don’t want those criticism nor offenses to be done towards men either. I do understand that men are not target as much, but the ideas behind the shows are not always presented by men. I hope this issue can be solve little by little, but I really doubt it’ll change.

  11. drL
    September 6, 2012

    I am enjoying reading everybody’s thoughts on this, and hope you are, too! (I wonder, though, where the folks that disagree with her are? I know there were some of you–and it’s fine to disagree! We want to hear you thoughts, and your reasons for them, too!)

  12. Tochukwu Tiko-Okoye
    September 6, 2012

    I thoroughly enjoyed watching “Killing us Softly 3”. I would love to watch the fourth edition to see what all she might have changed/added/removed. I can understand why people may think that she is over-reacting towards the ads. Although I disagree with that stance, I am able to understand the point of view in which they may be seeing it from.
    Of course the media does this on purpose. Whether it is just to “get our attention” or to send a subliminal message, it is still done purposely. I never used to pay mind to the underlying message the media sends to us, the audience, until I had a daughter. With her being so young and attentive, she notices things I never would have.
    This worries me because of the kind of messages sent through items like adverts, songs, movies, commercials, etc. But the media is not just the problem. They do this because the majority of us either do not care or do not notice what is going on. I feel like if more people expressed their concerns rather than just “let it be”, the messages sent would be changed. So, I thank Ms. Kilbourne for this enlightening video and respect what she is doing.

  13. Precious Onukwuli
    September 6, 2012

    I don’t think Kilbourne means to suggest that ONLY advertisements effect us. I believe she was pointing out the fact that advertisements influence us greatly, more than we may think or know. Everyday we are influenced not only by advertisements but by our family or peers. If the people we surround ourselves with daily begin to go along with one thing, majority of the time we will too just because all along we’ve felt comfortable with these people. Whether it’s a good or bad influence, we tend to consider it. But as far as the media, it does a great job of influencing us in a negative way. And on purpose, almost solely because they realize how quick we are to follow a trend and also for their profit.

  14. lizette estrada
    September 6, 2012

    of course is definitely do it on purpose… i think its to always be the dominant sex. i don’t want to be rude because there is some good guys up there, but also we have to realize society is also teaching those good guys to treat us as we can’t do the same thing they do. i have always wonder why we haven’t had any woman as a president. we actually do many things that guys would never think about. for example when Hilary Clinton was a candidate i though she was definitely going to win since she had enough experience from her husband and many years being in congress… but no… she did not win, and i tried not to think it was because she was a woman…. but now i kind of start thinking it may be the reason why she could not win. society also always ask for pretty young ladies to appear on t.v. and whenever they are over 30 ether they ask for a face surgery or other “needs.”
    on this american society man just want to be the leader and they expect women to be the follower.

  15. Mollie Musick
    September 6, 2012

    I think the analysis by Kilbourne on the media’s affect on our society is fairly accurate. Products are marketed for the sole purpose of making money, and it is often at the expense of women. Often times, ads will sort of point out, or even often create a problem that we didn’t even know we had and introduce a product that will help fix it. A good example would be anti-aging products. Of course aging is a natural process that we will all experience if we live long enough, and many skin care companies market the symptoms of this process as undesirable and unattractive. All while promising that their product will help smooth out wrinkles or conceal grey hair. No one would have ever thought that these things were a problem had the ad companies not made it seem to be one. They are essentially profiting off of insecurities that they played a big roll in creating. I think that most of these are targeted towards women because our society tends to view women as the superficial sex, and therefore women are more likely to buy the products. This could be debated though. Men are targeted for ads that are on the subject of aesthetics, but not arguably to the degree that women are. These companies constantly lift the bar on what perfection is so that people will always feel a need to make “improvements” on themselves. If reaching perfection was easy, people would no longer feel the need for such products, and the companies would cease to make money. Marketing can cause a very vicious cycle, and it’s sad that many people unknowingly measure their self worth because of the standards they set.

  16. Coren Majors
    September 6, 2012

    Jean kilbourne is a writer who used to work in the advertising business. When I watched the film I was surprised. I never really noticed how advertisements depicted women. I also realized how these depictions of Women can easily influence others opinions. Advertisements are just one way to show how we are affected and that one way is what Kilbourne decided to speak on. As Kilbournes evidence she had several statistics to prove her point. I feel that the intended audience are men and women. I would like to see more current ads as more support. I agree with all of the things Kilbourne said.

  17. Nitzia McElrath
    September 6, 2012

    I think “Killing Us Softly 3″ was very informative to view man and woman, how much power the adds are publisher to sell the products. This power of add is about money, arts, competition and customers satisfaction, but sometime they forget to be more classic and less ambitious. Today man and woman are forgetting to say stop selling the body to sell the product and to be old fashion way.

  18. Joseph Simmons
    September 6, 2012

    Jean Kilbourne not only was logical, sequential, and fairly even keeled when it came to presenting her information. Throughout the entire piece she kept referencing a “We” as a society instead of doing what so many people love to do and that is blame any specific group or gender for sexism. All of her findings were evidence based and while some were in fact ridiculous, and it seemed like she was either wanting to pick a fight over nothing or beat the topic to death with a rubber hose, she still effectively made a blatantly clear and bold point. I think it is amazing to see how the times have changed in marketing over the past few decades alone and any of those blatantly sexist ads would get crucified in the politicallyy correct market of today, or at least they would if the masses would gain a few I.Q. points.

  19. Stephen Cook
    September 6, 2012

    Jean Kilbourne makes very clear examples of sexism in the media. In today’s society, with technology being what it is, you would think these ads would not effect us as it does, yet where is the outcry for change? I enjoy the “Dove” ads that show real women, rather than super-skinny super models to advertise their product. More advertisements of this nature may have a positive effect on the market as a whole.

  20. Hezron Abu
    September 6, 2012

    I have watched all of the “Killing Us Softly” videos, exept for the 4th one, and the sad thing is that things see to have gotten worse over the years. The ads that were shocking then are normal now, and some could even argue were much tamer. I wrote a paper for a womens studies class my freshman year, and in my findings most of what is expected, and portrayed in much of media is created, and enforeced mostly by women. It would seem that some women have an idea of what they see as attractive, and brodcast that outwards though their porducts that they sell to the general population.

  21. Brittnee Brody
    September 6, 2012

    I think “Killing Us Softly” was a real video. Seeing how society view women overall, and how demeaning the world is. As, she pointed out that women are sometimes forced to believe that they should look specific ways. How TV, Magazines,etc design these fake women and make people believe thats a pretty woman and thats how we suppose to look. How fit our bodies should be,and what fashion we should wear;what make-up matches our skin, and make us feel like we need make-up to look pretty and to be acknowledged. Why should a woman have to show her body on a picture to sell a product.

  22. Amy Krigsman
    September 6, 2012

    As I was watching Killing Us Softly 3 I couldn’t help but feel angry, much the way I felt as I was reading Hardball for Women for my Women in Business course. But I wasn’t angry with the advertising industry or in the case of Hardball with men, for the way women are treated in our society. I felt annoyed with the speaker, merely for bringing up the subject of women being objectified or for being treated as anything less than a man. Maybe I have a different mindset than most women, but I think a lot of what Kilbourne was talking about is blown out of proportion. Yes, I can understand how some of those ads are degrading to women, even offensive. However, most of them were just, for lack of a better word, stupid. The thought going through my head when looking at some of these advertisements was, ‘Why are you getting so upset about this?’ Nonsense. Advertising agencies are just doing their jobs. They put out these images because that’s what America wants to see. I honestly don’t think one can attribute to and place sole blame on advertising companies for violence against women and eating disorders. I see the same advertisements as girls with eating disorders. That hasn’t caused me to be bulimic or anorexic. There is more at play in these kinds of situations than a simple advertisement seen in a magazine or on television. Almost every day there is some headline in the news about how Americans are too overweight. Aren’t these news stories just as much to blame as advertisements for the growing number of eating disorders? As for the argument about violence against women, there are again numerous other sources of influence: video games, movies, pornography. The list goes on. Furthermore, some of the conclusions Kilbourne was drawing from a simple picture, to me, seemed like a stretch. I think Kilbourne placed far too much importance on most of the advertisements she presented. As I said before, I will give her some credit. Some of the advertisements were rude and offensive and a bit suggestive. Most of them, however, just didn’t rub me the wrong way like they did her.

  23. Jake Thomas
    September 6, 2012

    After watching Jean Kilbourne’s videos, I understood more of the impact from the media on our younger children. They grow up seeing perfection that is unattainable and therefore challenge themselves to go beyond what is possible. This causes body health problems, psychological problems, and even problems that linger onto future generations. Some people may say advertisements are just trying to sell their products and do whatever means necessary, but the subliminal messages sent are extremely hazardous to our youth.

  24. Kaitlyn Oja
    September 6, 2012

    I really enjoyed this video because I have a friend who is a male and is the epitome of male chauvinist. He would HATE this video and agree with all the ads. Maybe if he actually watched it, it would change his view on women, but that’s a stretch haha. My own opinion on the video was that it might have been a little overkill. Most women have a good sense of self and know better than to believe what the ads are trying to portray. I am scared for the younger girls in our society though.

  25. Norma Ibarra
    September 6, 2012

    My opinion on the film by Jean Kilbourne “Killing Us Softly 3” had a lot of disturbing truth about it. I thought that it was really upsetting how on some ads or commercials they only showed a certain part of the woman’s body. It send the wrong message to girls that our body parts are more important than the way we are on the inside. The majority of people who watch T.V and see this is not adults but in my opinion teenagers who go home and watch T.V after school. Not only where there ads like that back then but even know, I don’t remember the last time I saw a commercial that praised a women for being in school or being intelligent instead of her looks. I felt upset in some ads because it shows that’s how some people view woman. I think it was a great film because it opens our eyes to what sometimes we don’t pay a lot of attention to. I agreed will a lot of what Kelbourne had to say.

  26. Crystal Solis
    September 6, 2012

    After the class viewing of “Killing Us Softly 3” I agree with Kilbourne that mass media does belittle woman to a powerful extent. A lot of woman glance at media all the time and don’t catch the body language to understand the meaning behind it. In the film Kilbourne presented more than enough new and old evidence that reflected on woman poorly. While some men and maybe woman might see this as an exaggeration I don’t believe it is. Whether media is exposing areas of woman such as breast or even a sexual pose in hip hugger jeans there is no question that young girls everywhere are getting the idea that this is acceptable. The repetition of these images normalizes woman as sex objects and that is what upsets me most.
    I liked that Kilbourne kept the audience’s attention with humor! During the film I got a little bored with some of the things she had to say, but her jokes always captured my attention again. The use of the ad examples and photos was a great strategy too! I would not have stayed to listen if I felt she was lecturing me but instead her examples added the pop to her seminar. However, I don’t strictly believe it is only print media that degrades woman but all media. Movies, music, text, social networks, etc media is everywhere and its purpose is to sell even if that means stepping on woman to do it.

  27. Deonesia smith
    September 8, 2012

    i love how the way she shows different ads and videos on how the way they portray the women. she attacks how the way the companies sell women and which women they choose to put in their videos. She shows how they only use really the size 0 for everything when it comes to modeling, her video can influence a lot of teenagers that want their body to look like an certain status but they do not know they could be abusing their body trying to be something their not.

  28. Silvia Saldana
    September 8, 2012

    This was my first time watching “Killing Us Softly”. I think it was interesting and that it gave a more descriptive view of how ads still use women as objects. Although in my opinion I think she exaggerated a bit on what some of these ads actually meant. Something that I was bothered by was when she demonstrated us ads in which young children were in “demanding/manly” and “feminine” positions.. I honestly think kids at such an early age should not be exposed to that.
    No actual statistical evidence was given to us the viewers, like somebody in my class mentioned. I do believe that if she would have provided us with statistical evidence, it would have been harder for us to disagree with her in some ways.

  29. Mary Buck
    September 8, 2012

    Killing Me Softly was an interesting video to watch. One of the aspects that caught my attention is the example wherein women are like advertising tools in promoting alcohols or other products whose target market are men. It makes me wonder if most men are that shallow. Sex is an over exploited weakness of men that the media constantly makes its appeal. It raises a question if the man’s little head thinks better than their bigger head? Women have to be in a certain shape and size to be attractive according to the media standard. Is this geared towards the preference of men? In the recent decade feminism lost its clear definition, this example of how women are treated by the media could be a good reason to revitalize its ideology. If this sexual perception of women continues then the next generation will do the same.

  30. Debra Bagley
    September 8, 2012

    ” Killing Me Softley” by Jean Kilbourne. I have learned more about exploitation of women in this video. How the effects are dedramental to everyone that watch these commercials. Our impressible children are exposed to sex and violence in these ads. These tactics that are used to sell products are also selling our future generation to evil and powerlessness.
    I hope that I learn enough to join people like Jean Kilbourne.

  31. Sukbae An
    September 9, 2012

    I was analyzing the title “Killing Me Softly” by Jean Kilbourne, and what I think it

    means…the media which is a powerful force that exposes people to things beyond

    their immediate social circles and they’re not noticable. So in the video; it talks

    about the impact of mass media on the formation of hegemonic gender beliefs.

    And now a days, gender systems are “overdetermined” by culture and cannot be

    reduced to single causes. In a way, I liked the video because it analyzied and

    critized about the gender roles.

    • Ray
      September 9, 2012

      I had already seen Killing us softly videos in the past and I know that after watching the first one I was more aware of the issues with womens objectification in the media and the projection of what a beautiful woman looks like. Since then I keep analyzing and comparing issues like racism and sexism that we women experience everyday.
      After taking a class in women’s studies last summer. I have learned that being a female (in western culture) is not valued at all. And men’s qualities are highly valued in American society. Being beautiful is painful and stressful process that contributes to issues of violence and “the false” idea of being a woman. That our roles as women is set and as such all cultures must follow seeing that America is a super power and other countries tend to follow in her footstep. With the great influence of mass media and technology, we are sending the message to everybody in the world that this is what a woman is.
      I do however want to add that some issues that Jean Killbourne mentioned was over the top. And that she is thinking too much into them.
      There are other factors that contribute to violence and objectification of women and minorities but it always starts small and then blow up in your face because most people ignore them and say that they are not affected by it.

  32. Carol Frickle
    September 9, 2012

    While I did enjoy watching “Killing us Softly” in class and found Jean Kilbourne’s ideas to be informative, I did not agree with her entire analysis of how women are portrayed by the media. I would have been more accepting of the information if she provided some actually statistics and logos. I am not saying I disagree with her movie entirely, she made some really awesome points; however, some of the conclusions were based more around pathos. For instance, her example of the hand over the mouth being submissive and showing that women shouldn’t talk was a bit of a leap for me. You can interpret that in more than one way depending on who you are and your background; and this isn’t really something that can be proven statistically. Is there some degradation of women in the media? absolutely there is, but I think its important not to group everything together and over analyze things because you can get to a point where you’re cherry picking the information that supports your beliefs. I enjoyed the movie and did appreciate some of the images found and her sense of humor about her findings.

  33. Quaticya J
    September 9, 2012

    “Killing us Softly 3”, was a good media input. It showed how females were depicted, this including all age groups. Jean Kilbourne audience was both male and female. I like the fact that she included race, youth, and appearance. Advertisement was key to women’s way of being portrayed. It was really cool how she had supporting details; the naked women, teen girls focusing on weight, and race between gender. However I do not think that Kilbourne is suggesting advertisement is the ONLY effect on society; advertisement is the KEY that triggers effect. She overall opened eyes to how women are use and looked upon because of advertisement.

  34. Ashley Morton
    September 9, 2012

    Killing Us Softly was an eye opening video. Reading magazines and watching TV quite often, I’ve never really taken out the time to actually pay that close attention at the “real” message that is being conveyed to consumers and society. Although I completely agree with Jean Killbourne is saying about the media’s negative affects on women and what roles they should play in society, she did not really touch on the fact that women are, in part, responsible as well. If women really disagreed with being construed as needing to be submissive and weak, needing to have the perfect appearance, and so on, then maybe we should stop purchasing products that advertise us in a negative way. Maybe we should stop proving these advertisers right by idolizing these too thin models and over-sexed celebrities. Also, even though the comedy in the film did provide some entertainment, some people could see it as taking away from the overall message. Too much lightheartedness can cause certain audiences to not really recognize the seriousness of the message that Jean Killbourne is trying to get across.

  35. Joy James
    September 10, 2012

    “Killing Us Softly” by Jean Kilbourne was an eye opener. I have noticed that sex sells but that movie really emphasized on how men are seen as a whole and women are just seen as parts of their bodies, never really a full human being. ONe of the best examples was when the lady was like “What if they an add like, ‘Is your penis too little? Hang too low? Skin all droopy? At least you can drink coffee.'” or something like that. Because I have seen ads that targeted women, pointing out their flaws and then saying well at least you can mangage our product, which has nothing to do with the things that they exaggerated being wrong. I wish that we could have watched the entire thing though because at one point I felt like the men were just being attacked. Some of the images and promotions didn’t bother me, maybe that’s a bad thing though, maybe it’s sad that I’m so used to it that it’s a societal norm and that women’s bodies being exploited, women being degrated and only seen as a sexual tool, doesn’t bother me…

  36. Monique Ruiz
    September 10, 2012

    This was my second time watching “Killing Us Softly”. I think women simply see the ads daily but neglect to see just how sexist most ads are. I am considering watching “Killing Us Softly” with my young daughter. Some of the ads were almost pornographic. Though we see these ads on a daily basis, the documentary gave viewers a closer look into the world of advertising. It allowed viewers to take time to focus strictly on the ads and their sexist nature.
    Today, I was also reminded of the model, Twiggy. Women are fed these images and most want to have these body types that are virtually impossible to have or maintain. I, myself, struggled with these body type or beauty ideals. When I was in the army, I watched women struggle with fitting into these ideals. Some of the desire to fit was a result of weight standards by the military. However, there were some who really wanted to be the “cookie cutter” size. One soldier, I remember, was a Somoan descent. She constantly struggled with her weight. It was eventually determined that Samoans had a heavier bone structure. It was through her experience, I discovered how these guidelines were put in place. People, particularly women, need to understand how beauty standards are established. Additionally, they should educate themselves regarding the use of the ads to sell products.

  37. Matt Simpson
    September 10, 2012

    I really liked this movie as well as Killing Us Softly 4 because I think it is a good way to try and reach the public. In my opinion, everything Jean was saying was 100% true, and the truth is what people need to see. Especially the young people across the world coming into adolescence. I really don’t understand why people were arguing against Jean in the class discussion. What is their to argue about? Sex does sell, women are seen as objects in ads, and people are taught they have to look a certain way to have value. To me this is all set in stone, and the arguments towards Jean were just people picking at her for the smallest things they could find. She did not have enough resources?? She had a 40 minute presentation jam-packed with them. She has been studying and spreading the word about this topic nationally for over 30 years, YES she is credible. I think the movie was great and Jean did a fantastic job of spreading the word.

  38. Shasity Torres
    September 10, 2012

    Killing us softly is a wonderful video by Jean Kilbourne. I loved the way she approached the situation. She really knows how to engage her audience, and help them become aware of the amount of sexism behind advertisements. I liked how she not only showed depictions on female advertisements but male ads as well. She made many great points that I had not thought off on my own. This in turn made me reflect a bit more on the commercials I see on a day to day basis. This was the first video I had seen from Jean, but I plan on seeing her previous videos and newest video to see what comments she had to say then and now.

  39. Leticia Gallegos
    September 10, 2012

    After watching this video I can definitely see how advertisement are “killing us softly.” Although ads are negatively portraying women, the advertisers are not the only ones who view women like this. Society in general reinforces these sexist stereotypes because they have been imprinted in the minds of past generations and our generation as well. There are millions of strong intelligent women in this world and I have faith that we can continue to make these “truths” a thing of the past and prove to the world that we can do more than just cook and clean. Thank you God for making me a woman.

  40. Lisa Timulty
    September 11, 2012

    In the video “Killing Us Softly” Ms. Kilbourne focuses on advertising and the role of women. I found myself shaking my head in disagreement during the video; her viewpoint is very narrow. I definitely do not fit into the target profile that is implied by the video. I was raised to be positive minded and an intelligent critical thinker. And, I have grown to become a strong, assertive and independent woman. Each image is open to interpretation, which is dependent upon who is looking at it. And I think there are other ways to look at the issue that Ms. Kilbourne is raising about these images.
    For example, during her obsessive rant about how advertising affects female body image she states “We all learn very early on that our breasts are never okay the way they are.”
    Another take on this statement is, well then ‘we all’ have made the very crucial mistake of assuming that advertising was trying to teach us something. Advertising is simply a pitch competing for attention. Advertisers are merely stating: ‘You lack/need this; we have the perfect thing for you.’ A rational person is free to disregard it completely, consider its premise and abandon it, or consider its grounds and believe it as something which could benefit them (which in most cases the result, or else advertisers would not have a job). Advertising exists to sell products and services, and what ‘we all’ need to do is to identify its position rather than suppose that everything that the ad states is automatically true, just because it’s on the air or in print. In my honest opinion, if a woman thinks that her breasts are not perfect the way they are is true just because a company wrote it in a print ad aimed at selling her something, she has bigger problems than advertising to contend with.

  41. Ricardo Vargas
    September 11, 2012

    After watching “Killing Me Softly” by Jean Kilbourne it made me realize how women are degraded in advertising. Kilbourne reiterates how beauty standards are taught to young girls and how society wants them to act. This deprives them in some ways expressing themselves because they might be constantly comparing how society thinks they should do to what they want to do. This video was very interesting and I hope more men see videos like this so they can be more aware of sexism within our society. Even though we are an advanced society sexism against women occurs more often than it should.

  42. Elizabeth T.
    September 11, 2012

    “Killing Me Softly” by Jean Kilbourne is a very powerful video. I wish this video could be more popular. I wish everybody had the change to actually watch the video and realize what the society we live in is doing to everybody. Its not the first video I’ve seen by her, I’ve seen another. They are both powerful videos! I enjoy seeing them. I’m glad I’m one of the few that does’t participate in buying magazines, I watch very few TV. We are all affected some how though. I really wish we could more so we could get her videos out there to make it in national news.

  43. Stephanie Miller
    September 11, 2012

    I believe that killing us softly made me realize something that was so normally seen. I mean, it’s noting really new. They’re catering to younger and younger girls these days and showing you’re nothing without your make-up.

  44. Jessica Dockery
    September 11, 2012

    As someone who has long been concerned by–not to mentioned negatively influenced by–this media and advertising trend, I very much appreciated the awareness that Jean Kilbourne brought through “Killing Us Softly 3”. I hope that it was eye-opening for those who had never realized how much society’s ideals of beauty and the way women are perceived have been warped and reinforced by what we see around us daily. It’s not healthy to be exposed to these images because we are taught that we should emulate them, no matter how unrealistic.

    I would expect “Killing Us Softly 4” to include a lot more men and hope that more evidence of the effects would be provided. Those that are put off buy her matter-of-factness and how in depth she goes with this topic might not be as closed-minded and skeptical over the subject if they are presented with proof that she isn’t making a big deal out of nothing.

  45. Cecilia Frias
    September 11, 2012

    After watching Killing us softly 3 I felt a little embarrassed since our generation is all about “looks.” Womem have been fighting for indepence for a long time, it’s not fair that we are thought of as an object. When will the fight for equality stop? I’ve actually watched some of Killing us softly 4 and its sad to say that things have actually become worse. It’s like an epidemic and we need to do something to stop this.

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This entry was posted on September 4, 2012 by in Discussion of Reading, Rhetorical Analysis.
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