“Sex, Lies, and Advertising” was written by Gloria Steinem as a promotional incentive for Ms. Magazine, which she founded in 1972. This piece is an informative article with a persuasive bias to enlighten the American public. The three aspects of this article that are involved in understanding at a deeper level include: who is Gloria Steinem and what influenced her to write this story, where did this article appear and for what reason, and what are the responses to this article from the target audience.
Gloria Steinem is a social activist of feminism, a writer, an editor, and a lecturer. In 1972, Gloria launched her magazine, Ms., which is a women’s magazine promoting feminism and stresses gender equality. Under Gloria, the magazine was a pioneer in discussing very important issues facing women, such as domestic violence, in the media. Gloria Steinem has also faced diversity and hardship as she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1986. Just a few months later she was recognized as one of America’s most iconic women. Throughout her life, Gloria Steinem has been through many situations that have helped her build an expertise in the areas of women’s rights and advertising. Gloria Steinem has experience as an editor and helped create both New York and Ms. Magazines, assisted others in forming the National Women’s Political Caucus, and is the author of many books. “Sex, Lies, and Advertising” was written to be published in her magazine so there are obviously significant incentives to portray women, Ms. Magazine, and gender equality in a positive light.
“Sex, Lies, and Advertising” first appeared in Ms. Magazine, which was the original intent. It was then reprinted in Our Unfree Press: 100 Years of Radical Media Criticism which is a book portraying topics from the role of advertising to the corruptions of profit. This book used many sources to inform their audience, which comprises of anyone attempting to look at advertising through a more critical view and delve into the motives, techniques, and shortcomings in the advertising industry. The article, “Sex, Lies, and Advertising,” is much less biased appearing in Our Unfree Press because in this context it is an informative piece, embedded in a book trying to caution the American public from the misconceptions of advertising and media. In Ms., the same article is promoting Ms. Magazine and holding the business up on a pedestal, which is to be expected.
The last aspect to be speculated is how the article was perceived by the target audience of Ms. Magazine, predominantly middle-aged women of the middle to upper class. Although Gloria Steinem faced some minor scrutiny by other feminists regarding some of her other publishing’s, all blog postings and reviews ranted and raved about this article. Steinem built the story off the lack of gender equality in advertising and media, and her efforts to reverse these social norms through Ms. Magazine.
In conclusion, Steinem is experienced in all areas of her reporting. She has worked in the industry as an editor, writer, lecturer, and a pioneer of women’s rights as well as two magazines. Although Gloria Steinem presents large biases favoring women, Ms. Magazine, and her method of advertising in her article, I believe there is reason to be confident in the details and topics discussed. Steinem successfully informs the American public of the role of women in advertising and Ms. Magazine specifically, despite using bias and persuasion.
A+E Television Networks: Bio. True Story (2013). Gloria Steinem Biography. Retrieved from: http://www.biography.com/people/gloria-steinem-9493491?page=1