Forty?S Work Objects Of Desire
1. In Forty?s work Objects of Desire there is a statement that housework is not work at all which the author argues. According to Forty, this statement is a mere myth exploited by advertisers in order to attract customers?, especially women?s attention to their products. And it is impossible to disagree with him. Really, in the end of the 19th and through the 20th century women associated housework with servants. And when servants disappeared as a social phenomenon it seemed embarrassing to women to do the housework ? the way servants once did. Thus, housework was represented in media as a kind of hobby, time-spending activity or simply as manifestation of love and care. However, even at present housework requires time and energy not less than any other work at the office or the factory.
2. Forty states that housework has been believed different from any other type of work because of the fact a salary was not paid for it. Women were supposed to obtain moral, emotional satisfaction which could not be compared to any money. But in reality, according to the author, housework truly differed but by the fact that it was harder, more time and energy-consuming, and almost never-ending. Furthermore, staying at home, housewives tend to be isolated from any kind of social life ? that is another difference of housework from work of other kinds.
3. Forty states that electric household appliances were not created in order to minimize the amount of housework, and this is true. According to him (and he based his opinions on real facts from the 20th century housewives? lifestyle), that the demands to housewives became more strict, they were supposed to assure highest standard of family and house care since they obtained such a chance with the help of many appliances. Initially, electric appliances were supposed to save women?s time for leisure; however women became supposed to clean more often and cook better ? because they go such helpful mechanisms at their homes.
4. In her essay on Mechanical Brides, Lupton argues that the work of mechanical devices is not only utilitarian and functional but also cultural, and it is impossible to disagree with her, for household appliances as well as other objects is considered by social scientists from the angle of cultural studies. Since appliances take an important place in popular media is means of advertising, they cannot be separated from social culture in this perspective.
5. Lupton envisages personalities, selves, as manufactured objects. This is an agreeable point for people at all times tend to identify themselves with objects, things they possess. Thus, people develop their selves according to media-described images and according to possessions imposed by media.
6. I could agree with Gale Rubin in the point that making a woman is a social process, as women are perceived as such to a large extent due to the objects they possess and interact with in their daily life. Moreover, women become feminine and obtain traits corresponding to their gender if they follow the rules accepted in the society and act and use objects which are considered applicable by a woman. On the contrary, a woman is often considered ?different? ? a rebel or an eccentric, if she does not do what is expected from her as a woman.
7. Gender is supposed to be a set of characteristics a person possesses as well as behaviors performed, expected from this person according to the person?s sex. However, if a person does not correspond to the expected image, one?s sex and gender do not change to the contrary. Thus, I can disagree with Rubin in means of differentiation biological sex from cultural gender. A woman, for instance, will not seize being such even if she is not a housewife, if she smokes and wears trousers.
8. When design is concerned, it certainly deals with gender of a customer for it defines the customer base for a good. The products are designed with a certain customer in mind. But in my opinion, it is not design that defines gender roles, but the way the product is advertised. For instance, an advertisement of pair of fishnet stockings presupposes a sexual image for a woman who is to wear them. It is an advertisement that imposes certain images and thus gender roles for customers. In this case, the good is intended for women, of course. And when, for example, a newest cell phone with many advanced features is advertised, there is not certain predestination of this product for men or women, its appeal is in its features.
9. Lupton describes ?fetish? from economic angle as an object whose functional traits give way to its psychological incentives. Thus, an advertised object obtains powers and abilities common for people. The author means that any object to be sold may become a fetish if properly advertised. The instance is a vacuum cleaner which not only cleans home but gives a housewife all her heart desires.