Submission Title

Is It Love or Is It Persuasion? A Fantasy Theme Criticism of Gender Use in Online Dating Website Commercials

Location

Jereld R. Nicholson Library

Subject Area

Communication Arts/Rhetoric

Description

The online dating industry is rapidly growing and selling societal messages and realities to audiences through advertisements. In order to understand the growing phenomenon and the lasting impression made on viewing audiences, commercials for the websites Match, eHarmony, and OurTime were analyzed using Fantasy Theme Criticism. Gender roles and stereotypes were at the forefront of the analysis. The conclusive fantasy themes were the helpless homebody, the male savior, and the effortless male. The rhetorical vision stated that women depend on men to find their true love. The portrayed gender roles influence real world interpersonal relationships that develop from the websites. Gender is portrayed in a limited light, with the women shown in actively incompetent and inferior roles while the men are confident with many positive options made available to them. The themes are presented through stereotypical beauty depictions, settings with gender connotations, and overwhelming actions.

The paper upon which this poster was based was written for the Senior Seminar course in Communication Arts. The paper was competitively selected for presentation at the Northwest Communication Association Conference in April 2015.

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Is It Love or Is It Persuasion? A Fantasy Theme Criticism of Gender Use in Online Dating Website Commercials

Jereld R. Nicholson Library

The online dating industry is rapidly growing and selling societal messages and realities to audiences through advertisements. In order to understand the growing phenomenon and the lasting impression made on viewing audiences, commercials for the websites Match, eHarmony, and OurTime were analyzed using Fantasy Theme Criticism. Gender roles and stereotypes were at the forefront of the analysis. The conclusive fantasy themes were the helpless homebody, the male savior, and the effortless male. The rhetorical vision stated that women depend on men to find their true love. The portrayed gender roles influence real world interpersonal relationships that develop from the websites. Gender is portrayed in a limited light, with the women shown in actively incompetent and inferior roles while the men are confident with many positive options made available to them. The themes are presented through stereotypical beauty depictions, settings with gender connotations, and overwhelming actions.

The paper upon which this poster was based was written for the Senior Seminar course in Communication Arts. The paper was competitively selected for presentation at the Northwest Communication Association Conference in April 2015.