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Sex, Pulp and critique

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 December 2000

Abstract

In an article entitled ‘Sexist Pulp ads attacked’, the Independent on Sunday (IoS) reported public reaction to the posters advertising Pulp's new album This is Hardcore (posters had been defaced with the words ‘this is sexist’), and described the advertisements as part of a turn away from political correctness towards a new ‘anything goes’ realism (Kelly and Clay 1998). The poster shows the naked upper torso of a woman face down on a red leather cushion, in an awkward and ambivalent posture, with lipsticked, half-open mouth. Emblazoned across the centre of the image (which is a reproduction of the album cover) are the words ‘This is Hardcore’ in pink capitals. A leader in the paper on the same day, under the heading ‘This is violent. This is offensive’, interprets the image as a demeaning, sexist and violent representation of women and as an offence to the record-buying public. The leader asserts that ‘Just to sell a few songs, it shows a woman violated’, and concludes with the words: ‘To ban it [the poster] now would only generate more publicity for Pulp. So the only advice we have is for anyone thinking of buying the album. Don't bother.’ (IoS Leader, 1998, p. 4)

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2000 Cambridge University Press

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