Morty are you listening?
“Did you notice how clean it looks? Morty, are you listening?” We have all experienced a moment when we are in a conversation and the other person stops listening. This phenomenon in society is so common that when it occurs in advertisements we can recall a similar experience. This is the power of media. Social media provides powerful examples that reinforce hegemony in society. Hegemony is dominance by a class or gender over another. This power can be coerced upon society as something that is acceptable so much so that it is seen as the way the world functions. However, this can result in long term damage for society’s members who are not a member of the elite and powerful. Typically, American culture power is centralized around patriarchy. This is evident in society since the gender wage gap makes women’s earnings 0.77 cents to a man’s dollar. This perpetuates issues in society in families where the woman brings home the money for her family since a 25-year-old woman working full time earns $5,000 less than her male counterparts. This is due in part by the media’s lack of coverage about unconventional families as well as a lack of knowledge about the hegemonic society of America. Furthermore, women are depicted as caretakers and in charge of the home environment. The Swiffer Sweeper commercial is a prime example. In the beginning, the man vocalizes his concern about the danger his wife faces when dusting their home. Upon receiving a Swiffer, the husband becomes disinterested to the point of lounging on the couch and sleeping. This typical household dynamic is apparent in most of society because the man comes home from a long day at work and is allowed to rest. Oppositely, women who are in the workforce are still expected to maintain a job and a good home for their husbands. Thus, this hegemonic ideology where women are treated as the maids of the house benefits men because they are allowed to relax while the women prepare dinner and do the chores. Some may argue that there is nothing wrong with this picture; but, this picture has become a staple ideology since the 1950’s with shows like I Love Lucy where we as a society have become blind to it. Thus, the commercial “Morty are you listening?” is an everyday occurrence in television advertising that undermines the cultural values that support the hegemonic, patriarchal state by blinding the audience with humor and something we perceive to be normal. Still, society can change the way media impacts the hierarchy of society. Antonio Gramsci, a Marxist philosopher who developed the idea of hegemony, argued that investigation into the history of what seems to be a natural way of life can result in societal liberation. We, as a society, have to understand the meaning behind the cultural norms and be able to look beyond that to overcome the hegemonic culture that plagues subordinate social groups in the United States.