CS2006 Curation: Spousal Abuse

My group feels that the issue (males as victims of Spousal Abuse) is hardly touched on and there is little media exposure on it. Thus, we want to create greater awareness and persuade people to be open minded to the idea that males can also be or are victims of Spousal Abuse and that they need help too. We aim to break the stereotypes and encourage male victims to stand up for their own rights.

We intend to do 8 visuals, more of a photo gallery with a story line linking up the 8 photos. We will touch on the different types of abuse and the difficulties males have in trying to speak up about their domestic problems. This is especially so in our Asian context where males are perceived to be stronger and even superior over women. In addition males are quite ego-centric (this could be a sterotype), thus, it will be challenging for them to come out of the closet about their issue.

Some of our ideas are…
Maybe for one of our visual piece we will have a man in the middle. Half of him will be in the abused state and another half will be well dressed. This brings across the idea that he hides his problems from the public. Then for another piece will be showing a woman out in in the public seeking for help. So maybe she could be talking to a social worker or something like that. yeap..


Spousal Abuse can be physical, emotional and verbal. A popular belief that males are unlikely victims of abuse is because woman are percieved to be physically weaker than males. However, we should not forget that hurtful words can also harm others and can be abusive.

The monochrome, black and white, colour brings across a gloomy vibe and it sort of brings out the idea of the dark side of human nature (abusive behaviours). Using cultural perspectives to look at this piece, there are indexical signs used. By logical reasoning, we know that the hand grabbing the female’s face represents abuse. Having the hand come out from the male’s mouth indicates that it is verbal abuse. In this case, words used in verbal abuse is replaced and represented by the actual action of abuse which is a physical action.

In addition, out of this whole series of verbal abuse ads, all the pieces portrayed males as the perpetrator and not the victim. This shows the gender stereotype present in our environment.

Although I find this piece a rather interesting way to show verbal abuse, I’m not sure if this is able to create a huge impact on people’s emotions (Pathos).


I think constructivism theory can be seen in this video where there are many different shots showing different parts of the house. From these small parts, we form the whole picture, a house where some sort of distruction occurred.

From the different shots showing the house, we can infer that there was a fight or some form of violence that occurred even before the audience made sense of the dialogue. Indexical signs were present in the advertisement, so that the audience can use logical reasoning to conclude that violence happened in that house.

However, I think that the dialogue played a big part in helping us understand what the advertisement was really about. I feel that, without the dialogue, the visuals will be too weak to bring the idea of spousal violence out. Hence, in a whole, the visuals and sound work perfectly together but if just the visuals were used, the message will not be clear enough. In fact, I think the dialogue itself was enough to bring across the message, this would mean that the visuals were meaningless.

And again, we can see some form of gender stereotype present where the female is the victim of the abuse.

Taking an critical perspective, I think that this advertisement has some ethical issues. This advertisement was played during the super bowl and it was in hopes of repairing the company’s reputation. In my opinion, I feel that the intent itself is wrong, the company does not truely want to help victims of abuse. They are just doing it for the company’s reputation.

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