Selling something to a specific gender isn’t unethical, but it is important to realize that the media sells more than just products. They sell values that teach us how we are to behave with one another. Selling visuals of love, sexuality, and normalcy, commercials tell us not only who we are, but who we should aspire to be.
Women’s bodies are continually being turned into objects in advertising, perpetuating the idea that women are things. This is very harmful because it not only teaches the value of women, but history tells us the first step in justifying violence toward a group of people is by dehumanizing them.
Think about it: most everything around us has a gender. And even if the product isn’t masculine or feminine, it almost always has a gendered marketing campaign. Even products essentially used by both sexes such as beer, cleaning products, technology, automobiles, energy drinks etc. have gendered marketing campaigns.