Hey folks! I'm DC Juris, and I've got the guest spot today! For those of you who don't know me, I'm a transgender guy who writes GLBTQ and heterosexual romances - mostly contemporary and fantasy.
A while back, a Facebook friend of mine posted a little rant about a commercial she hated. I don't remember which one it was, but she was concerned over the message it sent to kids. It was one of those ones that showed a guy being stupid and a woman being intelligent. Her concern was that it suggested to her young son that men were stupid and therefore ultimately bound by their ability to hook themselves up with a smart woman. Only then would they succeed.
At that time, I think I posted something about a commercial I hated, and left it at that. I didn't think much about what she said. Commercials are commercials, and I don't put much stock in them.
That is, until I spotted a commercial for the new Dr Pepper Ten. They're deliberately marketing it at men, and saying it's "not for women." What the heck? Since when does soda conform to gender boundaries? And what makes it for men? It's got only ten calories, but has a bold flavor. Because women only want calorie free soda with no flavor? Seriously? My husband loves diet soda. At 6' 2" and 350 lbs, I'd like to see someone walk up to him and tell him he's now a woman because he drinks diet soda. Really - go ahead and try it.
But the whole thing got me thinking, and I started paying more attention to the commercials on my television. And I noticed something - they're pretty damned sexist - and not just against women. I expected a large number of commercials to be sexist against women. After all, sex sells (or at least marketing people think it does) so seeing scantily clad women in advertisements is nothing new. Also, women have always been portrayed as rather stupid and stereotypical in commercials. I don't remember what the product was, but I distinctly recall an ad that showed a woman digging in her purse, trying in vain to find her keys so she could hurry up and run inside and answer her phone. Of course, she had everything in her purse - on top of her keys, no less - including things she didn't need, and the "purse" was really just a giant satchel with no organization. You know, 'cause women clearly can't handle that much complication.
What amazed me, was the number of commercials that portray men as complete and total idiots. I sat down with my husband to see what he thought, and his top three were:
1. The Bug Light commercial where the guy is "climbing" the rock wall, but he's only really a few inches off the ground and he's about to piss his pants. Interestingly enough, Hubby was also offended that they refer to this action as being "girly." Hubby spouted off a list of women he personally knew who could kick this guy and all his friends' asses.
2. The State Farm commercial where the guy can't drive for shit and thinks that "multiple car discount" is where you have one car, but multiple accidents.
3.The Travelocity commercial where the guy takes his wife and daughter to a crappy hotel, and the daughter is "swimming" in the empty pool. Hubby's response? "Now what is that supposed to teach the little girl about her father? That he's a moron who can't handle a simple vacation booking? Or that he's too much of a push over to speak up and say there's been a mix up and he wants a better hotel."
There's a bigger message that all of these ads send, though, and for me, I think the message is that status-quo with our gender stereotypes is just fine, for the most part. Sure, there are some brilliant marketing campaigns out there that don't seem to be offensive - I personally like the talking baby, and the mayhem commercials. But, by and large, nothing has changed. Women are still clueless and vapid, more focused on their man's body style than his brains. And thank god, because apparently men have no brains to speak of. No wonder they have to use Axe Body Spray to attract a mate!
Colorful brain courtesy of smokedsalmon
A Southern transplant who has retained none of his accent but all of his charm, DC Juris is an out and proud transgender bisexual living in Upstate New York with his husband, four dogs, three cats, and a menagerie of Halloween props just creepy enough to keep people guessing about his sanity. He's still hopelesslysingle when it comes to the woman in his life, and he'll gladly entertain offers or applications for the position! In the rare event that he's not writing, DC can be found surfing the internet for random research, killing things on his Xbox, reading, taking pictures of the world around him, or playing Farmville, to which he admits a complete and totally blissful addiction.