The lesser discussed misrepresentation of men in advertising

sexist advertising

So yesterday was international women’s day which obviously got everyone thinking about gender. I liked that the message of the day was more focused on human rights rather than the plight of women which men tend to brush off as bitter men hating rants. This in turn gives feminism a terrible name, however at least it has a name.  There has recently been a tendency in advertising to represent men as careless, inept cave-men and all for comic effect. I understand that advertising is often a very subjective interpretation of reality so therefore it’s obviously not as pressing as the realities of sexism in the workplace but it’s still irritating.

While it is thankfully becoming more acceptable for women to wholeheartedly pursue their careers while still having a family, it is still not fully acceptable for a man to be the homemaker. I think that advertising has a huge role to play in this.

women in advertising

Whereas it has become unacceptable to make sexist advertising like the ad seen above, there are still brands such as Huggies who have made a series of ads which were intended to showcase how effective their products are in that even silly, incompetent dads could care for their children while using them:

By reinforcing these dated gender roles and making it seem unacceptable for men to stay at home , it may be having a knock-on effect on women leaving the home to pursue a career. Someone has to look after the children and if it’s not socially acceptable for men to do it then some women may be pressured into filling this role against their will.

It is these stereotypes that pave the way for the type of inequality that men experience while trying to get custody of their children in which favor is dis-proportionality granted to women. This has led to a series of movements in which male activists dress as superheroes to draw attention to this gender inequality :

sexist laws

Objectification of the male body:

Traditionally it was generally women who were objectified in advertising and I acknowledge that this still happens but it does occur with men too as this Calvin Klein 2013 Super Bow ad demonstrates:

Men displayed as sexual play things for the amusement of women has been a regular execution technique for Diet Coke, this being their most recent ad. There is a common theme in these Coke ads; middle class, employed women poking fun and leering at men who are working in more ‘working class’ jobs, as if that’s meant to make it acceptable and light-hearted:

It seems that no one’s making any progress, rather just switching roles while hanging on to the same old habits; If you’re on top then you exercise this power by exploiting, sometimes sexually, those who fall below you. If human rights are something to be experienced by all then what is being granted needs to be viewed from both sides rather than just shifting the power imbalance from one gender to the other.

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One thought on “The lesser discussed misrepresentation of men in advertising

  1. letter to the editor:

    it’s MADNESS, i tell you! MADNESS!!

    as stated on http://www.thelessergender.com, every woman is subjugating herself by accepting a spouse or a significant other who is a man and who is superior to her in height. everywhere i look, it’s tall man/short vagina. i don’t understand how vaginas everywhere could not be ashamed of themselves, proclaiming gender-equality while adding insult to inferiority by publicly proclaiming their lesser states-of-being with each and every date-night that they partake in.

    ALL WOMEN MUST DATE SHORTER MEN, STARTING TODAY!!!! DO IT FOR FEMINISM, DO IT FOR PRIDE, DO IT FOR KIRSTEN FIKE AND EVERY OTHER COAST-GUARD VAGINA WHO DIES OF HEAT-EXHAUTION ON THE JOB. DO IT FOR YEARDLEY LOVE, WHO WAS NOT WOMAN ENOUGH TO FIGHT OFF HER BOYFRIEND AND WHO WAS KILLED WITH HIS BARE HANDS..

    heck, do it for the memory of all “strong women” who were murdered not by a weapon but by a strong(er) man.

    first came gender-based sporting events to keep the vaginas from competing with men (and from being a detriment to the team). then came gender-based requirements for acceptance into both the military and the police-force (making these forces look more like farces, where masculine competency is sacrificed for the politically-correct inclusion of members of the shorter/smaller/weaker gender whose physical competency pales in comparison to that of men). for crying out loud, coney island went and added a “womens’ division” to their frankfurter-eating competition so that there could be such a thing as a female champion. AND, on top of everything else, there’s the “do it HERself” workshop at the home depot (which, like “curves fitness,” serves as a “mister rogers” type of “land of make believe” and caters to vaginas who are either too intimidated or too pious to function around a superior gender…ahem, make that “unjustifiably pious,” just because there is no reason for feminists to feel that their gender can trump anything but a defenseless baby’s head).

    as a way to battle the meek public-image of women that the aforementioned physical competitions contribute to, please IMPLORE all women to STOP LOOKING UP TO THEIR DATES. society must STOP seeing a man with a vagina on his arm if the man is taller than the vagina. women must be the tall ones in the relationship – if society got used to the concept of “short man/tall woman,” then the concept of “the lesser gender” would not necessarily signify the female gender. granted, mens’ broad shoulders would still point to a the existence of a stronger gender (as would their superior biceps, v-shaped backs, ripped chests and thick legs), but if every vagina would only date men who are shorter…well, i truly believe that the whole “masculine superiority” thing would slowly fade away.

    mr. dylan terreri, i
    dr. sheldon cooper, ii
    miss abingdon blazavich
    http://www.abbyblazavich.com
    ————————–
    “When I’m hungry, I eat. When I’m thirsty, I drink. When I feel like saying something, I say it.” – Madonna
    http://www.jaggedlittledyl.com/essays
    ————————–

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