Friday, August 07, 2009

Hi honey, I'm stupid!

From our neighbors to the north, here's an interesting essay by Susan Krashinsky in today's Globe and Mail that dissects advertising's dependency on positing men as hopeless dumbasses in order to sell things to women.

With women controlling the majority of household purchases, marketers have determined that one of the easiest routes to a woman's pocketbook is by taking a swipe at bumbling male significant others. Krashinsky dissects five TV spots selling everything from hardware to ice cream that employ this formula.

Of course, men and boys watch these ads, too. While some men resent being portrayed in a light that would likely result in boycotts if the genders were flipped, it isn't very macho to whine about a TV commercial. More importantly, men stand to derive a tangible benefit from these stereotypes. If your wife thinks you're an idiot, she'll probably just give up on pursuing an equitable division of household labor.

Meanwhile, back on the couch, the crumb-crusted manboys of the world can safely pop open another beer, scratch their balls and say, "See that, baby? I is normal!"


surrey said...

If your wife think you are idiot, she always think right..

Freida Bee, MD said...

Great title. This trend reminds me of those bumblers on The Flintstones, which I grew up with. That is a great article you've linked to. I'd never heard the word "misandry," "misogyny's" counterpart, I suppose. Those sorts of ads piss me off, as does little less than the kinds of talk that encourage men to feign irresponsibility, like the olde faithful "blond" behavior did "for" women. Worstly, I'd rather not work my ass off to try and discourage sexism in my own sons by way of reminding them it's ok to cry and all, only to have them then be less than they are capable of being, putting off onto women a media-inspired need to be taken care of.

Oooh, saw your blog a bit back, and may not have commented before now. This topic hits all my sore spots. Glad to see it written about from a man's point of view.