Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I Phone 4 - Reinvigorating the Male Gaze and Heteronormativity(as if they had gone anywhere)

*note the absence of posts. I'm a grad student. I'm busy.*
BEHOLD the IPhone 4: Videophone!

So... it's a video phone. What's wrong with that? It allows businessmen away on busy business lonely in bed to see their family back at home, mom taking care of two kids by herself; it allows grandparents to see their generically graduate daughter graduate from I-can't-tell-what-grade; it allows ahhhh.... it allows army men overseas in an unjust war situation see their "unborn child" while a hint of a tear wells up in one eye; it allows giiiiiiiirlfrieeeeends to see which outfit would be good to surely impress a boy; it allows Matt Damon to sign language, slightly off screen, to his girl friend (girlfriend? wife? who is that?) Oh the scenarios the IPhone 4 Videophone can allow one to take part in. My problem is not with the technology of the IPhone 4 videophonic feature, which I think is pretty cool (though I'd like Pee-Wee Herman's videophone better - just more fun looking). It's the commercials that reinvigorate the male gaze and heteronormativity as if straight, patriarchy-subscribing people were the only ones buying this product. I'll start with the heteronormativity to get that out of the way.

1) The businessman is always the one away on business. Does this reinforce the stereotype and therefore reinforce it in society's construct that men should travel for business because they don't take care of kids, but women should put their (potentially travel-worthy) careers on hold to mind the house and offspring? Or does it reflect the norms of society? What is the norm of society exactly? Is it really that more men travel? This is a chicken or egg argument as to which came first but I'd say more exposure to the opposite - a woman traveling for business and a man staying home with the kids - would open a lot of minds and do more good than this reinforced norm.

2) The army dude seeing his "unborn child" on the fetal monitor. Quick shot of the soon-to-be-mother (kudos that she's of a different race than white), literally mouthing the words "I love you" (or "Olive Juice" I can't tell which) since, ya know, the pregnant woman is often silenced. Now scan to the fetal monitor... a grey blob... a portrait of futurity... that unidentifiable blob seen through screen-on-screen action that has more of a voice than the woman in which it sponges.

Next is the male gaze, which is the original reason for this post. At first I had only seen the IPhone 4 commercials featuring a bashful teenager showcasing her new braces after video prompting from her young father. And several others in which the male was the one holding the IPhone 4 (as we know since not only does his in-shot masculine hand hold the product, but you also see his face on the bottom corner of his own phone - a feature the video phone boasts) and a woman is giggling or telling "big news" of an impending pregnancy as we are led to suspect. However, upon looking for these videos I found the gem embedded above that really captures all these patriarchal/male gaze/gender power dynamic/heteronormativity. The male gaze though really sticks out. Rarely in any commercials (if ever.. challenge me) do you see the woman holding the phone, the woman as the purveyor. The funny thing is too, that essentially, the woman is on the other side, also with the same product, her hand would be in shot, her face in the small screen, his in the big. Her receiving good news from her sharing partner, him giggling and excited, a mom at work keeping in touch with her newly-braced-face teenage boy coaxing a metallic smile out of him by doing something silly. Why don't we see that view? Why are the women being surveyed through the Almighty Big Hand holding the Big Product? Because whomever holds the product has the power? Both hold the product, but the male gaze upon the woman is more titillating. It's more normal. We would forget that the woman on the other end would have to own the same product and have her own view since it's so normal to see the man's point of view. His gaze. All talk that puts women to second-class status by the denigration of a person by another by calling that person a "girl" (as in, "you throw like a..", "you cry like a...", etc.), a "pussy", a "little bitch" and the like, is basically saying that being female is being at the shit end of the stick. And it is in some cases and in lots of subconscious and uber-conscious ways in America. But no one who wants to be enticed into buying something really expensive wants to see a woman enjoying it. They want to see the man, the more powerful, the gazer, the informed consumer, holding this newly purchased item which they are also deciding to buy. The male gaze is at the golden end of the stick.

Do I hate men? No. I hate masculinity as socially constructed. On a personal note, for my birthday I had a really fun vegetarian BBQ. As I looked around at my male friends, ravers, hippies, musicians, dancers, politicos, capoiera players, writers, freestylers, computer techs., mathematicians, poets, hula hoopers, poi spinners, do-gooders, artists, I noticed that every single one of them defy the convention of "maleness" and this is why I absolutely love them. They would probably all cry about something sad, they would all fall in love, they would all be amazing and active fathers, they would all share their feelings. What I'm saying is, we are in a place in this society to move beyond the convention of gender norms and gender binaries. We are more post-structuralist than we all think (if that's post-structurally possible). We already all defy these conventions of gender roles so why are we still being fed this crap subliminally into our subconscious through ads?! Why is this still the norm? Why is there a norm? The more we are fed this message, the more it seems acceptable. We need to transcend and redefine what is "masculine" and "feminine". We need to eradicate the male gaze and female consumption. None of us are objects, and all of us are human.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Get “Mommed” by an Expendable Racial Stereotype - brought to you by Kleenex

Had an abusive, uncaring, absentee mother? Maybe she was just neglectful? Or perhaps she was overbearing in all the wrong ways. Did you ever say to yourself, I wish I had another mom! My mom sucks! Well, your dreams have come true – brought to you by Kleenex! Now you can click on exchangeable moms in Kleenex’s “Get Mommed” campaign. Check this whole sight site out! You’ll find a variety of moms conformed to racial stereotypes from the overly critical Asian mom, to the sassy Black mom who is perpetually trying to get into shape, to the young Latina mom, to the young white blonde mom who tries to be your best friend, then there’s the older white woman who can’t deal with you right now because she’s in a business suit, the hippy earth mother who is gimmicky, and last but not least, the southern conservative housewife who has nothing but good things to say and bake. Also, you can watch them interact in more stereotypical ways here, including how Latina mom Anna Maria just wants an excuse to make salsa!

Now, notice how your mom is not represented? Well, there could be a reason for that – all moms are different!!! Wow! I bet that was the shock of the century! But aside from the horrible racial stereotypes of Mammy and Bubbe, et al., there is an underlying theory behind this whole campaign; that moms are interchangeable and expendable. Watch and see – brought to you by Kleenex:

What happens to the first mom when a “child” (I won’t get into the whole “manchild” analysis with this one) wants to try out another mom? Who cares! According to Kleenex, they fade into the background looking confused as to what THEY have done wrong to make that “child” go to another mom. The point is simple; moms are expendable. You can choose one that fits your lifestyle. While that couldn’t be further than the truth, it seems like commercials like these are perpetuating all of the issues surrounding what society sees as a “good” mother. Moms are always under immense pressure to be the very best, most attentive, sacrificing, doting, careful, and prude mothers they can possibly be. They are challenged to drop that baby weight as soon as possible, to be MILFs, to shield children from anything sexual, to guide and teach, to quit their jobs and never go back until that kid is 18 (but by then their resumes will no longer be marketable), and to place anything that promotes the welfare of the child over their own. It’s an extended version of the maternal-fetal conflict that I have talked about before, that a woman literally cannot shed even after birth.

In her book Killing the Black Body, Dorothy Roberts explains how mothers, specifically Black mothers, were seen as the cause of all of society’s ills. They reproduced, and therefore produced Black children who were bound to grow up a menace because their mothers, being seen as inherently evil Jezebels from the start, were always working (or slaves) and therefore unable to take care of their own children. While this may be a hyperbolic example, the evidence of this ideology is everywhere in modern society. Anyone short of “Supermom” gets a buttload of guilt by society. Like society knows how to be a mom?! So I guess "Lisa" is safe. Anyway, I personally feel torn about motherhood for my own reasons *ahem* raising a child restricted to harsh gender roles *ahem* but the pressure on moms to act perfect and look perfect is quite pervasive. Even mothers who have “real” problems – abusive, absentee, etc. – shed further light on the fact that mothers are women first; they have their own lives and own complications beyond the issues that their children bring up. They have problems like any other person. They think, feel, and experiment like any other person. They are not born mothers, they are not immune to the burdens of society because they are mothers, but in fact, are more susceptible to be the bearers of those burdens.

So, if you want to buy into the hype that your mom isn’t good enough, and you wish to exchange her, then Get Mommed – brought to you by Kleenex.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Bring Back Catherine Zeta Jones, T-Mobile!

Oh, T-Mobile, you may have some of the best and cheapest phone plans with all sorts of family-oriented calling circles and deals. And we love Catherine Zeta Jones as a spokeswoman! She's so cool and amazing (I can't help thinking of her ALWAYS as Charlie Nicholson in High Fidelity.) Why must you then change your advertizing strategy into one that insults half of your customer base with commercials riddled with creepy fathers, silent wives, and fetishization of non-existent, abstract, teenage girls? That was a lot… sorry. Let’s watch for ourselves.

First we have the Creepy Father. Funny story, while I was looking for this exact video on YouTube, someone had actually named this video “Creepy Daddy” (as you can see), and rightly so. As espoused (pun intended) by those fathers within the purity movement, a father is suppose to be the keeper of his daughter. The daughter and her sacred hymen are always at risk for being dirtied my “the sex”, because of course, if she had it, then who would want her? Anyway, this father uses his cell phone calling circle as a way of “covering” his daughter against the predator that is this harmless horny teenage boy who won’t be able to control his raging hormones. Forget what the daughter may want (and for the record, these are just two friggan’ kids going on a date which will probably consist of an awkward movie experience and the relief of meeting up with friends for some pizza after). But no, the ever vigilant father must protect his daughter, who of course cannot make any judgment calls for herself.

Next, and in the same vein, we have the fetishization of the non-existent (and therefore silent) teenage girl. Watch and listen:

In this T-Mobile commercial, the daughter is happy to have a calling plan that will include her best girlfriends. Her annoying little brother is happy that he can harass his sister’s best girlfriends by adding them also to his calling circle. (Read: adding these girls to his calling circle means that this little brother can call them, without monetary repercussions, an unlimited amount of times). The daughter, outraged, and rightfully so, as she knows her friends are soon to be subject to a fair amount of harassment from her kid brother, she turns to her mother to remedy the situation. Buuuuuuuut… since wives are silent in T-Mobile’s mind (and a lot of other company’s minds too… see my previous post), the wife/mother doesn’t say a thing, rather the father steps in. What are his words of wisdom to his daughter? Victim-blaming. “Maybe you should have uglier friends.” In other words, your friends are hot, so they are asking for harassment. Like father like son, apparently. And the wife/mother? Surely she has something to say now! Nope. She nods in mechanically brainwashed agreement. Thus the daughter is alone in her predicament. It’s all her and her friends’ faults for being so damn young and hot.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Special Typical K

I’m totally not the first person to write about this commercial, thank Goddess, but since it’s past the holiday season and Special K insists on still showing it, it merits further comment. Many of my posts will be focusing on general themes: the male gaze, the man-child, the spectacle of women, etc. We can file this one under “Less is More”, where women are led to believe that the less space they take up, the better. Men are expected to bulk up—think Bow Flex—while women are suppose to slim down practically to the point of disappearing or at least being so thin that they are weak and defenseless. It furthers the underlying societal idea that women are not suppose to be powerful or strong, in mind or in body.

Since I can’t find the commercial anywhere on the internet (hmmmm…) and my computer froze on the Special K website (double hmmmmm…), I’ll just explain it. A woman is playing at a child’s table with what’s assumed to be her daughter, making paper snowflakes. She’s sitting in a red children’s chair with arms. (Special K, you are so subtle with your red references). The phone rings and when she gets to get up, she finds that the chair is stuck to her ass. Or, she is “so big” that she can’t just get up from the chair; she gets stuck in it. Let me remind you, this is a child’s chair. Anyway, the already thin woman feels all embarrassed and promptly eats Special K to help her get down to her ideal weight—her 6 year old daughter’s weight.

Between you and me, I’m sick of this. The “Less is More” mindset that is so ingrained in our society effects our everyday lives from the seemingly trivial to the horrifying. For example: have you ever gotten on a subway, sat down, have a man sit next to you and automatically he takes up his whole seat and much of yours too? You are forced to cross your legs uncomfortably tight, hold all your possessions including your purse (which is probably bigger than anything he’s carrying, if he’s carrying anything at all) and scrunch up to accommodate his… well, let’s be honest, his almighty penis. You know, my vagina needs room too! Let me sit with my legs a reasonable width apart within my allotted leg space, not give up half of it so that you can sit with your legs spread at a 90 degree angle! Or, for us short women, who not only take up less space width-wise, but also, vertically, have you ever had to um, DUCK under a man’s arm because he would not move it to let you through? I’m sorry, but I’m not one for sniffing your nasty B.O. so move your arm and quit playing London Bridge with me. I usually counter that with saying “commin’ through!” in my thickest New Jersey accent possible.

So we see that this concept appears to manifest in the most mundane situations. It also manifests itself in much more direct and horrifying ways. The prevalence of eating disorders, the abuse of women, the glass ceiling (stop me before I get depressed). Women not only are supposed to be weak and small, but they are also supposed to be child-like and malleable. The only way women are big and “acceptable” is when either certain body parts are big, i.e.-boobs, and/or are for public consumption. So women can exist if they are there for entertainment, touching, derogatory comments, the male gaze, or objection. Also, if they happen to be pregnant, there’s the “vessel” complex, or maternal-fetal conflict where their bodies are made public for the sake of "reproductive futurism". The largeness of the pregnant belly is “acceptable” if it a) can be touched to feel the fetus move, b) controlled by way of keeping her pregnant by denying abortion at any stage of pregnancy, sometimes without consideration of the woman’s own life, c) if she is married, and d) if it’s only big for a few months and goes right back to slender after the delivery. Oh, the dichotomy of the pregnant virgin and the soulless whore.

Anyway, I guess you could say that this particular Special K commercial stirs up some strong feelings in me! And on a final note, the picture that accompanies this post was one that I am not 100% comfortable posting due to the race relations. I do feel that white women come from a more privileged position than Black men; however, I would like to highlight the body language as being a perfect example of “Less is More”.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Silence of The Wife

Let’s see if my readers are catching on. What’s wrong with this commercial?

If you guessed the over-protective father/daughter purity factor, you get a B+ for noticing the painfully obvious. But that’s not what’s really wrong. If you guessed the somewhat snide comment from the boy sitting at the coffee table regarding his father staring at that woman from his soccer game, the father’s face, and the mother’s silence, you get an A+!

Allow me to break this down further for you. The Man walks in to his loving, “normal” family exclaiming that he got this new awesome phone plan. The Wife remarks how she can call a “Vivian” (assumingly her best friend or sister), Middle Child says something random and quirky, and The Innocent Son then comments how the father can call the woman his father is always staring at from his soccer game. The Man looks visibly disturbed. He looks disturbed by the fact that his Innocent Son has blown up his spot—his little secret of the pleasure he gets from staring at some random woman, perhaps one of the soccer moms, at his son’s game which his attention is suppose to be on instead. Ok, now FREEZE at 0:11! Rewind like, one second where The Innocent Son is calling out his The Man. The Wife is drawing and never stops. She doesn’t even flinch or put down her pencil. She doesn’t look up, she doesn’t say a word, she doesn’t seem the least bit disturbed and actually, her most of her, including her head/face, is completely out of the screen shot so you can’t even see if she glances up menacingly at The Man at The Innocent Son’s comment! Why the silence?! Perhaps she is use to hearing this sort of thing. Perhaps she is so use to the male gaze herself that this sort of comment doesn’t even register. Surely none of the women on T-Mobile’s marketing team noticed that this was horribly offensive and WRONG. Why is it that The Innocent Son, who is actively involved in his soccer game, is so hyper-aware that his father, The Man, is staring at another woman, so much so that he feels the need to mention it in a silent room in front of his mother, The Wife, yet there is absolutely no reaction from said Wife?! It should be noted that The Innocent Son usurps The Man’s power for a brief moment, throwing off the “normalcy” of the household. I’m almost rooting for this kid because he seems to be utilizing his innocence to his benefit while calling out his dad. I don’t think this Innocent Son is so young that he has said something out of pure innocence. Also, notice he is sitting quietly while The Wife draws him. He clearly has a good relationship with his mother. He’s trying to bring something to light—The Man’s use of spectacle.

The Innocent, youngest, Son is often thought to be the one who, despite his youth, rebelliousness and his father’s lack of faith in him, is often the plucky hero. You can read the literature yourself in brief here. But so as not to focus on The Innocent Son too much, I’ll come back from my digression.

Getting back to the commercial, just when something could possibly go down, had it not been for the silencing of The Wife, in walks Quasi-Confident Teenage Daughter for The Man to deflect his loss of power onto. She states her plans to call a “bad boy” (we can assume, since he has a mustache and rides a motorcycle—classic bad). The Man quickly responds, shutting her down in an over protective way. Again, no input from The Wife, who now is an afterthought.

T-Mobile is no stranger to creepy father figures in their commercials. What some may see as funny, I see as reinforcing the stereotype. Also, mothers are often silent in these commercials, or non-existent. Certainly, not every family has a mother, but when they do include her, she’s often shrugging or non-reactive. Silent. Non-confrontational. Good. I’ll be picking apart other T-Mobile commercials that follow this logic in the following posts!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Adult Sink (Part II)

Pole Dance Hero is yet another new game featured on AdultSwim.com created by This Is Pop. I have to say, just looking at the name, I got all giddy and excited. I thought to my late-night T.V. watching self, “finally, a progressive game that takes an exotic dancer/superhero through awesome ass-kicking adventures!” That would be amazing right? What I failed to initially understand was that the “Hero” part in Pole Dance Hero is simply referring to its mechanical and instructional similarities to another game (Guitar Hero).

So here you go, you’re playing Pole Dance Hero, living out your “dream[s] of a promising career in exotic dancing”, if you’re a girl, or if you’re a boy, “enjoy[ing] a gentlemen's club experience in the comfort and privacy of your own home.” Queer people and willing lovers be damned! I don’t have a thing against exotic dancers. I really honestly don’t. But what irks me about this game is what happens when you miss a beat—the exotic dancer falls flat on her face. While this isn’t a main function of the game in general, Adult Swim advertises this feature on their commercial for the game as one of it’s alluring points; make a stripper fall on her face.

Here’s what a level looks like:

Notice the falls and the sound that comes from the audience when SHE—the nameless exotic dancer—does fall. It’s almost like a cheer! Am I hearing this right?! This also doesn’t seem like the most authentic “gentleman’s club” experience based on the moves performed by this dancer. Even most experienced exotic dancer would probably be sick to her stomach just being exposed to the amount of spins per second this computerized dancer executes.

Another point of contention is the cheers/jeers coming from the right side of the screen. They seem to be in a quote bubble, as if someone was shouting them at the exotic dancer. She is not only being controlled by you, the player, but being controlled off screen by what could only be assumed is her boss, the club manager. Or perhaps she’s being mocked by an overly critical audience member.

Whatever the case, this whole game is one big FAIL. It panders to the omnipresent male gaze, excludes willing and/or experimental partners, not to mention the queer populace, and like its aforementioned colleague (Zombie Hooker Nightmare) allows for the desensitization of violence against women who are prostitutes or exotic dancers. I repeat, whatever the case, this whole game is one big FAIL.

The cherry to the most ridiculously offensive sundae is the titles to the various songs in the background of Pole Dance Hero. They include such gems as: “Polegasm”, “STDeviant”, “Hard One”, and my personal favorite “Womb with a View”. While I certainly don’t doubt the titles to these songs, I have to admit that I found it on YouTube, so it may be the product of some 15 year old’s imagination as well.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Adult Sink (Part I)

If you’re anything like me, you were highly appreciative of Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim back in the late 90’s. Space Ghost Coast to Coast and Cartoon Planet were two of my favorite shows, most notably for Brak. However, Adult Swim has noticeably changed and perhaps keeping up with what some may believe is Adult Swim’s target audience—white males between the age of 16-30, you know, everyone’s target audience for some reason—Adult Swim has added much to their repertoire, including a website with games.

Long gone are the days of Space Ghost, Brak and Zorak, and Adult Swim seems content to usher in an attitude of apathy, nihilism, and angry white malehood. While my guilty pleasure is Family Guy (taking huge pains to ignore the misogyny and rape humor), I am thoroughly disgusted with Adult Swim for pandering to the most violent and offensive form of sexism—promoting computer games that glorify dead “zombie” hookers, and injuring strippers. The two games I’m specifically talking about are Zombie Hooker Nightmare (and any holiday-themed spin off thereof) and Pole Dance Hero. I feel like I lost a few brain cells simply typing out these names! But let’s begin the gruesome analysis of why these games are so widely accepted yet so remarkably offensive.

Zombie Hooker Nightmare. The name says it all. Not only did these “hookers” have to die somehow in the first place, but now that they have come back to life, you get to kill them all over again. In this game, you literally control the last surviving “hooker” (notice the more derogatory use of a word that means prostitute). This prostitute is bent on staying in the business despite an apocalypse. Can we say a disturbed dude’s wet dream?! Women who are willing to “do it” despite hell on earth. Oh but of course, prostitutes, as we all know, do it because they like it, or else they would leave and choose a different profession. Here’s the game’s own description:

“Who says a zombie apocalypse has to stop a working girl from making a little cash? Guide Lola past hordes of undead zombie hookers to collect weapons and cash AND guide your still-living Johns back to your trailer for a little “business.” Fulfill the night's quota, hop in your trailer and do it again the next night.”

Quota. You said it. There’s a little understanding underlying this whole mess. Prostitutes are conventionally sex slaves. They are controlled by male pimps, it is not glamorous, and they are often drug-addicted and abused, forced into the lifestyle with little hope of getting out. They do not simply “hop into [their] trailer[s]” after a hard night’s work. This view of prostitution gives way to the idea that these women are dispensable. They are seen as nothing but objects for males to use and forget about. Their murders are often seen as a byproduct of a struggle occurring during “business”. Murder of prostitutes is often grossly underestimated. Anyway, games like these reinforce the stereotype that prostitutes or “hookers” are expendable commodities, and it makes their liberation that much less possible.

Also note that the “Johns” are still alive in this game.

I’ll discuss Pole Dance Hero in the next post (Part II) since for me, these two games are deserving of their own posts!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Women on Display!

Step right up folks! Come see the spectacle that is this species we call woman! Folks, she cleans, she has kids, she has delicate sensibilities, and she has a body that is here for your amusement! Come one, come all! See the freak show that is the woman in her natural environment –a home she can clean! No need to feed them, these little ladies love to be thin! Oh… don’t get too close though; you don’t want to disturb her dusting ritual…

Not like we need another way for male society to make us feel like we’re constantly on display for their viewing pleasure, here comes Pledge (you know, a WOMAN’S product, since it’s a cleaning product and all) putting women in a literal glass display case. There is nothing right about this commercial. Not even one little bit! How creepier can this get?! Here’s some woman, alone, “trapped” (and I use the quotations to literally quote the one commercial which noted that they have “trapped” a woman inside), with no visible way of getting out! I mean, honestly… there’s no door, no window, and we can only assume that the box is not closed off at the top. Has anyone seen the movie Seven? Where that Jesus freak serial killer traps the woman in his basement in a glass box (then fills it with water)? Yeah. So I guess just having to clean the box and its contents to “win” their freedom seems to pale in comparison to actually being kidnapped and tortured, but the concept is still there.

The other creepy thing is that it’s ALWAYS a woman in these commercials, and they NEVER get out! You literally don’t see the woman leaving the box! For all we know, these women are still “trapped” in these glass boxes with Pledge products and zero ventilation! We can only assume they may also be very very VERY high on fumes at this very moment.

As a side note, the only Pledge "woman in a glass box" commercial I found to be a little less than offensive was the one where it seems the woman has magical capabilities of walking through glass:

Unfortunately, this woman, despite her crazy walking-through-glass powers, is patronized by the ever-present voice of God male narrator.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

First Post May Be Unappetizing: Quiznos

When one thinks of quality lunch meats, bread bowls, chunky soups, or “Sammies”, all thrown into a huge oven thereby warming it up toasting it, one thinks of Quiznos! One may also recall their crazy good deals like the crack-referenced two-for-five sale that’s currently running. But I—I go to Quiznos for the chance that the all-toasting oven on premises can stare at me, suggestively. Because you know, women love to be stared at. Don’t understand? Just watch:

Oh yeeeeah… that gritty-voiced male oven is totally hot—for YOU girl!!! He can’t help but stare at your *ahem* “choose two”. He may be talking about your breasts, since they are so totally noticeable in whatever shirt you’re wearing, but he may just be talking about your two ridiculously succulent menu choices. If you thought breasts, you obviously had your mind in the gutter and/or want it, you nasty girl!
Perhaps sarcasm isn’t my strong point but WTF?! Did anyone see this commercial and get immediately scheeved out? Yes, scheeved. If you’re reading my blog, get use to my Jersey accent in writing. It means more than grossed out. I was offended that I could hardly catch it the first time I saw it since they slip it in there in the way beginning of the commercial, well, you saw. You almost miss it altogether! Thank Goddess Quiznos is so insistent on running ads every ten minutes or else I wouldn’t have caught this gem. Anyway, what also bothered me was the poor woman in this commercial was made out to, um, like the attention from the perverted oven. File this one under “Girls Like the Attention” with its countless other ad friends, which I will be discussing in later blogs. Furthermore, Quiznos male-version of this very same ad is absolutely nothing like the horribly offensive female version. I’m not even going to post the video because it’s so totally neutral that it’s more like background noise. Basically the dude-oven just asks his friend to borrow $5.00, to which he is denied, so he himself can get some choose two.
So. This is a classic example of some of the ads that are out there that we all let slide by because they aren’t in-your-face offensive, but definitely are upon further examination. If we continue to allow these companies to market in this way, we are perpetuating stereotypes, sexism, misogyny and the idea that we are all apathetic consumers! As a graduate student on winter break, I took in a good deal of pop culture advertisement through TV, magazines, the internet, etc., and I have never been so disgusted with the marketing strategies employed by companies that are supposedly vying for our dollar! If we are the consumer, we tell THEM what we want. We have to tell them to stop insulting us! Contact Quiznos if you want. I don’t know if it will get through, but it’s worth a try. Be nice. Tell them to bring back those fuzzy potato things with the top hats and googley eyes! Or at the very least, get rid of the friggan pervy oven! It’s unnecessary. They can be more creative than that without insulting women.
Since this is my first blog post, welcome me! I have to say, this will NOT be a negative blog. I believe in karma and I want to put some funny out into the world. I’m sure you already know but we feminists are a rowdy and proud bunch and are often quite hilarious! I’ll try to use humor as a way of making these outrageously sexist ads more digestible, enabling you to swallow your rage and write the company or whatever action you want to take. I’ll also be featuring a weekly “Hell Yes” where kick ass feminist action is featured. So yeah… stay tuned! Oh and PS- I’ll try not to make all posts as long as this one.