Tag Archives: advertisements

Fame Day: Stopping Super Bowl Sexism

I have to admit it. We had a Super Bowl party at our house. By Super Bowl party I mean we had some friends over and John watched the game while the rest of us chatted and ate food and had fun, then when the commercials came on we would all quiet down and turn up the volume.

While there were, of course, a few “ugh” commercials, most were pretty good.
One that really stood out was this year’s GoDaddy commercial. For those of you who haven’t seen it, it featured this woman quitting her job in their commercial, since she knew her boss would be watching the game.

Gwen Dean says “I Quit” to her boss as she publicizes her plans to become a puppet master.

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Culture War Correspondence: Censorship

GORDON: Welcome readers to another exciting installment of [redacted], where we’ll be discussing [censored] and the [undisclosed] surrounding it.
(The topic for today is censorship, for anyone baffled by my oh-so-subtle clues…)

While this topic did originate out of Evan’s and my discussion of TV (how we’d deal with rating systems, more specifically) we HAVE touched on this topic before, with our previous discussion of the UK’s automatic porn-block for British ISPs.

KAT: You guys actually included a poll in your discussion on television, too. And while there weren’t an awful lot of votes, it seems like more readers agreed with censoring daytime TV to some degree.

Censorship is such a big topic, but before we go much further, let me get an idea of how you feel about it. Is censorship ever okay? If so when? And by who?

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Fame Day: The Grid

I say with complete honesty that I there are times that I feel genuine pity for those of you who don’t live in Toronto. I mean, sure, there’s the fact that it’s one of the most diverse cities in the world, is home of the 3rd highest tower in the world [underneath which is brewed some pretty decent beer], and  is the setting for pretty much the entirety of the Scott Pilgrim series-

You can click the image above to check out a whole bunch more.

No, the reason for that, dear readers, is The Grid. A weekly publication, this newspaper describes itself on its website as:

…a weekly city magazine and daily website providing a fresh, accessible voice for Toronto. Our goal is to capture the vibe and energy of a city in ascendance, largely by rejecting the glossy, doggedly aspirational vision of it you see in so many other publications. Continue reading

Sexism, Reductionism, and Stepping on Women’s Heads

So Retronaut has a page of “Vintage Ad Sexism” – hilariously sexist ads, many of them aimed at men’s pride (“brand new man-talking, power packed patterns that tell her it’s a man’s world”) or women’s insecurities (“Would YOUR husband marry you again?”). There are some gems in there, like these:

source: retronaut.co

I'm just gonna let these speak for themselves.

source: retronaut.co

source: retronaut.co

Read some of this one for the full effect

source: retronaut.co

And this one might be my favorite…source: retronaut.co

Aren’t some of them kind of frighteningly recent-looking?

So yeah, we remember sexism, 1919 and women’s suffrage and bra-burning and all that. Being shocked that women couldn’t vote, etc. But seeing advertisements make it more harrowing. Serious political oppression at least treats women with enough dignity to be oppressed – advertisements make light of women as entities. I am less concerned with the essential sexism in these than I am the reduction.

Violence and political oppression are horrid, yes, but reduction is more insidious because it tends to keep hanging around long after voting rights have been own and salaries have been evened out.

The advertisements here, of course, appear ludicrous to us. “Is a wife to blame if she doesn’t know [to use a douche]? Yes! She’s decidedly to blame.” The one with the rug with a woman’s head, the man standing with one foot on her head Captain-Morgan-style. Some of them are just ridiculous.

But it is good to remember that as insane as they may seem, these are real, and they are recent. People who saw these ads and accepted them as a relevant way to advertise a product – people who made the ads, laughed at them, nodded in agreement – still make up a large part of our society today. Even after that generation dies, the fact is that American culture (it’s what I’m talking about here; can’t speak to other places) has been steeped in the reduction of women – and this is not an influence easily shed.

Now, establishing a double standard to “make up” for lost time is not the answer. Ensuring that all males are instilled with a sense of guilt about the past will not help society. Only by awareness of our ideological roots, and the flaws and violence therein, can we stay – or at least slow – regression.