Monday, February 8, 2010

Super Bowl Ads: Misogyny on Display

Last night I "watched" the Superbowl. That is, Husband was watching it in an adjascent room while I carved on my pottery. I looked up for the commercials, since there's so much hype about them that they have become a pop phenomenon.

The hostility towards women and the insults aimed as women were really clear. Slate's Ad Report Card, written by a man, comments about them here.

The most egregious examples are:

In an ad for the Dodge Charger, men stare into the camera with expressions of either defeated resignation or seething resentment. "I will be civil to your mother, I will put the seat down," goes one section of the voiceover litany—much of which centers on how unbearable it is for men to listen to the opinions of, and on occasion respect the wishes of, women. The Charger is billed as "man's last stand." Not long after, an ad for Flo TV declares that when a man goes shopping with his girlfriend she has "removed his spine." He is urged to "change out of that skirt." Is it me, or was this year's dose of casual misogyny a little rawer and angrier than usual? Are men feeling especially threatened by the fragile economy and by the fact that the vast majority of job losses have afflicted traditionally male, working-class strongholds like manufacturing and construction (the kind of guys I picture wanting … a Dodge Charger)?

The comments in the Slate post also note the misogyny.

The Google ad, on the other hand, was really nice and sweet. And the NFL had Mark Sanchez do an ad spotlighting women's heart disease, which is often overlooked.

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