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View Diary: Selling Stupid Men: Advertising and the Myth of the Incompetent Male (67 comments)

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  •  I can understand (1+ / 0-)
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    how a 9-year-old boy could be totally freaked out by an older sister's castration talk.  17-year-olds don't always have great judgement, but even as a feminist mother, I'd be really pissed off if my daughter was talking that way in front of my son.  Threatening castration is no less scary than threatening rape or murder.  It's simply not an okay thing to do. And a 9-year-old is apt to take that sort of thing seriously -- if his sister is hating on men, and he's a little boy, and she's talking about castration, it's a pretty short leap for the kid to feel that she's talking about him.

    I just want to be clear on how I feel about that.

    On the other hand, I think it's a good idea to move past 9-year-old trauma -- strictly for mental health reasons.  I was raped as a kid, and I sure hated the men who did that to me (in fact, I fantasized blowing their heads off with a shotgun, one by one).  But as I grew up (and went though therapy), I recognized that those guys aren't all men.  I still hate them (well, they're dead, now, but not at my hand), and I still hate the system that protected them, and the forces all around me that pushed me to think it was all my fault. But as a grown woman I understand that they aren't all men, and that they don't even represent all sexist assholes -- only some of whom are rapists.

    Your sister acted terribly, even if she thought she had good reason to say what she said.  But if you let her be "the voice of feminism" in your head, you'll never be able to hear what the rest of us feminists actually have to say.

    "If you fake the funk, your nose will grow." -- Bootsy Collins

    by hepshiba on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 01:43:26 PM PDT

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    •  I am very sorry to hear your experience (1+ / 0-)
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      The worst thing about sleep deprivation is you don't realize how bad you have it until you say or do something incredibly stupid, which is precisely what happened yesterday.

      As a relatively new parent, we receive Parenting magazine. Although it is mostly fluff pieces, there are some articles worth reading, such as this one:

      I hope the linked worked correctly. I was actually trying to refer to the ads which stereotypically portray men as inept. In this article, specifically the paragraph beginning with "In March..." was what was done to stop Huggies from producing these type of commercials.

      If other companies are now following this practice, there is a way to be heard, and it was (at least one time) effective. Since I never watch prime-time TV, I was not aware of this practice being adopted by other corporations.

      And you are quite correct about moving past the 9-year old version of myself. When a Terrible Two-Year-Old lives up to the moniker, it's the parents that pay the price with only an average of 3 hours sleep. This affected my choice of words in not only my original comment, but the replies that followed....which is why I typically thoroughly review anything I write before posting. It also has a terrible effect on rational thought, with instinctive emotions taking over far too easily.

      That's why I waited until today to find the link and (hopefully) send it to you. I realized yesterday that when you can't feel your fingertips, you will never be able to coherently express your ideas in writing.

      "The less time you have, the more you need to use it wisely." - Cpt. Avatar, Starblazers

      by DeathDlr73 on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 07:02:16 AM PDT

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      •  Thanks for the expression of sympathy (0+ / 0-)

        I've come to terms with my past, in a personal sense, though I'm still a political fighter. :)  I think it's crucial to find those points where we can empathize with each other.

        And I understand about not getting enough sleep.  I have a lifelong sleeping disorder, and until  I discovered the right meds about 9 years ago, I spent a lot of time dragging myself around and making stupid mistakes, and totally misperceiving certain situations. I feel like a whole different person on sleep. :)  Never had kids myself, but I've seen the dark circles around the eyes of many a friend.

        Thanks for the link. I can imagine that it's personally frustrating to find the culture doesn't appreciate male parenting skills, even though the fact that dads are getting more involved with their kids is a really positive thing for both women and men.  But I've also heard from lots of couples that when Dad takes the baby out, he hears a whole lot of praise for what he's doing, while moms are treated like nothing special.  It's a pop culture trope that guys with babies get more babes (even if in real life that's far from the case).  What we need to do is change our ideas about social roles, so that the work of parenting is valued, no matter who is doing it: then both men and women will benefit. Until we change those roles, the commercials are going to showcase domestically incompetent men and the women who serve them....

        "If you fake the funk, your nose will grow." -- Bootsy Collins

        by hepshiba on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 01:13:33 PM PDT

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