Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Will we ever stop the cultural association between femininity and "lesser than?"

I'm really, really sick of the trend of appealing to men in a way which insults women and/or tries to set men apart by playing up stereotypical manliness and male superiority.

This is basic misogyny 101 stuff. It's literal "ewww girls!" bullshit.

The latest ad using this tactic comes from ECHO, the makers of outdoor power equipment:

In the ad, a dude is being "taunted" by his yard work, through three troll characters, until he decides to do some work and "take back his yard." One of the taunts he receives is, "Where are you going...the nail salon?"

HAHAHAH GET IT?! Because REAL MEN don't do things like go to the nail salon. That's girly shit.

[Image text: Gif of an "Oh, come on" face.]
The thing is, marketers rely on tactics that work. So sadly, there must be some effectiveness to these methods. Which makes me feel that this resurgence of hypermasculine-poop-on-ladies marketing is reflective of something deeper in our culture. Perhaps the same insecurities and anxieties about (slowly) shifting gender dynamics that some men experience which has led to other such nonsense like the MRA movement.

Wherever it comes from, I still can't help but be disturbed by our constant culture shorthand for feminine=foolish. Why are people in general so OK with this? Will it ever stop? It's not only sexist, it's also binarist, cissexist, gender policing garbage.

I just think that it's possible to find a way to appeal to men in advertising without shitting all over women. But it will require marketers to be a little more creative than relying on old tropes. And it will, of course, also mean that we, as consumers, can't reward this type of sexist advertising...that's what it really comes down to. Cut their profit margins and this shit will disappear.

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