Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Men as pigs...literally

A friend of mine, and fellow contributor (she should be posting soon...supposedly), suggested that I am perhaps a wee bit obsessed with Sarah Palin. This may be true, but considering I'm basically drowning in all-Palin-all-the-time on television, in the blogosphere, and while listening to NPR, it's not surprising. However, I am going to try very hard to not talk about Sarah Palin anymore during this post. Starting...now.

Last night, I was watching The Daily Show on Hulu, trying to catch up on all the episodes I missed during the Democratic National Convention. Since Hulu is ad-supported, they show two or three commercials during the course of each show. One of the commercials, which I'd all but forgotten about since it first aired in the spring, was this Hungry Man ad:

At first, I had a knee-jerk "hey! sexist!" response--not to mention that the idea of a whole pound of frozen food is a little freaky to me--but then I forced myself to admit that I actually found the ad kind of funny. Am I supposed to be offended by the stereotype of women drinking fruity smoothies and going to the bathroom in pairs and threesomes? Maybe. But...I'm really not. At most, I'm a teensie bit miffed by the disdain in Hungry Man's voice when he calls his colleagues "ladies." My response made me wonder two things:

1) Are ads like this inherently sexist, and problematically so, but we've just become so inured to rampant sexism in advertising that something like this barely raises an eyebrow? Or, are we overreacting?

2) If we find ourselves offended by commercials like the Hungry Man ad, should we be equally offended by something like this Trojan condom ad, which not only pokes fun at the idea of men as pigs, but also makes good rhetorical use of that idea to comic effect:

Of course, I'm not sure what to make of the fact that CBS and Fox apparently banned the above ad back when it first aired last summer. Apparently, someone (a man?) was offended.

What do you think?

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Women are viewed as pieces of meat all the time..men just aren't accustomed to being demeaned as a sexual object.

And sexism is everywhere in the media.. as they say, "sex sells"-- just normally they use women's sexuality to sell products. and how come men don't get all the Neutrogena ads? Not like women are the only ones getting wrinkles!

Hello to our friend, double standard!