Khakis will make you a man again.

Who knew those uncomfortable tan pants some of us love to hate could be so…radically offensive?

This is from Dockers’ new “man-ifesto.” Because it’s a manifesto, but for men! You know, a play on words. *Headdesk*

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50 Comments

  1. daveNYC
    Posted December 8, 2009 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Epic fail. They’re talking about getting your hands dirty and attempting to sell khakis. They also have links for mens and womens styles right on that stupid manifesto page, and poorly the manifesto worked on me, I can’t imagine that it’d be bringing in the women consumers.

  2. fe.MOM.hist
    Posted December 8, 2009 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    i can only assume this is a desperate, and doomed to fail, effort to save their pants from the realm of dadhood. As a single person I used to have a rule against dating dude who wore my dad’s slacks. So I get their impetus, but WTF is up with the bashing? Stop the hatin’ man.
    This ad is almost as annoying as the Levi’s jeans commercial (parent company of Dockers) that uses Walt Whitman. Of course the tie in between masculinity and khakis has a certain resonance as khakis were originally military apparel.

  3. Av0gadro
    Posted December 8, 2009 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Ok, there’s been lots of talk on various sites lately about wives buying their husbands’ pants. But is there an opinion on wives burning their husbands’ pants? Because I certainly have a sudden urge to go clean a few things out of my husband’s dresser.

  4. englishepa
    Posted December 8, 2009 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    I like that the ad is bashing androgyny and pushing masculinity, but has a link for both “Shop Men’s” and “Shop Women’s”.

  5. Thomas
    Posted December 8, 2009 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Once again, some company wants to goad me into buying their products by telling me my masculinity is in doubt. I don’t respond to threats.

  6. Sleepy
    Posted December 8, 2009 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Yeah, cause more patriarchy is JUST what this world needs.

  7. childfree_feminist
    Posted December 8, 2009 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    “Step away from the salad bar”? So, men aren’t supposed to eat a balanced healthy diet either?

  8. americanaexotica
    Posted December 8, 2009 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    i love how the salad bar is considered so un-masculine in this “genderless society.”

  9. Becca Stareyes
    Posted December 8, 2009 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    I have the strong urge to do a parody ad for Ultili-kilts wit the same opening sentence. You know, ‘Once upon a time, men wore the pants. Life also pretty much was shitty unless you were an upperclass male of the major ethnic group, in which case it was merely moderately unpleasant. Here, let me tell you about all the horrible things that happened in Olden Days. Now, I can’t correlate any of that with male-pants-wearing, but just to be sure, maybe all you men should take up kilts. All you women are fine, though. Carry on.’

  10. Toongrrl
    Posted December 8, 2009 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Patriarchy and ugly pants: just what we need

  11. Teresa
    Posted December 8, 2009 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    I second this.

  12. loudlyquiet
    Posted December 8, 2009 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    I totally agree. Even though women wearing pants apparently means that little old ladies can no longer cross streets they want to sell them in the same breath. And sorry but the latte drinking guy? How is he not wearing khakis? If I think of a guy who is getting dirty and gross and whatever, well lets just say I didn’t see anyone deer hunting this year who was wearing khakis.
    Some of these really offensive ad campaigns I can see actually working but this one is just stupid.

  13. TB
    Posted December 8, 2009 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    thanks for this. i wrote to them to express how depressing this was to read.
    here’s where to contact them:
    http://us.dockers.com/helpdesk/index.jsp?display=store&subdisplay=contact

  14. Kat
    Posted December 8, 2009 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    And plastic forks!

  15. Vetiver
    Posted December 8, 2009 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Apparently Edward Cullen wears khaki pants. I can only hope that Dockers will soon come out with uber-masculine sparkly khaki pants in homage to this fact.

  16. bzzxz
    Posted December 8, 2009 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Yes, society decided that we no longer need men.
    This is why men no longer exist.

  17. Hippiegrrl
    Posted December 8, 2009 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    I was not aware that we were living in a “genderless” society and I do not believe that to be a goal of feminism. I have been annoyed since the Walt Whitman commercial as well. I’m pretty certain that WW would not be into writing copy for advertising. Time to trash the dockers! They can go the way of Starbucks and Wal-Mart!!

  18. SP
    Posted December 8, 2009 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    That’s because profit-grabbing is gender blind. :D

  19. libdevil
    Posted December 8, 2009 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Damn. I like khakis. Gonna have to avoid that brand now. Too bad.

  20. Aydan
    Posted December 8, 2009 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    You can also contact Levi-Strauss here. I sent them a short note: http://www.levistrauss.com/Company/ContactUs.aspx
    On a side note, if I’m remembering my history correctly, the Romans thought the Britons were barbarians because they wore pants.

  21. rhowan
    Posted December 8, 2009 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    I was firmly convinced that this was so over-the-top and hateful that it had to be a hoax, a parody, a submission to a photoshop contest… something. And then I went to the official Dockers website, and there it was. The only rational reason for a campaign like this is that they’re trying to make it go viral and they’re operating under the assumption that any press is good press.
    p.s. My (male) roommate has just declared that he is never wearing Dockers pants again. Ever.

  22. Paul
    Posted December 8, 2009 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Like the Ketel One this is trying to hard. If Dockers went the way of Starbucks and WaLmart wouldn’t that make them vastly successful
    Whats wrong with the Levi’s commercials? I thought it was celebrating the exuberance of youth. Makes me want to climb a mountain, or considering a barbaric yalp (just consider; I don’t think I’ve had a yalp in me since the mortgage).

  23. alixana
    Posted December 8, 2009 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    I’m sure I can’t be the only one who sprayed her drink on her keyboard at the idea of khakis being uber-manly.

  24. rustyspoons
    Posted December 8, 2009 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Are they trying to make preps feel like tough guys or something. I knew there had to be a reason I hated khakis more than any other type of clothing. Pathetic on so many levels I don’t know where to begin.

  25. jeana
    Posted December 8, 2009 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Dockers probably thought they were being funny by this ad. And it would be more humorous if they didn’t imply the misogynistic, “men’s rights” themes of blaming women for every problem in our society and for the supposed “feminization” of men. I did learn that women were responsible for the fall of Western Civilization by posters on Glenn Sacks. As well as the other ideas this ad touches on—kids are bad because females are more involved with them than males, men aren’t allowed to be men because of feminists, everyone hates men, men are oppressed by women, the world would be better if men were in charge, etc. Because it reflects the hateful views of a small number of misogynistic people, this ad isn’t too funny to me. (Or maybe I should lighten up.)

  26. Tapati
    Posted December 8, 2009 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Once upon a time I froze my ass off in school because I wasn’t allowed to wear pants. I’m staying warm, thank you very much. I also disciplined my own children and am happy to help someone cross the street–it’s not rocket science and doesn’t require big manly muscles.

  27. Sleepy
    Posted December 8, 2009 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Exactly. And it seems like they’re trying way too hard to make the pants seem “manly”. Can’t most people see through that? Seems like an “anti-viral” strategy to me.

  28. fe.MOM.hist
    Posted December 8, 2009 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    and get a consistent message levi/dockers parent company. either you are exploiting good old gay WW or you are pushing conservative gender roles. you cannot have it both ways.

  29. dangerfield
    Posted December 8, 2009 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    So I’m never buying or wearing dockers again.
    However, I have to say that if I must consume misogyny, it goes down a little easier with a heaping spoonful of stupid, like it comes here.
    This ad reads like a list of reasons not to wear khakis (who gets dirty in khakis? thats what jeans are for.) And anyone who likes the fact that khakis are not hyper-masculine has been insulted out of buying them. Way to go Dockers, way to go. Might want to try focus-grouping that one next time.

  30. Launchpad
    Posted December 8, 2009 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    You might be right. The idea that you can make yourself extra masculine by wearing Casual Friday pants is a little chortle-inducing.

  31. Kessei
    Posted December 8, 2009 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    Their mailing address is here:
    Levi Strauss & Co.
    Attn: Consumer Relations
    1155 Battery Street
    San Francisco, CA 94111
    I’m writing out a letter as we speak, saying that my husband and I (1) will be getting rid of our Levi brand clothing, since we will not advertise their products by wearing them; (2) have alerted our family and friends to this disgusting marketing campaign and asked them to boycott; (3) are contacting fashion, gender politics, and parenting blogs we read and encouraging them to inform their readers and suggest a boycott.

  32. Tiffanie
    Posted December 8, 2009 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Don’t you know that men eat MIGHTY MANLY MEAT!! Real men kill their food… women simply forage for greens like little helpless bunnies.
    *gigantic eye roll*

  33. Lucy Gillam
    Posted December 8, 2009 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    I just sent them feedback asking them why, if as their rant tells me, me wearing pants is responsible for my toddler acting out, I would have any interest in “shopp(ing) women’s.”

  34. GirlLookAtYou
    Posted December 8, 2009 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    This ad could very well be the most offensive bulk of text I have ever read.
    I realize that Dockers was just trying to be funny, but honestly, a near majority of Americans actually believe in what the ad says and, knowing that it is going to be taken that way, I become quite upset while reading the ad. By putting this ad out, Dockers is giving sexism more power and credence in America.

  35. Hippiegrrl
    Posted December 8, 2009 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    When I say “go the way of Starbucks and Wal-Mart” I am referring to my own personal non shopping list. Levis and Dockers have now made the cut.

  36. joaninha
    Posted December 8, 2009 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Obviously we feminists were too busy drinking lattes and eating salads to help the little old lady cross the road! Shame on us!

  37. Ravencomeslaughing
    Posted December 8, 2009 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    I would buy a UtiliKilt based on this commercial alone. For the win.

  38. daveNYC
    Posted December 8, 2009 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    Naw, the Kettle One ad is at least well done. It’s not exactly making me want to rush out and start downing vodka on the rocks, but it’s doing a good job of associating the drink with being well dressed yet casual, having a fun time while not losing control, and being attractive to women (again in a controlled, understated way). All with an undertone of manliness, but a mature manliness.
    All in all, that’s a pretty solid and consistant chunk of images that their target audience would be digging. The Dockers web site OTOH, is a barely coherent rambling screed that looks like a unibomber rough draft jabbering about men being men, women being women, dogs and cats not sleeping together.

  39. libdevil
    Posted December 8, 2009 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    I’m not going to go as far as your roommate and swear off wearing them, because I’m not inclined to go out and replace a bunch of pants right now, but I won’t be buying any more either.

  40. Av0gadro
    Posted December 8, 2009 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    No, that was my second thought (after the urge to get rid of my husband’s khakis). When my husband (or me, for that matter) needs to something traditionally “manly” like cut down a tree or dig a hole, we wear Carhartts. Khakis are for sitting behind a desk.

  41. instrumentjamlord
    Posted December 8, 2009 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    Attention, manly men: define your rugged individuality, your masculinity, by a fashion item.
    And they say irony is dead. :)

  42. Dena
    Posted December 8, 2009 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    Ew, this is an epic fail. This is disgusting. Look at everything they’re implying. Wow.
    I hope no one buys this shit. This is ridiculous.

  43. sepra
    Posted December 8, 2009 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    This is very confusing. I have always associated Dockers with pleated slacks, and how exactly are those “manly?” Dowdy is more like it.
    I get that the target audience is men, and that you might be able to get a few misogynists who believe those tired tropes of the manly men good old days, but why? And was that ever really the Dockers target segment? I always thought they always positioned themselves toward the yuppie at Starbucks…
    To those of you throwing out your dockers, I’ve got to ask: why would anyone buy those atrocious-looking pants in the first place? But good for you!

  44. Kessei
    Posted December 9, 2009 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Well, when I was working part-time food service in college, Dockers were a relatively inexpensive, stain-resistant pant that fit in my uniform.
    But it isn’t just Dockers – they’re owned by the Levi corporation. Most people I know own at least one pair of Levi jeans.

  45. sam
    Posted December 9, 2009 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    The sort of guy this might appeal to would not go shopping at Dillards for his Dockers. Also, I love that there’s a “shop women’s” tab right next to the macho manifesto.

  46. AdoAnnie
    Posted December 9, 2009 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Reclaim you virility and masculinity with dad’s old khakis? Just what audience are they targeting? My aging baby boomer brother? His wife buys all his clothes. My 80 yr old father who only wears those old zip up coveralls and still has a power blue polyester leisure suit in the back of his closet? Mom buys all his clothes. Younger men, WTF? Wouldn’t be caught dead in khakis. Who are they trying to sell to?

  47. BrainHeart
    Posted December 9, 2009 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    Well, this started a lively exchange on FaceBook!
    The divide wasn’t generational, and certainly not gender.
    Join our FB page – Yes, I am a feminist. – to read more.

  48. Brilliant V
    Posted December 9, 2009 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    Seriously, Dockers?! WTF?! Do you honestly think that I am not capable of opening a freaking door on my OWN?! And you know what else? I am SO glad that you think we currently live in a genderless world; this must mean that the average $20,000 pay difference between male and female doctors must just be a figment of my imagination, not to mention other pay discrepancies between the sexes; or that women around the world aren’t actually killed everyday for stepping outside of traditional gender roles; and this must also mean that First Lady, Michelle Obama isn’t judged solely on what designer she is wearing, but rather her political and activist agenda. Oh golly, I can hardly wait until you make the matching khaki skirt for me to wear; just make sure you don’t make it too short, I mean I wouldn’t want to provoke a sexual assault…I know how you men can’t control yourselves. OH BROTHER!

  49. Jamie
    Posted December 12, 2009 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    I know! I was just thinking that! Like, after I read that bunch of bogus bullshit I would EVER click to buy anything they made?! UGH! That’s so fucking disgusting – And, I haven’t seen any little old ladies standing on the side of the road, seems to me they crossed just fine all by themselves. Assholes. This ad is more offensive than the reebok one – and I didn’t think that was possible. grrr.

  50. Aydan
    Posted December 13, 2009 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Aaaand, here’s the reply I got:
    Hi Aydan,
    [x] here from Levi’s(r). Thanks for checking in with us.
    The Dockers(r) “Wear The Pants” campaign is intended to give men a reason to love their khakis, the focus of this campaign. We apologize if our efforts did not resonate with you.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. We’ll definitely pass them along to our Marketing colleagues who pay close attention to consumer feedback.
    If there’s anything else we can help you with, just email us back or give us a call at 1-800-USA-LEVI. We’re available Monday – Friday, 6:00am – 4:30pm Pacific Time.
    Thanks again,
    [x]
    Levi Strauss & Co.
    Consumer Relations
    And my own hypothetical letter to the world:
    Dear World,
    Please stop imagining that the only way you can “resonate with” and appeal to men is by bashing women, ‘kay? And while you’re at it, please give us a widespread concept of masculinity that’s not centered around *not* being a woman.
    Love,
    Aydan

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