Superbowl Sexism: Tenuous Masculinity Edition

Ah, Superbowl commercials – you can always count on them for feminist fodder.  Throughout the day, we’ll be bringing you the best (the worst?) of the Superbowl’s commercials – including, of course, the Focus on the Family ad that’s been the center of so much controversy.

Brace yourselves.

This first ad, “Man’s Last Stand,” is one of my favorites…

I will blame women for “making” me be a halfway decent human being. I will whine about having to do things like working, being considerate, and cleaning up after myself. And because I do all this, my unfortunate partner will be forced to listen to me insist that getting the kind of car I want is necessary for my penis’ very life.

Transcript after the jump


Narrator:

I will get up and walk the dog at 6:30AM, I will eat some fruit as part of my breakfast

I will shave, I will clean the sink after I shave

I will be at work by 8am, I will sit through two hour meetings

I will say yes when you want me to say yes, I will be quiet when you don’t want to hear me say no

I will take your call, I will listen to your opinion of my friends, I will listen to your friends’ opinions of my friends, I will be civil to your mother

I will put the seat down, I will separate the recycling, I will carry your lip balm, I will watch your vampire TV shows with you

I will take my socks off before getting into bed, I will put my underwear in the basket

And because I do this, I will drive the car I want to drive

Charger: Man’s Last Stand

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60 Comments

  1. Swift
    Posted February 8, 2010 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    This sums up my problem with ads of this ilk so succinctly and perfectly. I wish I could like your comment a hundred times.

  2. manthd
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 2:39 am | Permalink

    You know, for anybody younger than a certain age (I’d guess that to be about 40), the word “lame” is never used to refer to people with leg disabilities. If you don’t like the association between a word of negative valuation and a particular physical disability, stop bringing it up!
    It’d be like complaining about racial insensitivity when overhearing a mother describe what her kid did all day with “She colored!”.
    That fight’s been won; the only people who will call leg disabilities “lame” are those who are trying to call them bad.

  3. manthd
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 3:33 am | Permalink

    There are fraternities that aren’t macho or sexist. Something like 40% of my Brothers are female, and we were at a college with at least a 3:1 male:female ratio. Even most of the other chapters are cool with this (at least once they get over the surprise).
    The Fraternity house is the only place I’ve ever seen an entire room of ten people stop and all glare a visitor for a sexist comment.
    That isn’t to say that the “fratboy” stereotype is without basis, but keep in mind that it’s at most representative of a common type, but not a normative one.
    (If you’re wondering why we’re all Brothers and no Sisters, it’s that we’re all equals so use the same label, but we already had some Brothers when our first women joined.)

  4. paperispatient
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    Yes! And you just know that a good amount of men who would chuckle at and identify with this ad would likely buy into the pickup artist culture; if being married is so miserable, why not stay single and “seduce” lots of women instead?

  5. paperispatient
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Permalink
  6. Anna
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Thank you. I was going to post a link like that myself.

  7. Anna
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    It’s really important that we try and create a safe space here at Feministing since everywhere else we usually find ourselves in very misogynistic, oppressive environments. So that means we will call out offensive language (and that’s why they hired me!– to moderate comments).
    A lot of people overlook their ableist language (even I have to check myself at times) and so it’s important we make the association and let people know that “lame” and other such words are seen as offensive.
    - Community Moderator

  8. kasha
    Posted February 11, 2010 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    when i watched this, i kinda feel like men and women are both victims to a cultural construct. Men feel like they have a certain duty to women, as well as women feeling like they have to uphold a certain duty to men.

  9. robin.g
    Posted February 13, 2010 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    And how exactly is going to work and sitting through meetings or eating fruit with breakfast at all having to do with Being a Man or Being With a Woman? I do that as well. Tons of women do.
    Is this supposed to be like Lester Burnham and his Firebird? Now THAT was a cool car. If you want a big dick, get yourself a 1969 Dodge Charger, you wimp.

  10. Nurse_PhD
    Posted February 13, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Here’s what I posted in the You Tube comments for the ad:
    Personally, I think we should all have a lot more sympathy for the emasculated males who are forced to put their underwear in the basket by their loathesome banshee-women? partners. The injustice!
    I think posting comments on You Tube directly gets a larger readership for the feminist viewpoint. And doing it humorously (as I tried to) helps deflect the “humorless bitch” stereotype.

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