What We Missed

If today’s rundown of Superbowl commercials weren’t enough to make you worry about the state of American masculinity, the above compilation of violence from last night’s ads surely will be.
Costa Rica elected its first female president by a landslide!
The New York Times tells us that the increase of women in college means a decrease in hetero lurve. (Opheliasawake has more on the Community blog.)
More on the Superbowl from Amanda at The Sexist.
Who’s to blame for the commodification of virginity? Feminists!

Join the Conversation

  • MLEmac28

    Arguable, most of the violent clips were from two particular commercials: NCIS and Volkswagon.
    The NCIS ad was talking about how the headslap was becoming the new handshake, and had a considerably friendly overtone.
    The VW ad made me smile because it brought me back to when my sister and I would always yell “BLUE SLUG BUG NO BACKS!” (or whatever color the car was) and hit each other on the arms, never hard enough to hurt. Who didn’t play the punch buggy game?

  • Lilith Luffles

    I personally think that any ad that points out how painful shock collars are is a good one, even if Doritos was only going for a cheap laugh.
    And who cares if people aren’t coupling off? It’s as though they are so desperate to blame women they will try anything. “How dare you try to get a degree instead of being a stay at home wife who goes off to write a book series about magical creatures?”
    I didn’t watch the Superbowl. I watched the first half of the puppy bowl so I could watch the kitty half-time show. Now that was entertaining, and all the commercials were about vacuums and pet food.

  • Destra

    Slapstick does not promote violence. It’s exaggerated to the point where it’s no longer realistic. Like everyone smacking each other’s heads, or a samurai-chip man ninja-starring someone with a potato chip. Think cartoons that drop anvils on toons’ heads.
    Can slapstick be bad? Absolutely. If it’s between a person of power and a minority (a man slapping a woman), if it’s promoting bad stereotypes (a man has to punch another to retain his “manliness”), or if it’s not exaggerated. Just some examples. But slapstick can be funny. A guy falling off a ladder or the slug bug game is a bad thing to have in a commercial.

  • daveNYC

    You’re complaining about the violence in the commercials for the Superbowl? Seriously? I mean, did you not see the game? Football is all about violence. They could replace all the commercials with LOLCats, and you’d still have a solid hour of men smashing into each other hard enough to break bones and bruise brains.

  • liberallatte

    Laura Chinchilla is a hard-line anti-choicer who supports banning morning after pill and a homophobic who is against same-sex civil unions, let alone gay marriage. Feministing shouldn’t be celebrating her victory, just as we wouldn’t celebrate Palin if she wins something.

  • BalletBoy

    This seems to be simple “slap-stick” humor. I don’t know why humans everywhere laugh at slapstick but they do. There are many problems of degradation out there. I don’t think slapstick is one of them.

  • dangerfield

    I’m all about reducing the culture of violence in America, but taking this video as representative of that is tenuous and predicated on some faulty assumptions. If anything, it is merely an indication of how quickly advertisers fall back on exaggeration and slapstick in 30 second commercials designed to appeal to the general population. Revealing of the lowest-common-denominator effect, perhaps, but not an indictment of violence and american masculinity.
    Several of those “acts of violence” were mere slapstick “accidents,” with no aggression depicted at all. Others (the punch buggy commercial that contributed the bulk of the clips) were predicated on an assumption of playfulness and consent. Likewise, many commercials included football tackles in surprising contexts. Not particularly original, but only as violent or disturbing as the Superbowl itself.
    Granted, there were and always are a number of alarming depictions of actual violence (even going under the guise of slapstick), but those were really in the minority of the video. Some full force headblows and a dorito-to-the-neck. Do I worry about american masculinity? Yes, for plenty of good reasons. Does that video contribute in any meaningful way? No.

  • Alphanista

    Yes, this all appeared seemingly under the guise of humor. Men and women are both violent, hence the recent rise in female on male violence, and women in hi profile murder/rape cases. It’s a cultural problem, not a gender one.

  • Sloppy Sandwich

    Yeah, but her name is CHINCHILLA.

  • lobster

    A person of power being violent against a minority need not always be a bad thing for progress, you know:

  • Auriane

    I agree! While it’s important to note the accomplishment of a “first”, the irony of Chinchilla’s social conservatism isn’t lost on me.

  • gatanegra

    I saw the “yay woman president” line and immediately headed over to comment and look! you’ve already said most of it. We can add neoliberal pro-global capitalism and big development to the list. Please please please can we get over this type of unreflexive identity politics for once and for all? Just because she’s a woman does not mean jack about her politics and her actions.