Restore your fragile masculinity with deep fried factory farmed chicken!

This spectacularly subtle ad is currently airing on Australian TV, reminding men that their masculine identities are so fragile that they can be destroyed by one single sweater, and so insubstantial that they can be restored with a bucket of chicken.

Yeah! Dudes! Manly dudes in t-shirts! Dudes eating fried chicken! Dudes denigrating vaguely feminine things, and each other! Dudes being portrayed as so deeply insecure that they can’t handle wearing a pink sweater without freaking the fuck out! Dudes, how are you not insulted by this shit?
Transcript below the jump.

Emasculated bro in pink: Hey, guys. You remember Sarah.
Masculinity-policing bro 1: Nice jumper, mate. Do they make it for men?
V/O: With loads of original recipe chicken, wicked wings and heaps of sides, The Pack from KFC gets you back on side with your man clan.

New York, NY

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia. She joined the Feministing team in 2009. Her writing about politics and popular culture has been published in The Atlantic, The Guardian, New York magazine, Reuters, The LA Times and many other outlets in the US, Australia, UK, and France. She makes regular appearances on radio and television in the US and Australia. She has an AB in Sociology from Princeton University and a PhD in Arts and Media from the University of New South Wales. Her academic work focuses on Hollywood romantic comedies; her doctoral thesis was about how the genre depicts gender, sex, and power, and grew out of a series she wrote for Feministing, the Feministing Rom Com Review. Chloe is a Senior Facilitator at The OpEd Project and a Senior Advisor to The Harry Potter Alliance. You can read more of her writing at chloesangyal.com

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia.

Read more about Chloe

Join the Conversation

  • http://feministing.com/members/hlkolaya/ Heather

    So I know this isn’t a vegan post but it did remind me of the kind of crap that vegan (and vegetarian) men have to go through. My husband is vegan (and so is my son as well as myself) and he hasn’t come up against too much trouble because he doesn’t hang out with.. well the types of guys from the video… but he has had some passive aggressive jabs as his masculinity. For my son’s birthday we invited his family and when we offered my brother in law (my husband’s sister’s husband) something to eat my husband’s sister stepped in and said “no, he’ll get something later. he’s a man- he needs his meat”- right to my husband’s face. We were both pretty pissed about it. I’m so sick of fast food ads that make it out like men aren’t real men unless they eat nothing but meat and potatoes.

    • http://feministing.com/members/toongrrl/ toongrrl

      I’m not a vegan or vegetarian. But if I were invited to your home and got to eat your food, I’d be getting seconds. And happy that you’ve took the risk of letting me in. Plus sounds like your sister-in-law forgot she and your husband are adults now and she needs to act the part.
      Plus your husband sounds bad-ass with what he puts up with

  • http://feministing.com/members/staceyjean/ Stacey

    I’ve always felt that this is one of our biggest threats to feminism today: This unrelenting fear of femininity. Just once I’d like to see a commercial that actually encourages men to not be afraid of femininity, and not at the expense of a joke.

  • http://feministing.com/members/neetu/ navneet Kaur

    Since when did eating deep fried chicken from a huge bucket become a “manly” thing to do? I do it all the time, but so far I’m still a woman.

  • http://cabaretic.blogspot.com nazza

    There’s nothing especially logical about gender policing or masculinity fears. It’s purely emotional. I have often found ads like this offensive, but what is more offensive are the men who never have any reason to question why this is unacceptable.

  • http://feministing.com/members/azure156/ Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz

    Assuming you could garner traits from the food you consume – what traits exactly would one garner from factory farmed, bred-to-be-passive, overfed creatures that live brief lives cramped together in filthy conditions and then are unceremoniously killed without a chase or fight? Eat meat or don’t as your choices dictate, but don’t pretend consuming KFC is some act or virility or strength (or whatever “masculinity” is currently being defined as.)

    Secondly, my issue as far as “fear of femininity” goes is not simply because the sweater is pink, but because the guy obviously looks uncomfortable, while the woman looks somewhat smug. It implies that she’s forcing him to wear something that for whatever reason, he doesn’t like. There’s a notion that she, or perhaps all women, are unreasonable and don’t have any regard for their partners’ personal tastes or comfort. I can’t imagine I or my husband demanding the other wear or do something they really don’t like, but this kind of communication between opposite sexes doesn’t seem to exist here. (On the other hand, his communication with the “man clan” seems to consist of mockery, not support, which is only placated when he gets them their bucket of chicken. I think guy-in-pink needs to ditch everybody in this commercial and find a more supportive circle of friends and partner!)

  • http://feministing.com/members/dim8400/ Jenny

    It is a commercial for food. If you dont have an opinion about the commercial one way or the other, do what you normally would do.

    If you like the commercial, go out and buy some food to show support.

    If you don’t like the commercial, make it a point not to buy any food from that store.

    Talk with your money. Until you do that companies have no reason to change as they are not losing any money, just gaining free publicity.

  • http://feministing.com/members/toongrrl/ toongrrl

    Great…to be a Man you must eat really fatty hormone-filled meat from a chain restaurant instead of maybe cooking the damn chicken yourself.

  • http://feministing.com/members/alp227/ Andrew
  • http://feministing.com/members/alp227/ Andrew

    And another point. What IS it about masculinity that makes a man a good person? Sure, it may help one fit in to the rest of the mindless crowd, but is it really self-improving and virtuous? I’ll let the mansplainer trolls stammer at my question.