Readings — From the July 2013 issue

Bro Burning

Download Pdf
Read Online

From posts on mensactivism.org and the affiliated website standyourground.com, which maintains a list of “companies to avoid doing business with due to male bashing.”

Just a comment on your latest ad campaign, in which a man is hit in the groin for no reason. I wonder why you consider this funny. Your poor taste and insensitivity have just lost you another customer — no one in my family will eat at a Subway again.

To the staff at J.C. Penney:
Your TV commercial about your “One Day Only Sale” shows a man left alone with his young son. The man appears to be overwhelmed as the household falls apart. Meanwhile, his wife is having a terrific time at the sale. The ad ends with the message “Don’t worry, Dad, it’s only one day.” I find this ad to be demeaning to fathers. Companies cannot afford to alienate half the population, particularly during a time of recession.

Does anyone remember the Bud Light commercial in which the woman at the bar didn’t like the demeanor of the man next to her, and so kills the man and then tells the bartender to “keep the chains”? This beer is often deemed the official beer of many men’s sports! Explain that one. Would a product that put down women be endorsed by women’s sports events?

I finally plugged in my TV again to see what new male-bashing commercials were airing. I didn’t have to wait long. Reebok had two commercials featuring men acting like fools, with the theme music “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World.” In one, a man walks into a gym full of fit women and stumbles over the exercise equipment. At the end he is rescued from a machine by one of these strong women. Apparently these misandristic ads are part of a new campaign called “It’s a Woman’s World.”

The latest ad for Factory Mattress starts out showing a woman’s face, totally annoyed. Without warning, she takes a frying pan that she apparently has “at the ready” and soundly knocks her husband on the head with it. He immediately becomes motionless. Is it okay for spouses to hit their companion on the head with a frying pan to stop their tossing and turning? Is it okay for him to hit her back in the same way? Maybe with something much bigger and more lethal to ensure it never happens again?

Nokia currently is running a television advertisement in which a female describes with tremendous enthusiasm how she “gets rid” of her former boyfriend, “David,” erasing his name from her cell phone contacts list. At the conclusion, she asks, “David who?” and laughs. The audience knows nothing about who David is, what he did right or wrong in this situation, or why we should side with this female in her joyous elimination of him from her life. What, perhaps, was David’s side of the story?

In this commercial, a man is tied up to a hockey net. Four targets appear in the exposed corners of the net, followed by the caption “Take Your Shot at MolsonCanadian.ca,” then a fifth target on the man’s crotch appears. Will they ever make a commercial with a woman strung up to a hockey net with a target on her crotch? It’s extremely unlikely, even though the same scenario is less painful for a woman.

Kraft Foods has been bold enough to place an ad on their website denigrating men in order to sell their new line of A.1. steak marinades. The clever little ad reads, “A marinade so unforgettable, even a guy won’t forget it.” What are they suggesting? That men are so stupid that they can’t remember which products they have used in the past? Or that women are just so naturally superior to men that they won’t have to worry about forgetting which products they use? In either case, it’s bad, and we should not just ignore it as humor-based advertising. We did that in the past and look where it got us.

You are currently viewing this article as a guest. If you are a subscriber, please sign in. If you aren't, please subscribe below and get access to the entire Harper's archive for only $45.99/year. Or purchase this issue on your iOS or Android devices for $6.99.

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Download Pdf
Single Page
Share
undefined

Get access to 165 years of
Harper’s for only $45.99

United States Canada

  • Sven Katesh

    church

  • deserthackberry

    Cry me a river. While I agree that bashing is inappropriate, the reason companies can get away with these ads is that men, in general, are still on top. In fact, in this declined economy, they’ve been taking over management positions in traditionally FEMALE fields. This diatribe sounded a lot like those Nazis made in regard to their “oppressors”, the Jews. We all know how that ended.

THE CURRENT ISSUE

August 2015

In the Shadow of the Storm

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Measure for Measure

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Trouble with Israel

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

A Camera on Every Cop

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content
Close

Please enjoy this free article from Harper’s Magazine.