Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Vivid Current Examples of Media Bias Against Men

Can you imagine this being aired if the genders were reversed? Should men boycott Chrysler? (Any thinking car buyer already does.)

And how about this one? Can you imagine this being aired if the genders were reversed? Should men boycott J.C. Penney?

I'm sure some feminists would say, "Where's your sense of humor?" Of course, those commercials are funny but just as feminists of the '60s and '70s recognized that the benefits of anti-female humor were outweighed by their subliminally exacerbating serious negative perceptions of women, we are in an era in which men truly are treated terribly unfairly relative to their merit as I've documented in my forthcoming article in Mensa's national magazine. In light of that, anti-male commercials are very inappropriate just as would be an anti-African-American commercial.


Alex Selby said...

I completely agree. Some scene's from the Ellen Degeneres show is an excellent example of this trend.

Jason Ribeiro said...

Marty, JC Penny is of course in the sales business and they are trying to create a funny viral video, but you make a very good point about gender reversal. The ad would not fly if the roles were reversed. Perhaps because men are often good humored or take these things lightly is why there is lack of outrage for these types of portrayals.

I think this ad also portrays women in a negative way as well. The message is that women only judge a man worthy if he gives her something of material value. This is the wrong value message for both women and men. It's ok to give gifts on Valentines day of course, but people should realize how they are manipulated into thinking that it is proper "to spent three months salary on a diamond".

Diamonds are on the verge of losing immense value. Better synthetic creation techniques can now produce diamonds that are equal or better in quality than naturally occurring. Moreover, by buying a synthetic, you are not giving your money to de Beers questionable labor practices. There are far better ways for young couples to be spending their hard earned money than a diamond ring. For an interesting read on this subject check out this post Depleted Cranium - The Facts about Diamonds (and why I don't like de Beers)

My recommendation for all men is to spend quality time with their loved one on Valentines - good memories can last a lifetime as well.

Marty Nemko said...

Magnificent comment, Jason. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Neither of the clips you link to look as if they were aired (the length is wrong for commercials) although edited version may have been.

As far as the content goes, I have two words: beer ads.

Go to youtube and search for beer ad or for sexist beer ad. Both bring up tons of hits - and lo and behold, having produced a sexist beer ad does not lead to the boycott of the beverage or much long-term consequence for the creative team behind the ad.

Marty Nemko said...

Indeed, the Chrysler ad not only aired, it aired during the Superbowl, the most watched TV event in history.

The Penney's videos (there are two with the same theme) is a viral medial campaign, launched on YouTube and watched by over 2,000,000 people.

Marty Nemko said...

And find me beer commercials that are as denigrating of women as these (and many others) are of men. Not to mention the sitcoms and movies that portray men as sleazebags or idiots, shown up by wise women.

Anonymous said...

I'd only seen the Penney's ad when I posted the comment on beer ads.

I saw the Chrysler ad as speaking, intentionally, to the many ways in which men compromise themselves at home and at work. I don't see it as denigrating men at all. I'm kind of interested in what narrative you think underlies it?

As far as 'as over the top' as these go, the Heineken woman 2.0 ad blows right by either:


The improved woman does not speak, nor apparently think; she exists as a repository for beer. She is literally objectified.


is a toss-up; the loss of agency is always by the women; the fact that the narrative is scheming, devious and male would tend to play to the argument you're making.

So I think that one's a wash; women are vapid and passive and men are scheming and far brighter.

Max Marty said...

Perhaps most damning of all is that bringing up this bias is itself a low-status "unmanly" thing to do.

And to make matters worse, opportunistic men won't hesitate to make this observation, if only to be seen as higher status by comparison.

Anonymous said...

Bringing up such a bias would be seen as unmanly and whiny. I am from a small, red state, and the bloggers are busy bashing Obama. This topic of bias against men would never be touched by the majority of men in middle America.

Anonymous said...

Mark Morford's take on the Chrysler ad:


The Unidentified Caller said...

I am surprised that this has not been referenced here yet.

Anonymous said...

When I saw these ad's I was appalled. My BF (I am a woman) is nothing like that. He's the clean and neat one that gets onto me to pick up my stuff!

And if there are guys who feel this way, they really should communicate with the women they are with about their wants and annoyances. I mean, women will go on all day about theirs...


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