Sexist against men and women at once!
THIS ‘X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST’ HARDEE’S AD IS THE WORST THING MYSTIQUE HAS EVER BEEN INVOLVED WITH
By Chris Sims
Folks, I have seen some dumb things involving the X-Men in my time. It is, in fact, my actual job is to see dumb things involving the X-Men on a fairly regular basis, and I have also seen more than my share of terrible ads over the years. This new ad from Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. that makes an attempt to promote their Western X-Tra Bacon Burger, however, might just be the new gold standard for idiocy.
See, shapeshifter Mystique (not played by Rebecca Romijn or Jennifer Lawrence, mind you) is going to eat this burger, but it’s just too much burger for a li’l lady to handle, so she turns into some scruffy bro because only men can fully enjoy the taste of fast food bacon. Seriously. That is what this ad is about.
"How the Media Failed Women in 2013," courtesy of Miss Representation. This is mind-boggling and you must watch it right now.
Most of the time, targeted ads are pretty harmless. You searched for a flight to Denver? Here are some hotels in Denver. You looked for new running sneakers? Here are a few options.
But a new “study” from marketing firm PHD recommends a strategy that crosses the line from merely targeted to outright predatory, explicitly advising brands to seize on the times of the day and week when women feel the most insecure about their bodies and overall appearance in order to sell beauty products and other goods.
Women, the study claims to have found, feel less attractive on Mondays, especially in the morning. Thus, as the release explains, “Monday becomes the day to encourage the beauty product consumer to get going and feel beautiful again, so marketing messages should focus on feeling smart, instant beauty/fashion fixes, and getting things planned and done. Concentrate media during prime vulnerability moments, aligning with content involving tips and tricks, instant beauty rescues, dressing for the success, getting organized for the week and empowering stories.” Yuck.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]
Well you’re welcome!
I’m really sorry we haven’t been posting that much - I have a truly bad internet connection that messed up 99% of videos. Additionally, we don’t have cable and just got hulu, so my exposure to tv ads has been at a minimum.
I got moved to full time at my job in April and even before then, working on average over 30 hours a week at a retail job can be exhausting. I’m going back to school in January because I want to stop feeling fried. I make no promises about this blog, at least from me.
I’d say that attitudes toward women in ads represent greater ones, they’re a symptom of a greater problem. For example, I’ve seen a swiffer one on Hulu about an older couple together and he says he doesn’t do the cleaning but there has to be an easier way for his wife to mop besides wrestling with buckets and the like. Enter the swiffer!
This is funny? She’s having problems mopping things but he won’t even help.
Media analysis is important because your opinions and ideas about what life should be like are not wholly your own, there are influences and they should be examined.
As for why people get so fucking touchy when you talk about gender roles and misogynist things - it can be seen as an attack. Take that commercial - if I criticize that, you may think I’m attacking your mom who did housework so I’m attacking your mom. You see this with TV shows and movies - you’re criticizing something people like and it’s easy to get hurt when something you really like is not praised. (that’s why I don’t reviews of bad movies i truly like. I don’t need or want to see it)
She’s literally an object, that’s a big part of it.
Hello! Nothing to do with us - we’re all based in America. Our blog’s title is a not-uncommon phrase, so it’s likely someone else translated it into French and started slapping stickers on sexist ads (which, obviously, we support 100%).
I posted about this a while ago; here’s another great perspective. I feel obligated to share the fact that a friend of mine is the Levi’s visual merchandising director and has asked each store to do Commuter displays on female mannequins. A good start, but they’re still men’s jeans. Anyway.
So I’ve been thinking about getting a new pair of jeans as the only pair of “denim” I own is a pair of too-short, too-thin “jeans” I bought for 10 bucks at Forever 21 last year. I use jeans in quotations because I think they’re more spandex than anything else. I wanted a pair of jeans that were both hard-wearing and somewhat flattering and my mind immediately turned to Levi’s. Thanks probably to media conditioning starting from when I was a young child, I associate Levi’s with all things American, hard-working, and made to last. I remember going to Dillard’s every year or so to pick out a new pair (“Mom! I need 501’s! Not 506!” [or whatever number I preferred]). As I started to search this weekend online, I remembered Levi’s had introduced a commuter line, specifically marketed for cyclist commuters. Wow, waterproof pants with all sorts of cyclist friendly features such as a U-lock holster, reflective tape inside the cuff, and a higher waist? I could finally start carrying my U-lock! I could bike on rainy days! Here’s the (seemingly) warm and fuzzy inducing video:
Seems great right? Shots of people biking through urban areas (yep, I do that), hauling bikes over their shoulder up stairs (yep, I do that), and biking through the rain (yep, i do that too!). The fabric repels odor? Cool, I rarely wear deodorant and I rarely do my laundry. BUT WAIT. Where are the women?
Oh that’s right, the commuter line is only marketed at males. Now, currently, supposedly, Levi’s is trying to break in to the market and is seeing how successful this product will be and the best way to do that is market it to males. Look, I have no problem shopping in the men’s department for clothes and the commuter jackets and pants could probably be worn by any gender. But there’s a bigger issue than whether or not these pants will be flattering on my girl ass.
Cycling, especially commuting by bicycle, is still a male-dominated activity and advertising and campaigns still cater to this demographic. Even as numbers of cycling commuters increase, the gender gap continues to grow. More and more men are commuting by bike but women are doing less so (From a presentation by Elly Blue or “Take the Lane” and one of my very favorite bike activists who I had the great pleasure meeting earlier this year). She also came up this with Bechdel-like test to expose sexism in bike advertising. Are women presented at all? Are they active, rather than passive? If the gender was reversed would the message remain unchanged? I think this advertisement set well illustrates the problem: males modeling jerseys are shown riding bikes through mud and rain, while women modeling are among stylized graphic flowers wearing billowing silk scarves. Gross. There’s also blatant hyper-sexualization of female cyclists like this strange advertisement that features a sexy nurse pumping up a tire. And let’s talk about street harassment for just a moment: not a day goes by that I am not made to feel uncomfortable by cat-callers while I ride my bike. Further, it’s just plain unsafe. If a driver honks at me, I turn and start looking around to make sure I’m not inhibiting traffic or about to get killed. When someone is just honking because they want a piece of ass, I’m super pissed.
The cycling community itself is still rife with sexism. The fixed-gear scene is a bit of Boy’s Club. It’s totally male dominated. On one hand, I thrive on the challenge on proving I can ride just as hard or as fast as anyone and that I can keep up with the best of them. There’s is nothing quite as rewarding as knowing I’m going HAM. But it shouldn’t be this way. From what I’ve seen, only a select few women have been able to make it in the “scene” and have been accepted by male peers. Maybe this means we need to step up and ride harder, or maybe we need a cultural change. So the other hand is that there’s a sort of fetish-ization (is that a word? Do you know what I mean?) of women riding fixed. When I first started riding a track bike, I felt like a demi-goddess. Male cyclists everywhere were giving me attention. At first it felt like respect. But I don’t think that’s what it is. When some people find out that I ride fixed, I get put on a sort of pedestal, not necessarily because I’m a great cyclists or because they respect me but, in the choice words of a particular male cyclist, “that’s sexy as hell”. Sure, track bikes are sexy. If someone tells me they ride fixed, I generally think they are 89% sexier than they actually are. But that might not necessarily be the most healthy attitude. Finally, I think I’ve adopted some internalized misogyny. When a girl rides by on a track bike set up on a freewheel, I sneer a little because somehow I am “better” because of my riding style.
TL;DR: I guess I’m still working this out in my head, but ultimately what I’m trying to say is that sexism is a huge hurdle for the cycling community that’s being perpetuated by advertisers and our own members of the scene.
For a long time, Betabrand had similar “bike to work” pants but only for men. I just checked and I guess they’ve finally introduced a few pairs for women. I subscribe to Thrillist, and last week, they had an article about pants that look like nice work pants but feel like sweatpants on the inside. Hallelujah! I clicked through the article and imagine my surprise when it turns out they only have them for men.
Like the OP said: yes, a woman can buy men’s pants and wear them. But they usually aren’t cut right and don’t really look that good. It all plays into the “male as neutral” thing that’s so pervasive in our society that most people won’t even admit it exists. When you make a new product, you make it for men only, and you never have to mention that in your ads or sponsored articles. Us ladies are a “special interest group” when it comes to clothing.