For many years television advertising was plagued by what we today consider to be ridiculous stereotyping with a woman portrayed as pretty much a subservient extension of her husband whose only role was to make him happyhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5idyptK15w
Today those kinds of ads are no longer broadcast and I’m glad to see the change. But there is one area where sexism in advertising seems to be ok, when it is used to portray men as dumb idiots who can’t cook, clean, take care of kids, etchttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcqw2xjWjIk
We’ve all seen them, from Carl’s Jr and ‘without us some guys would starve’ to the ones where the disheveled husband tries to cook for the family or watch the kids and the smart well dressed wife comes home to fix everything.
Now don’t get me wrong, most of these ads make me laugh. I’m actually pretty good in the kitchen (being single tends to help with that) and keep a clean house. But the ads are funny and I’m happy to laugh at myself or at least the less together members of my gender. I also know these ads are tongue in cheek and not intended to be like the old ads.
But imagine if the same technique were used to show woman as helpless with a car, or unable to do household repairs, or driving badly ? The same ads in the same humorous spirit would be quickly banned under protests from advocacy groups.
Most women I’ve talked to about it say they wouldn’t care if such ads were aired, provided they were in good spirits and not intended to return to the old sexism. Yet we are so uptight today we can’t even consider it.
If you ask me it’s pretty sad