SUPER BOWL ADS: How EMASCULATED is your MAN?

Poor husbands! So beaten down! So henpecked! No choices in their lives!

Well at least according to many of the ads featured during the Super Bowl tonight. We noticed a theme about how men are so emasculated by women and how they have no choices in their sad little lives.

Here are the ones I noticed in the first half (I will update with second-half ads as the game goes on):

Dove skincare line for men

Starting with a Dove ad for skincare for men, we learned that men are destined to marry, have kids and be forced to do yard work. This ad was less  about women beating down their men and more about men just not having any choices in life.

Dodge Charger Ad

The next ad for the new Dodge Charger was downright depressing and is much more accusatory that women are sucking the life out of their men! Literally titled “A Man’s Last Stand,” it features men with dead eyes and sallow complexions reciting in monotone all the things they are forced to do in their lives. This isn’t the entire list but it’s close:

Walk the dog at 6:30 am

Shave and clean out the sink after they shave

Be at work at 8

Sit though two-hour meetings

I will say yes when you want me to say yes

I will talk your call (Gee thanks!)

Listen to YOUR (the mean wife’s) opinions about my friends

Listen to YOUR friends’ opinions about my friends

I will be civil to your mother

I will put the seat down

Carry your lip balm (I totally ask Michael to do this)

Watch your vampire TV shows

Put my underwear in the basket (PLEASE! Really is it that hard!!)

“And because I do this I will drive the car I want to drive! Charger: Man’s Last Stand!”

FloTV ad — wireless, hand-held TV

There is no subtlety to the FloTV ad, which basically calls the guy whipped.

The ad shows a very pale forlorn man (apparently hen-pecked men don’t get any sun) standing in a lingerie store with a red bra slung over his shoulder holding his girlfriend’s shopping bags as she looks for undergarments.

The narrator says he has an injury to report about this man Jason: “His girlfriend has removed his spine rendering him incapable of watching the game.”

He is forced to discuss candles the women later in the ad.

The ending quote is: “Change out of that skirt Jason.”

Twitter was buzzing at half-time about the emasculated men ads.

Here were a few of the Tweets we pulled during half-time:

Zhirad So many sexist commercials, take off those skirts men and drive a charger! #superbowlcommercials #smh 2 minutes ago from Twitterrific

notpiecebypiece I love how apparently threatened by women men feel according to superbowl ads. yeah, you should be. #superbowlcommercials 19 minutes ago from web

Marialexandra @LisaJohnson Think they hit their target though, all the women here thought it sucked, all the men loved it #superbowlcommercials #dodge 26 minutes ago from TweetDeck

DutchHollow According to #superbowlcommercials women do nothing but nag men. 27 minutes ago from Digsby

darcrunner Apparently women are responsible for the demasculinization of men. #superbowlcommercials 29 minutes ago from UberTwitter

A lot of the folks on Twitter were referring to the ads as sexist, but I don’t really think that’s the right term. (I think the Danica Patrick Go Daddy ads and the Megan Fox texting one would fall more into that category.)

I do think they were definitely negative that women are all terrible harpies ruling their men with iron fists.

What did you think:

Did you see the theme of man being beaten down in the ads?

Did you think any of the ads rang true? Did you husband NOD his head in agreement with the ads?

Did you find them to be insulting to women?

Do you really think your husband is that beaten down and has that few of choices in life? (I thought the Charger ad was pretty true for my husband! Poor guy works so hard and he still drive a very crappy car with carseats in the back!)

Did you think the stuff in the Charger ad is REALLY that hard for a man to accomplish? How hard it is to put the toilet seat down so we don’t fall into a toilet? How hard it is to your nasty stained underwear into a hamper? But I guess those kind of expectations beat a man down!!

Editor’s Note: You guys want a male perspective on the topic? Check out Jay Bookman today. He wonders if the bad economy if affected men’s manliness? Also has some different video than I have.


291 comments Add your comment

They're dead on...

February 7th, 2010
10:16 pm

Sadly, I’d have to say that men have been “pansy-fied” in today’s world. A woman’s view, more often than not, is she wants a man that does the things that she likes to do. My wife actually said that was her view for many years before reading a couple of books. “Wild at Heart” by John Eldridge changed her view. We men, today, are asked to be “nicer” and “sweet”. Heck, I’ll say this…Men have become to “city”. Metro sexual softies are looked at the way a man is supposed to be these days…
So, again, the commercials are dead on. We have been castrated and we aren’t allowed to be “Wild at Heart” anymore…and these commercials have said it out loud.

Gotebow.com

February 7th, 2010
10:17 pm

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Michael A. Giarrusso and AJCMOMania, Family Moms. Family Moms said: RT @AJCMOMania – #Super Bowl Ad theme: Wives are all harpies emasculating men! #moms #twittermoms http://bit.ly/dwuK00 http://bit.ly/almHGi [...]

Fire

February 7th, 2010
10:43 pm

I won’t go as far as the first post *that men are “pansyfied”), but they’re pretty much on target.

The Dove ad is NOT about not having choices, its about life and what shapes a life. So what if its told from a guy’s view point. If it were some ad about empowering women and their life’s challenges, that would be fine right?

The 2nd one is dead on as well for the most part. I get crap all the time for oh, not putting the seat down, not cleaning up after shaving, etc. Should men do many of these things? Sure, clean up after yourself, be civil (to keep the peace). But some stuff is plain BS– carry your own darn lip balm? Hold your purse? Hold your own darn purse. Here, hold my wallet. Yeah right?

I just love how its ok to be sexist towards a man. Double standard much?

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Chad Roedemeier and AJCMOMania, Kalee. Kalee said: SUPER BOWL ADS: How EMASCULATED is your MAN? | A Blog for Busy …: Starting with a Dove ad for skincare for men, … http://bit.ly/c0HYva [...]

J

February 7th, 2010
11:17 pm

Yeah basically. But then again when you’re male, single and you live by yourself. Life is pretty freaking spectacular.

Jason

February 7th, 2010
11:30 pm

The only thing worse than being a man who is dominated by a woman is being a man who allows advertisers to define for him what it means to be a man. And that doesn’t just go for Super Bowl commercials, it goes for advertising in general.

Sorry Hardee’s, I’ll eat whatever I darn well please. And if that’s a big old steak at an expensive restaurant or tofu at a vegitarian commune, that’s up to me!

JASon

February 7th, 2010
11:47 pm

The commercials this year were great- if seeing someone getting smacked in the head is what you find funny. Its okay if it accompanies actual comedy, but it didn’t, and it wasn’t. Score another one for the dumbing down of our great nation.

New Stepmom

February 7th, 2010
11:52 pm

If a man is henpecked it is because he allows himself to be, just like if a woman is treated with no respect it is because she tolerates it. I am fortunate to be a loving relationship where we both compromise and sometimes give things up, but sometimes “get our way.” Men if you see yourself in these commercials, grow a pair and let your wife know…

vdub

February 8th, 2010
12:03 am

My husband hates these ads – just because someone is thoughtful, that makes him femmie or “gay”.
Give us a break. I watched the superbowl and my husband frankly, had better things to do elsewhere.
As someone who worked in advertising – all I can say is, “It’s a man’s world” and more’s the pity. I teach theatre arts and love that my classes are full of football, basketball, lacrosse, baseball players and wrestler. They’re in choir too. These guys are the ones who hopefully will change the future and not buy in to FloTV or any of the other sexist, afraid of women crap!

vdub

February 8th, 2010
12:52 am

vdub, you do realize that athletes are taking your class because it’s probably a joke class right?

[...] culprits. Also, see Elizabeth’s previous post for a sweet flow chart. Not surprisingly, the majority of the offenders are car and beer manufacturers. The worst ad, in my opinion, was from FloTV.com [...]

Baker

February 8th, 2010
1:17 am

Agreed on the sexism of the Megan Fox ad, although I think it is even more stupid, she sucks. I had no problem with the Dove one, “You’re a Man!” I thought it was good actually, the other two were certainly playing off an emasculated vibe, what I had even more of a problem with is the very idea of FloTV, can’t we go for one dang second without a frigging television? Now you have to carry it around with you at all times? Eventually we’ll have them planted behind our eyes and there will be commercials in our dreams.

Suzanne

February 8th, 2010
2:15 am

All of you “Ladies” who have a kind, good-hearted, gentle man in your life who isn’t loud or violent and try to boss him around and belittle him because you know he would never black your eye belong in H ell.

Larry

February 8th, 2010
6:49 am

All my life, I’ve been told it’s a man’s life and that women were at such a disadvantage. If that’s the case, why are so many more women than men in advanced positions in all fields of endeavor? Men from the first half of the 20th century wouldn’t recongize the world today. What will women do when society does finally collapse and there are no longer any men who are capable of taking care of them?

first time poster

February 8th, 2010
7:23 am

No men left to take care of women? Who do you think have been taking care of the men all this time? LOL!

Evil White Male

February 8th, 2010
7:27 am

When I first saw the title of this column, I thought it was from the point of view of an objective observer who was noting the rather obvious jihad against the white male. It didn’t take long (and noting the gender of the writer) to see it was just another typical man-bash, likely from a another bitter man-less wonder, or bitter female with a tin husband. I think my wife gets more of a kick out of these bitter, undesirable cows than I do!

Lisa Love

February 8th, 2010
7:27 am

Men miss being able to live the double standard. Boo hoo! You want your wife to be a good wife and mother and you want all the benefits of marriage and life with a loyal woman but you also want to behave like a bachelor when she is not around and do everything you want to do. You can’t have it both ways. Be single or be married. Both are fine choices, but you can’t do both at the same time. If you don’t like life with a woman then don’t chose it. Stop whining!

motherjanegoose

February 8th, 2010
7:31 am

Interesting… I did not watch the super bowl and never have( imagine it)…so I would not have a clue about whether the commercials are appropriate or not ( now versus previous years).

For the record, my husband never carries my lip balm….LOL.

When I was growing up my Dad brought home ALL the bacon and made ALL the rules. My three sisters nor my Mom did not get a say in much at all….from the kind of donuts we might like to the color car my Mom might like to drive.

I think in the caveman days…the women cooked whatever the men brought home and did not request quail over venison…lol. They also did not have pretty napkins and matching tableware.
Of course, I could be nuts too!

To me, when I am bringing home the bacon too….I can to have a voice ( imagine it) in what is happening around here…maybe it is just me. Culture, hygiene and manners are appropriate today….methinks.

@ Larry….are you saying ( below) that someone GAVE these women their jobs or did they actually have to get and education and work hard enough to land the job themselves and live in a world where they do not need a man to take care of them:
“If that’s the case, why are so many more women than men in advanced positions in all fields of endeavor? Men from the first half of the 20th century wouldn’t recognize the world today.”

NickT

February 8th, 2010
7:48 am

The only safe thing group left to disparage are white men. There is zero outrage out there about the media and societal narrative that portrays white men as P**** Whipped, weak and stupid. It is a sad thing I thought we were all supposed to be equal but it seems some are more equal than others.

tired

February 8th, 2010
7:49 am

i am tired about the poor guys boo hoo-i am a single disabled mom who is told over and over by cops,judges and courts that somehow its my resposibility to force my abusive ex to pay his courtorderd child support and force him to be a good dad even after there has been documented physical abuse against me by him!they forgot to tell me in gwinnetts family violence unit where i am supposed to get my magic wand to fix everything!all responsibilty for kids automatically falls on the mothers and these men do nothing but take of themselves and use this for a big pity party for guys.i say all men need to take some responsibility and grow up-we all have more important family issues than having the newest ipod or driving the coolest car!BE A MAN AND GET RESPECT FOR YOUR KIDS AND YOUR IMPORTANT PART YOU PLAY IN YOUR FAMILY AND KIDS LIVES-GROW UP AND GROW SOME INSTEAD OF WHINING AND HIDING BEHIND YOU MAMA

Noelle

February 8th, 2010
7:51 am

There seemed to be a run on sexist ads this year, as if advertisers forgot that women watch the Super Bowl, too. And yes, sexist is the right word. Ads like those are lazy, uncreative, certainly not funny, and insulting to both men and women.

Al

February 8th, 2010
7:51 am

It’s not only commercials promoting this idea…TV shows are in on it too. Let’s not forget the recent sitcom craze showcasing the stern wife domineering over the idiot/slob/cowering husband. And there’s also Desperate Housewives, or as I like to call it: The She-Woman-Man-Haters Club/The Emasculated Man Show.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

February 8th, 2010
7:53 am

Hey AL — that was something King of the Hill tried to go against. Peggy always did the crazy, silly things and Hank was always the wise, steady one. I’ve seen Mike Judge talking about that.

Sgt Steele

February 8th, 2010
8:00 am

If the ads in question didn’t make you wonder “What in the Hell were they thinking?” then you better take some time and re-evaluate your understanding of the psychological impact of advertising!

Al

February 8th, 2010
8:03 am

NickT, your comment is probably correct. Caucasian men are the only demographic left can be negatively targeted without fear of backlash. Pay close attention to today’s ads — any time an ad features a character displaying questionable or bizarre behavior, especially if it’s suggestive of a lower-than-average IQ, most often that character will be a white male.

Jeff

February 8th, 2010
8:05 am

Why do you women want men to do all the things YOUR way? Seems like you’re the ones who are really afraid of a good, strong, independent man who doesn’t actually have to have a woman! See how stupid that sounds? It sounds just as stupid when it comes from you.

I thought the ads were kinda funny the way they poked fun at the emasculation. I think it IS time the tide turned and we poke back at the domineering woman.

Alecia

February 8th, 2010
8:05 am

I have to agree with Jason. It’s really irritating to see some advertiser with a team of psycholgists try to pigeon hole people. I saw an antipersp., targeted towards women the other day that said “For your emotional moments”. As someone with a degree in Marketing, this really annoys me. How stupid do they we are. Guys, there are a lot of women that like football.

Guys, if you are carrying bras around during the middle of the coveted game, then it’s your own stupidity. However, if the whole family is not into football, then sacrifices/compromises must be made. Why should the wife spend her afternoon watching the kids while the hubby sits in front of the tele drinking beer every Sunday for several months?

Larry, are you living under a rock? If you take a look at CEO’s of Fortune 500 Companies, you would soon realize that it is not a female majority. However, more women than men have college degrees. If a women is in power at a company it is usually because a) She’s the founder or b) She’s smart, innovative, and works hard. Just because you are not successful, does not mean it’s a gender issue.

mom2alex&max

February 8th, 2010
8:10 am

Interesting…When I was watching last night I saw it more as woman-bashing that man-emasculating.

Karen

February 8th, 2010
8:12 am

They are commercials, people!!…..if you dont like them, dont buy the product. I dont think they are meant to explain societies ills, just get a laugh!! My husband and I chuckled at these because as in all comedy there is a smidgen of truth blown all out of proportion. Lighten up.

JATL

February 8th, 2010
8:21 am

I thought they were funny for the most part, although I did find myself thinking that they really were on the whole “men are beaten down by women” tangent. They’re commercials! I don’t think they’re a treatise on the state of all manhood in the nation. My husband certainly isn’t beaten down.

OUTTAhere

February 8th, 2010
8:24 am

I hate my wife… Watching these commercials reaffirms that and now I’m leaving her!

PappyHappy

February 8th, 2010
8:28 am

Well, look at who IS NOT GOING TO COLLEGE these days! Under who’s tutelage were these males during their public school days? Look at the ‘wimpyfication’ of policy in general — especially, having big government provide for us! Does that answer your question??

ALK

February 8th, 2010
8:28 am

As for the Dove ad, my husband does NONE of those things and he just bought a new Porsche! How lucky is he? He says he’s just not whipped. Which is true – I would never whip him and he would never allow himself to be whipped. However, a few of those things are just common courtesy. Doing them does not make a man ‘whipped’.

saw it a long time ago...

February 8th, 2010
8:30 am

I have thought commercials were sexist against men for a long time. I’m gay, but all my straight friends are not stupid, fat, tacky, predictable, and inconsiderate like they are portrayed on tv commercials. It’s not right, it’s not fair, and I’m sticking up for my straight brothers. I have gotten into arguments with my mom because she said sexist things such as “the men can handle that”. Man Power!!!

Andre

February 8th, 2010
8:31 am

A happily married man or just a man in a serious relationship will do anything to please his wife or girlfriend. Even if it means to do a number of things he doesn’t want to do. Just smile and say “ok honey!” That’s all women want to see and hear. Anything else less is grounds for a “talking.” But the ads in question will come and go and women will not take anything from them. Just a good hearty laugh. It’s easy for a woman to say, “IT’S JUST A COMMERCIAL.” But, they had to get the idea from somewhere right?? Not all women are like this in the commercials, but I believe there are plenty, plenty, plenty women out there, that are like that.

Get a life

February 8th, 2010
8:38 am

Ummm… they’re commercials. They exaggerate and lampoon life to make a blatant pitch at selling the product. If you take any of them even halfway seriously (ESPECIALLY Super Bowl commercals), I hate to imagine what happens in your head when you view the commercials that prey on womens’ insecurities.

John

February 8th, 2010
8:39 am

Why is it that society and women demand things from us and when they get them it’s still not good enough? For the longest time all of us men have been painted people who spend all of our time chasing women, caring about no one but ourselves, watching sports, abusive, etc. But when we attempt to show that we can be loving, willing to make sacrifices, stick with one woman, etc, then we are seen as weak, emasculated individuals who need to be managed and will quickly get dumped for a guy who can be a jerk. Make up your minds on what you want from us, please.

duluth

February 8th, 2010
8:40 am

The Dodge ad and TV ad make men looked nagged. But the guy allows it. These commercials are not good because they are negative about women. The Go daddy ads also make women look bad…only show what we are suppose to be. But bottom line is the intelligent men and women will be able to understand these commercials and let them go……unfortunately since most of America is getting dumber these commercials will only continue to reinforce and manifest bad stereo types.

ABC

February 8th, 2010
8:41 am

Betty White rules!

Get a life

February 8th, 2010
8:42 am

@John

They want a guy who doesn’t whine on a blog.

joop

February 8th, 2010
8:44 am

I agree with NickT. The driving force here is political correctness. Ad makers like to poke fun at people, but the companies that hire them don’t want to offend special-interest groups. By process of elimination the white male ends up being the buffoon over and over again.

Michael

February 8th, 2010
8:44 am

At least ten years ago ads started showing some hot, intelligent girl with some doofus, unkempt guy in a t-shirt. This was mirrored in the above-mentioned sitcom craze. Was this to get guys to think everyone could get a supermodel? Probably. And then we get into the circular argument of whether life mirrors media or media mirrors life.

Actually, media copies minuscule parts of life, multiplies it about 10,000 times, and puts it out there so everyone thinks it is some kind of norm. Are 13 year old girls just suddenly sluttier then they were a generation ago? Or has a constant televised stream of Britney Spears videos (and her ilk) showed them how to dress, speak and act?

c.j.

February 8th, 2010
8:47 am

Well considering that most t.v. shows and ads depict men in a brainless fashion, to the point that children know better then them, this round of ads doesn’t surprise me. From the wee ages of childhood, men are taught to control their anger and lust, yet women are never taught to control their emotions. Maybe ads should focus on this issue.

s

February 8th, 2010
8:47 am

“y’all don’t know what its like, being male, middle classed, and white!”

Rick

February 8th, 2010
8:48 am

A good man doesn’t need to pushed around by his woman. He is already doing all the right things. And usually she appreciates him. If she doesn’t, the good man knows he is the one in high demand.

saw it a long time ago...

February 8th, 2010
8:50 am

And one more thing…I don’t want my nephews looking at this degrading crap all the time either. So far, they’re turning out right. Those commercials just send the wrong message. Also, try going shopping for little boys! It’s all about princess this and princess that. EVERYTHING is geared and marketed towards little girls and the boys are left out. I can’t even find decent coats for them to wear in the Macy’s. They get ugly gray, blue or brown crap, and my nieces get beautiful clothes to wear. I’m ready to see some “prince this and prince that” everywhere to let the little boys know they are special too. Ugh!

The Sky Is Falling!

February 8th, 2010
8:51 am

My God. Some of these commenters need to get the stick out of their hindquarters. They are just commercials meant to be exaggerations of real life for the sake of humor. Take a deep breath. Everything’s going to be fine. Better yet… go blow off some steam, however it is you blow off steam. High blood pressure can be deadly.

DB

February 8th, 2010
8:51 am

Sexist? Not really. I did have to wonder, though, why so many of the ocmmercials had guys wandering around in their underwear . . . that seemed more prevalent than in years past.

I don’t see how they are any more sexist than all the ads that show women breezing around their house with an inane smile on their face with their Swiffers, seductively tossing their shampooed locks in a guy’s face, or melting into a gob of goo when their Significant Other hands them a a box from Kay Jewelers or Jared’s.

They’re commercials. They made us laugh. Now — the test is, can you remember what the commercial was FOR? If you can, THEN the commercial has done its job. I just asked my husband if he thought that the commercials were “downtrodding” men, and he just shrugged and said, “They were all pretty unoriginal this year.” Our favorite commercial? The Google commercial, where you could track a guy’s life through his Google inquiries (Paris, long distance relationships, churches, how to assemble a crib . . . ) The one that outraged us the most? The Census Bureau ad. $3.5 million of our tax dollars on THAT dreck?!?!

Fillin' up @ Juniors

February 8th, 2010
8:52 am

The theme is correct, whose is being blamed is not. Wives don’t make weak men, men make weak men. Men who weezle out responsibility and don’t do whats right. They make themselves weak and place the responsibility on their wives to carry the load, and when it happens the women becomes the man. Ever seen a marriage where the women is the bread winner? The man is never in charge and thus must live with the consequences. When I got married I took charge, my wife is happier that way, I am happier that way. She can’t emascilate me if I am taking care of my business…only if I choose to emasculate myself will my wife take charge and I become like the men in those commericals. Don’t blame women for the trend blame men. And men, grow a pair and take care of your responsibilities….