Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Absurdities of Advertising

Or, just one in particular.

A lot of commercials, especially for women's products, have a message like this: "We ALL know we have this EMBARRASSING problem, and here's something we can do now to fix it!"

For example: "We ALL know we have PUBIC HAIR that grows in such a way as to stick out of underwear or bikini bottoms, and here's something we can do to fix that problem!"

My question: If we ALL have this "problem," then why is it a problem?  Isn't it NORMAL, then?  And if it's inappropriate to display pubes, like if they're sticking out of your bathing suit, shouldn't bathing suits be changed to cover those areas better?  Shouldn't it be something that we're not all ashamed of because. It's. Normal?

Oh, patriarchy.  You are just so frustrating.


  1. "Oh, patriarchy. You are just so frustrating." So very true. Just stopped by from Shakesville, hi!

  2. I'm trying to remember the name of the 1960s sexologist who defined "frigidity" as "inability to climax by vaginal penetration alone". If you needed clitoral stimulation (or any other kind) to come, you were frigid. Which meant that the category of "frigid woman" encompassed the majority of women. Which in its turn meant that normal was wrong.

  3. Oh, the patriarchy is to blame, huh? You mean the one that makes women buy these products because they have no free will and no choice but to do what they're told by advertisements?

  4. It takes awareness that you have a choice to make it, JQ, and patriarchy does its best to keep that from happening.

  5. Ardwynna, by what means is "awareness" being kept from happening?

    As a feminist man (no contradiction) I have to say that society as a whole, and the attitudes of women as reflected in advertising, are more to blame. I worked for some time as the executive assistant of a (female, btw) Marketing Director at a consumer products giant, which conducted focus groups of the target audience: women, whose comments like "the man acts cute" or "I don't like what the mom's wearing" and others that, to my gay eyes, seemed often to criticise deviations from social norms of gender, etc.

    The problems of inequality are too complex and pervasive to be dismissed as due to "patriarchy".