What is the reason why ad agencies and TV producers do this to men. It sells - why else. Did you know that women make about 90% of the buying decisions? Whose fault is that? We men are good delegators but it comes at a price. Advertising agencies and TV producers target the buyers of products and to do this they denigrate men and praise women. It is so patronizingly simple. Make the woman look good and she will dutifully believe it and purchase the product.
Its time for more men like Don Dymond and Jeremy Swanson to stand up and tell these folks we will boycott their products and not allow them into our homes. Paper towels can bio degrade in the humus out back just nicely and after a one time of laying down the law about appropriate purchases you can be assured they will not be show up again in a home where a man is resident. MJM
Saturday, June 20, 2009
When it comes to television advertising, it's open season on fathers
In commercial after commercial on TV, the image of the modern husband and father is one of the buffoon -- trapped in a shed he built without doors, staring blankly at spilled juice, gorging on dog cookies until his ever-capable wife comes to the rescue.
Such ads are a mainstay because they work: They make viewers laugh, and they sell. And, also, critics argue, because such stereotyping remains socially acceptable.
"WASP men are the greatest target in advertising. The reason I say that is they are the only safe target in advertising," said Terry O'Reilly of Pirate Toronto, a leading audio advertising firm, and host of The Age of Persuasion, a CBC radio show.
"When you make fun of a white, Anglo-Saxon male, husband, dad, you don't get a single letter of complaint."
In his 30-year career in advertising, Mr. O'Reilly has never received a letter from anybody offended by the gentle fun he pokes at dads.
But in an age when fathers are expected to take on a greater role at home--changing diapers and clipping coupons, while also earning a paycheque -- portrayals of Dad as a bumbling fool are troubling to those who would like to see more equality in the domestic realm.
"It's deeply sexist, but what's even more troubling is that it's invisible as a form of sexism," said Dr. Kerry Daly, who runs the Fatherhood Involvement Research Alliance at the University of Guelph.
"They laugh, and it's funny, so there's the licence to laugh without the concern for the impact that it has. And I think it does have a significant impact, in continuing to reinforce negative behaviours associated with fathering and men's behaviour."
Fathers' rights advocates have begun boycotting companies that run ads they deem offensive. Since 2004, the Advertising Standards Council of Canada, the advertising industry's regulatory agency, has upheld seven complaints against advertisers accused of treating men unfairly.
In one of the cases, a father in Calgary filed a complaint against home-improvement store Rona. The spot showed a female customer lamenting that her husband does not help around the house.
A female salesperson responded, "They're all like that, aren't they?" The advertising council deemed the clerk's comment "disparaging" because it implied all husbands are lazy.
Such depictions of men frustrate Don Dymond, a fathers' rights activist and chemical engineer in Fort St. John, B. C. One night last January, he sat in front of his television and took notes as he watched how often men were portrayed as "smart," or "dumb" or "neutral." Tallying his notes, he concluded the ads portrayed men as dumb five times more often than women.
One of the offenders in his admittedly unscientific survey was Bounty paper towels. In the ad, a man and his son watch spilled liquid seeping toward a rug, as a glass still lays on its side in front of them.
As they debate how many paper towel sheets it will take to clean up the spreading mess (three-or four-sheeter?), Mom capably settles the debate, ripping off one sheet of paper towel and walking over to clean up.
"Once you open your mind to it, and you sit and you watch every single commercial on TV, anybody would start seeing this," Mr. Dymond said. He fears the effect they will have on his young sons. "What message are we sending out? ... If none of this turns around, what do we think it's going to be like in 20 years?"
Alison Thomas, a college professor of sociology in B. C., ponders the same question. Her own husband often cringes when offending ads flash on their television screen.
For years, Prof. Thomas has studied the depiction of parental roles in Mother's Day and Father's Day cards.
Her research, gleaned from studying hundreds of greeting cards, shows that fathers are typically characterized as flatulent, lazy shirkers who are subordinate to their wives and flounder with household tasks. Mothers, on the other hand, are portrayed as always there, always busy and always right.
Such humourous messages could have far-reaching consequences for both genders, Prof. Thomas said.
"It reinforces for women and men alike the idea that this really isn't men's normal home turf, that they're not able to be good at it, and therefore, why bother?" Prof. Thomas said.
"As a feminist, I find that problematic, because while it appears to be empowering women -- saying women are superior, women are supermoms, they can do everything, men can't really do this stuff -- what's the outcome going to be? That women carry on doing it all."
A father is helping his daughter do Internet research. "So it's kind of encyclopedia-ish," the father says. "It is an encyclopedia. No ish," his daughter replies, unfazed. The man's wife enters and asks whether he is going to wash the dog. He agrees to the chore, but immediately turns back to the computer, saying he is helping his daughter with a school project. The daughter sends a pleading look to her mother, begging to be left alone. The man's wife calls him away.
A woman arrives home to hear a buzzing and a squeal from her husband, who is upstairs. She finds him in front of a mirror, tattooing a backward lucky "7" on his chest in the mirror. When she tells him the tattoo is backward, he laughs, shakes his head and says, "No, it' isn't." She widens her eyes, says OK, and leaves the room. Panicked, he turns back to the mirror, in which the image appears the right way. "Phew!" he says.
A man asks his family if they want to go camping. The spot then shifts to a dream sequence of what the mother envisions the trip to be: The husband burns himself on a campfire, sticks his fingers together with marshmallow goo, stumbles on the rocks and hits himself in the face with a canoe paddle. The wife then visualizes herself applying Polysporin to his wounds, smiles and agrees to go. The children cheer.
A woman stroking her dog calls Pepto-Bismol and reports, "I want to know if we're covered. Last night, Rex got into everything ... chips, tapioca, ice cream, leftover moo shu and, of course, dog treats." When the company's clerk says they do not cover dogs, the shot widens to reveal the woman's husband groaning in an easy chair, holding his stomach. "Oh, no, Charlie is my dog. Rex is my husband," she says.
BOUNTY PAPER TOWEL
In the ad, a man and his son sit watching spilled liquid seep towards a rug, as a glass lays on its side in front of them. As they debate how many paper towel sheets it will take to clean up the spreading mess (three-or four-sheeter?), Mom comes in and settles the debate, quickly ripping off one sheet of paper towel and walking over to clean up.
A father passing by a Subway shop with his family notices a sign for a new sub and asks if he can get one. "Not now, Chris is late for his practice," the wife says, stroking the hair of her son, who is holding a soccer ball. The husband begins to beg and plead with his wife and throws a childlike tantrum, stomping his feet and putting his fingers in his ears while yelling, "I want that Subway sandwich now!" The man's son tells him to grow up. "You grow up!" the husband retorts.
© 2009 The National Post Company. All rights reserved. Unauthorized distribution, transmission or republication strictly prohibited.
Reader Discussion Post a Comment
MikeMurphy, 08:53 AM EDT · Monday, June 22nd, 2009
Even though it is men who have invented almost every important thing, explored and discovered every corner of our planet, have fought most every war and died to for freedom we are treated like trash. Did you know that women make about 90% of the buying decisions? Advertising agencies and TV producers target the buyers of products and to do this they denigrate men and praise women. I am off all of the products listed nor will I buy a Subway item for my children until these ads are gone.
Morum, 10:18 AM EDT · Monday, June 22nd, 2009
No, I dont laugh - I think it is disgusting the way men are 'put down' all the time - what happened to respect - I will continue to boycott the products.
KindBigot, 01:37 PM EDT · Monday, June 22nd, 2009
Warning, I am about to violate section 13 of the Human Rights Act. What kind of men are so mortally offended by petty commercial stereotypes? Grow up. Let's not heighten the level of pathetic indignation. Do what men have always done: set an example. Women may look good in pant suits, but unless it's a Kilt, or you seriously get off on it, take off that damn skirt.
Mike from Saskatoon, 02:33 PM EDT · Monday, June 22nd, 2009
This is all part of the result of our societies rabid attack on all things traditional. North American (exc. Mexico) culture was traditionally white anglo-saxon where males dominated, so now it is ONLY ok to attack white Anglo-Saxon males. It was traditionally Christian, and so the only religion that it is acceptable to mock is Christianity. Why is it that such sexism, when targetting women, generates hate crime tribunals, but when it targets men generates nothing but laughter?
nationalposter, 02:37 PM EDT · Monday, June 22nd, 2009
The sexism rampant in the media is just more feminazi social engineering that is destroying Canada and destroying relationships. If men are not respected, they will not act in ways you want them to...The conclusion to the article is correct and works against women in the long run and only engenders contempt between the sexes. "Women Can't Hear What Men Don't Say". Read it. Boycott companies that are sexist like RONA and BOUNTY and SUBWAY.
JJRoss1, 03:02 PM EDT · Monday, June 22nd, 2009
Why is Jennifer Lynch et al. not all over this sexist behaviour? Surely somone in her office could file a complaint, after all that is their method of operating.
nationalposter, 03:10 PM EDT · Monday, June 22nd, 2009
I called JACK FM in Calgary when I heard them disrespect dads on the air last week...We must hold the sexist establishment accountable for their unacceptable behaviour. Also, speak out against feminazi supporters who imply you are too sensistive, want you to keep your mouth shut and be silent as they assault your dignity and disrespect you. Don't buy sexist Hallmark cards either. FIGHT BACK.
IanG, 05:10 PM EDT · Monday, June 22nd, 2009
I agree with this story. This trend is a serious problem. We shouldn't have to be defending abuse. We have been told abuse is wrong. It is. Not only when someone doesn't like it. If I can abuse my wife and she doesn't complain, is that O.K?
Denis Pakkala, 08:18 PM EDT · Monday, June 22nd, 2009
Thank you Mary Vallis for actually writing about this in the national media, although the National Post is probably the least biased against men in the media. It must have been father's day because all of the other 364 days of the year, all we hear about is women's problems and how men are to blame.