Friday, July 16, 2010

the moronification of men

I find it hard to get worked up about this. Maybe because I'm not a man... but is any man's ego really hurt by being teased about his sex's incompetence in the kitchen or with paper work, or obsession with shed or car, or ignorance about women's toiletries? These are things that most men would agree don't matter much. Picture men as incompetent at work or in the bedroom and I think that damage might be done.

The argument is that men are making these ads and so wounding eachother. I think men are making these ads because they know they appeal to women. Seeing Dad as a moron when it comes to household tasks affirms mum in her position as domestic queen.

What do you think?


  1. Yes, and so, I'm more annoyed about it as a Christian than as a 'secular' person. Society doesn't really need to care about the issue, but we perhaps do...

  2. Ah, Simone, yes, it could be because you're not a man. The issue is about respect - arena is immaterial. The equivalent for us is to be treated as an air-head / incompetent when it comes to ability to drive, use a drill or screwdriver, know what to look for when buying a car or having it serviced...

  3. Well, one thought I had was...

    Women are constantly portrayed as sex objects in advertising media....and men are constantly portrayed as idiots in advertising media. Some women don't mind being portrayed as sex objects. Some men don't mind being portrayed as idiots.

    Does this make either portrayal any less demeaning, dangerous or sinful?

  4. And...on your latter point (for a more secular-ish argument)...

    Is it , well, fair that mum should be allowed "her own" sphere in which to excell (and to which male access is either barred or mocked), when feminism dictates that dad no longer has a sphere to call "his own"...(to which female access is either barred or mocked)?

  5. There are two targets - the ads which appeal to women byt making men appear incompetent (like the ads which suggest that buying KFC is the only way for Mum to get out of cooking) and these patronise men. Then there are the ones like the beer ads which are aimed at men, and give us a sense of superiority (we would remember the frying pan) while appealing at the same time to Aussie male self-deprecation. I find the first sort mildiy deflating and the second sort funny, but would be a lot more shattered if someone who actually knew me treated me like that.

  6. What Jon said.

    There is a context to the 'stupid man' thing. And individually each one doesn't hurt much, but there is the whole death of a thousand cuts aspect to it.

  7. Simone, a single ad isn't going to hurt anyone's ego. However, an ongoing pattern of ads with a similar message is a different matter.

    As Laetitia said, if women were portrayed as brainless sex kittens in every ad (which happened a lot in the early days of TV advertising) - that also sends a destructive message, and one I'm sure you are sensitive to as a woman and mother of daughters.