Monday, 4 July 2011

Rules for being a Man

Hey guys. Listen up. You may have noticed some products made specifically for you recently. Think Beer (ok that's an old one,), Man-trol, Yoghurt and Bread. Now you might mistakenly think you can drive like a woman, and eat women's food, but you would be sadly mistaken. If a 'man-version' of a product is available, you must consume it, or eek, you might actually be a woman.

Helpfully these man-only products give you strict rules to follow to be a man. If you haven't figured it out, don't worry I'll make it clear for you men.
Men - don't drink trim coffee.Don't blow dry your hair. Don't have a man-bag. Don't cry. And don't eat yoghurt unless its man-yoghurt, cos yoghurt is only for women.
Oh wait. My husband has done all of the above things. Did I mistakenly marry someone who is not a real man?

Ok, enough of the sarcasm. And I realise that these adverts might be tongue-in-cheek. But just because something is *obvious* in its wink wink nudge nudge capacity, doesn't mean its not sexist.

Each ad seeks to normalise ideals about masculinity (and in turn what females are not) that are damaging for men and women. Once again, by gender alone, men and women are boxed into social conventions that are harmful, not to mention random (men can't eat yoghurt??). It creates and perpetrates false stereotypes and tropes in order to make a market for a new product. (This is done all the time, not just in these examples.)

I'm hoping to look into more depth soon about the ways media portrays the sexes/genders. I've recently been wondering if these common stereotypical portrayals of men and women began somewhere (perhaps close to something real,) but now these stereotypes have become the informants to new generations of how to act and live our lives. Instead of society informing the media, is the media now telling us what is real, normal and accepted?


  1. Could these not just be marketing strategies and not social commentries? ie:
    Man-trol attempts to convey a positive spin on driving safely.
    Mammoth is a brand that has built it's image on jesting with and at societies view of manliness, to say it is seriously conveying this message is maybe a stretch? If not atleast an invalid marketing scheme...

    There is alot worse out there, think any shampoo or soap...

  2. I think they can be marketing strategies AND social commentaries. I know there is so much worse out there(thinking of the old BK ads with girls in bikinis, and current subway ads, with girls in a hot tub, for two quick examples..)

    I guess what I was trying to show here is that even the ads that are 'less obvious' or offensive can still be portraying something as a stereotype, and we need to be able to question what the media presents to us as 'normal.'


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