Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Hypermasculinity to distance oneself from femininity

In advertisements these days, it seems there are the gendering of products that could be used for anyone. With the Dr. Pepper rebranding as having only 10 manly calories to razors that are only for male faces that somehow can't be used for female legs. The recent Summer's Eve commercial with a husband and wife talking while the husband is showering is a new ad showing how "male and female" products cannot be used by the other or anyone else who is not that assigned gender/sex. The husband accidentally uses the Summer's Eve wash as a body wash, and does not realize this "mistake" till the wife tells him about the awesome stuff in it for a woman's genitals. He then does "traditionally" masculine things like drinking raw eggs, working out, breaking concrete blocks, mowing the lawn and making a spartan looking helmet to wear while mowing. Here is the ad: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FczvmLnBTEs
This is supposed to be over done for comedic's sake, but it is yet another ad in a long line of ads differentiating "manly" things and "girly" things. One problem with this is anyone can use this body wash and can be used for other places than the genitals. Second problem is there are men with vulvas out there, and they can use it too, but this ad excluded some men from using it on a cisgendered premise of women have vulvas, therefore need this product and men have penises, therefore should not touch it. Third problem is the idea that those activities that are overly stereotyped are not representative of all men, since not all men have the same idea of masculinity, and some men can not perform some of those activities, due to some physical limitations, presenting the overly athletic able-bodied version of masculinity. Final problem is, is that this is yet another ad pushing hypermasculinity on men to push them further away from femininity and being complete opposite of females. Those stereotypes presented in these type of ads lead to men having eating disorders to bulk up and become muscular, and seeing dominance and being physical as the only masculinity. This leaves those not fitting into the cisgendered, muscular model of manhood then to feel insecure and may even be bullied and pushed to attain this ideal.

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