Yes, this is a real commercial.

After seeing this on TV for the second time, I felt compelled to share it with all of you. At least, I figure, I won’t be alone in my rage against this company and whatever marketing “genius” came up with it.

The first time I saw this, I thought, “Oh awesome! This guy built a mousetrap-style machine that refills his drink! This should be cool.” Alas, I was disappointed, aghast, angered, etc. to find that instead, the solution to the empty drink glass is the girlfriend (wife?). What the fuck. How is this on television? Why isn’t the whole world pissed about this? I mean, the Miller Lite commercials they used to have on TV promoting the “manliness” of drinking Miller Lite (e.g. don’t be a sissy, girls’-pants-wearing light beer drinker!) seem tame and almost endearing compared to the outright misogyny of this gem. I mean, really? We haven’t moved beyond “women belong in the kitchen and/or serving my every need including thirst”? It’s 2012 for godsakes.

I mean, the idea of businesses like SportsClips thrive on the idea that women are meant to serve men both in deed and as eye candy (see also America’s favorite place to get buffalo wings and glimpses of boobies, Hooters). The problem isn’t only the proliferation of antiquated notions of what it means to be a Woman–that is, buxom, always sexy, kitchen- or service-centered, adorably dumb… the list goes on–but antiquated notions of what it means to be a Man. Commercials like this imply that part of being a man means treating all women like glorified servants and exclusively doing “manly” things like watching sports–and being unable to drag oneself away from such manly activities in order to groom oneself, because that’s for pussies. It’s not only women that should be outraged at commercials like this that appeal to undeniably sexist notions of male/female relations, likely located somewhere in the irrational amygdala.

I don’t want to suggest that we should be better than this. We are better than this and it’s about time we show it.

Manly Men

Apparently, being a man is everything.  It is fricking everything.  BUT, being brave is not being a man; it’s just being brave.  Sure, I like to say, “Man up!” or “Grow a pair!” as much as the next person, but I think we need to consider the implications of these little phrases.  These phrases imply that to be brave, we must tap into our inner-dude.  They imply that only men are brave.  For me, this just isn’t going to work.  If it takes balls to have balls, then I must have balls… right?

The thing is, I don’t have or want actual balls, but I’ll be damned if someone gets something I don’t because they do.  I certainly have figurative balls, or cajones, or “a pair” (of balls).  I’m brave.  I’m assertive.  I’m sick of people marrying these traits to masculinity.  Whatever happened to the whole “I am woman, hear me roar!” thing?  Women can be assertive, aggressive, brave and ballsy without being mannish or unwomanly.  Being brave doesn’t make me a bitch; being a bitch makes me a bitch.  I am still feminine when I am assertive.  I am still a woman when I’m knocking a man down a few notches.  Also, just because I’m destroying some dude in a debate, argument, drinking contest, arm wrestling match, wood chopping contest, four wheeler race or whatever I’m doing that day, it doesn’t mean I’m emasculating him.  I’m just beating him.  I’m winning.  He’s losing.  He’s still a boy and I’m still a girl.

 

Being tough shouldn’t challenge my femininity or anyone else’s masculinity.  I get to be a tough womanly woman.

When people say, “Man up!” they are telling someone to do the right thing, to step up to a challenge, to face their fears.  I can do all those things without manning up, I just do them.  Am I womanning up?  Am I chicking up?  What’s happening then?

I can do what a man does.  I can fight a man if I need to, and I have.  My friends can vouch for that.  I use a lot of f-bombs and call people dude.  It’s part of how I fight.

Chicks rule.  We don’t need to be dudes.  Listen to Jessie J.

Or, for a lesson in true masculinity, look at Neville.