What Liquor Ads Teach Us About Guys – Feminist Frequency

What Liquor Ads Teach Us About Guys

June 22, 2010

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Author:

Anita Sarkeesian

Executive Director and Buffy the Vampire Slayer Enthusiast

Created for and originally posted at Bitch Magazine’s Mad World Virtual Symposium

Liquor ads capitalize on some of the worst (socialized) masculine traits, glamorize them, and sell these behaviours back to us – encouraging and promoting sexism.

Related Links and Articles:

For full video transcript click here >>

Created for and originally posted at Bitch Magazine’s Mad World Virtual Symposium

Liquor ads capitalize on some of the worst (socialized) masculine traits, glamorize them, and sell these behaviours back to us – encouraging and promoting sexism.

Related Links and Articles:

Transcript

Intro song: “Don’t sell daddy anymore whiskey, I know it will take him away.”

I often talk about women’s representations in popular culture but I think its important that we talk about men and masculinity as well. To paraphrase bell hooks, men aren’t oppressed or exploited by sexism but they do suffer as a result of it.

Advertisers spend billions of dollars annually to make sure that audiences consciously and unconsciously feel an emotional desire to buy their products.  This means that male representation often are of sexist jerks and liquor ads are a great example of this.

Hey men according to television all you have to do to get the ladies is pretend to be emotional, you know, instead of actually expressing honest emotion.

CLIP: Jim Beam Ad
Man: I am so so sorry, is he bothering you.
Women: no, no, no, awwwww

Woman: Is he yours?
Man: ya, he’s my first mate

Women: Where did you get them?
Man: I rescued them from a shelter
Woman: Aw, you did that?

Man: Get the lab

And for you married men, here’s a tip on how you can trick your oblivious wife into doing what you want instead of, you know, actually telling her how you feel.

CLIP: The Wiserhood Ad
Husband: What is she thinking?
Wife: Oh wow, that looks great, I love it. Ya
Husband: I love it too but look at the hole I just found right there
Wife: Oh no, I didn’t see that, that’s awful
Husband: I guess we’re not going to match, again, this keep happening, it’s a good try.
Wife: Such a huge hole
Husband: I guess I’ll just go with this

Voice over: Welcome to the society of uncompromising men, welcome to the Wiserhood.

Advertisers attempt to convince men that manipulation is the only way to engage with women and this leaves women represented as oblivious and unaware of the deceit.  I mean it would be totally ridiculous to maybe, like, communicate honestly.  These ads are clearly telling men that it’s okay to manipulate women in order to get what they want.

If men aren’t learning how to manipulate women, they’re learning that women exist to be displayed, judged and evaluated.

CLIP: French Music
Voiceover “Some perfection is debatable, some is not, Patron”

And objectifying women is just another amusing past time because you know, when were walking down the street, were just there for your visual pleasure.

CLIP: Instrumental Music
Man 1: So the Dawson file, tell me about it
Man 2: The closings in Bo — ston, so get your game face on
Man 1: It’s on

Men: Happy Birth — Day, alright

Voiceover: Guys never change, neither do we. Jim Bean. The bourbon since 1795.

Guys never change and neither does the offensive advertising. Liquor ads take the worst possible masculine traits, repackage it and sell it right back to them continuing this cycle of sexist socialization.  It is a control mythology, a story which assumes this behaviour is natural and will never change.  It promotes and encourages men to continue this behaviour and creates and environment where women have no choice but to accept it.  Showing groups of men engaging in this behaviour repeatedly over many advertising campaigns creates a space in which patriarchal norms are encourages and promoted.

We have to rewrite the narrative and change the story, to one where men can, do and are changing.