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by Julia

First of all, congratulations to the New Orleans Saints. A great game, and I couldn’t think of a more deserving city. Also this:

The Super Bowl, unfortunately, is not just about the game. The commercials often dominate the news cycle the following day more than the results of the game itself. This year’s ads seemed less funny and more sexist than in years past.

Jezebel has a good summary up of some of the particularly unsavory culprits. Also, see Elizabeth’s previous post for a sweet flow chart. Not surprisingly, the majority of the offenders are car and beer manufacturers. The worst ad, in my opinion, was from FloTV.com (not gonna link here), in which a man was rendered “spineless” by his wife and *horror* prevented from watching the game because he was shopping with his wife. I was also disappointed in Dove for creating such a sexist ad depicting more stereotypes than I care to mention. This was especially sad given Dove’s fantastic Campaign for Real Beauty that works to combat these very constraints on women. I guess creating Dove for Men necessitates washing all other efforts for gender equity down the drain (pun intended).

Jezebel also published before the final Bud Light ad aired. This one depicted a woman’s book club discussing a book in which “two women are thrust towards confronting the hardships of war.” One woman’s male partner enters the room with his buddies and proceeds to sexualize the possibility of “two women” and the word “thrust” in one sentence. He also expresses shock at the idea that a group of attractive women could actually read (“I’d like to hear you read some words,” he says to one of the women.) All of the women look on disgusted while the men consume all the beer and cheer about how great book club is for them.

I was underwhelmed by the infamous Tim Tebow ad. I echo Tracy’s sentiment of “that’s what all the fuss was about?” Honestly, I’m much more disturbed by some of the aforementioned ads, or the creepy kids singing about foreign debt in a suspiciously Tea-Party-esque spot.

This year’s ads carried a very overt theme of emasculation at the hands of women (see Elizabeth’s post), as though men are suddenly under attack in our society. This mirrors the current trend (parodied fabulously by The Daily Show last week) in which men, when faced with the possibility of even a semblance of gender equity in the workplace, rush to assert themselves against the onslaught of female domination. 40% of the Super Bowl audience is now women, yet this year’s ads were so overtly sexist, one would almost think the companies did not care what their female/feminist consumers thought. Newsflash: they don’t care, and that’s because they don’t have to. Y’all know my rant on sexism’s inherent link to capitalism, but suffice it to say, this stuff still sells, revealing a deeply systemic sense of patriarchy. Where is the uproar about CBS allowing blatant sexism in advertisements? That’s “advocacy” if I’ve ever seen it – advocacy for the reinforcement of a destructive system of male hegemony.

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by Elizabeth

If you watched tonight’s Super Bowl– or, like me, put the game on mute until the commercial breaks- you were probably pissed off.  It seems this year’s big trend in advertising is what Jezebel has deemed the “woes of bros” who have been emasculated by their claustrophobia-inducing, hyper-feminine, worth-less-than-tires girlfriends.  I know I just can’t wait to buy these products!

More analysis of these blatantly sexist and just plain annoying ads is on the way, but in the meanwhile check out Lauren Wick’s brilliant flow chart to determine “if Super Bowl commercials are helping you be all the man you can be”:

Stayed tuned and congrats to the NOLA Saints!

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by Julia

I’ve spent the past three days snowed in following an epic 30 inches of snow here in the DC area. This translates to lots of movies, food, alcohol, and reading. Here are some highlights:

Epic snowball fight on McKeldin Mall here at UMD.

DCist has lots of pictures from Snomgasm 2010 in the nation’s capital.

The Daily Show on the plight of men in this new, post-patriarchal society. [sarcasm]

Jersey Shore beauty lessons. Genius.

A list of the most influential feminist texts, courtesy of Feminist Philosophers. There could definitely be more additions, but a good start for sure.

Definitely going to check out this book, I Don’t Care About Your Band: Lessons Learned from Romantic Disappointments. The Miss Piggy analogy is great.

Carla Fiorina’s hilarious campaign ad. Politics could use a dose of humor like this.

In the “really?” category, the Olympic Committee refuses to allow women to participate in certain events based on potential damage to their vessel status. Charming.

Jaclyn Friedman tears it up regarding sexism and the Super Bowl.

If filmmakers directed the Super Bowl.

If you haven’t checked out the British tv show, Skins, you really really need to.

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by Elizabeth

Planned Parenthood has released a fabulous video response to the notorious Tim Tebow Focus on the Family advertisement that is slated to air during the Superbowl. The Planned Parenthood ad features former college and professional football player Sean James and gold medalist Al Joyner delivering a beautifully feminist message:

“Only women can make the best decisions about their health and future…We celebrate families by supporting our mothers. By supporting our daughters. By trusting women.”

This message of choices– and the acknowledgment that Mrs. Tebow’s decision not to terminate her pregnancy was a choice itself- is clearly a direct response to the criticism the Tebow ad received.  Sure, Focus on the Family is anti-choice, but the push to pull the ad is counter-productive. What both Focus on the Family and  Planned Parenthood are expressing is the need to “protect the right of women like Pam Tebow to make their private reproductive choices.” And hurrah to Planned Parenthood for doing so in a positive, pro-choice manner!

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