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GIRLS IN THE TARGET: COMMERCIALS AND FEMALE SUBJECTS

On News Radio 780 WBBM in Chicago I have heard some ads lately that have me rather disturbed and raising caution flags regarding how the ad industry targets women and some aspects about female behavior.

One ad in particular is very poorly written and in very bad taste, that for United Health Care. Some guy talks about his daughter and then in regards to keeping up with her having to keep up sooner or later with his own health. Then there is the insurance or health care system selling spool and the guy then says “but she is still going to give me a heart attack” and seems to snicker a little bit. That is horrible and has nothing good about it.

NO GOOD, and EXTEMELY TASTELESS.

And then there is the ad about a mom whose daughter has always earned her undivided protective care, from the birth room to the car seat to the point where the now –teenage girl is going to start to drive a car. The woman sounds so distraught at the thought that her precious princess is now going to start to drive “a real car”. And she sounds so terrified, so hesitant that a girl is going to be on the roads. Well folks who wrote that ad, there’s a news flash for you. WOMEN DRIVE.

What else does she expect the young lady to drive, a gorilla? OF COURSE SHE IS GOING TO DRIVE A REAL CAR, an actual automobile made of metal, rubber, thousands of moving parts and glass and rear-view mirrors. Now that ad does have a positive point and that is the two ladies are going to agree not to text and drive, so there is some family harmony and that is great.
Then there is the ad about the dad getting his daughters started in business and they have to tell him to quit being a bug about having a website. The girls would probably know more about how to design and maintain a web page than the man! Women do these things, you know, mister ad man. And girls do more than run lemonade stands, folks.

Women drive racing automobiles, they maintain cars, they fight fires and they are police officers on patrol IN CARS. They are first responders, they are airline pilots, and they are part of boat crews- they are tough as nails when they have to be on land, in air and on the seas. Anyone can be tough and anyone can be nice, and woman can do anything men can do; we can be astronauts and flight directors, fighter pilots and army officers.

As for Wal-Mart and their “real mom” gimmick, every mom is a “real” mom and most mothers are good moms… mine certainly is. What is “real” supposed to mean here anyhow? People are real, human beings living and breathing are “real”, so what is the angle going on? The Internet ads showing moms doing this and doing that do not get my attention save to ignore them and go on to other things. Women were “liberated” a long time before that angle got going.

Perfectly fine if a mom wants to go to work outside the home, or stay at home with a business or let her husband do all the work while  she tends the household and the kids as the TV moms did in the classic shows of the 1950’s and 1960’s. Women can do whatever they want.

Only the situation is that if we do the same work as the men we need to get equal pay and the same consideration as the guys. If we have to lift weights to do the job then we need to lift the weights; if we need to sharpen the knives to do the work then get it out and sharpen the knives already. Ladies if you have to put on that firefighter’s gear and climb that ladder then go out there and show those guys you can tough it up that hundred foot tower of steel. GO GET ‘EM. If you need to put on that racing suit and helmet and squeeze into that car for the qualifying run, if you need to take the flight lessons, the sports practice, the police academy entrance exam… GET OUT THERE.

And tell those ad people to take their chauvinistic approaches and talk of girls in the light of health problems, hesitancy, and being stupid about business elsewhere, or tell those people you will not give them any of your business but will in a way “give ‘em the business”.

Divi Logan, Chicago, 2013.

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