Man’s Last Stand

TV is for women.

It’s that time again gentlemen, all the splendor, the fanfare, the pomp and circumstance that makes the NFL one of the last bastions of American manhood – Super Bowl Sunday! You’ve earned it boys, today is YOUR day, ordained by the divine creator himself (why else would it be on a Sabbath?) to be reserved for beer, brats and belly-bucks. A day dedicated to unapologetic testosterone fueled manhood. We are MEN hear us belch,..pshhhhhhhht,..click,….

Hey, woah! Wait a minute,.. I WEAR PANTS! What the fuck? Who are these neckbeard herbs singing to in the middle of nowhere? These aren’t men they’re,..schlubs,.. Howie, Terry, Shannon, somebody, tell Dockers that the Super Bowl is for MEN,..no more of this crap OK? We need something masculine like a car commercial, yeah hit us with a muscle car,…pshhhhhhht, click,..

Yeaaaah,..nice sound of horsepow,.. Heyyyy,..wait a minute,…what the hell was all that crap about putting the toilet seat down? Clean up the sink after I shave? Carry your lip balm? Hey, I’m starting to get a funny feeling that maybe I’m being pandered to here,…lets see,…how about another car?…pshhhhhhht, click,..

Yep, definitely being pandered to here. It’s almost as if these advertisers know my wife is watching the Super Bowl with me,……pshhhhhhht, click,..

Wow,..I can’t take it anymore,..can someone just get me a beer? Please? A beer? They can’t possibly ruin a good T&A beer commercial,………pshhhhhhht, click,..

The above dramatization, while humorously inspired, was meant to illustrate a point that many in the manosphere will already be sensitive to, but far too few men are even aware of. One, perhaps unavoidable, problem advertisers have faced since the rise of overt feminization is the difficulty in reaching a male-centric audience in a female-centric society. Women are universally known as the primary consumers across virtually all demographics that matter to modern marketing efforts.

Women buy shit, and they buy shit in such volume and with such predictable patterns and frequency that it eclipsed men’s purchasing habits – and specific marketing efforts – over 2 decades ago. There are literally generations of advertisers and marketers who’ve never known a culture that wasn’t solitarily focused on and directed by the feminine imperative.

This has created a unique challenge for advertisers in this century in tapping into that male-centric marketing. Advertisers see untapped dollars in a male market, but how do they reach the male demographic in a media culture that’s ridiculed them for the last 40 years and praised the feminine above all else in that time? The natural answer is not to market to men at all, but rather the women they’re dependent upon to make the purchasing decisions for them.

You will rarely have a more blatant opportunity to experience this female-as-male purchasing dynamic than by watching the multi-million dollar commercial buys during Super Bowl Sunday. I would caution against Men in the manosphere simply attributing these spots to an ignorant misandry rampant in the advertising world. That’s the easy answer. Even your average plugged-in guy can see the male ridicule, but what’s more important is to recognize the method in the misandry. For instance in the Dove For Men commercial, we have a uniquely male, parodied experience coupled with a call to action to purchase Dove body wash – a product few men would buy for themselves. However the target audience for this commercial is the wives and women – the primary purchasers – in men’s lives to buy the product for them. Can’t reach the male demo? Get his Mommy wife to buy him what he needs.

Advertisers are also cleverly making plays to a shame based  Male Catch 22 – Man Up or Shut Up dynamic. As in the Dodge Charger ad, men are uniquely EXPECTED to suffer through a lifetime of servile misery to benefit women, but his reward is her allowing him to drive the car of his choice. Most women aren’t going to directly purchase a car for their husbands, but the inflection in this commercial is that her influence is what makes this car a reward for him.

If you ever had doubts about the veracity of the female-centric social Matrix we live in today, pay attention to the commercials you watch during the game on Sunday. Don’t take the content of the commercials at face value; that’s what women will do. Instead, ask yourself why did the producers choose that particular type of male to play in the spot? What’s the social message behind the commercial? What gender dynamics do the producers assume will resonate with their target audience? You may think this is over-analytical, but trust me, when a company drops $2M on a Super Bowl spot, they’ve put far more analysis into it than I can cover in a blog post.

44 comments

  1. That’s really nice analysis. The questions you listed at the end are really helpful too.

    I didn’t quite get the Dove commercial at first, since I’ve never used the product and wouldn’t ever buy it. But now I get it – the commercial is not for me.

    The charger commercial is perhaps worse than you think. For all the little things the guys go through, suffer through, they are allowed to get a car. Just like a little kid is allowed to get a snowcone if he behaves.

    And I hate the Miller Lite commercials. Every single one has a cute gal as the bartender. She is the arbiter of masculinity, and every time she gets to emasculate the guy. The guy just can’t do right and get her approval. One can only imagine the howling that would ensue if the roles were reversed, and a male bartender mocked a female’s pant suit or butch haircut, and said ‘woman up’.

  2. I carry a purse when I travel. People sometimes compliment me on my “carryall” (1970s Coach bag). I tell them straight up that it’s a purse.

    Of course, when I travel, that “ladies'” purse easily carries my nook, ipad, flip phone and Beretta, so there’s no concern of mine if someone wants to front or tease me for it.

    Honestly, I don’t watch the Super Bowl, unless I’m in Vegas or Costa Rica and have some bets riding on it. I heard on the radio today (news radio in Chicago) a “news piece” by a female reporter on how you can turn your Super Bowl party into an event like Christmas: swap gifts, have contests, share what you do for a living, etc.

    It’s a sickness, and I personally feel that connection to professional sports through TV watching is no different than video games, political support or any groupthink where a person wants to follow a leader who is “better” than them. I’ll go to games in person, mostly for business reasons, but I can’t imagine planting my ass on a couch for 4 hours with a bunch of cheap beer and cheaper pizza drinkers.

    Pass.

  3. That’s a funny pic there (the weight lifting really shows).
    When I was a kid I was socialized, without knowing it then, by female relatives when out shopping to hold their purse, then it was so often that finally I said no and they got upset but I still would not take it.
    When in school female relatives would purchase Smocker pants for me and goofy sweaters so as a young male I looked like an old yuppie, and a few instances I even went to bars dressed this way and would stand there (hey, this was the IN style back in the day but with no other males around to learn from and years BEFORE there was internet Game blogs, but dressed like this and with no awareness of Game I did NOT meet any women THEN). Finally, I figured out for myself through some rational thinking skills that this style is not attractive to women in those venues, so I donated them to charity and told relatives from now on I only wear stylish dress pants or jeans and in fact it’s better to never buy me any clothes unless it’s just a T-shirt and eventually that happened.
    I have female relatives who drive a Camry and have said I should also because it’s a safe family sedan, but I passed so now I’m sure I will meet LESS chicks (at least LESS of the divorced women with kids to put in it to take out for fast food, oh well that’s my loss). I have been considering buying a version of that Charger (although if I did and anyone brings up commercials then I would get rid of it so I may reconsider) for the days when I’m not driving a truck, however they didn’t show the end of the commercial where the tough guy gets home and his wife says “You bought that car without asking for my permission how dare you, I did not give you my approval to bring that car back to my house, take that back right now and only buy what I tell you to” and then he listens to her and does what she says.
    I have used that soap before because it was the only I could find that was unscented, not because it also said sensitive,…and everyone else says…SURE. Next, I’m going to find some ladies to pour wine over to see if it’s unscented, and I have now decided this is the way to go.

  4. This is a good analysis. Only hole I see is that shopping is a femcentric activity. Men who let the women do the grocery shopping (or delegate it to them) aren’t necessarily herbs and betas. (Clothes and beer are different.) But the last thing I want to do is spend my time pushing a goddamn shopping cart around the supermarket. If services like Fresh Direct could guarantee better quality and lower prices I’d be all over it.

    But I get the larger point, which is that women are seen to control the purse strings in a household, even when they’re not breadwinners. I’m not sure that’s changed much since the dawn of television.

  5. I carry a purse when I travel. People sometimes compliment me on my “carryall” (1970s Coach bag). I tell them straight up that it’s a purse. Of course, when I travel, that “ladies’” purse easily carries my nook, ipad, flip phone and Beretta, so there’s no concern of mine if someone wants to front or tease me for it.

    Concealed carry of a Beretta, in a purse, in Chicago, in Illinois? Funny guy.

  6. “Can’t reach the male demo? Get his Mommy/wife to buy him what he needs.”

    There’s a lot more propaganda in those commercials than just that. It’s the condescension and infantilization of men that’s the insulting common thread to these commercials. They presume that men are simplistic idiots easily distracted by a few baubles, toys, and bikini clad women but nothing more. They assume that all women need do is wave some beer, bikini clad women, and a crappy redux of a an American muscle car to make men happy and herd men into doing what women want. Hell, the narrative I took away are that men have now become revenue-creating pets, to pay bare paid attention to, thrown a few chew toys every now and then, and then expected to be obedient when their mistress calls. It’s a huge cop out relationship wise as well. These commercials promote the idea that women really don’t need to get to know their man, find out what drives him, and what his needs are. All they need to is bribe him with trinkets and that’ll keep him satisfied.

    It’s probably why I haven’t watched a super bowl for years, and why I watch less and less of college football. Hell, the only tv I watch now is TCM when the odd Western or gritty film noir flick comes on. Nightmare Alley comes to mind. The more American culture I see, the more I want to check out of that culture and into another one. Even if it’s the American one that disappeared 40+ years ago.

    The other subtext of the commercials that struck me is that seek to define what is acceptable male rebellion. Feel pissed about the status quo? Take off your trousers and walk in a field of amber waves of grain with your other ‘rebels’ without a cause. Is the Man….er…woman getting you down? Buy that piss-poor quality of a rerun of a muscle car that a flailing auto industry is making and some men’s skin care products and you’ll become the rebel you’ve always wanted to be. Or perhaps the suggestion of that commercial is that if men men really can’t beat the system, they should join it by acting like a chick. If this is what male rebellion has become, good God, how sad…

    One of the things that I really admired and despised when I lived in the UK were the supporters/hooligans of the soccer teams. They were rude, crude, vulgar, drunk, and belligerent. Yet, they were almost universally, overwhelmingly male and these elements kept the bulk of women away from the games. Perhaps that’s what is missing in American sports and enabling the feminization of venues that were traditionally refuges for men.

  7. @straightright

    Even more precise analysis.

    I typically question every movie and commercial that comes on, not with a critical tone, but with an inquisitive one. I ask the person next to me (male or female) what worldview/thought pattern the author of the commercial is operating from. Surprisingly (or not) it’s the women who agree with me most that this sort of covert sexism is taking place once I point it out to them.

  8. Want a glimpse of the cesspool that is American culture, circa 2012?

    Tune in to TLC.

    600lb men who have to have walls removed to allow them to leave their houses. Overweight and often unattractive mothers caking their 3 year old with makeup and parading them around a stage like they are a prize heifer at the state fair. 14 year old British trailer trash girls, half naked, gyrating to Shakira on the dancefloor at their best friends wedding reception. People living in roach infested houses that are piled shoulder high with rotting garbage, as nature slowly reclaims their decrepit dwelling. Women who drag their boyfriend and three of their chick friends to the grocery store to bypass “per customer” restrictions so they can add a few more bags to their 7 year supply of potato chips.

    Seriously, TLC is the septic tank of cable.

    I could also cook up a little rant about how it’s fucked up that women are even watching football in the first place, but honestly until the rest of you out there start to realize how much of an insult it is for your women to have such masculine hobbies I’m not even going to waste my breath.

  9. that dodge commercial is unreal. i almost can’t believe that i just watched that — except, yeah, i can.

    holy fuck.

    men as servants to women.

    and the name is perfect, too. man’s last stand.

    men are totally whipped, totally enslaved. except they can drive a dodge. what this says about modern american society, it’s just overwhelming.

    i mean, if it weren’t so true, i would cry.

    or something like that.

    wow.

    great post.

  10. Sam Spade, “(Clothes and beer are different.) But the last thing I want to do is spend my time pushing a goddamn shopping cart around the supermarket.”

    Nutrition is very important to health and fitness. You want someone else to decide that for you? You don’t find shopping for nutritious food something that you want to put considerable thought or time into but “clothes” (which you only need to do once a year at most) or beer (which is unhealthy and fattening) is something you consider important enough to shop for?

  11. “One of the things that I really admired and despised when I lived in the UK were the supporters/hooligans of the soccer teams. They were rude, crude, vulgar, drunk, and belligerent. Yet, they were almost universally, overwhelmingly male and these elements kept the bulk of women away from the games. Perhaps that’s what is missing in American sports and enabling the feminization of venues that were traditionally refuges for men.”

    Bullshit. American sports were always a family affair.

  12. “Perhaps that’s what is missing in American sports and enabling the feminization of venues that were traditionally refuges for men.”

    Refuge? Should Men have to find “REFUGES” in a world that THEY built?

    That mainstream society even considers the concept of a “refuge” for men says a lot about how it views the Male geder.

  13. “What I do is give my girl a shopping list, ans she better stick to it.”

    And when you don’t have a “girl”? Are you capable of doing things for yourself like a grown adult?

  14. “…unless I’m in Vegas or Costa Rica and have some bets riding on it….”

    “…flip phone and Beretta…”

    Am I the only one here who smells the odor of bullshit every time “A.B. Dada” posts a comment?

  15. Hi Rollo,
    I am new to the MRA and Men’s issues, yeah the beta guy who is waking up.

    I am seeking some suggestion, on books regarding Masculinity. So far i have come across only two of them.
    1) Fire in the Belly: On Being a Man by Sam Keen

    2) 48 Laws of power, R Greene, very relevant for professional life.

    I am tired of society trying to convince everything from Pussy point of view. Any ideas or suggestions.

    Lovelost

  16. “I am seeking some suggestion, on books regarding Masculinity. So far i have come across only two of them.
    1) Fire in the Belly: On Being a Man by Sam Keen”

    I read fire in the belly. I think it uncovered a few issues pretty well, but it was not very coherent or organized. It was largely anecdotal. In short, I wouldn’t highly recommend anything past the first couple of chapters.

    Instead, I would HIGHLY recommend “The Quest for Maleness” by Theun Mares. Life-changing seems an accurate description, to say the least. It gets to the core of issues and gets you to see the world with a very different perspective.

  17. Me too. But I think veracity is dispensable when the message is good. And sometimes he has good points.

  18. Pity he reeks of fraud then…I think the guy’s got an ego problem — hence his constant need to lie, exaggerate, and drop seemingly innocuous references to his (alleged) wealth, jet-setting lifestyle, entrepreneurship, etc….makes me want to every time I read one of his posts.

  19. Another reason is that consumer psychologists KNOW they can work women better than men. Everything that makes a woman function plays to the consumer psychologists. It’s easier to sell shit to the wife than the husband.

  20. I never said I was wealthy. One doesn’t need to be wealthy to acquire their kingdom. Travel is cheap, cheaper if you’re not tied down to the 4 anchors that most males chain themselves to.

  21. White men in Chicago have never had a problem with the gun laws as written. The worst thing that can happen during a police stop is that your firearm will be confiscated. Now, if you’re black or latino, you’ll likely get charged and taken off to jail, but the risk is low if you’re white.

    Also, no one will ask what is in your bag if you look professional.

  22. “Neckbeard herbs.” Hilarious.

    The commercials are repulsive. The ad industry is a step ahead, anticipating and directing the next trend, as is their profession. They intuit that there is a gathering backlash against the relentless mockery of manhood and the subsequent emasculation. So they go meta — they celebrate manliness but only sarcastically. They are preempting the backlash by making fun of those who might one day dare to criticize their fantasy of female omnicompetence as preposterous on its face. The betas get to chuckle at the truth of their servile existence while relieving through laughter the tension that would otherwise go revolutionary.

    The ads are artistically brilliant. Leave it to creative marketers to find the zeitgeist and make the most of a circumscribed canvas. They can’t make fun of women (at all), and they can’t make fun of men (for fear of agitating that revolutionary fervor that make women uncomfortable), so they make fun of men who might one day recapture their testicular fortitude enough to make fun of women.

    They’re funny, in more ways than one. They populate their fantasy world with only the herbliest of men, make fun of true manliness as if it has been safely and permanently domesticated, and then have their stooges interact with the “feminine imperative.”

    All the better, I say. These people living in their unsustainable dreamworld are going to be shocked as fuck by the wake-up call, like a child coming out of the womb. It’s going to be a real 2×4 to the face when they encounter their first man, who does not yield, or even find their cowardice amusing. Their entire lives have only prepared them for the challenge of the lisping NPR epicene with no upper-body strength, which is to say, they have never even met the type who will introduce them to their destiny, except in the movies. And the movies aren’t real, right? Men don’t actually kill and die for ideas anymore, right?

    Oh yeah, you’re such a MAN for beating me to a pulp! Didn’t your junior high teachers tell you that real men are obedient and passive? Didn’t you know that only ignorant people ever resort to force? Nobody taught you that respecting women means following their prerogative? I pity you. Didn’t anyone ever inform you, TOUGH GUY, that we’ve evolved beyond cavemen? How embarrassingly uneducated you are to engage me in fisticuffs! Amirite, ladies?

    Ladies?

  23. “He reeks of fraud…” says the guy who comments under a derivative of the pseudonym of another man, says the child whose main concern in life is somehow exposing the true inferiority of the men he can’t acknowledge as superior. Las Vegas and Costa Rica! That’s impossible!

    That behavior makes him a dependent, one who defines himself against the men who surround him, who is contingent on men demonstrably more accomplished than him. Somebody reeks of insecurity. I’ll take fraudulence over beta envy any day. At least con-artists have the balls to make their play.

    Let me try to illustrate the difference. Is A.B. Dada a fraud? The thought honestly never occurred to me. What in the fuck do we care? What kind of mindset is even disposed to caring about outing frauds and enforcing cred on the goddamn internet? Whose obsessive oneitis with a fellow commenter is so developed that he names himself after another man. If it weren’t so transparently omega, I’d think it’s latent-gay.

    Now I’m thinking he’s another commenter who switches up the username whenever he’s too intimidated to defend his claims. There is no honor and no shame among the anonymous faggots who pretend to be men online. Funny how even while playacting they can’t escape the gossipy girly bitchitude of their existence “IRL.”

  24. Aubrey Plaza is a piece of serious ass. Way too underexposed. And she can hang with real comedians (i.e., men). She’s so … talented.

    I haven’t seen Portlandia yet, but I have high hopes for it. They’re satirizing a class of people I thought were beyond parody. It’s on IFC, though, so I’m skeptical it will fulfill its promise.

  25. Mr response to the POS video:

    “I will bitch about political achievements made years before I was born. I will complain about you even though I married you and decided to have children with you and buy property with you. I will give in to my impulses more often than think with my reason. I will lose interest in you even though you haven’t changed. I will start seeing other men. I will get the kids and half the wealth. I will leave you poor, debt ridden and shamed. I control you after the divorce. I will flaunt my happiness.”

  26. Pingback: V-Day «
  27. This UK ad for chocolate has always wound me up.

    Imagine the feminist rage if the ad was made with two men arranging two sleeping women into ‘make out’ position.

  28. Chokemah-Stevie-TrunigStar (what ever usename IP you prefer) so long as you use a IP mask and multiple email accounts I’ll consider you a troll.

    Stick to a name, own your shit.

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