american manhood

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.