Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
We here consider Margot to have noble goals, although we think she’s often misguided. We identify with her because she’s a parent who seeks to take an active role in forming her childrens’ perception of gender roles, rather than passively allowing society to determine that for them, and as she recites her laundry list of objectionable societal propositions, we usually can’t find anything disagreeable. It would be good if more parents took an interest in this the way Margot does.
But the flare-up over here, in our view, was a huge mistake.
Let’s clear up a few things: Margot & all the people who share the offense she takes, may be entirely consistent in saying the image is “degrading” but I don’t see any of them protesting that it’s overly sexual; although there is an occasional use of “objectify(ing) women” which the careless reader may infer to have something to do with sensuality. And from wading in to the thread, I have the impression that the bulk of the anger doesn’t have to do with Chapstick putting the image up in the first place, it’s got to do with deleting comments about it which is a different thing.
Now, all that having been said: This campaign of hers, which was ultimately successful in persuading Chapstick to remove the offensive ad, was still a mistake. The message is not a helpful one, and ironically, it becomes even more unhelpful when you factor in that the initial pique was caused by indignity rather than sensuality. Just ponder it for a moment or two: The ad must go because the female has her ass stuck up in the air. “Objectification” is a complete falsehood; it is clear the viewer is intended to identify with the lady whose hindquarter points skyward, the message is one of “make sure you have plenty of our product because don’t you hate being in this position?” So if the ad must go because of the prominence of the posterior, and just a few among us now must labor to correctly infer the location of the new boundaries, the message that emerges is — females must be portrayed with dignity at all times. It’s a hard and fast rule. No exceptions. We’ll just have to learn to deal with it, like you can’t take a drag off a cigarette in the movies or drink an alcoholic beverage on television.
Which reinforces all of the unflattering stereotypes about feminists, as well as about women in general. Feminists look like cloistered, putrefying malcontents, living in a hermetically sealed world, scribbling down their irritations with this-and-that in spiral-bound notebooks, ready and eager to launch “campaigns” at the slightest offense, constantly embroiled in some tempest-in-a-teapot, sending out the shopworn broadcast of “how I hate this thing over here, come gather ’round and help me hate it.” As for women-in-general, they look…more irony here…like delicate, sensitive little waifs. Save the ridicule for the gents, fellow ad men, the chicks can’t handle it.
Worst thing is, though…and this is why I ultimately decided it was worth blogging…there’s no change here. None. As I pointed out already, anyone who’s seen a household cleaning product commercial sometime in the last 35 years knows that’s how it already works. Make sure the wife is using what we’re selling and the husband is using Brand X, so that in the last ten seconds of the spot, the female can be wise and the male is on the receiving end of the lecture. That’s a hard and fast rule, too. No exceptions tolerated. Why? Because it’s all about moving our crap. If the man is the one who has the knowledge and the woman is the one who has to be told, we’re not going to end up moving as much crap because, again, the chicks can’t handle it. How do we know that? Hah! You should see what happened on Facebook after we launched our “lose your lip balm in the couch cushions” campaign. We have the experience to back this up. Chicks are thin-skinned.
Suffice to say, I am unclear on how gender equality is achieved, or even pursued, with our ad people being encouraged toward this way of looking at the world. We are to think of women as strong, capable, resourceful and rugged, when the people whose job it is to sell us stuff — understand from their personal and professional experience that the opposite must be true? We have to show the gals as statuesque and dignified at all times or we’re given these P.R. headaches. Some simpering jackass uses a supercharged leaf blower to send his plastic lawn furniture tumbling while his frustrated wife whines to the camera about her migraine, and all is good. Dignity is a basic human right in advertising, but only for the “basic humans” with estrogen. Because woemyn have thin skin.
A real sea-change would be: Let’s move beyond the “women can do everything men can do,” and onward to “women can take everything a man can take.” Hey! What a revolutionary thought. Half a century of feminism; maybe it’s high time we got there.
Savor the victory, Margot, but you’d do well to be quieter about it. Save the champagne for something else.
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