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Choose your ‘ism

February 7, 2012

I’m a day late (and more than likely a dollar short) with my Super Bowl related post – primarily because I wanted to get a sense of the greater public reaction to something I noticed happening on the Twitter backchannel during the game.  To be more precise, something I noticed during the commercials.

It appears that a large number of women (and a sizable number of men) took a vehement dislike to the Go Daddy ad featuring Danica Patrick and another women “painting” the body of a seemingly naked woman. And various female talking heads on the newz channels yesterday morning expressed disgust at the Teleflora ad that appeared to ‘guarantee’ that sending a woman flowers for Valentine’s Day would most assuredly mean that some nookie-nookie was forthcoming. 

But just as I saw on Twitter (real time during the game) and in follow up commentary yesterday, reactions varied.  Some viewers were appalled by the Fiat commercial (coffee foam as sexual metaphor anyone?) while other folks were just about overcome with the vapors when they saw a naked M & M. “Appalling!”  “Degrading!” “This objectification of women puts us back 100 years!”

Interestingly enough, however, the same female commentator I saw on Monday’s newscast who took great pains to point out the inherent sexism in the Teleflora ad became positively giddy when she informed the audience how much she enjoyed the visual delights that were on display during the H & M commercial featuring David Beckham.  (as did I my friends, as did I).


It wouldn’t be the Super Bowl without ads that provoke strong feelings in the audience – cute dogs, chimpanzee co-workers or employees writhing on their desks.

So were this year’s collection of commercials indicative of lingering sexism? – “behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex.”  Or were they perhaps a reflection of feminism? – “political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.”

Certainly the men at the Super Bowl party got a taste of (eye) candy but at the same time, so did the ladies.  Equality… right?

Is the ‘ism in the eye of the beholder?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 7, 2012 8:05 am

    Hmmmm. That’s an interesting thought. Maybe is IS in the eye of the beholder, but SHOULD it be?

    I have been ranting about the ad aired by Michigan senatorial candidate Peter Hoekstra, where he used racism (in my eyes, anyway) to complain about the current senator’s spending policies.

    The candidate is a rich, white man from the highly religious conservative portion of the west side of the state, and he claims “There is nothing racist in this ad.” Not in his eye.

    So is it or isn’t it racist?

  2. February 7, 2012 10:38 am

    I thought most of the ads were relatively tame. Cute, but not over the top in any direction. Just…. cute.

    There was only a handful of sexually charged ads, and the M&M ad was just damn funny. The uber-ranting offended ones can hush… a naked chocolate character gets them going?… go march on DC or something…. you are obviously bored.

    I don’t get what Go Daddy is thinking. But frankly the teleflora ad was more offensive from a “really? THAT’s where you want to take it?” mentality.

    I’ll just thank H & M for that commercial from the bottom of my… heart.

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