This is my second
rant post for the day, but it’s because the world just seems extra ridiculous today. First we had the mouthy kid in Walmart, now we have this article. The article, for those of you who subscribe to the TL;DR philosophy, is about a milk campaign that was designed to draw attention to the fact that milk can reduce the symptoms of PMS. It features guys being terrorized by their hormonal wives/girlfriends, and apologizing for their supposed slip-ups during this sensitive time of the month. Then they offer them milk. The website for the ad campaign was http://www.everythingidoiswrong.org. All in all, a pretty funny (and often truthful) group of ads. Unless you’re a woman, apparently. Then it’s offensive and mean. So the milk people have pulled all the ads and apologized for being such insensitive, woman-hating jerks. *Palmface*
Before I state my case here, let me remind you that I am, in fact, a certified female who gets bear-like with hormones once a month. Now, having said this, I think it’s ridiculous that they pulled this ad campaign. First of all, it’s true – many women are damn near intolerable when they’re PMS-ing. I should know, because I am one. You can ask the Sloth. I’m pretty much a terrible, mean person for 3-4 days of the month. I’m sorry, but it’s true. I feel bad about it afterwards. Second, why is it not ok to joke about this? We have dozens of television shows that portray men as stupid, incompetent, or downright braindead. Homer Simpson? Fry from Futurama? Peter Griffin? Kevin James’ character from King of Queens? The list goes on, but they’re all examples of men who can’t function without the help of their smart, beautiful, competent female counterpart. And that’s just the TV shows. In between those, during commercial breaks, we are bombarded by more images of ignorant, knuckle-dragging husbands who do nothing but lay around the house and try to get out of doing housework or try to steal their wives’ dessert-flavored yogurts. Meanwhile, their beautiful, domestic-goddess wives just roll their eyes and then step in to help out their poor, incompetent husband.
This is not feminism. This is out and out male-bashing, but we don’t hear men complaining about that. Their treatment by Hollywood and Madison Avenue is far inferior to that of women, but women are the ones complaining about any tiny thing that could be perceived as even remotely chauvinistic. Perhaps that’s why they treat them better. Or maybe they’re trying to make up for past sins against women. But the women of today are not the same women of yesterday. We are highly educated (there are more female graduates from college than there are male graduates), working in almost every job that men work in (the only exception I can think of is Special Forces in the military, and that needs to stay male), and generally doing pretty well for ourselves (except for running off all of our potential mates by being so terrifyingly aggressive and dominant). And men of today are not the men of yesterday. They are more sensitive, more egalitarian in their relationships with women, and more willing to sacrifice and compromise so that the woman in their life can pursue her own career and other goals. And so their reward is for us to portray them as collectively dumber than a box of rocks. No wonder they think we’re crazy!
Is this ad campaign insensitive? Yeah, probably a little. But I’m not offended. You see I was blessed with this device called a “sense of humor” which allows me to laugh at myself and my gender and all of my/our idiosyncrasies and shortcomings. I think the milk folks need to unapologetically reinstate this campaign and let women learn to laugh at ourselves, and maybe women should go a little easier on the guys. We sure can dish it out, but it seems we definitely can’t take it.