In “Boys and Men in Families”, Adams and Coltrane provide very interesting ideas on the role males play through their transition from boys to men. One of the significant themes is the ideal of separate spheres that places male and female into two separate categories. They explain that from the start, boys are taught of “masculinity as anything not feminine” through the enforcement of institutions like the family, school, workplace, etc. They are taught to be “strong”, show little emotion, and most importantly to not cry. If they failed to do any of those or showed any signs of weakness, they will be referred to as “sissies” or not being “man enough”. At a young age, they are able to recognize the power and privilege they hold in comparison to females as long as they fit the masculine behaviors.
Growing up in a patriarchal family, I was able to distinguish quickly the different spheres that I held in comparison to my brother and male cousins. My brother and male cousins were very loud children and their playtime usually consisted of wrestling one another. As the only girl in the family, I was usually forced to play with them. I joined them in the wrestling matches, which consisted mostly of me being choke-slammed. Although they allowed me to join in these wrestling matches, I knew that my older cousins often went easy on me because I was a girl. They would pick me up slowly and throw me lightly in comparison to the way they wrestled one another. Although I appreciated not getting hurt as much, I knew that the treatment I received was based on my gender.
While “Guyland” offered important insights on the role that men must fulfill in order to be considered masculine. He discusses several characteristics that make up a “real man” with some of top being “boys don’t cry”, “it’s better to be mad than sad”, and “take it like a man”. I find this reading to be slightly troublesome through the excuse Kimmel uses for boys when they are engaging in deviant behaviors. He discusses how men are suppressed into conforming to these deviant acts that they have little control over in order to maintain their masculinity. Many of these deviant acts include laughing and encouraging fights, making fun of others, and staying silent during sexual assaults, which should NOT be excused.
The reading “Male Consumer as Loser” fit in perfectly as it was time to watch the Super bowl. The reading discusses the changes that occurred in beer ads over time. During the 1950s-1960s, the beer ads consisted of mostly couples enjoying a beer together while the 1970s-1980s consisted of men performing labor activities with women in the background. During the 1990s and more recently, these ads have started to sexualize women. One of the Super bowl ads that I found most problematic was the Oikos Greek Yogurt commercial (which I have attached the link to). Throughout the ad, the woman’s movements are in a very sexual manner. At first she wipes off the yogurt with her finger and licks it and then moves onto kiss the yogurt off his lips. It is evident the first time when the man says, “Oops I did it again” and especially the second time when he spills the yogurt on to his pants that he wants her to continue her sexual acts. This interaction is a great example of how women are often portrayed sexually in ads targeted toward men viewers. Coincidentally in “Boys and Men in Families”, Adams and Coltrane mentions that oikos means family in Greek, which happens to be the name of the Greek yogurt brand in this ad as well. Instead of having an ad more associated with family, the ad portrays a man being pleasured by a woman. The ad ends with the slogan “Fuel you pleasure” to confirm that this is an ad targeted specifically for men. It would be interesting to see how these ads will to change as time progresses.
Dannon Oikos Greek Yogurt – The Spill