Messner & Oca, Adams & Coltrane, and Kimmel

Karen Dayanna Cardona 


The super-bowl just passed and as scrolled down my Facebook news feed I could not help but notice the large amount of beer boxes and large amounts of greasy foods such as extra large pizzas and buckets of hot wings that my male friends were uploading. One of tweets on my twitter even read “ beer, football, wings, and bitches!! What else could I ask for”? This shocked me, the fact that women were placed next to objects, as a form of commodity was simply disgusting. While reading Messner and Montez de Oca I realized how they mentioned that the Super Bowl ads target an audience of boys and men, the Super Bowl then becomes a space for men to drink, prove their manhood and objectify women.

The categories are infinite, according to Messner and Montez de Oca, in the group of the Super Bowl watchers there are four types: losers, buddies, hotties, and bitches.  Here the only time in which the woman is seen in a superior position is when she is considered a hottie and she has the potential to humiliate male losers. This however falls out the window when she is able to humiliate by being seen as a ‘sexualized fantasy’, nothing more but a piece of meat. While the only time that women are considered is when referring to the wives of girlfriends who are then considered ‘bitches’ since they appear as emotional or attempting to take away and eliminate the erotic fantasies that come along with the Super Bowl.

In the Adams and Coltrane readings we are presented to the role that boys and men play in families. The way boys learn to be transformed into men becomes quite interesting when there is a list of categories they must fulfill to be able to embody this categories. These categories that embody masculinity revolve around “ active, strong, independent, powerful, dominant, and aggressive”. The way Adams and Coltrane describe these aspects of masculinity was the same way the surveys that were presented in class last week showed that when asked what these traits usually embody, most said that it embodied male traits. Being a woman this definitely impacts me at a personal level, the fact that society believe that I cannot be active, strong, independent, or powerful it’s truly hurtful. All this simply based on the fact that I am a woman and not a male it gets me thinking what kind of opportunities are being held away from me for the fact that I am a woman.

Being raised in a pretty gendered home in which I was told that men were allowed to behave certain ways in which women were not, I never truly understood the impact that family has on one. Adams and Coltrane explains, “The family typically is considered the main institution for both production and reproduction of polarized gender values”.  We are shaped by the ideas that our parents pass down to us often not realizing that the ideas that they are passing down to us is what once was also taught to them.  Little things that I began analyzing that I never paid much attention to in regards to behavior in the house, for example the way the chores are divided. Back at home my parents always ask my little brother to help dad shovel the snow or help him take out the trash, my mom however always asks me to help her wash the dishes or cook.  When one tries to studies these chores at a much deeper level one can start understanding how taking out the trash and shoveling the snow requires more physical strength than washing the dishes. From the little things here is where the larger idea that being ‘strong’ is a male trait.

Kimmel in Guyland, does a great job at trying to explain the way that men feel about the way they are treated when their buddies are not watching. The big point that I found almost all of us can relate in our high school years is how the insult “that’s so gay” is something that became and everyday saying in high school to describe everything and anything that represented something ‘uncool’ or ‘negative’. I used to use that word a lot when I was in high school because I was never personally affected by it so I was able to fully detach myself from any sentimental hurt this might possess. It wasn’t until a lot of my close friends began coming out to me and informing me how much they were affected by such insults that I sat down and realized how insulting using that word was, I no longer laughed when any of my friends would say that at the lunch table. To me it became something completely inappropriate to say because I was able to see the negative effects that it had on my friends.

One of my friends is currently a college freshman and says that he feels pleasured to drink in large amounts or quantities in order to prove his manhood and not be made fun of. This becomes a problem when many are so blinded by gendered norms that they don’t sit down to think that overdrinking and blacking out at a party does not signify the adquisisition of manhood. Drinking should not be considered a male trait, boys begin to drink excessively in an attempt to prove a point, and this however can lead to many wrong and in many cases deadly decisions.


5 thoughts on “Messner & Oca, Adams & Coltrane, and Kimmel

  1. Gracie Hall:

    Karen I thought your analysis of household chores was really interesting. Similarly in my home, my father is the one to shovel the snow, clean the gutters, mow the lawn etc. whereas my mother is primarily responsible for cooking, cleaning, and child rearing. I agree that this divided labor indicates “strength” as a determinant, but furthermore, there is a time commitment embedded as well which I think is really important. My mother, for example, has to cook dinner every night or else we would starve. However, my father can clean the gutters at his convenience and he only has to do this seasonally. Taking this factor into account we can see the ways in which men “sharing” the house work is actually not an equal situation and instead helps to perpetrate inequalities.

    1. Your comments about the different types of gendered chores reminded me of a small argument I got in with my mom over winter break about the different ways in which she treats my brother and I. My brother and I have a joking around type of relationship where we will sometimes make fun of each other. During one dinner my brother kept making comment towards me and my mom let it go without saying anything. As soon as I made one back to him, she asked me if it was worth it to me to provoke him. While my mom was not intentionally trying to treat us differently because of our genders, it stood out to me that I was the only one being reprimanded for my behavior while he wasn’t. I pointed it out to her that it was unfair that as the girl in my family I was expected to “be the better person” and always be polite and nice.

  2. Luis Ramos:

    I don’t understand how the super-bowl can be seen as an extraordinary day where people, especially men, pig out on extra-large pizzas, buckets and buckets of hot wings, plus several cases of beer. I mean, that’s disgusting and just plain stupid (not trying to offend anyone). I’ve never been a huge fan of sports. I used to play soccer when I was younger, but only did it because my dad “encouraged” me and it was the only way we could actually bond as he went to all of my games to cheer me on. I also saw similar tweets on my twitter where male friends of mine clearly demonstrated their excitement for beer, football, wings, and women. I don’t think it’s fair that women are being seen as a form of commodity, like you mentioned. Women are worth more than those simple three things. This type of advertisement is seen in most sports, including soccer and tennis (as seen in the tennis poster during class). Instead of consuming alcohol, men should start consuming cognizance. We, men, need to start realizing that women are more than what we see them to be. They’re not objects… they’re HUMAN BEINGS; therefore, they deserve the same respect and treatment that we ask to receive.

  3. Brittany Juliano

    Everything you brought up here is really well put. On that last note, I also recently had a discussion with a guy friend who feels pressure to drink in college. When I told him that blacking-out once a week was incredibly bad for his health, his only reply was FOMO. When I asked what that meant, he said “Fear of missing out.” I was so saddened by this answer; the pressure from other guys to drink had turned into a joking slogan of FOMO, like YOLO or selfie. Like the beer commercials discussed in “Male Consumer as Loser,” this slogan advertises a way of life that becomes an unhealthy model for boys and men that make up the SuperBowl audience. Both ensure that the men will fully enjoy themselves if they engage in heavy drinking, bonding with their male buddies and getting girls.

  4. Emma Weisberg

    Karen, I really liked your discussion of gendered chores. Sometimes it’s hard to spot those tiny details in family life, but it’s the details that matter so much. I wanted to bring another thing to the table using the example you mentioned about shoveling versus cooking. One thing we talked about last year in Psych of Women is that these jobs are not only gendered but also differ greatly in time commitment. My dad is always on shoveling duty during the winter, leaf raking duty in the fall, etc. All of these duties are situational. They only occur when it’s snowing out or when the leaves accumulate in the front yard. My mother, on the other hand, cooks most of our meals during the week. However, the physical toll of having to prepare, cook, and serve food–and then afterwards clean all the cooking utensils–is almost invisible in our day to day lives. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve tried to thank her before eating every meal and help her in the kitchen when she wants company cooking or cleaning. But sometimes the realization just hits me again, and I think to myself: “I need to find a man who loves to cook.” (I’m totally half joking and half serious)

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