blogitto ergo sum

May 28, 2012

#207 – Verizon’s women. and pigs.

A couple of weekends ago, Lisa, Dana, Katie and I joined the [few] hundreds that supported Unite Against the War on WomenSacramento.

Katie and Lisa made our brilliant signs, Andre fed us breakfast, and off to Sacramento we went.

Lisa and Katie

since then, my war-against-women-dar is more sensitive than ever.  equal but different pretty much sums my idea of gender equality, easily illustrated by the two sides of one coin.  anything that treats women as less than that is indeed war on women.  maybe this is why i find the following ad so annoying.  have you seen, or hopefully fast-forwarded this TV ad for droid?

Lou Mulford, playing the annoying, can’t-let-go mother, introduced the video post on YouTube, as a “..Spoof on the empty nest syndrome (which I personally know too well) all in good silly fun.”  [ALL her own words].  Responding to a question, she added, “It was a full day. We were asked to deliver all the lines a multitude of ways for each of the angle and shot set ups. I don’t remember the exact number for that line. Didn’t seem like too many.”

“fun” is not what comes to mind.  nor funny. As far as i’m concerned, presenting the mother-daughter bond as an uber emotional, irrational, incoherent whine and mumble, with the mother’s exaggerated empty nest/separation anxiety is nothing but insulting.  as it should be to any women.  the idea that a pair of droids will fix it all?…  with some help from a cool, crisp salesman who is happy to accommodate the neurotic.

i recall one of the women degrading chauvinistic pig sayings that was common in Israel years back. “be beautiful and shut up”.  sadly, this ad makes me wish… that the two gals please shut up.

more annoying than the wee wee Geico pig.

and pig it is indeed.  Two weeks after Safeway’s legal counsel found it a great bargain to trade pigs for  powerful women, my tolerance towards anything women-degrading is low to non–existing.  when i think of all the legal measures that constitute the war on women in multiple states, Verizon’s sense of humor is bad taste wrong. Verizon, may be, is against the change of outfit and persona of T-Mobile’s alter ego who threw all her girly cutesy pink dresses on the floor, replacing them with the cool, not-so-cute leather biker gear…

No More Mr. Nice Girl

a good laugh truly helps a commercial deliver its message.  so is a load of touchy-feely.  and yet, i find Verizon’s ill-choice of stereotypes as bad as  the degrading, racist Metro PCS ads of Ranjit and Chad.

Verizon, you can do better than this.  and indeed you should!

after having a long interesting conversation with Annette [thank you for tolerating and answering all my questions!] about women’s role, function, impact and power, i wonder how far we really progressed, and how far we have yet to go, PUSH feels more like it, considering the recent regression led by the GOP.

Annette, in her own words:  “PUSH is the operative word. Has American culture progressed in its attitudes towards women? Yes and no. American culture is patriarchal and women, and pretty much anyone who is not a white male, are treated as ‘others’. The ramifications of how that operates in our society show up everywhere.  It is very insidious – and the Verizon commercial is a great example of that. I recommend watching the documentary Miss Representation to really GET the way media portrays girls and women.

Have we progressed? Some. In the last 200 years, women have the right to own property, decide if they want to get pregnant, and laws protect women from rape – at least for now.

It is, and will be, a slow transformation happening generation by generation. I think of it this way – my daughter was born in a world with camera phones, iPads, and ideas about what it means to be a woman in this culture. Her expectations are already vastly different than mine at her age. And her daughter’s expectations will be even  broader – that I promise.”  Annette‘s words.



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