Tuesday, February 5, 2013

So Not Cool- Audi Super Bowl 2013 Commercial: Prom (worth it version)

I did not watch the Super bowl. I did not watch the half time show. I do not like the football scene, but not because I see no value in it.  It's just that when I was like 10 years old at some family party for some big football game somewhere... I stood up in the middle of the room blocking the television and declared, that when I grew up I would marry a man that didn't watch football, and the whole room erupted in laughter.  They all teased saying good luck with that one.  Well I did eventually marry someone who doesn't watch football.  In fact I watch more sports than he ever has, but baseball is my love.  True story.

So my only source for this commercial was the Ms. Blog post about the 5 most sexist commercials.  This one struck a nerve for me, because a very similar thing happened to me at a high school dance.  It wasn't as random as that though.  I had gone to the dance with the boy who surprised me with lust.  It was a mock wedding at a high school Sadie Hawkins dance, but we had never kissed privately, I did not agree to anything of the sort beforehand, and he forced himself on me.  It took everything in me not to make the scene bigger by slapping him and I was mortified by the gasps of onlookers and the reality that at the time he was my closest guy friend.  I felt humiliated because it was so public and I was openly mocked by most of my peers for weeks after the dance, but I never considered it to be as awful as it was until I saw this ad with my adult eyes and heart.  That mixed with the reality that I have two growing boys and a growing daughter that I am trying to raise to be egalitarian.  I would never want my boys to ever treat a girl like an object that would make their social struggles more manageable, and I would personally kill any boy who ever did that to my daughter.

I know I am a product of this culture, because of this:  I remained friends with this guy.  I dated him again later in high school... and then pined after him while at separate colleges for a couple of years after he had already moved on.  What I should have done however, was given him a swift kick in the you know.  (There is so much more to that story that I will allow stay unsaid because I would not want my dirty laundry from my teen and college days aired out in the blogosphere without my consent and will give the same respect to others.  I do feel it is important to say there is more that I'm not talking about just the same.)  I am not stupid and I am not meek.  I have been socialized in a sexist culture that is harmful to both men and women.  He is not a monster and was otherwise a very good kid.  Men shouldn't have to be marinated in messages  that they have to use power over others to be considered cool and women should not have to be brainwashed to believe themselves to be only valuable if objectified.

We are going backwards people...wake up!  We don't have to host conscious raising dinners in our homes anymore.  We have moved them to the blogging world.... and we must rise up and speak out about what is happening in our culture.  I highly recommend you read the Ms. Blog post...it is very important to hit the pause button and really evaluate what was on the airwaves yesterday and frankly every single bowl game and every single day.

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