This advertisement for the Chevy Silverado truck isn’t anything particularly new, I’m afraid. It’s supposedly super masculine men like (Hall of Fame football player) Howie Long policing other men’s masculinity and shaming them when they don’t live up to the arbitrary gender ideals. In short, *yawn*.
But for some reason the ad stuck with me, and I don’t think it’s for the reason that Sociological Images states — that the “you’re not masculine enough” discourse is so understood that it didn’t even have to be explicitly spoken, only implied. I think that for the most part, that’s how it generally tends to go anyway.
No, what stuck with me is that they aren’t policing gender based on product color, sexual prowess, grooming (though it comes up), or even fussiness. They are policing masculinity based on comfort.
Surely it’s not the first or the last time this will happen, but it strikes me as particularly absurd. It also strikes me that they’re trying to feminize comfort in order to mock femininity as a means of bolstering their later (implied) claim that something like fuel economy is masculine. After all, being a manly man is traditionally all about using up the largest amount of resources that you personally can, making fuel economy generally seen as “feminine,” and we need to leave those manly man with something to hold onto in order to sell them a car.
But still. How can not wanting your hands to freeze off — and I live in Western NY, and we know all about freezing here — be a gendered desire? What does it say about us when a concept so frankly gender neutral as comfort is so strongly and negatively feminized?
And how particularly strange when just yesterday I was discussing with some friends on Twitter the phenomenon of expecting Michelle Obama to freeze her ass off for the sake of femininity.
In other words, comfort isn’t only gendered, sad though it may be, it’s gendered according to situation. Depending on that situation, women are often seen to not deserve it if they’re real women; and men are seen to not need or want it if they’re real men.
Similar Posts (automatically generated):
- Message to the Guys: Donating Your Organs is Almost Like Sex by Cara November 14, 2008
- Go For the Black Can, Dude! by Holly July 21, 2009
- Caster Semenya Case Opening Old Wounds by Monica Roberts September 11, 2009
- Not in my house! by Holly December 15, 2007
- Shaming Women Into Adhering to Beauty Standards — This Time With Threats of Catastrophe! by Cara April 6, 2009