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Why Are Men Portrayed As Morons In Commercials?

Updated on March 27, 2011
Exhibit A: The typical male as displayed in commercials
Exhibit A: The typical male as displayed in commercials

The Matriarchy In Advertisements


If aliens were to examine advertisements of the early 21st century, they would conclude that humanity is clearly a matriarchic society. In commercial after commercial, men are portrayed as senseless, directionless, and stupid apes, incapable of basic survival without the dear grace of a woman. Commercials seem to be doing a wonderful job of displaying men in their abilities to chug beer, snooze on the couch, and watch nothing but television. Case in point, in one commercial we have a man who lazily sits on the couch, accidentally stumbles across a piece of leftover pizza found under the couch cushion, where he then subsequently begins to eat the pizza with a pleasant smile on his face. Every commercial that displays a group of men together will certainly resemble that of a zoo. The men will be incapable of talking about anything other than sports and sex, along with the occasional grunt here and there. The commercials don't even give the men the dignity of possessing much knowledge of the sex they talk oh so much about. And of course all the men are fat and unattractive.

Exhibit B: The typical woman as displayed in commecials.
Exhibit B: The typical woman as displayed in commecials.

Now let us contrast the image of men to that of women as displayed in commercials. Women are apparently high-powered octane super-wifey-mommas incapable of no wrong or no faults. She's a power maniac who can do it all! A wealthy corporate go-getter alpha-female full time, a super mommy also full time, and a part time "I must pick up after my slacker husband who can't even find his socks." Most commercials the guy is even lucky to have a job, and if he does have a job, you can bet it's of the dead end variety. Oh, did I also mention our super-woman has a super model figure while the guy looks like he just crawled out of bed? There are clip scenes of the queen also finding the time to go jogging in a nice, tight, and sexy track suit, playing volleyball, and volunteering for numerous community organizations. She also finds the time to sneak in a few night classes so she can get her 7th PhD. Once she gets back from her power mania trip, she's lucky the lazy husband MIGHT pour her a glass of lemonade! And of course, she never gets tired, she's ready for more! Its nighttime, she's fit as heck while her inadequate fat butt husband needs to get pumped up with Viagra! Then once she's fully rested with her four hours of sleep, she expediently jumps out of bed, ready for a next day to conquer the high seas of the business world. Mean while, her husband is struggling to get out of bed, haphazardly hitting the snooze button, and she's already out of the door! Did I mention she also cooked a mean egg omelet in two minutes flat and left it for her slugging from behind husband?

A part of me wonders what is going on in the heads of corporate executives by alienating half of the population by making them feel incapable and inadequate, while at the same time setting up women for failure with unrealistic expectations. Sure women are the primary demographic for consumer spending, but why risk jeopardizing any potential income from men?

As for people who are telling me the marketers are doing the following to install confidence in girls and women because we have a crisis in girls being depressed over their image, please, give me a break! Are women and girls lacking confidence? Are we from the SAME generation? Oh wait, obviously we're not! What world are people who make such statements coming from? Ten years from today we'll be talking about how we can bring girls back down to earth because they're overconfident and believe they're goddesses.

Exhibit C: Muslim women, a gold mine for capitalists?
Exhibit C: Muslim women, a gold mine for capitalists?
Exhibit D: Julia Roberts in Mona Lisa Smiles.
Exhibit D: Julia Roberts in Mona Lisa Smiles.

Untapped Demographic: Women In The Developing World And Muslim

So what exactly is the motivation behind these marketers? Surely there is a trade off for pissing off the entire male demographic?

When I ask the following two questions, the purpose behind all this advertisement makes sense. Capitalists are always trying to expand their markets at all or any costs. If you haven't noticed, we're approaching a world of critical mass with slim pickings. There's one major demographic that has yet to get touched, and the capitalists see nothing but dollar signs. That demographic is the Muslim woman. The capitalists know in this globalized world people have wide access to American television. The capitalists know Muslim women have the potential to be wealthy consumers. They're living on lands surrounded by sweet crude oil. The only thing stopping this potential gold mine is that of culture. The capitalists feel they must disempower the image of being a man to invigorate the Muslim woman. As the capitalists see it, the Muslim faith has been programming women to accept men as godly figures for centuries, so the capitalists must unlearn this process with equally effective brain washing. To unlearn and captivate the Muslim woman, we must disempower the man. We'll do that by disempowering him in the following areas: financially, sexually, domestically, and spiritually.

As for any collateral damage? Who cares if we make a few westernized males angry? Their wives can pick up the shopping where they left off. Overall, I believe the plan will backfire. The capitalists won't gain the Muslim woman as a consumer, but instead they will have a lot of angry and isolated males who won't contribute much to the economy.

What I find baffling is what motivated me to publish this Hub is after watching the movie Mona Lisa Smiles. This is a female version of Dead Poet's Society. The movie takes place in a conservative women's art college in the 1950s where the women are essentially groomed to be nothing but housewives. In a scene Julia Roberts, who plays California bohemian Katherine Watson, shows an exhibit of how women in advertisement are displayed as nothing but homemakers and sex objects. Well, I think it's safe to say that advertisement has now done a complete 180. My only question is why on earth and how did we let this happen?

As for the women who feel like ripping my head off over this article. I watched Mona Lisa Smiles, the ultimate chic flick of any chic flick just to prove a point! I'm not gay and I didn't get anything in exchange. I'm still lamenting over the hours lost! So I can't be THAT bad!

-Donovan D. Westhaver


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    • profile image

      Daphne Shadows 

      6 years ago

      I think both sides of the argument are craaaaap. They shouldn't be doing either; talking the women up or putting the men down.

      Neither serves a good purpose. They do, however, get people upset and talking about it. Which is all marketing is after anyway.


    • A.A. Zavala profile image

      Augustine A Zavala 

      7 years ago from Texas

      I like the commercials. I don't buy more chips or beer because of it, but I do laugh at them. I can see my friends personas in many of the commercials.

    • profile image

      Who wants to know 

      7 years ago

      Wow. This article seems more like a rant trying to degrade women in a benign way. You obviously haven't seen the stereotypes of women. 20x worse than being called a moron.

    • profile image

      Christian J. 

      8 years ago

      Two explanations as to why Men are denigrated and humiliated in commercials..

      1. Advertising is a predominantly female field and most (99%)women thinks it's funny and it boosts their fragile egos.

      2. Men need to complain more to the companies and advertising agencies and put the pressure on for them to stop.

    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 

      8 years ago from Oklahoma

      I noticed dresses and more feminine attire is making a come back and wonder how this will impact behavior. Feminism tends to run in cycles and may be near it's end but who knows for sure.

      I have no problem with women having rights but feminist don't want equality they want to be in charge.

    • DonDWest profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

      Over done movies like Sucker Punch aim to have their cake and eat it too. They show cute women beating up brutes because the men like it, and the feminists like it too. That's smart marketing, you don't even need to invest in a script, but I think the world is finally catching onto this plot seeing that it's hardly new (see original Charlie's Angels). I don't expect these movies to make much money anymore.

      As for fat lazy guy and thin alpha female being the sitcom couple, again that’s a case of the same unholy trinity marketing. The feminists like the fact the women are the power players of the household. The men like to believe they have a chance of getting high quality women without any ambition or a willingness to take care of their own health. Very toxic psychological work pulled on both sexes, especially for men though.

    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 

      8 years ago from Oklahoma

      I agree. The media portrays men in a sick light. I am also tired of sitcoms showing all men as fat lazy losers married to thin pretty wives. How realistic is that?

      I also find it ridiculous to see small petite women beating up men in movies. I noticed a new one coming out called Sucker Punch.

      You might enjoy reading Save The Males by Kathleen Parker.

    • RedxVelvet profile image


      8 years ago from California, United States

      I don't feel like ripping your head off. lol I can see where you're getting at. Everything in a society can change within a few simple decades. It's being seen in many cultures today.


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