Hello Ladies. Look at your man, now back to me and lovable gender stereotypes.

by Jamie Doak

Okay.  I love this commercial.  I’ve watched it a million times and still laugh every time he says, “I’m on a horse.”  And then it ends, and I feel like a bad feminist because there’s no getting around the fact that the entire thing is based on gender stereotypes. Ahem:

“Sadly, your man isn’t me- but if he stopped using lady scented body wash he could smell like me.” 

“It’s an oyster with two tickets to that THING you love.”

“Look again, the tickets are now DIAMONDS!”

“Anything is possible when your man smells like a man and not a lady.”

“I’m on a horse.” (Okay, that’s not sexist, I just wanted to say it again.)

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owGykVbfgUE 425×344]

But somehow even though I know there’s some crazy gender stereotyping in it- it doesn’t feel as sinister or harmful as say the Dockers “Wear the Pants” commercials which give a very clear message about reclaiming masculinity: 

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojMh0VCBv0g 425×344]

The Old Spice commercial seems much more light-hearted and fun.  It seems that because it doesn’t take itself seriously, we shouldn’t take it’s gender stereotyping seriously either.  In fact, maybe because it IS so over-the-top and playful with its sexism,  it actually draws attention to how ridiculous that stereotyping is and makes a semi-feminist statement (without intending to, of course.)  

It’s tricky territory though when you label sexist jokes as feminist satire- because a lot of really sexist things get said as “jokes” when really they’re just sexist things being said.  It’s hard for me to draw the line here because I DO think humor is a great way to introduce feminist ideals to a broader audience but I also don’t believe that humor is an excuse for sexism. 

I’m willing to count the Old Spice commercial as satiric.  But mostly because he’s on a horse. 


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