Tuesday, May 06, 2008

What's up with the new Dairy Queen commercial?

By LindaBeth

Anyone else besides me think this new Dairy Queen commercial is pretty fucked up?




Coming from a young child: flirting with a little boy to get free stuff is “like shooting fish in a barrel.” Great. We’re back to unabashedly encouraging girls (and women) to use their femininity to take advantage of men’s apparent “natural weakness” for women. And this manipulative ability and tendency inevitably comes naturally for women – hell, a girl doesn’t even need to learn this. Hear that? It’s easy – just part of who we are, apparently. Talk about valorizing and naturalizing benevolent sexism.

How many awful, reprehensible gender stereotypes does the whole idea of this commercial reinforce?

To me, it’s flat-out anti-feminist.

Thoughts?

(Cross-posted to Smart Like Me.)

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9 Comments:

  • Anti-feminist, yes, but I would say it speaks more to the sexualization of childhood generally.

    In a fantastic book, The Disappearance of Childhood, Neil Post wrote of how modern communications (and modern life generally) were tearing down the lines that separate childhood from adulthood, and that allow children to develop in healthy ways. His overall assessment is a bit too conservative for my liking, but his main points are valid. Just consider the whole Miley Cyrus (Hannah Montana) controversy over her sexed-up photo in Vanity Fair. Or consider everything having to do with Britney Spears and Christina Aquilera and Hillary Duff.

    Note, though, how it is the overt sexualization of girls that is the problem. Boys are somehow allowed to develop into sexualized men in less manufactured ways. Girls are merely objects to be sexed-up. (At an extreme, the objectification of young-looking 18- and 19-year old girls in hardcore pornography is obviously deeply troubling, and a sign of where our popular culture (and our values?) are headed.

    By Blogger Michael J.W. Stickings, at 12:14 PM  

  • Whoops. Neil Postman. Sorry.

    By Blogger Michael J.W. Stickings, at 12:14 PM  

  • Completely agree, the sexualization of kids/girls is yet another problem about this, and the Postman book is interesting to re-look at in light of recent events (my recollection is it's 10 years old at least and I haven't read it in over 6).

    I do think the manufacturing of boys sexuality is still there, just differently, happening through the consumption of public objectification of women (in a het context), rather than becoming-object, which seems to be less manufactured and more "boys will be boys" while manufactured nonetheless.

    Unfortunately, women's plight isn't that much different than girls (as objects to be sexed up). In addition to being sex objects, women are also valuable for giving birth, so it's no wonder that "older women," who are no longer "sexy" or procreating (post-menopausal) are of no little to no social use and are more or less invisible in society.

    As for the commercial, I think it's bad enough when these tropes are used for adults, but 8 year old as a boy-user just really rubbed me the wrong way.

    By Blogger lindabeth, at 3:07 PM  

  • here's a petition against this commercial's sexualizing of kids.

    By Blogger lindabeth, at 11:11 PM  

  • I think the only message this new DQ commercial send to little girls is that when you grow up you can have all the free stuff in the world just by holding your ankles up on either side of your head.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:32 PM  

  • By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:09 PM  

  • It's just a commercial. No child looks at the girl as a role model, they're only going to look at the icecream. Don't take it too seriously.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:37 PM  

  • I consider myself a feminist and I see nothing wrong with this ad. I think it's innocent and cute, and like the fella above said, the only thing a kid sees in that ad is ICE CREAM. It's not like she gave the kid a blow job. Why must people always try to read so much into things. If you want to focus your feminist efforts somewhere, focus on the men who held up signs for Hillary that said, "iron my shirt"...yeah, haha funny, but THAT is where little girls their "place" in life from, not from some innocent ice cream commercial.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:43 PM  

  • MAD IT JUST A FUCKING COMMERCAL IT DOESNT MEAN SHIT. I AGREE WITH THE OTHER TWO THE KIDS ARE GOING TO SEE FUCKING ICE CREAM. NOT THE LITTLE GIRL GETTING SOMETHING FREE. IAM A FEMALE AND I DONT SEE A DAMN THING WRONG WITH THIS COMMERCAL LET ME GUESS NOW IF IT WAS A GUY GETTING SOMETHING FREE YOU WOULD BE OKAY WITH IT YOU NEED TO GROW THE FUCK UP AND NOT READ INTO SOMETHING THAT ISNT THERE IF YOU DONT LIKE IT YOU SHOULD TURN OFF THE TV CAUSE JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING ON THERE IS LIKE IT THAT IS ALL I HAVE TO SAY

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:44 AM  

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