Need a laugh?

by Cara on May 12, 2008

in feminism, fun, marketing, media, pop culture, products, random, sexism, stereotypes

Writing this blog everyday, I sure as hell do! And this cracked me up.

If like me, you’re fed up with stupid sexist commercials, check out a few getting some feminist skewering:

I want to see more of Sarah Haskins. And I also might have to start watching InfoMania. It kind of looks like VH1′s Best Week Ever . . . but with jokes that are funny.

h/t Feministing


1 Hops May 12, 2008 at 1:42 pm

Saw this yesterday and it made me LOL. Oh Jamie Lee Curtis…

2 Kristen May 12, 2008 at 2:51 pm

Do I get kicked out of the clubhouse for saying…that activia actually did make me feel better?

::going home to burn her grey hoodies::

3 Cara May 12, 2008 at 3:09 pm

Hehe. No. Only if you talk about how very much you love that yogurt commercial where the women are at the wedding.

P.S. as someone who has a few hoodies herself, that line was probably my favorite in the entire thing.

4 Holly May 12, 2008 at 5:34 pm

That was great! I love it. I also got a little confused when you see women eating yogurt at a wedding…But it’s Alice from The L Word! Yes, I can justify that commercial with it being Alice, I know it’s sad.

5 Moody May 12, 2008 at 5:51 pm

I loled. I eat that activia stuff too.

6 Samuel John Klein May 13, 2008 at 4:50 pm

Wickedly funny. Brilliant writing. Acidly funny.

7 lepidopteryx May 13, 2008 at 5:13 pm

I actually like yogurt, as does my husband. He and I have a sort of running game of pointing out the sterotypes and other obvious idocies in tv commercials.
He recently remarked on the fact that you never see men in yogurt commercials. “So is eating this stuff going to make me grow breastses?” he pondered aloud.

8 brenna May 26, 2008 at 11:52 am

See. This is the stuff that makes me laugh. We (women) spend millions of characters on the internet telling each other about how yogurt can help settle your stomach or cure a yeast infection and then get upset when “they” know that women are the most ardent yogurt consumers. Let it go.

9 Cara May 26, 2008 at 12:34 pm

The issue isn’t that women eat yogurt and acknowledging that. The issue is the patronizing female stereotypes used to sell yogurt to women, and how women are often marketed to as one big group in ways that men aren’t nearly as often.

10 brenna May 26, 2008 at 7:24 pm

Men aren’t advertised as one big group “nearly as often”? Are you kidding? The point of advertising is to reduce people into as big and simplistic of groups as possible. Men drive trucks and don’t bake and watch football and fart and drink beer and don’t “vent” and like boobs and … I think you’re just not looking for it. I really don’t think there can be enough emphasis put on the fallacy of false positives. That’s the thing about this. We have, in this culture, very solidly defined roles, and to complain about how the role of the woman victimizes her without also acknowledging that the role of the male victimizes him is dishonest.

“patronizing female stereotypes”

I don’t really see what’s so patronizing or stereotypical about the Jamie Lee Curtis ad. She’s got some funny belly issues and she eats the yogurt. In the mean time, you’re still ignoring the “patronizing male stereotypes” they use to target men. In addition to the others I mentioned, men are stupid and eat the wrong foods and too much of them and have to have their smarter, wiser wives remind them to take their malox/gas-x/tums/whatever. I mean. All male stereotypes are empowering and fulfilling, right? Bald men might as well kill themselves. Or shave and pretend you did it on purpose. Also, you’re either too lazy to get off the couch but somehow still have your own apartment, or you have a $50k car and land everything you see on Saturday night. And that usually depends on what side of 35 you’re on. Then suddenly you’re 40 and you have your wife to remind you not to eat like a crazed 5 year old.

It’s really just disingenuous to pretend somehow that women are the only ones who suffer from this. It’s even more disingenuous to propose that I’m somehow injured by a yogurt commercial.

11 Cara May 26, 2008 at 7:44 pm


1. I never said that you were injured by a yogurt commercial. I never said that I was injured by a yogurt commercial. How you go from “this type of marketing is obnoxious” to “this kind of advertising injures me,” I do not know.

2. Patriarchy Hurts Men Too ™. Never denied it. It’s jokingly referred to as a registered trademark for a reason — because feminists are saying it all the time. The fact that I didn’t include it in a lighthearted post with an entirety of 5 sentences doesn’t mean that I don’t recognize that stereotypical gender roles also exist for men and are also dangerous.

2(a). That being said, this is a feminist blog. Which means that while discussions of masculinity will invariably come up, it’s not the main focus.

3. Yes, of course men are generalized in advertising. But they’re generally split up into more groups. There are still all kinds of stereotypes, but commercials tend to divide them up among other social markers like class and age. You see advertising directly aimed at teen males, or college-age males, or young adult males who are blue collar workers and didn’t go to college, or young professionals, young family men, very serious business men, etc. Brands try to market lifestyles with their products, and that means they don’t include everyone, or the lifestyle signal wouldn’t be valuable. The point is the one made in the introduction to the segment — advertisers are learning to more accurately and intelligently target very specific groups of people who may be interested in their products and find the best ways to reach them. But too often, like with the yogurt commercials, it’s just not used for women. None of this suggests that men are never stereotyped more than women or that women are always patronized to more than men.

4. I don’t see anything particularly wrong with the Jamie Lee Curtis commercial either — it was in there to set up a latter joke about copycat brands.

5. Though Patriarchy Hurts Men Too, patriarchy is also a system that gives men lots and lots of privilege. So men should be insulted by the stereotypes that they’re childish, sex-crazed, impulsive and lazy — but the fact is that this stereotype is used to explain away all kinds of bad and sexist behavior, from not helping out around the house to committing rape. Thankfully, all men don’t take our culture up on that offer, but that doesn’t change the overall purpose of these negative stereotypes.

12 Judith June 2, 2008 at 1:01 pm


It is kind of embarrassing that I came across the latest update to this series on my RSS reader, and then clicked on this one… as I was eating Yoplait. Hahah. But man, when it’s this hot outside, and I’m refusing to turn the A/C on yet, the last thing I want for lunch is some nice, hot pasta. Yoghurt and a cupcake, does a body good.

Also, that was definitely worth it just for seeing Leisha Halley (sp) with short brown hair. Hello, there.

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