Are Men Morons?

Apparently, when it comes to health, men can barely keep up with the family dog.

It started out innocently enough. To wit: the old Carl’s Jr. ad that featured a forlorn dude in the bread aisle attempting to choose the best loaf. Classic. But it just snowballed from there. Oh, there were always the typical, annoying commercials featuring wives who were just super-excited about things like cavity-preventing floss and allergy-friendly detergent – as if family life precludes personality – along with the obligatory grumbling husband. But the men-are-oafish-and-unhealthy motif was taken to a new level by Listerine. In the commercial, smarty-pants mom comes home with groceries and parades the goods in front of eager hubby and brood. Out comes the Listerine, and wouldn’t you know, the kitchen is suddenly a ghost town. For both kidlets and manlet have whisked themselves magically above Evil Mouthwash Lady’s head. Was this dazzling feat of flight made possible by jet propulsion? A magical sleigh? Chi? Who knows!

As if anyone, let alone a grown man, would be afraid of mouthwash, even junior has the right to tell dad he’s a total moron these days. In a recent breakfast cereal commercial a knowing youngster was forced to school dear old dad on how to eat a healthier breakfast – ‘cuz we want you around for a good long while, Pops. Oh, that Pops. He really needs to learn a thing or two.

But the trend of making men appear dumber than your average slug has reached a pinnacle of annoyance only matched by the Empire Carpets jingle. It seems every commercial of 2007 has accepted the “fact” that old Pops is just uninterested in health and that men only care about burgers. To that end, Burger King encourages guys to accept their stupidity and “eat like a man, man”.

Commercials portray a consistent message that women are genuinely thrilled by nothing more than the likes of mopping and killing germs (and this has been going on since television was invented). The men, however, apparently lack even that capacity for such heights of thrillery, for sadly, they are morons.

I guess we’re supposed to laugh at these portrayals. Admittedly, the above commercial is hilarious. But isn’t that why we have The Simpsons? I think it’s rather odd that companies openly mock the health I.Q. of half the population as a way of getting us to buy their products. I don’t think it’s the end of the world or anything – political correctness kills me – but it’s getting a little old!

[tags] Burger King, burgers, men, eat like a man, commercials, advertising, stereotypes, gender [/tags]

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5 thoughts on “Are Men Morons?”

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  1. OMG – I can’t believe I found a post about this topic. I have had this conversation many times with my husband. He never noticed it until I mentioned it.

    The latest commercial, that I have noticed is the newest Yoplait Yogurt commercial. The wife is talking to her friend on the phone. She begins mentioning tantilizing desserts like Boston Cream Pie. Meanwhile the husband, overhearing his wife, begin searching earnestly in the fridge for these sinful temptations which are, as you may have noticed by now, yoplait yogurt flavors. At the end of the commercial she kind of looks over her shoulders and says “What are you doing hun?” Her tone to me is of slight agitation as though to say “Are you an idiot?” or “Scram, what are you doing here?”

    I’m a woman and find it a bit ridiculous how men are being portrayed lately in not only commercials but, television programs. I haven’t even thought about how woman are portrayed but, the whole cleaning idea does ring a bell. You would think we LOVE to clean by the looks of thing.

    Outrageously good blog. Thanks for your wise words.


  2. Not only do commercials often portray men as oblivious, bumbling fools, but they are also often depicted as charmingly inept fathers. They can’t manage to feed their children breakfast and get them ready for school without decimating the kitchen and putting the kids’ shirts on backwards. It’s insulting, in an ‘aw shucks, your ineptitude is just so ‘man’ of you, how cute’ way that’s insidious and, like the poster above said, sometimes quite subtle. Of course, as you mention, it often features the mom swooping in to fix things, frequently with a smug air of ‘after this he’ll know better – learn from the best, honey.’ Watching commercials like these – which are ubiquitous – drives me nuts! Thanks for the post!