There’s been a bit of a brouhaha regarding Some of the Super Bowl commercials, it seems. Well, since I live in New Orleans, the commercials have hardly been at the top of my list of things to think about. The Saints are our superheroes these days, and no one within a hundred miles of where I sit would be at all surprised to look up and see pigs flying or someone selling box seats to watch hell freeze over.

 

Seriously, we let school out early and closed businesses at 2pm to make sure everyone had a chance to get downtown in time for the Saints’ parade at 5pm this past Tuesday. It’s been off the hook.

 

I have never been capable of true feminist rage for anything less than profoundly stupid and horrific so-called honor killings, or the ridiculous ways in which governments punish women for being raped.  So, yeah. A stupid commercial that depicts men as helpless children who have little capacity to feel alive unless they are speeding around in an ugly car trying to wrap themselves around bridge abutments? Barely gets an eyeroll from me.

 

Still, I get it. As far as women still have to go to be accepted as of equal value to men even in the most developed nations of the world, these little things can wrankle.  The blogosphere has already weighed in and my personal favorite came from the Queen of Shake-Shake, in whose article the original advert is available, if you haven’t seen it. Then – and we all knew this would happen – the video parodies began. Here’s a good one:

 

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ou5Ens-qNRc 480×295]

 

The real problem with advertisements of this sort isn’t that they are insulting to women, though. The Dodge Charger ad was horribly insulting to men. Men are powerless and oppressed by having to get up and go to work, to clean up after themselves and listen to the voices of people they supposedly love. Men really just want to shirk the responsibilities that every grown-up has to bear, and play with their toys in the most dangerous way possible. That ad basically says that men are overgrown, spoiled children, and THAT infuriates me on behalf of all the really awesome, competent and caring men I know. I hope my sons grow up to emulate those men, the real ones, not these pathetic, selfish and powerless fictions.

 

Real men are strong, but do not have to abuse their strength to feel powerful. Real men, real people, can seethe beauty in the world around them, in the faces of those they love and those who love them.  When we can get past real or imagined slights and love each other anyway, that’s when life begins, and the joy of it can sustain us. That is something nobody gets from a car or some expensive face cream or what the heck ever.

 

So, to advertisers I say, GROW UP. Grow up and drink deep of the fact that many, many women watch the Super Bowl, and buy cars. They’re probably not going to buy yours.