Can men control their reactions to attractive women?
Tags: bodies, gender, marketing/brands, media, sex/sexuality, commercial, rape culture, 00 to 05 mins
Summary: Beyond simply objectifying women, this commercial for the Axe Chill Collection presumes a relationship between female attractiveness and men's uncontrollable responses. The message is clear: because girls are hot, guys lose their "cool" and, therefore, are unable to control themselves. The ad suggests that their product "helps guys keep their cool before it's too late" but what is implied here? Before it's too late for what? While the commercial depicts men having accidents (e.g. crashing into a car), the obvious sexualization seems to imply that men would also act on their sexual impulses in an inappropriate manner. Again, the message is clear: men are not to blame for these reactions; instead the blame is on women and their "hotness." This attribution of blame, along with the overall sexual objectification of women, are key dimensions of rape culture, which encompasses a set of values and beliefs that legitimate male sexual aggression and rape. Viewers may reflect on the degree to which such messages, also found in music videos and throughout our culture, shape men's actions and attitudes about sex and gender.
Submitted By: Anonymous
7/12/2013 02:47:46 am
Agreed. Sexual objectification of women in such ads does lead to a 'rape culture'.
7/12/2013 02:51:32 am
I disagree with the logical leap involved in this statement: "the obvious sexualization seems to imply that men would also act on their sexual impulses in an inappropriate manner." There is nothing in the add whatsoever that suggests or implies that rape is a logical outcome of this loss of control. Indeed, I think that is the more insidious aspect of this type of sexualization. Picture, e.g. the add depicting a man raping a woman. Would that attract men to this product? In our current political environment, there is no way that would prove acceptable or desirable. The product wants to avoid that conclusion completely. The sublimation of male desire as generated by woman seems to make that conclusion of rape unreachable. Why? Why, if it is logical to assume that the add is promoting the rape defense of 'she deserved it', why doesn't it simply state it? I think that is a more profound and important question to ask.
7/12/2013 06:37:09 am
What John Woodward said. I glean no such implication as you assert 'seems' to be present. Thus, IMO, your analysis represents a considerable overreach.
8/2/2013 06:04:53 am
I'm always primed to find covert violence in commercial culture, but it seems important that these males are more awkward, clumsy, thrown (literally) than aggressive—the way one might be when one's attention is interrupted by . . . something. I am femal and have certainly dropped things when a current subject of my affection walked by—the key word being subject, and with awareness that if the genders were reversed the women would probably be made to look even more incapable because that is always how it goes. I still find this off-putting or worse, with the pseudo-parodic authoritative voice and the three "escalating" images, leading to the young kid's furtive glances. It could almost serve as its own parody to reveal how advertising squeezes all dimensions into one based on shallowness, fear, shame, and self-loathing.
8/2/2013 06:48:33 am
Saying a man is apt to commit rape because he finds a woman attractive, is tantamount to saying that one would steal a car simply because one desires it. Would you also say that car commercials are culpable for auto theft? The message of this commercial is simple: men get nervous around a woman they are romantically interested in. The advertisers want them to think that buying Axe will give them confidence around the opposite sex. There is no more to it than that. The point of trying to smell good is to ATTRACT a woman. This is at odds with the mindset of a would-be rapist. Hence, the ideas awkwardly thrust fourth in this article are ill-conceived, farcical, and juvenile at best.
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