Quick check: this is the 21st century, right? Yeah, I’m listening to Mumford & Sons and my roommate has a Barack Obama poster on the wall. And I am typing this on my laptop. Good. Just checking.
So, if this is the 21st century, why the hell is it appropriate to market a soda as “just for men”?
The Dr Pepper Ten can is wrapped in silver packaging with bullets all over it. In one of the TV spots, a guy says, “Hey ladies. Enjoying the film? Of course not. Because this is our movie and this is our soda. You can keep the romantic comedies and lady drinks. We’re good.” The manly men in the commercials do manly things like battle snakes and shoot lasers.
So let’s take a minute to look at this from my perspective. I go fishing and I like hiking. I’m a rabid Cardinals fan. I love Fight Club and Star Wars and Shaun of the Dead, and I can probably kick your ass in Pokemon Fire Red. I asked for Legos for Christmas, and I prefer Esquire to Vogue. My first AIM screenname was a Monty Python reference. I have an unashamed crush on Megan Fox, and I curse like a sailor. I hate floral patterns. I refuse to wear Uggs. I think Matthew McConaughey is gross and he really needs a shower.
On the flip side, my ex-boyfriend adored “P.S. I Love You.” A guy friend planned a date for his girlfriend including Sinatra, candles and dancing because that’s what he wanted. Another guy friend spends all his food money on Armani Exchange black t-shirts. My brother loves The Hush Sound and Singin’ in the Rain.
Fuck gender roles. This idea of what a man does or doesn’t do completely negates the past 100 years of progress. Hasn’t the rash of recent teen suicides been enough of a wake up call? Telling a boy he’s not “manly” because he drinks diet soda damages his mental health in the same way it does when his peers fling a homophobic slur at him.
These expected behavioral norms are fed to us by advertising agencies that all have one thing in common: they’re trying to sell something. And here’s a quick tip: insulting half the population isn’t the way to sell more soda. Good luck with that, Dr Pepper Ten.
I’m also including some of my favorite sexist ads. Enjoy.
I guess I’ll just go sip my dainty Diet Coke.