Commercials Upset Me This Week

Admittedly, I watch too much cable television. However, I may have to cut back just because of the increasing amount of ridiculous material used for commercials lately. Is it just me, or is it getting worse?

For instance, look at these Reebok commercials for their new Easy Tone sneakers (which are supposed to give your butt a workout…) This first one I see all too often on TV:

Oh, but look, here’s another one that’s even better. Essentially, two breasts on a faceless woman gossip about the fact that a butt is getting more attention than them now. How? Because of Reebok’s new Easy Tone sneakers, of course! Feminist blogger Kate Harding brought this one to my attention in an article on Salon.com. (Her commentary is worth reading, as always.)

These brands are marketing their products by objectifying their objects. Oh, and women too. As Harding says: “And what’s edgier or more original than objectifying women?”

Those Reebok commercials have been getting to me for a few months, so it may seem like a delayed reaction to post about it now. But then I saw another pointlessly sexual commercial tonight, which inspired me to bring it all up again:

And no, it doesn’t make it okay that a dominatrix is perceived as “in control.” I ask you, America – Is it really necessary to use a dominatrix in your commercials to get people to eat pistachios? Before you answer, repeat the question to yourself. Hopefully, you’ll realize how ridiculous it is that a question like that need be asked.

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Switzerland in the Media, Pt. II: Minarets Ban

Poster (in German) reading: "Stop/Yes to the minaret ban"

I don’t want to spend this whole post outlining the history and politics of the minaret ban in Switzerland, but this article from the BBC in 2007 provides some good background on the controversy. (Please note especially the quotes from Oskar Freysinger.)

Aside from my view that this compromises the promotion of dialogue between religions and cultures in Europe, there are several things about this situation that make it controversial, offensive, and troublesome. One of those things being the feminist argument of this ban.

The Times Online wrote an article that provided details as to why feminists were boosting the Swiss efforts to ban minarets.

Pictured is a widespread Swiss poster aimed towards feminists to promote the ban. Take a closer look at it. What does it say to you? What does it represent? Can one ad speak volumes of a whole continent’s feelings towards minority groups?