Super Bowl Commercials: Antiquated Gender Roles for Sale!

There is nothing that enhances the Super Bowl experience more for men than lessons during the commercial breaks on pervasive sexism in the media. Though I didn’t have a decisive opinion on which team I was rooting for (I wanted the tearful murderer to lose, but I also wanted Sandra Bullock’s son to win, except they were both on the Ravens so just call me Natalie Imbruglia [I'm torn]), I was certainly sure about one thing: the sexual objectification of women in Super Bowl commercials is a major bummer!

I’ll admit that not every commercial was sexist; some were racist and some had cute animals.

Now, you might be wondering why I’m talking about this subject since women are allowed to vote and because it’s technically illegal for a male employer to rub his khaki covered genitals against a female employee while he pretends to reach for a coffee filter in the break room. You’d think between the right to participate in a democratic society and the right to not get Mad Men-ed at work we woman would finally feel like we have it all. Well, there’s still a bunch of stuff we could all work on, so why don’t we have a ourselves a kiki and talk this mothah out?

To make sense of it all, I have broken down some of the stand-out commercials and rated their lady-hating on a scale of arbitrary numbers and symbols.

AUDI

So this dateless nerd is driving to prom in his Audi, when suddenly some kind of penis adrenaline fumes emitting from the car seep into his brain. He hits the gas, marches into prom, physically grabs a hot girl, turns her around, and kisses her. CUT TO: Nerd driving home with a black eye, presumably caused by the boyfriend of the girl he just assaulted. Fade to black and the word, “bravery”.

Screen shot 2013-02-04 at 10.41.38 AM

Score: I’ll give this one 5 Notre Dame Football Players. This commercial basically says that it’s manly to take what’s owed to you (the sexuality of women) and taking a punch for it is cool and admirable (oh, and every girl secretly wants “it”). Little white boy, you are just so brave. Like, adolescent leukemia patients have nothing on you.

GoDaddy

Screen shot 2013-02-04 at 2.28.49 PMI just posted a screenshot instead of the actual video because I have a strict “no audible kissing” policy on my blog. The commercial is basically talking about how GoDaddy is sexy and smart, illustrated through a hot girl and nerd guy making out. It was just super gross, and it made me feel sad for Bar Rafaeli, because how the mighty have fallen. This is just the absolute worst way to stick it to Leonardo DiCaprio.

Score: 3 Ed O’Neills from Little Giants. The ad was just perpetuating the idea that women are supposed to be sexy and men are supposed to be smart.

Toyota

Here, Kaley plays a fully clothed genie granting wishes for a family. Although I don’t think a scantily clad woman is inherently sexist, sometimes it’s just refreshing to see an attractive young woman in a well-fitting pants suit, boobies contained. The best part of the ad was when the young daughter asks the genie to make her a princess, and instead of just dipping that girl in glue and rolling her in glitter like I was expecting, they turn her into this badass Joan of Arc-y princess complete with a sword and army.

Score: 4 Becky “IceBox” O’Sheas and 1 Tami Taylor. I can drive my 2006 Corolla proudly knowing that it’s both dependable and socially conscious.