Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Prison for buying the wrong gift

Even before looking at that ad I'm sure you've noticed that notion that men who buy the wrong gifts for the wives, girlfriends, etc... deserve to be attacked. Well now it seems JC Penney is running an ad in which the proper punishment is not violence but imprisonment.

But you know what really bothers me about this ad?

Not the way that the men in that ad are portrayed as prisoners who did a terrible crime and that they are being properly punished.

Not the way that the men in that ad are being judged by other women (instead of you know, the actual woman they offended. I guess pissing off one women warrants a judicial body to intervene) who hold their freedom in their hands.

Not the way that the legend of the one man that got out did it by buying "the right" gift (jewelry).

Not even the way that the men in that ad are not only portrayed as prisoners but as dogs by way of the prison being called the Doghouse and the men being fed from doggie bowls complete with one man who just couldn't take it anymore and became mental unstable. Because yes giving a woman the wrong gift should be punishable by damaging someone's mental capacity.

No those are things that I've seen before and will probably see again everytime some ad agency wants to cater to women by making men look like idiots (but remember supposedly such sexist things only happen the other way around). What really bothers me is something that I have yet to see.

Why is it necessary for men in these ads to be subjected to violence and imprisonment for the sake of making sure we buy "the right gifts" for the women in our lives? Is there really no peaceful way to advertise what gifts women would enjoy?