Posted by: joshjasper | January 27, 2011

The Big Game

Well, it’s that time of year again.  I wrote about it on February 8th of 2010 and there is no question that I will have plenty to say on February 7th of this year.  Much like last year, I don’t really care who wins, and like many, my attention will be drawn to the commercials.  (probably for a different reason than most)  106.5 million people tuned in last year and the going rate for a 30 second spot this year is a cool 3 million bucks.

Betty White’s career was brought back from the grave last year from a Snickers commercial that degraded women through the use of an old adage of “you’re playing like a girl.”  Sure, everyone laughed, didn’t think much of it, and eagerly waited for the next commercial.  Dockers was up next with a commercial that told the 100+million viewers that “Men wear the pants,” and then Doritos followed suit with a commercial that got a lot of laughs when the little boy slapped the man for looking at his mom’s butt and for eating his chips.

What’s in store for us this year?  I wonder how many times women will be portrayed as sex objects.  (I would bet my house that Go Daddy will make sure that happens before halftime)  Speaking of halftime, I see that the Black Eyed Peas have been named the musical act for this year.  There’s no question that they will be singing “Dirty Bit,” their number one hit right now; a song that refers to women as “dirty bitches.”

The Steelers have a great chance of winning and Ben Roethlisberger has an even better chance of winning the MVP of the game.

So when the Super Bowl parties come to a close, and we head for home with our bellies full of chips and beer, what will we have learned?   We will have seen tens of millions of dollars spent selling products through the use of violence, degradation, and misogyny.   We may have even danced to a catchy tune during halftime, and a man who has been accused of raping two different women could be crowned the hero of the day.





  1. Thank you, Josh. Simply, powerfully well-put.

  2. Thanks Hanna. I’m already fired up about the commercials and I haven’t even seen one yet!

  3. Hi Josh

    Very well put. It is all about money and the power it gives. What happened to the “simple” life. Daryl and I had this discussion last night. We can only teach our children how to respect. Of course the media does make it tough, especially if there is no support or guidance at home. By getting into our schools and educating our youth about respecting one another is a start. Hopefully they are listening. Thank you.


  4. Hi Janet-

    It’s great that you and Daryl were talking about this stuff. I hope more people start to do the same. You better believe the media makes it tough. You need but turn on the tv, listen to the radio, or jump on the internet and the negative messaging is there. But with that said, we can change it all simply through your suggestion of education.

    Thanks for the comment.

  5. – Check out this pre-big game oil wrestling match! Thought you might wanna post about it!

  6. Josh, I totally agree that we need to be more careful in our messages to society by way of mass media, especially the Super Bowl. In addition, I am 110% with you about Ben Roethlisberger: he should be carted off the field in cuffs while his team accepts the Lombardi Trophy.

    However, I do take issue with some of your examples. First and foremost, Snickers actually says “you’re playing like Betty White out there”, NOT “you’re playing like a girl”. White will be the first to admit she is old, slow, and unathletic…it’s rather secondary that she is female in this commercial. As far as the Doritos ad, I’m rather proud of the young character for “correcting” a perverted man’s behavior — and while it presumably garners a laugh from the audience, the latter’s actions are not meant by Doritos to be celebrated or condoned.

    Objectification/degradation of women is rampant, no question. I just think your lens is too tight in some of the above examples.

  7. Nick-
    Thanks for the great comment. There is no question that my “lens is too tight” at times! I get what you are saying about Snickers, but from my perspective, it is yet another example in which we put down women in order to challenge another man’s masculinity. As for the Doritos spot, the biggest reason I don’t like that commercial is because of the role of the woman in the commercial. If you watch closely, the camera focuses on her butt as she passes through the room. Surely there are other roles for women to have in television other than that of a sex object. As for the young boy “correcting” the man’s behavior, I get what you are saying, (and here is definitely my “tight lens”) but slapping someone in the face is not a way in which I would want someone to correct another person’s behavior. As I’m sure you know, kids watch that stuff and they think it’s funny. We certainly don’t want to have kids slapping others because they thought it was funny on some commercial.

    Thanks again for your thoughts Nick.

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