Sprint put out a new ad featuring NBA star Kevin Durant and here it is:
I was actually really, really, really into this commercial when I first started watching it because I thought we were going to see a woman having a sexual attraction to a dude. What? Women have sexual urges? But that’s only for teh mens!? Then we see that the mom is all excited because her husband can now clean out the gutters. Silly us thinking that women could be sexual.
Yes, I’ll totally admit that I’m an emotionally volatile person and that when I first saw this commercial my mind immediately went to, “FEMINISM! Let that woman have her own sexual desires!” Maybe I’m missing part of the joke. Maybe the joke is that this woman is excited not only because she likes her husband’s new reaching abilities but maybe she’s also excited about his body. Curious to see if there were other reactions similar to mine I turned to Google and wasn’t happy. The entire first page of search results that I got were just websites posting the commercial along with a sort description, not exactly the critique or discussion that I was looking for. Desperate for any discussion I went to the comments section of YouTube and found… nothing. Aside from the usual trolls all the comments were just about how funny this commercial is*.
I don’t think I’m entirely immune to humor. The set up is that we think the mom’s thinking about sex but then we find out she’s thinking about housework! Hilarious! This humor seems to be very similar to that of Porn for Women, you know, that book of “beautiful PG photos of hunky men cooking, listening, asking for directions, accompanied by steamy captions: ‘I love a clean house!’ or ‘As long as I have two legs to walk on, you’ll never take out the trash.'” (From their Amazon page)
Alright, so there’s an element of satire to these pieces but I’m concerned that this represents our society’s overwhelming attitude toward’s female sexuality. Yes, we are admitting that sexual appetite’s aren’t only for men but we still cling to the “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus”-model. Porn for men? Grunting, pounding, rough. Porn for women? Muscly men wearing tight jeans and moving slowly to terrible background music. Obviously this isn’t all porn but our media seems to think this is most porn. Admitting that women have sexual urges is a step forward but confining their sexual urges to a very limited role isn’t so great.
In fact why do we need to give certain types of sexual urges to people based off of their gender? Men can be into slower, more “soft” porn and women can be into more grunting and pounding. Of course, these two gender roles completely ignore gender-neutral, gender-queer, third-gender and every other gender identity out there. Basically I’m extremely pissed off that in this day and age we still assign sexual desires because of someone’s gender. Let’s just admit that you can like what you like! And not only that but what you like is allowed to shift and change. Some days I’m interested in porn that involves power-play and some days I’m into porn that focuses on oral sex and some days I’m not interested in porn what so ever. So Sprint (and anyone else who buys ad-time or ever interacts with another human ever), please, please, please stop reinforcing these outdated ideas about sexual desires. Thanks.
Here are two things that I like:
There’s also this piece from CollegeHumor about the male stars in porn films (mildly NSFW):
(Am I completely alone in this? Is there a large male/female** divide in porn? And if you think there is a divide do you have any non-anecdotal evidence? Want to tell me I’m full of shit? Comments are really, really welcomed.)
Also- I’ve got a bunch of new things in my Etsy/Redbubble shops. Check out the links at my blog post on my website: hypatiaofvermont.com/news. I’ve got rent and stuff to pay and would really appreciate any support, that includes telling your friends about the cool stuff I’m selling. Thanks!
*I also looked at the “behind the scenes” video that Sprint put out. Nothing.
**Ugh, binary, GENDER DOES NOT EQUAL BINARY. I just feel like this conversation so often boils down to a strict binary and we should really start having a conversation about being inclusive. Going to write that blog post at some point.