Genuine Curiosity

Author Dwayne Melancon is always on the lookout for new things to learn. An ecclectic collection of postings on personal productivity, travel, good books, gadgets, leadership & management, and many other things.


It’s a wonder I remember to wear pants, I guess

I've noticed a trend in advertising that bugs me.  What trend?  The depiction of men as stupid.  For example:

  • I just saw a Home Depot commercial on TV where a woman buys some tool called a "MultiTasker" and asks the store employee, "Does that mean I won't need him?" and points to her husband who's busy sticking a plunger to his forehead.
  • There's another commercial on the radio where a woman is advised to treat her husband like a dog to get him to use a household cleaning product more often.  The announcer says things like, "When he uses the product, praise him by saying 'Good boy!' and pat him on the head."

In a society where we are supposed to respect others and not denigrate people based on sex, I don't think this is a good thing.  If the same commercials were made with women as the stupid one, how would the public react?  They tend to shy away from casting a black man as the stupid man, too.  But when the "stupid man" is just some white guy, it seems that's OK.

Some stereotypes are just wrong, and certainly shouldn't be promoted in mainstream advertising campaigns.  For example, portraying blondes as dumb, successful women as bitches, southerners as toothless idiots, many ethnic and nationality-based stereotypes, etc.  The list goes on, and I think it should include the "all men are stupid" stereotype.

I'm all for free speech, but  I don't think promoting that kind of thinking is doing anyone any good.