Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wifercize Wednesday: men, men, men, men, manly men, men, men...

Anyone have the theme song to "Three and a Half Men" in your head?

I noticed an odd trend while perusing Superbowl XLIV's ads (because we all know they make two teams wearing tights and shoulderpads to duke it out over a major holiday weekend just to satiate my advertising needs). It seems as if the new definition of manliness is to be slightly hen-pecked, but complain about it.

Men Without Pants, Dockers

Tagline: "Calling all men: it's time to wear the pants."

Injury Report, FLO TV

Tagline: "Change out of that skirt, Jason."

Man's Last Stand, Dodge

Tagline: "...and because I do this, I will drive the car I want to drive."

Journey to Comfort, Nivea

Tagline: "Now that you're comfortable with who you are, isn't it time for comfortable skin?"

Though laughing, I couldn't help but notice that there was something in each of these videos that made me feel unsettled. Men: are things really that bad, or do you jest? Women: do we really want our men to go bra shopping with us?

It reminds me of a great song by Alanis Morissette (SHE DOES HAVE SOME GOOD SONGS) called A Man, in which she sings out against (that's right: against) hostile feminism. Some of the lyrics are:
We don't fare well with endless reprimands
We don't do well with a life served as a sentence
This won't work well if you're hell bent on your offense
I am a man who understands your reticence

I am a man who still does what he can
To dispel our archaic reputation
I am a man who has heard all he can
'Cuz I don't fare well with endless punishment
I remember finding these lyrics during my own gender war, where I was trying to figure out if I was mad at men for being too manly or mad at men for not being manly enough. Not to mention trying to figure out what "manly" actually was. What I knew was that, as women, we had to take our influence seriously: for the most part, the men I knew were complying with our demands for equality, respect, and honour but also allowing the pendulum to swing so far in its compensation that they also felt maligned.

There are so many schools of thought on the issue, from Eldredge to Driscoll to Meyer to Cunningham to my own husband, Andrew. All of these are Christian references, however, and ones that I'm used to discussing in a church context. Interesting how the Superbowl, geared towards male camaraderie, inspired secular companies to humourously address the same issue.

Are our women too womanly? Are they too manly? Are men too manly? Are they too womanly?

Personally, from a ministerial perspective, and as a woman, I LOVE the Hillsong Men's Conference promo videos:

1 comment:

Lisa.Pearl.Photography said...

Sarah, SO good...LOVE those last two Men's Conference Ads!!