Girly Business May 10, 2007Posted by jsaffold in commercials, menstruation, relationships with men.
Along with my comment on Jennifer’s post about tampon commercials, this is a Dr. Pepper commercial that pretty much speaks for itself: the guy is doing all these girly things for his girlfriend like folding her underwear, holding her purse, holding an umbrella over her and her shopping bags. The beginning part is really funny but I’ll let you all watch the commercial; you’ve probably seen it before. It goes along with my questions about male aversion to all-things-period. I’ll repost my comment here in case anyone missed it:
The last commercial (the Playtex Sport commercial with the cheerleaders doing stunts) in particular cracks me up because I was watching television with a guy friend and he was grossed out by all the flips and activity the cheerleaders were doing. The little song in the commercial goes “step up, let the fun begin” and when he heard that he said “Aren’t they afraid that they’re going to squirt somebody in the eye? They need to sit their asses down.” At first I couldn’t stop laughing, because many males have these vast misconceptions of what menstruation actually is like, and granted while they have no personal experience with it, the “squirting” and “gushing” (sorry, this is getting gross) descriptions is just so hyperbolic. This is all to touch on males’ relationship with periods–in my experience it is mostly one big gross-out factor for guys. We were talking in class about how young girls are often protected from knowing about the gory details of pregnancy and menstruation–young boys, at least from what i’ve seen, are kept at an even greater distance from even knowing about the logistics of how they came into the world, or what really happened on their “birthday.” This lack of knowledge seems to persist into adolescence and early adulthood when, though men may be aware of what happens, they have no interest in really knowing about it or, God forbid, seeing anything having to do with it. The aforementioned friend even grimaces when we walk past the pad/tampon aisle in the drugstore. But I’m not saying all these things to say that my friend is insensitive, because I think that his reactions are definitely socialized and I wouldn’t be surprised if many guys acted the same way. Periods and babies are definitely “girly business,” and while certainly men are becoming more and more involved in childrearing and sometimes births, menstruation and all associated symbols are left among women, and men seem content to have it that way. But I cannot claim to be able to speak from even one man’s perspective so it would be interesting to gain a male view on the amount of knowledge children receive about stuff like periods and how that knowledge manifests itself later in life. I’m sure I’m not the only person who’s ever known a guy who rushes past the pad/tampon aisle, or as he calls it, “the period place.”