Ask.com: Chicks With Swords

I…do not like this commercial. I’m not entirely sure why. It could, after all, really have been so much worse. That is to say, not all of the “chicks with swords” in the Broadway-esque song and dance routine are scantily clad and they could have been. Perhaps my discomfort stems from my doubt anyone would even consider having the roles reversed, say, having a woman singing about looking for hot firemen in uniform or something.

I dunno. Does anyone else hate this commercial or have any issue with it at all? I’d love to hear what others think.

Comments

  1. Jennifer Kesler says

    Ooh! I do, I do!

    It’s just a freakin’ celebration of the male gaze! White man gets what he was looking for – yet again!

    Even if they release other versions showing other types of people getting what they’re looking for, I’ll still have gotten the message that Mr. Whitey’s desires came first.

  2. SunlessNick says

    I’m sure there will be other ads with other people getting what they’re looking for; but I’m far from sure that those “whats” will also be “whos,” especially when its not Mr Whitey doing the searching. Edited to add: Ok, I guess I’m wrong about that one.

    Couldn’t chicks with swords have been the answer to needs of some poor girl wanting to get into re-enacting?

  3. Mecha says

    Well, even with a male and female ad, it is worth pointing out that the guy wants ‘chicks with swords’ (generic, ‘chicks’, non-selective generic desire for hotness, objectification) and the girl wants ‘Kato Kaelin’ (specific, named, real person.)

    -Mecha

  4. sbg says

    Well, even with a male and female ad, it is worth pointing out that the guy wants ‘chicks with swords’ (generic, ‘chicks’, non-selective generic desire for hotness, objectification) and the girl wants ‘Kato Kaelin’ (specific, named, real person.)

    I was going to mention this. While the female version of the ad is still annoying, the difference is there. Plus, ALL of the guys who eventually show up on stage are fully dressed. Kato’s flashing a little chest via unbuttoned shirt, but that’s about it.

    I’ve also never actually seen the Kato one on television. I’ve seen the “chicks with swords” multiple times.

    Of all the people to do a search on, the woman picks Kato Kaelin?! WTF. <–me being flip, btw.

  5. Jennifer Kesler says

    EWWW!! Kato Kaelin was the best celeb sponsor they could get? Not even Shatner? They went with the star witness in a double murder trial?

    Seriously, though – what Nick said. The guy is looking for any woman who fits his fetish; the woman is looking for a specific guy. If that’s not a gendered assumption about how men and women approach sexuality, I don’t know what is.

  6. says

    That the first image of “what he was looking for” that appears on the screen behind him is a woman’s mostly-naked thigh and butt, rather than a woman fighting with a sword, kinda sets the tone of the whole thing. :-P

  7. Mecha says

    sbg: Personally, for me, I’ve seen them both on TV, but the voice of the female ad is the one I can call to mind first. I don’t know if that’s just me, or if it means I’ve actually ‘seen it’ more (I often have the TV on as background noise, along with other things.)

    (I was gonna be flippant about Kaelin, but I figured I’d leave it to everyone else.;) )

    Also, the female ad having that headless bit of Kato’s chest parallels what Revena brought up (the ads are both clearly about sex, because that’s what the internet’s all about), but it’s also clearly not the same degree, so.

    -Mecha

  8. SunlessNick says

    Seriously, though – what Nick said. The guy is looking for any woman who fits his fetish; the woman is looking for a specific guy. - BetaCandy

    Mecha made that point. Mine was the one about re-enacting.

  9. says

    I’m just curious if they would have even considered a commercial with a man singing the same song after having done a search for “Dudes with Swords”.

    Hm. Probably not.

    The commenters here raise a good point. I personally enjoy looking at pictures of “chicks with swords”, so the commercial didn’t bother me at first blush, but the comments about gender assumptions have made me ponder the commercial all over again.

  10. sbg says

    Also, the female ad having that headless bit of Kato’s chest parallels what Revena brought up (the ads are both clearly about sex, because that’s what the internet’s all about), but it’s also clearly not the same degree, so.

    *nods*

    Now, if the first shot had been of a bare chest and if maybe some of the dudes carting Kato around had been shirtless as well, the ads would be far more apples to apples than they are.

  11. sbg says

    That the first image of “what he was looking for” that appears on the screen behind him is a woman’s mostly-naked thigh and butt, rather than a woman fighting with a sword, kinda sets the tone of the whole thing.

    Indeed. If that had happened, can you imagine that particular guy as the one searching for such? Doubtful. I suspect we’d get an even more stereotyped figure. ;)

  12. says

    Well, I was going to comment but everyone else already hit on the points that I noticed.

    The only thing that I can add is that I think it’s telling that the “chicks with swords” includes a shot where slave-girls fawn at the feet of the White Guy.

  13. Nialla says

    I think the first killing point for me in the “chicks with swords” ad is that smirky look he has when the image of the woman’s thigh shows up onscreen behind him. It just kinda went downhill from there.

    I definitely agree with other comments about how the male is looking for generic females in skimpy clothing, while the woman is looking for a specific male, fully clothed. Ladies, this is how it’s supposed to work. We must be doing something wrong. *g*

  14. says

    That the first image of “what he was looking for” that appears on the screen behind him is a woman’s mostly-naked thigh and butt, rather than a woman fighting with a sword, kinda sets the tone of the whole thing.

    Yes! exactly. It makes it clear that the whole “with swords” part of it just a fetish – a not quite vital addendum to the “chicks” part – rather than a genuine appreciation for the awesomeness of Alanna, Xena, Buffy, Eowyn, etc.

    and oh, god, tekanji, I missed that. :P

    Richard, It’s one of those things where it might possibly be funny if the guy was more of the punch line, not the “chicks,” and/or we lived in a world where the Pierces and Whedons of the world didn’t get asked “why write about a girl with a sword?”

    (ps – why does the internet think my tongue out face is simply laughing? Am I doing it wrong?)

  15. Jennifer Kesler says

    Mecha and Nick, sorry for the mixup there. :)

    Revena – good point about the thigh shot setting the tone. These are the subtle little ways messages get sent.

    Tekanji – I too missed that shot. Good catch. *barf*

    Richard – I actually think they could have done a variation on this that would have been less gendered and more amusing. I haven’t thought this through much, but what if one of the “chicks with swords” got annoyed with the guy, and suddenly he panics because there’s this armed woman who’s less than thrilled about being called here? Take out the thigh shot Revena rightly pegged as setting the tone, and as Mickle suggests, it might have been more clear the guy was the punchline.

    Nialla – no kidding. I’m still waiting for the release into mainstream fashion of uber-tight “Package Pants” which enable men to “empower” themselves by showing off their packages and thereby appealing to the female gaze. ;)

    Mickle, I edited your comment smiley, trying to figure out the tongue sticky outty smiley guy, and I guess that’s as close as it gets. Maybe I don’t have a better one installed?

  16. says

    The first thing that’s wrong with this is that we see a huge almost-naked thigh behind the guy.

    Then there’s the fact that he’s singing that “he got what he was looking for”. Considering the visuals in this, it creates an idea of sexuality.

    The thing I hated most though was the whole idea of the barely-clad women with swords. I have no problem with women kicking butt medieval style but I expect to see leather jerkins, chainmail, greaves, the whole nine yards. Instead, this is just some male fantasy with nearly naked women holding phallic objects.

    The women’s commercial didn’t have the same feel to it. First, the woman has a British accent and the whole commercial had a more “Chicago” feel as a musical comedy.

  17. says

    BetaCandy – it’s not your site, it’s just smiley faces in general. I just can’t find an icon that does this

    : p

    clearly.

    I think the one you put there is supposed to be a tongue sticking out, but I always thought it looked more like an open mouth – the tongue doesn’t come far enough out. So it just looks like it’s laughing nastily instead of making “pth…” sounds to me.

    So sometimes when sites turn my text smileys into icon smileys, I’ll turn them back by putting a space between the : and the p

    (thread derailment over)

  18. Firebird says

    I have to say I did like the one with the woman because she isn’t ultra thin. At least, that’s the reaction I had at the time I saw it. I kept watching it going, “Is she really?” :-) I was much disappointed when I saw the guy one (I saw the one with the girl first).

  19. MaggieCat says

    First, the woman has a British accent and the whole commercial had a more “Chicago” feel as a musical comedy.

    I’m not sure why the woman having an accent would make any difference, but this one is very much in the tradition of musical comedy- all of the choreography in it is very reminiscent of the Ziegfeld Follies and Busby Berkeley’s work.

    (Sorry, this is why I haven’t had much to say. While I see the problems with the images being projected on the cyc behind him (and I completely agree that they’re inappropriate and offensive) the rest draws on too much theatrical history for me to be able to critique it with any objectivity.)

  20. sbg says

    The thing I hated most though was the whole idea of the barely-clad women with swords. I have no problem with women kicking butt medieval style but I expect to see leather jerkins, chainmail, greaves, the whole nine yards.

    Oh, come on now. Would a guy really use a search engine for that? Witness if you will, my sarcasm. ;)

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