Pepsi Max: Diet Soda for Men?

Despite my tendency to pick apart commercials, I didn’t watch the Super Bowl. Prime opportunity missed! Football’s just not my thing, I guess. I did see the following Super Bowl ad yesterday, though:

Okay, now, admittedly some of the slapstick ways these guys are getting smacked is a bit funny, if you’re into that kind of thing. I love physical comedy when it works. My issue with this commercial is more about the fact they’re using the mythical tough-guy male trope, which I won’t really go into here (but feel free to discuss), and the tag line.

Really? Pepsi had to create a special diet soda that was “manly” enough for a man’s “manly” needs? So a man not wanting to consume a ton of sugar or load on the extra calories from regular soda is so different from a woman choosing her soft drink for the same reasons that Pepsi Max had to be marketed gender-specifically? Does this mean that I, as a woman, shouldn’t purchase this soda? It’s too tough for me? I’d be safer purchasing their standard diet option.

I wonder what men who’ve wanted diet soda for years have done in the face of not having a product suitable for their tough-guy needs.

What am I missing here, dear readers? Please, someone enlighten me.

Comments

  1. says

    It reminds me of the classic response to “real men don’t eat quiche”, which is “real men eat whatever the hell they want.”

    I’m finally starting to see the pattern between this and all the “Men, come eat GREASY MEAT behind your nagging wives’ backs” commercials from the fast food industry: evidently, making thoughtful eating choices has been branded as a female behavior. And when men engage in female behaviors, they risk being accused of girliness.

    You know, if there are men to whom being accused of girliness really is a more scary proposition than wrecking the only body they have, maybe we should use this product as a litmus test, locate these men, and put them in a safe, quarantined environment where they can live out their lives without potentially influencing sane people. ;)

  2. sbg says

    I really ought to tell the guys I know who prefer diet soda that they’re not manly because of it.

    I truly hate that almost everything marketed as “diet” is apparently for women only. Why are only women seen as being concerned with healthy eating? Shouldn’t that be a universal thing?

  3. says

    My comment at the party upon seeing this commercial was “Pepsi Max: The first diet soda that just might kill you.” I’ll stick with sodas that aren’t analogized having a bowling ball dropped on your head.

    More seriously, I’m guessing they’ve got market research that there are some potential customers that view diet soda as too ‘feminine’ for them to drink. Shame they’re trying to overcome it by just creating a ‘masculine’ drink.

  4. SunlessNick says

    Pepsi Max had to be marketed gender-specifically? Does this mean that I, as a woman, shouldn’t purchase this soda? It’s too tough for me?

    Pepsi Max is the only diet soda that’s as sweet as the nondiet version. So to make men want sweetness, they have to overcompensate by making it seem more manly in other ways. Or something.

    “Men, come eat GREASY MEAT behind your nagging wives’ backs” commercials from the fast food industry: evidently, making thoughtful eating choices has been branded as a female behavior.

    Somebody, somewhere, doesn’t want men thinking too much. Left to our own devices, we might hear what a woman has to say and think, “She’s right.” Scary.

  5. SunlessNick says

    But outside the snark:

    “Men, come eat GREASY MEAT behind your nagging wives’ backs” commercials from the fast food industry: evidently, making thoughtful eating choices has been branded as a female behavior.

    … it’s unutterably depressing that “manly” behaviour is so strongly conflated with defeating women. But what else could it be in the cult of masculinity?

    Superman hasn’t got time to … parent his kids – women must do that for him.

    What our culture means by “a man”, however, is a construct.

    And putting those together, that construct requires the nascent man to stop following his mother’s example (hers, since she’s the one raising him according to this picture); he has to “defeat” her influence over him. Depressing.

  6. Robin says

    I have to agree with Greg. Even if I did like cola, I wouldn’t drink one that is equated with receiving life-threatening injuries at the hands of my thoughtless friends.

    Also, my older brother has been drinking diet soda for years now. He’s married and works primarily in manual labor jobs, two traditional hallmarks of “manliness”. He started buying diet soda in order to a) lose some weight, and b) get used to the taste, since genetics has pretty much doomed us to a future of type-2 diabetes. (I don’t drink soda enough to bother with diet yet, but I did switch to artificial sweetener in my morning coffee.) He’s succeeded in both goals — he’ll never be skinny, but he’s certainly a much healthier size now. As far as he can tell, it’s not only because the soda itself has fewer calories, but also because it doesn’t contain high fructose corn syrup, so he’s not snacking as much. And despite what those new commercials say, HFSC is not the same as sugar. Sugar doesn’t block the chemical signal that tells you that you’re full and should stop eating. [/tangent]

    @Jennifer: “real men eat whatever the hell they want.”

    Amen, sister. Real women, too. :)

  7. sbg says

    Pepsi Max is the only diet soda that’s as sweet as the nondiet version. So to make men want sweetness, they have to overcompensate by making it seem more manly in other ways. Or something.

    Yeah. I can’t get it to compute, either. Especially since just about everyone I know who used to drink regular soda and has either switched to diet or gone off it completely quickly recovers from the sugar (HFCS over here) addiction. I used to drink a bottle of Mt. Dew every day. Now I very rarely get a craving for one, and when I indulge I can’t finish a quarter of it. Too sweet.

    Rambly McRambly is rambling.

  8. sbg says

    More seriously, I’m guessing they’ve got market research that there are some potential customers that view diet soda as too ‘feminine’ for them to drink. Shame they’re trying to overcome it by just creating a ‘masculine’ drink.

    It is pretty ridiculous. I suppose it’s not unlike alcoholic girly drinks. Like a guy can’t enjoy a Cosmo now and then? Apparently not. It’s too emasculating to be seen drinking such a colorful concoction.

  9. DragonLadyK says

    See, the irony in this commercial for me is that:

    [painful thing happens]
    I’m good! I’m fine.

    is me to a T. I do it all the time, with my 5’4″ XX-chromosome self. So does my sister, who is 5’3″ and blonde as the day is long.

    Gender stereotype fail, as the macro-makers would say.

    DragonLady

  10. Oneiriad says

    Seems to me like Pepsi just grew jealous of Coca Cola’s oh-so-manly Coca Cola Zero and and their whole “life as it should be” nonsense, so they made their own manly ad…

  11. sbg says

    As far as he can tell, it’s not only because the soda itself has fewer calories, but also because it doesn’t contain high fructose corn syrup, so he’s not snacking as much. And despite what those new commercials say, HFSC is not the same as sugar. Sugar doesn’t block the chemical signal that tells you that you’re full and should stop eating. [/tangent]

    Don’t even get me started on the “it’s fine in moderation” schtick they’ve got going. Of course it is, but how on earth is someone on a tight budget supposed to moderate their intake of it when all the food they can afford contains HFCS? It’s in places you just wouldn’t even think about. Like many breads. Cereals. Anything processed and packaged and cheap is HFCS heaven.

    But that’s a totally different topic. Heh.

  12. sbg says

    is me to a T. I do it all the time, with my 5′4″ XX-chromosome self. So does my sister, who is 5′3″ and blonde as the day is long.

    Me too. Last year I really jacked up my back, and though I was hunched over and clearly not all right I was all, “I’m good. Really, I’m fine!” Hehe.

    Coworker: You don’t look fine.
    Me: I’ve had worse.

  13. sbg says

    Seems to me like Pepsi just grew jealous of Coca Cola’s oh-so-manly Coca Cola Zero and and their whole “life as it should be” nonsense, so they made their own manly ad…

    Oh, of course the product and ad campaign is a direct response to their primary competition’s product. :)

  14. Robin says

    @DragonLadyK: “is me to a T. I do it all the time, with my 5′4″ XX-chromosome self. So does my sister, who is 5′3″ and blonde as the day is long.”

    Yeah, me too. I mucked up my knee a couple weeks ago while skiing (on a trail I wasn’t really properly warmed up for). I tried to convince my friends that I could make it to the base on my own, but it wouldn’t hold me up for more than a hundred feet or so. In the end, I had to sit on my ass in a snowbank while one of them went for the ski patrol. :-\

    @sbg: “Don’t even get me started on the “it’s fine in moderation” schtick they’ve got going.

    But that’s a totally different topic. Heh.”

    It is. Still pisses me, though.

  15. Nina says

    In terms of sbg’s comment that everything “diet” is marketed at women, I don’t think it’s necessarily that healthy eating is feminine, but that dieting is feminine. That is, being concerned with one’s weight, losing weight, needing to watch what one is eating to stave off fat, etc. – these are all things women are (culturally speaking) supposed to be concerned with, not men. Thus, the thinking goes, diet soda is for women because women need to lose weight, and therefore special marketing is needed to sell diet soda to men.

  16. sbg says

    You’re right, Nina. That there was me trying to make the “target diet items to women” seem better than it actually is.

  17. MaggieCat says

    I’ll stick with sodas that aren’t analogized having a bowling ball dropped on your head.

    Heh, and here I was thinking that it was a pretty soung analogy given the migraines that most of the artifical sweeteners in diet sodas give me and so many others. Truth in advertising taken to a ridiculous extreme!

    [painful thing happens]
    I’m good! I’m fine.

    is me to a T. I do it all the time, with my 5′4″ XX-chromosome self. So does my sister, who is 5′3″ and blonde as the day is long.

    Gender stereotype fail, as the macro-makers would say.

    Not that I’m supporting ridiculous gender differences, but entertaining anecdotal evidence: when I smashed my ankle several years ago, the orthopedic surgeon who pieced it back together once made an offhand comment about women handling pain better than men. This comment came after he examined three toes on my good foot that I’d broken a few days before with one of my crutches, and had simply taped up myself since they weren’t out of alignment and there wasn’t anything else anyone could do anyway. (Though it could explain how I managed to refrain from killing or even yelling at the tech who dropped an x-ray plate on the broken ankle in the ER.)

  18. DragonLadyK says

    Not that I’m supporting ridiculous gender differences, but entertaining anecdotal evidence: when I smashed my ankle several years ago, the orthopedic surgeon who pieced it back together once made an offhand comment about women handling pain better than men.

    See, that actually makes sense. A woman’s body is designed to push something the size of a watermelon out a hole the size of a lemon, and epidurals haven’t been around for even a century: if a woman’s brain wasn’t keen on endorphin production, humanity would have died out by now. ~.^

    I think it’s ironic that The Cult of Masculinity’s beloved pain tolerance is mostly biological: either your body coughs up the goods, or it doesn’t.

    DragonLady

  19. ACW says

    Hmm. You would think in a society where women are generally encouraged to eat in a healthy manner and men are generally discouraged from doing so, the women would outlive the men.

    Oh, wait. We do.

  20. Bleaksilence says

    Hi, I’m new to this site and I enjoy the articls and comments a lot. :)

    @women and pain
    I always thought that women could handle pain better. Recently I came upon two interesting articles, an older and a more recent one: http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=51160

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1048863/Women-DONT-higher-pain-threshold-men.html

    Scientists tend to prove a lot of things but chances are high that a few years later someone will come along and prove exactly the opposite. ;)

    I think I can handle pain pretty well, in fact a bit too well. I once endured a pretty bad cystitis because I was to afraid to go to the doctor. Pretty stupid if you ask me now.

  21. says

    Nina said: “I don’t think it’s necessarily that healthy eating is feminine, but that dieting is feminine. ”

    Well, a lot of recent fast food ads seem to play to the idea that men need to ditch their nagging wives and go eat something dripping with grease instead of the salad she’s pushing at them. (I know we discussed one such commercial, but can’t find it now – must’ve been in comments.) So it seems at least some marketers are assuming their male target audience thinks health food is something nagging women force on men…?

    Bleaksilence, that’s an ongoing scientific debate because at the end of the day, you can’t try on two bodies and measure how each feels. :D Apparently, women have more nerve endings in their skin (particularly in certain areas) than men have. According to current understanding, this means if you inflicted an identical blow on a man and woman, the woman would feel it much more. Which makes it amazing women can tolerate anything resembling the same injuries as men with the same or better fortitude. Last I heard, scientists have no idea what it all means, and were generating hypotheses to check into. There’s obviously far more to how a body processes pain than how many nerve endings it has – someone who suffers chronic pain, for example, develops a much higher tolerance for pain than someone who doesn’t. Maybe having so many more nerve endings forces a similar compensation? Who knows?

  22. Bleaksilence says

    Yeah, I thought about it too. It’s almost impossible to compare it.

    btw, I really love reading this blog, it’s great! Unlike other sites, that talk about feminism, gender roles etc this blog really manages to stay relevant, doesn’t overreact and isn’t downright anti-male. Other blogs I’ve read tend to overanalyse or condemn readers who try to defend the male’s point of view. I remember a post about a showmaster (iirc) who sexually aussaulted a woman in frot of the the audience (touched her breasts etc) He also allegedly fingered her. No one actually saw what really was happening though. The blog author insisted that it was rape and everyone who disagreed was automatically marked a pro rapist.

    I hope that was easy to understand, English isn’t my mother tongue so I might have used some words incorrectly. If you get offended it’s probably because of my English skills. :D

  23. says

    Bleaksilence, glad you’re enjoying the site! This is off-topic, but I just want to address this since you brought it up: it was a comedian who did that, and groping someone without permission is, by legal definition, “sexual assault.” The term sexual assault refers to ANY non-consensual sexual contact. I think you may be making a distinction between the terms rape and sexual assault, but they are generally used interchangeably these days. The blogger may have been using the term “rape” to make sure people understood that what he did was serious and not necessarily any less traumatic than, say, forcible penetration.

  24. Bleaksilence says

    I looked for the original article on the site but I can’t seem to find it. But I remember the details now.

    That might have been the case, yes. But sexual asault can include any nonconsensual act including rape, while rape most likely refers to forced intercourse.
    Just so were clear, I think it’s horrible what he did and with what he got away with, but I wouldn’t call him a rapist. And I don’t understand why one can think I’m pro rapist just because I think that sexual assault is the more appropriate word for the discussion.

    What I wanted to say actually was, that I just don’t like the attitude of some blogs, that won’t let you critique their point of view without starting a fight and who are too oversensitive.

    I hope I was clear enough. :)

    • says

      Bleaksilence, it’s true I’m not calling you pro-rapist, but only because I think you just don’t understand that rape and sexual assault as synonymous. A forcible groping is NO LESS WRONG than forcible intercourse. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter whether we call it rape or sexual assault because both are equally wrong and have the same potential for trauma. Perhaps the blogger used the term rape in an attempt to get you to understand this, since you seem to think groping and possibly fingering someone isn’t as awful as sticking your penis in them without consent. IT IS. Because it’s not the physical act that causes the trauma, but the realization that this person thinks your body is theirs for the taking. How “far” they go in “taking” it is irrelevant.

      And let’s close this subject. It is off-topic. I’m just trying to let you know that you may eventually encounter the same attitude you’re complaining about here as you’ve encountered elsewhere because you are just plain misinformed about rape, and need more education on the topic if you want to continue discussing it. That’s probably what the other blogger was attempting to give you, and instead of learning from it, you got defensive and came here. We don’t talk about rape/sexual assault as often here as some blogs do, but believe me, if you try to say “Gosh, I think what he did was awful, but it was sexual assault and not rape” you’re going to get some requests for clarification, and then you’ll probably get your ass handed to you by people more eloquent on the subject than I.

      Maggie, thank you. I knew something was bothering me about the articles! If indeed women have more nerve endings, then of course we should experience sensation more quickly/easily than men. But tolerance for pain absolutely needs to be a measure of when pain starts to impact your ability to go about your daily business, not the point at which you first become aware of it. And this is where the anecdotal belief is coming from – household after household where, when everyone gets sick, Mom continues somehow to put aside her own pain and continue caretaking and doing chores and everything, while Dad and the kids whine whine whine. Whether it’s cultural or biological, I doubt we’ll ever know – I have no question culture is involved. But while I am always very skeptical of claims that there are biologically hardwired behavior differences between men and women (you can’t test this properly until you raise a large sample group of humans in a complete cultural vacuum – perhaps by wolves – and then observe that, oh, hey, the girls still all like shoe shopping), I would actually not be stunned to learn that the gender that has evolved to give painful, painful birth has physical adaptations that allow her to handle pain differently. It would seem to make sense, as evolution sometimes does. ;)

  25. MaggieCat says

    I think I can handle pain pretty well, in fact a bit too well. I once endured a pretty bad cystitis because I was to afraid to go to the doctor. Pretty stupid if you ask me now.

    If it makes you feel any better to have company, I have not one but two friends who walked around all day (or days) with an appendix that had them steered into surgery immediately after they eventually went to the ER after work. Leading in one case to cries of “You went to work?” from the surgeon. Heh. (Both female, but all three of us have a disease that frequently causes severe abdominial pain, so there’s a tolerance factor there.)

    One thing I noticed about the linked articles, particularly the Medicinenet one, is that they’re using “tolerance” differently than I would — which would be not the point at which discomfort is first registered, but the point at which pain becomes intolerable. Understandable since there’s absolutely no ethical way to test my definition, but it seems like the more relevant question and they aren’t neccesarily connected. One of the women with a ready to burst appendix shares my freakishly intense hatred for scratchy tags in clothing for example. (And I wouldn’t think using childbirth is a good point of reasoning for anything, since they still haven’t figured out all the roles hormones are playing there and there’s a difference between something the body is supposed to be able to do biologically and a massive injury (not that they’re mutally exclusive, but assuming the former is complication free).)

    Wow, I drove this thread wildly off track, didn’t I?

  26. sbg says

    But tolerance for pain absolutely needs to be a measure of when pain starts to impact your ability to go about your daily business, not the point at which you first become aware of it. And this is where the anecdotal belief is coming from – household after household where, when everyone gets sick, Mom continues somehow to put aside her own pain and continue caretaking and doing chores and everything, while Dad and the kids whine whine whine. Whether it’s cultural or biological, I doubt we’ll ever know – I have no question culture is involved.

    Thanks to you, Jenn, and Maggie – I was sitting here all day trying to come up with this or something like it in regards to those studies. I’m not sure it’s ever been a question of how much pain men can physically endure versus women, but simply how we do endure it.

    The first thing I said when I learned one of my BILs had his appendix removed was, “Oh, dear. My poor sister.” Because that particular BIL makes it seem like a head cold is really Yersinia pestis and he’s going to die by sunset.

  27. Bleaksilence says

    No I didn’t come here to nag about other people. For me there’s a huge difference between rape and forcible groping but it doesn’t mean that I think one is worse.
    e.g. http://www.rainn.org/get-information/types-of-sexual-assault/sexual-assault
    I think it’s pretty rude to assume I don’t know anything about the concept of rape just because I’ve been using a word with another definition than you (and for which not even all states have the same definition)
    That’s all I wanted to say. Yeah, let’s close the subject.

  28. sbg says

    Don’t let’s fight. I think we all can agree that on the internet there are always going to be disagreements which stem at least partly from misunderstanding what is being said.

  29. DragonLadyK says

    I think Breaksilence’s point was merely that non-penetrative and penetrative assault carry different penalties legally.

    Sexual criminals (some of which are women; one in ten rape victims is male) start with peeping-tom type crimes. Some of them stay at that legal level of crime out of fear of the consequences, but most will escalate to groping or humping unwilling strangers. Some of them stay at that legal-level out of fear, but most will escalate further into penetrative assault (rape): either with an object or a body part — at least I assume that’s what “fingering” was in reference to.

    Criminals don’t just start out with penetrative rape: they need to “work up the nerve” first. The escalation also occurs because the “high” wears off for each level of offense, provoking a need for a greater and greater “thrill.” Groping isn’t the same as rape legally or forensically, but it is a step in that direction for the offender psychologically.

    Which I believe was Kesler’s point: both are sex offenses with the same motive that traumatize the victim, probably for life — which is why in gender-politics discussions non-penetrative and penetrative assault are held as the same crime.

    How this relates to the commercial is that the commercial reinforces the idea that men are “above” women in some intrinsic way and that partaking in “girly” things intrinsically reduces a man. Sex offenders are able to do what they do because they view their victims as lesser beings, objects put on the Earth for their enjoyment. Fostering the idea that the feminine reduces the masculine is only pouring fuel on the male sex offender fire by cultivating an atmosphere that reinforces male domination of women and the idea that women are lesser beings/toys. That’s what makes sexism dangerous instead of merely annoying.

    DragonLady

  30. says

    Which I believe was Kesler’s point: both are sex offenses with the same motive that traumatize the victim, probably for life — which is why in gender-politics discussions non-penetrative and penetrative assault are held as the same crime.

    Yes, that is what I’m saying. Legal definitions vary from one locale to another, so unless people are discussing a case, they’re likely to be talking about the morals and ethics rather than the law.

    Morally and ethically, there is no difference at all between sexual assault and rape. The ability to sexually violate someone in ANY way, however fleetingly, in whatever manner, requires a belief that the person’s body is yours for the taking. Either you believe that or you don’t. The groping alone justifies classifying this guy as a sexual predator – he is clearly on the “women’s bodies belong to me if I want to use them” side of the fence. For someone to enter the discussion and argue about what term we should call the perpetrator is doomed to be seen as showing more concern for the perp than the victim. How else could it be interpreted, really?

  31. DragonLadyK says

    For someone to enter the discussion and argue about what term we should call the perpetrator is doomed to be seen as showing more concern for the perp than the victim. How else could it be interpreted, really?

    That’s why I like the terms “sex offender”/”sex crime” so much. Whether you’re discussing the law, forensic psychology, or ethics, those terms mean the same thing, they create an instant basic summary/word picture about the individual or crime being discussed, and it defines what sets those crimes apart from all other criminal acts right there at the outset. ^^

    Furthermore, if someone is attempting to obscure the crime or defend the victim (which I’m not sure Breaksilence was trying to do; don’t know her well enough to make that call), those terms completely expose their motives by giving them nothing to hide behind. Anyone who wants to argue groping isn’t a sex crime or that someone who would do it isn’t a sex offender is clearly out of line.

    (I’m an English nerd. Connotative vs. denotative definitions fascinate me. Pardon my geeking. ^^)

    DragonLady

  32. Ikkin says

    For someone to enter the discussion and argue about what term we should call the perpetrator is doomed to be seen as showing more concern for the perp than the victim. How else could it be interpreted, really?

    Well, since the vocabulary used to refer to the victim and the perpetrator are linked, there’s a victim-side argument in favor of a distinction in terms:

    If one believes that penetrative assault might increase the amount of trauma caused to the victim above and beyond the trauma intrinsic to her recognition of his disregard for her autonomy, there would be a reason to argue, for the sake of the victim, that the terms “rape” should only be used for penetratory assault. Such an argument could be completely detached from any sympathy for the perpetrators – the person making it could very well believe that the perpetrators themselves should all be lumped together as the same type of predatory scumbag.

    It appears from some of the previous comments that there’s a generally-held belief that the only trauma caused by sexual assault comes from “the realization that this person thinks your body is theirs for the taking.” I can’t see why this assumption should be considered unassailable or opposition to it pro-perp, considering that, if incorrect, it would cheapen the perceived cost to the victim of penetratory assault below the actual cost and could make things more difficult for those victims.

    (I’m not sure about whether any research has been done to test the assumption, but from a naive standpoint, I find it difficult to believe that the nature of the physical act – or, at the very least, the way in which it takes place – has no effect on the victim. I also feel like there might be something that I’m missing – that the differences in trauma might be taken into account in other ways that I don’t know about – since it’s so alien to me to think that there could be no difference.)

  33. says

    It appears from some of the previous comments that there’s a generally-held belief that the only trauma caused by sexual assault comes from “the realization that this person thinks your body is theirs for the taking.”

    I didn’t mean to imply it was the ONLY trauma. I was offering that as the reason why any sexual assault can be equally as traumatic as another, and why you can’t assume that because a groping is seen as less intimate than penetration, it must have caused less trauma. The difference in trauma is partly due to the victim’s own psychology, and also to any number of contextual factors aside from what particular sex act was forcibly committed.

    The only thing virtually all sexual assaults have in common is the perpetrator’s attitude.

  34. says

    I really think it’s simpler than most of you are making it. Most men find slapstick funnier than most women do.

    (That’s a generalization, of course, and prone to the same flaws as all generalizations, but the popularity of The Three Stooges would seem to prove its intrinsic correctness.)

    Therefore, using severe slapstick to sell to men is a valid marketing tool, no?

    In the same way, more women than men – generally – will be affected in a positive way, for an advertiser’s needs, by pictures of cute infants.

    Neither one has to mean that men hate infants or that women don’t enjoy laughing. It’s just marketing. And, if someone finds it upsetting, I truly can understand that. I’m continually pissed at Hallmark’s blithe and off-hand use of “Hah-Hah! Men are such oblivious apes!” sort of jokes.

    Now, does the advertisement in question denigrate men? I suppose so, if you want to assume that the men watching the commercial are all going “Yuk! Yuk! Yup, that’s me all right!”, but making that assumption is even more hurtful than the one the advertiser MIGHT have been making, isn’t it? I just found it funny, albeit high on the brutality scale.

    Does the ad, in some backhanded way, denigrate women? I think perhaps that’s a more valid point. It certainly excludes them entirely from the conversation, but isn’t that the advertiser’s prerogative? If Pepsi wants to eliminate 50% of their potential market for a product, that’s their stupid choice to make.

    Anyway, very interesting writing here. I’d be less-than-honest if I said I agreed with all of it – obviously, from this response, I don’t – but all engagingly well-written and, I’m sure, well-meant. Dialogue is always useful, and thanks for that!

  35. says

    Suldog, I think maybe you assumed from the nature of the site that the article was a rant about some unfairness to women, but if so, you missed the entire point. We talk about gender issues, which includes media presentations we consider harmful to men as well as women.

    You may want to re-read and note that SBG said she loves slapstick when it’s well-done (me, too). She was concerned about the myth that men must eat unhealthy crap to be manly. She did not complain about women being excluded from the ad – rather, I think her point was rather that EVERYONE should be excluded from the message that you need special permission to make informed choices about your diet.

    As we’ve discussed around here before, it is a terrible disservice to men to suggest that it’s not manly to eat healthy. That was the point of the article. It really didn’t have much at all to do with women.

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