|"Victim" male in advertising (from Good Men Project website, March 2, 2012)|
The claim is clear: Women are meant to dole out abuse, and men are meant to take it, again and again, without complaint.
This is the theme of many current magazine advertisements, according to Mr. Cake. And he rightly blames men for their existence, given that men are not complaining publicly, for many reasons, some of which include the fact that, in some cases the ads themselves look silly, stupid and not worthy of comment.
However, we all know that if the photo were reversed, and a male had his foot on the female head, there would be an outcry, as there should be, by women everywhere.
I, as one simply blogger, sitting on the shore of Lake Ontario, in what can be called a border town steeped in its own history, (the first Canadian capital, and all that) and also steeped in political correctness, would be highly unlikely to actually see an advertisement in a local publication such as the one depicted above. However, in the U.S. as Mr. Cake rightly points out, such ads could easily appear beside such highly respected and thoroughly researched magazine pieces as "The End of Men"....which did appear in a not too far distant copy of The Atlantic.The feminist movement in its original version took as one of the principle pillars of its argument that some men in an organized and manipulative manner got together and decided to put women down, as a political and cultural act. That premise would have to assume that there were ever a movement, like feminism itself, to which most men subscribed as a conscious decision. And that assumption would be a likely to occur as it would be for someone who loves cats to "herd" them all together and march them down a street in a civic parade celebrating "Cat Day" along with the rest of the townsfolk.
The developing version of feminism that holds men responsible for everything that is wrong with our world, a position espoused by extremely angry, vocal and intolerably cruel women, is, like many of these ads, both ridiculous and hateful. However, for men to get together and form a movement around the abuse of men by women seems to most men not only a waste of time, but also a counter-intuitive idea, given that women would not likely listen anyway.
First, it would appear to other men that if such a movement developed, those within the movement would be dubbed "wimps" both those outside the movement. The analogy is perfectly clear already, when we hear men talk of other men as "pussy-whipped" by their female partners. And the same men who make such a charge often go home to a relationship in which they are not equal to their female partners, simply because they do not have the language or the patience or the inclination to advocate for their views in the face of what they might consider an unsympathetic "ear".
Second, for a cluster of men to take up Mr. Cake's challenge to publicly complain about the kinds of magazine advertising would, once again, require that that group of men consider the "problem" worthy of their time, compared to the "dissing" they would get from other men.
Let's be very clear about one thing, as an analogy here:
It is men who are virulent, and often violent, opponents to gays and lesbians, not women.
It is men who, apparently find their sexuality so fragile that they cannot even contemplate the fact that some men seek and find other men as sexual partners.
It is men who use their Bibles, and their Korans and whatever other religious books to justify their homophobia, and other men rarely, if ever, confront these homophobic men.
While I have never seen a scientific study to prove this, my gut tells me that the ratio of homophobic men to women who are intolerant of same-gender relationships is likely 1 million to 1 or some such ratio. Either women are more tolerant, or more secretive about their attitudes to men and women who choose partners of the same gender.
So, as one voice in the wilderness, I personally object to the kinds of photographs to which Mr. Cake refers in his piece;
I ask the executives in the advertising industry to reflect on their "standards" when designing and selecting their photographs for publication, regardless of the desires and intentions of their clients.
I also ask other men to find both the words and the courage to confront such ads as not merely ridiculous, or laughable, but hateful and unworthy of both the advertising industry and the publications in which they are found.
I also ask the female partners of men, who concur with this view, to speak up even through innocent questions to their partners, to begin a dialogue that might enhance the sensibility of the male partner to just how damaging these ads, and the many stereotypes of "dumb males" who find their way into many television and movie scripts, and onto our in-home and in-theatre screens, without a peep of complaint or resistance from the males in the audience.
We permit the repetition of such stereotypes not only at our own peril, but at the peril of our sons, grandsons and great-grandsons. And we do not do that with impunity..there will be a very high price.