Thursday, December 3, 2009

Let men be men!

I will admit it: when I first saw "Beware of the Doghouse"  I laughed. But the more I saw it and its sequel the more the laughter included some cringing.

For those who missed it, the popular video is a ploy by JC Penney to sell jewelry. It shows the proverbial 'doghouse' as an actual place where men who have displeased their wives or girlfriends are sentenced to a life of folding laundry and eating quiche. The only way out is to convince the women of the review board that the lesson has been learnt. The way to do that is to show them that your next gift is some jewelry.

It is brilliant advertising. Never mind buying ad space, make it so funny that people send it to each other! Whoever designed this campaign really understands the new media landscape.

But I have a hard time with some aspects of the message.The video uses the dumbest stereotypes.
I'd much rather get a gift certificate for Amazon or a garden center than a piece of bling. But apart from that, Ladies, let's get real.

How many otherwise decent men do we know who do not hand out appropriate thoughtful gifts at the right Hallmark occasions? The only guy I know who is bursting with positive manly qualities AND remembers anniversaries with thoughtful gestures AND is still madly in love with his wife after 20 some years is Jamie Fraser. Please note that he is a fictional character invented by a woman, Diana Gabaldon.

Let's turn our collective backs on advertising. We have men dissatisfied with their women because they don't look like airbrushed models. We have women unhappy with their men because they don't behave like fictional characters.

Most of us are doing the best we can with what we've got.
Ladies, let go of romantic expectations and let men be men.
Men, this is NOT meant to excuse you from doing your fair share of whatever needs to be done around the house!

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