The Ethical Adman’s Tom Meggison sent along a new ad campaign by Molson. The campaign coins the word “guyet,” a supposedly masculine alternative to “diet.”
If dieting is working out in order to be thin, then guyeting is “working out to justify eating the foods you love… Bacon, nachos, and burgers.”
There’s a very simple thing going on here: things associated with women are NOT-FOR-MEN, so anything that rings feminine must be
covered in bacon, dipped in beer batter, and fried masculinized. See, for lots of examples, our Pinterest page on the phenomenon with almost 100 examples.
Importantly, this isn’t just about maintaining a strong distinction between men and women, it’s about maintaining gender inequality. We disparage and demean femininity, which is why men want to avoid it. Listen to the tone of voice that the narrator uses when saying the word “diet” at 21 seconds:
Dieting is stupid ’cause girls and everything associated with girls is stupid. Guyeting is awesome ’cause guys are awesome.
The reverse doesn’t apply. Women who do things men like to do — drink whiskey, play sports, become surgeons, have dogs, etc — somehow rise in our esteem. Men’s worth, in contrast, is harmed by their association with femininity. This is a layer of gender inequality above and beyond sexism, the privileging of men over women; it’s androcentrism, the privileging of the masculine over the feminine. Since women are required to do femininity, it means being required to do trivial, demeaned, and disparaged things. Meanwhile, men have to come up with stupid excuses for participating in basic healthy activities like going for a jog.
More posts on androcentrism: “woman” as an insult, being a girl is degrading, making it manly: how to sell a car, good god don’t let men have long hair, don’t forget to hug like a dude, saving men from their (feminine) selves, men must eschew femininity, not impressed with Buzz Lightyear commercial, dinosaurs can’t be for girls, and sissy men are so uncool.
UPDATE: Comments closed.Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.