We talk about a lot on this blog about how things that having nothing to do with genitals are, nonetheless, gendered. Some sociologists are noting that a cluster of ideas related to intellectualism–liking school, studying hard, being smart, reading, and even caring about ideas–have become feminized. As a result, boys and men express less interest in and invest less in school, and girls and women are kicking their asses, scholastically speaking.

We previously featured an advertising campaign for Wrangler that told men to “stop thinking.” And this week Monika P. and Kat B. sent in an ad campaign for Deisel with the slogan: “be stupid.”

There’s a whole commerical (embedded below), but the general thrust is that smart people are doin’ smart stuff, but Diesel is “with stupid.” Because “stupid is the relentless pursuit of a regret free life.”  And while smart people may have “the brains,” stupid people have “the balls.” Besides, they say, “if we didn’t have stupid thoughts, we’d have no interesting thoughts at all.” Which doesn’t make the slightest bit of sense, but whatever.

And in case that doesn’t convince you, they concede that “smart has the authority,” but stupid has “one hell of a hangover.” Sign me up.

Ultimately the message is that smart people are repressed and confined, they have no fun, and nothing exciting ever happens to them.  So being smart is framed as (but isn’t) the opposite of all these things.   They leave you with the thought: “You can’t outsmart stupid.”



UPDATE! That said, Reader Kyle Munkittrick offers a compelling rebuttal at his blog, Pop Transhumanism.

Lisa Wade, PhD is an Associate Professor at Tulane University. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture; a textbook about gender; and a forthcoming introductory text: Terrible Magnificent Sociology. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.