The following is a print ad from those one-trick ponies over at Axe Body Spray in an ongoing effort to market shower products to men.


The text pointing to the black part of the “Axe Detailer Shower Tool” (the name of which is worth a post all by itself) says:

“Washes Jessica’s perfume off your ear.”

The text pointing to the red part of the “Tool” says:

“Scrubs Jessica’s Mom’s perfume off your knees.”

I guess the take-home message is that you can exfoliate, but still be masculine enough to have a creepy three-way sexual relationship with women who are related to each other by blood.

By the way, what’s up with that?  The heterosexual male fantasy of being sexually serviced by two women is so common as to have become a cliché, but what about the less-frequently endorsed but still prevalent fantasy about those women being sisters (or better yet, identical twins!) or a mother-daughter pair?  Is it simple attraction (i.e., if you’re attracted to one woman in a family, it’s likely you’ll be attracted to other women who look/act like her)?  Is it the taboo element?  Or does the power to coerce women into an incestuous situation serve as its own reward?

Still, Axe got one thing right with this product.  When I think about a guy who would buy this sponge in the hopes of securing sexual relations with a woman and her mother, I can’t help but think of him as a, well…tool.

 Here is an ad from the “Most Interesting Man in the World” ad campaign by Dos Equis:


This ad, which is a clear attempt to harken back to the halcyon days of unfettered masculinity, is a cautionary tale against the feminizing effect of men shaving their body hair.  Contrast this message with that of the following ad for the Schick Quattro:


Since the razor is pink, we can safely assume that it’s intended for women to use when converting their spiky brambles into beautiful flowers.

So, men aren’t supposed to shave below the neck, but women are required to.  Specifically, women are supposed to shave their “flowers” (in a nod to vulva-as-flower imagery?).

This may be helpful in discussions about social norms related to the removal of pubic hair. Of particular interest is whether the expectation of women’s pubic hair removal is objectively different from the expectation that they will remove other body hair.  Although pubic hair is considered more “private,” it’s difficult to make the argument that the impact of removing it is more sexual than that of, say, removing armpit hair (given that women’s attractiveness is partially predicated on the illusion of hairlessness).  Also, some men are beginning to remove their pubic hair (and the Most Interesting Man in the World be damned). Is this a positive shift, suggesting some parity in beauty standards, or is it a negative shift, in that superficial cosmetic norms now have the power to leapfrog over the traditional bastion of masculinity?

Those scamps at Patrón have come up with the following ad from their ” Some Perfection Is Debatable” campaign:


The following items apparently all represent perfection (debatably):

1. X-Ray Glasses: Dresses, locker rooms, bathroom stalls…the possibilities are limited only by your desire to look at the naked bodies of unconsenting women!

2. PMS Patch: Finally, a treatment for women whose behavior is intolerable because their hormonal levels are closest to men’s.

3. Shopping Harness: Presumably this would prevent shopping for girly stuff like purses and tampons.  Buying video games and flat-screen TVs would be unaffected by the Harness.  (When I pointed this out in class, a student told me “Women shop. Men purchase.”)

4. Silent Clone: At last, a woman who will only engage in sexual and domestic chores, without all of that troublesome talking!

5. Anti-Cuddling Device: Because after a rigorous, masculine bout of penile-vaginal intercourse, the last thing you want to do is something as gay as cuddling, am I right?

In addition to the obvious points the ad attempts to make about the inferiority of the feminine, it might be useful in a discussion about the smirking, elbow-in-the-ribs assumptions that are often a part of the enforcement of masculinity.

When I think “sexy,” I tend to think of three things:

1. Soft candlelight

2. The music of Barry White

3. Automobile crash test research

Apparently, the people over at DSQUARED2 (which, by the way, comes out to D4 ) agree with me on the last one:

Good for discussions about objectification, driving safety, or that fashion photographers are finally starting to run out of ideas.

My friend at Trucker Bomb alerted me to this clip from the 1956 film “Indestructible Man.” I’m saving it until one of my students waxes nostalgic about the “good old days” in which gender roles were clearer, and people didn’t have to be so confused all of the time about, say, whether it’s okay to open a door for a “lady”. This sort of comment often comes up when we discuss the difference between courtesy (which can apply to everyone) and chivalry (which is predicated on the notion that women are weaker than men). It could also be useful in discussions about gender as it relates to marriage, careers, or golly, just about anything!

YouTube Preview Image

Man, the good old days were awesome, in a pause-while-laughing-to-barf-a-little kind of way.

This is a print ad for Bongo clothing:

The thing that caught my attention (other than the absurd, gratuitous sexual imagery) is that, as far as I can tell, Bongo only sells women’s clothing. This means that the ad isn’t supposed to have some sort of Axe Body Spray-esque appeal to men (i.e., “Wear Our Jeans And An Ambidextrous Woman Will Give You And Another Guy A Handjob!”). Thus, the point of the ad appears to be that women should want to purchase and wear a denim vest/corduroy miniskirt combo, so that they may earn the right to sexually service men in a way that reinforces the invisibility of female sexuality (except as a mechanism by which men can be satisfied).

And that’s just not a good enough reason to wear corduroy.

The following images are from an ad campaign by Evan Williams bourbon. Each features the tag line “The longer you wait…the better it gets.” The first is a scanned image of a print ad (sorry for the torn edge):

These images are from the Evan Williams website:

The images from the website also feature the “Before Aging: After Aging” slogan, which presumably applies to the increasing social demand for hypersexual feminine performance as time passes (and certainly not to an acceptance or appreciation of the fact that individual women age). I particularly enjoy this last ad, since it makes an observation that, in the old days, women wore frumpy sweaters, but now, thanks to “aging,” we can all expect women to wear asymmetrical lime-green halter tops with beads of moisture dripping into their copious cleavage.

And if that’s not a recipe for progress, I don’t know what is.

NEW! Here’s another one:


The following image is of a USC quarterback named, and I swear I’m not making this up, John Booty. In fact, if you look closely, the title of the text in the photo is “Booty’s Call.”

This could be useful in discussions about the social construction of masculinity and sexuality. Imagine any other scenario in which two men were posed this way in a photograph without being labeled as homosexual. However, since they are playing football, they manage to get away with this blatant violation of the rules. In fact, they manage to break the rules of gender and sexuality in a way that manages to reinforce those same rules.

Talk about moving the goalposts…