Sunday, June 14, 2009

Low-hanging fruit

I've shown this commercial in class many times and the response is usually gales of laughter and sniping. Though it would not be incorrect to say the cultural markers or conventions here are rooted in a different era, I don't think it would be fair or accurate to say that this ad should be read as a "literal" presentation of gender roles or expectations in the '60s. As with many commercials from this era, exaggeration was used to comic effect. Yes, social conventions of the '50s and '60s did direct women to try to please their husbands, but this was also the era of Betty Friedan's Feminine Mystique. I feel the husband's extreme doltishness and the wife's doormatiness were actually ironically tapping into the cultural shift.

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