Advertising to Men

Following the earlier post and discussion on affirmative action for male feminists I thought I would post this piece of advertising aimed at men, since I think it raises something about the experience of being a man that is of interest to feminism.

Scruffs Advert

This product is directed at construction workers, the kind that stereo-typically wolf-whistle and leer at women. One of the things I think is interesting is that just as advertising aimed at women (of the kind mentioned here) seems to make women view themselves in terms of their appearance and attractiveness to men, this kind of advertising does something similarly unhelpful.

First, and obviously, it helps to impose a male only exclusivity on the construction industry. Second, it helps define maleness and male sexuality as tough, and aggresive (“banging”, “drilling”). And thirdly, I would say it suggests something to men about how to view who (or even what) they have sex with. Banging, Screwing, Drilling are activities that we go around doing to things. When we draw a connection between this and sex, then sex is just something men go around doing to things. You can see where I’m going with all this – maybe this is the way men are taught to objectify women, maybe just as women are subject to the male gaze and self-police, perhaps men are subject to a continued checking of their masculinity and self-police their activities towards women, and so on. Anyway, I just thought this kind of advertising towards men was an instance of why certain male experiences are relevant and interesting to feminism.