I am so utterly offended by this ad, it’s not even funny to me. I can hear it now… “Lighten up, Matty.” “It’s just a joke, Matty.” Yeah, well… Is this how men are to be treated? Let’s break it down. (subject matter below may be considered PG-13 by some)
First, I will concede the following:
- Men are horny all the time. Oh, but by the way, lots of women are, too.
- Men don’t care if it’s a quickie sometimes. Oh, but by the way, lots of women don’t either.
- Most men don’t need 30 minutes. Oh, but by the way, lots of women don’t either.
Also, I am assuming these two are married… but it doesn’t really matter… a long term relationship is implied. Ok, now that that’s out of the way. Let’s consider what is actually going on here. I am going to translate this commercial for those of you who might not see the subtext:
Husband orders a pizza. Says to wife, “Honey, I have just ordered a pizza to be delivered. I have provided for our meal this evening. You don’t have to worry about it. By the way, since I have saved us some time which might otherwise have been spent going to a restaurant or preparing a meal, perhaps we could spend the time together, making love.” Wife says, “Why would I want to do that? You are an insensitive lover who doesn’t take my needs into account. I spit on your vulnerability. Making love is the most intimate act two people can share; it is how we connect with each other, but I would rather have a root canal than do it with you. In fact, this cup of coffee I’m holding gets me more hot than you do.”
Wow… all that from a cheesy pizza commercial? Yes, in fact, all that from a cheesy pizza commercial. Now, I understand what the joke is, ok. I am not devoid of a sense of humor. But this isn’t humor, in my opinion. This is a cheap joke based on a stereotype. It involves no wit or cleverness. This is 7th-grade-boy humor on par with fart jokes. What if the commercial was this: Two guys sitting in a room watching tv; one white, one black. Black guy hangs up the phone and says, “Pizza will be here in 30 min.” White guy says, “You’re black. You could run down there and pick it up and run back and it would take less time.” Not funny, right? Why? Because it’s based on a stereotype of black people being good at athletics. How about this: Two girls in a dorm room; one is white, one is asian. Asian girl hangs up the phone and says, “Pizza will be here in 30 min.” White girl says, “You’re asian, how many seconds is that?” Again, not funny. We know, almost instinctively, that stereotyping people based on their race is wrong. How come it’s ok to do it to men? Ladies, let me tell you this as a stone-cold fact. Women who treat their men this way, have men who cheat. I can’t say it any more plainly than that.
This commercial is representative of what, I believe, is a serious issue going on in this country; namely the systematic reduction and ridicule of men; a stripping away of masculinity. A few years ago, a burger chain ran commercials that showed men standing in supermarkets and kitchens staring at raw ingredients. The tag line, “Without us, most guys would starve.” Really? Is this funny to anyone? This is just school-yard bully behavior. Tearing others down to build yourself up.
I hear the other side…. I really do…. I know that many people feel women have been repressed and oppressed and ridiculed for decades… that this is just payback… a harmless zinger…. but, there’s no such thing, I’m sorry to say. I like bumper stickers… I love it when someone makes a clever play with words… and one of my favorites is, “An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.”
So, am I serious in calling for a boycott? ABSOLUTELY! I haven’t eaten at that burger chain since those commercials, either!