Alex Blaze

Bryan Safi on anti-gay ads

Filed By Alex Blaze | August 04, 2010 7:00 AM | comments

Filed in: You Gotta See This
Tags: gender

Bryan Safi talks about the rising anti-sissy messages in advertising. The Arby's one makes me the saddest, considering a bunch of execs who probably never eat the crap Arby's serves sat around thinking of ways to exploit men's insecurity with their sexuality and gender performance to make a few dollars.

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Well, of course the Old Spice man is gay -- I mean, please: you've seen the one that ends with him, bare-chested (and glistening from a dive in the water), in wet jeans, astride a dripping-wet motorcycle? It's a Tom of Finland image.

But IMHO Bryan is over-thinking the concept a bit. The whole point of advertising these days is to make someone feel inferior in such a way that buying this product/service/whatever will immediately fix it. Think you may be putting on a few pounds, ladies? Some Victorias Secret lingerie will make you cover model thin. Think your car isnt good enough? This _____ (insert favourite name here) will handle those tricky road curves without breaking a sweat.

And guys, whether sissy or macho, have been the brunt of ads (and films and sitcoms) for decades -- this isnt new. What Bryan sees as a trend is something that's been around for a very, very long time.

But I actually found the Arbys ad hysterical: a bunch of macho guys who can describe, in gourmet terms, the parts of the sandwich? Talk about mixed message -- and I have no doubt that the mixing of the message was intentional.

@Sean: Agreed. I think we need to get away from the notion that "anti-sissy"="anti-gay". Yes, there are effeminate gay men. And there are effeminate straight men (known sometimes as 'metrosexuals'). Ads which mock men who do not conform to traditional masculine stereotypes may not be politically correct, but to call them "anti-gay" is to incorrectly label an entire sexual orientation as behaving the same way.