Wednesday, March 12, 2014

What the Summer's Eve "Manly Mistake" Commercial Says about Men and Femininity

Wow, I had not seen this commercial. I'm sure it's supposed to be incredibly over-the-top and maybe the reaction below is taking it too seriously. But even in satire there are serious truths. For men, any hint of femininity is to be feared and immediately rejected with as much manliness as possible.

Femininity: Feared and Reviled

by Lisa Wade, PhD,

The paradox: masculinity is strength, power, and dominance… but femininity is terrifying. Gender rules insist that men must avoid association with the feminine at all costs because, if they do not, they are weak. They are pussies, bitches, women, girls. Femininity is weakness and yet, oddly, it has the power to strip men of their manliness. It is as if, as sociologist Gwen Sharp once put it, “masculinity is so fragile that apparently even the slightest brush with the feminine destroys it.”

Behold the best example of this phenomenon ever:

Let’s be clear. The reason he’s afraid of femininity is because it’s reviled. It makes you a woman, which makes you worthless. Which is fine for the ladies, but dudes are advised to avoid personal denigration if at all possible.

Thanks Summer’s Eve, you make my job easy.

Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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