Thursday, June 21, 2007

On Pigs and Condoms

Amanda at Pandagon wrote about a condom advertisement that has been rejected by Fox and CBS. You can see the ad on Pandagon. It uses pigs. More about that later. But the point Amanda makes is an important one:

Okay, when I first read about this Trojan ad, I thought it would probably be at least mildly offensive. But I found it vaguely amusing.

It trades in the same gender stereotypes common to ads like this, but overall, I didn't think it hit on them too hard. The ad doesn't argue that men are de facto pigs, but it does suggest that men who push for condom-less sex are pigs, and that's a pretty fair assessment of that behavior. But the stereotype issues aside, the issue with this ad is that Fox and CBS rejected the ad and not because it peddles in the same stereotypes that their programming uses. No, they took issue with advertising condoms as being used for what they are used for.

Which is for contraception. It isn't clear why those networks rejected the ad, or not clear to me, at least. If it really is because of fear of the fundamentalist anti-contraception crowd, well, that is very bad news indeed. The first and foremost function of condoms is to prevent undesired conceptions. The second, though also a very important function of condoms is to protect the users against some sexually transmitted diseases.

It could be that the ads were rejected because they are pretty unflattering to men. I found them sexist, even if Amanda did not. See how feminists don't have a hive mind? I read the ad as saying that men are pigs except the one who gets the condom from the bathroom machine and miraculously transforms into a guy. Yes, I know that it's sort of funny. But it's still sexist. It's also sexist in another sense: It assumes that all those men in that bar are there just to get some pussy as rude bloggers might say, and that the woman picks the lucky recipient by the condom rule.

I hate to do this prudish feminist bit but sometimes my inner prude requires it.