babble-intro-img
babble is rabble.ca's discussion board but it's much more than that: it's an online community for folks who just won't shut up. It's a place to tell each other — and the world — what's up with our work and campaigns.

Looks like some misogynist pig created Dockers' latest ad campaign

Michelle
Offline
Joined: May 10 2001

It's called "Wear the pants".  I'm not linking to them because I don't want to give the sexist fuckwads any hits.  But here's how their ad copy goes:

Quote:

Once upon a time, men wore the pants, and wore them well.  Women rarely had to open doors and little old ladies never crossed the street alone.  Men took charge because that's what they did.  But somewhere along the way, the world decided it no longer needed men.  Disco by disco, latte by foamy non-fat latte, men were stripped of their khakis and left stranded on the road between boyhood and androgyny.  But today, there are questions our genderless society has no answers fr.  The world sits idly by as cities crumble, children misbehave and those little old ladies remain on one side of the street.  For the first time since bad guys, we need heroes.  We need grown-ups.  We need men to put down the plastic fork, step away from the salad bar and untie the world from the tracks of complacency.  It's time to get your hands dirty.  It's time to answer the call of manhood.  It's time to WEAR THE PANTS.


Comments

kropotkin1951
Offline
Joined: Jun 6 2002

remind wrote:

 

Sexist attacks against women,  come in all places, shapes and sizes it seems these days...

 

And it seems Dockers, is quite  content to try and sell their products at the expense of women, mainly by telling men the world's ills are all the fault of women.

 

The phone number to contact Dockers from BC is 1 800 362 5377.

I just talked to a nice young woman who I think will pass on the fact that I have bought many pairs of Dockers but I never will again because of this blatantly misogynist ad.  I hope other men on this board will follow suit.

 

I posted this in the thread Remind mentioned it in.  Time to step up and tell Dockers what you think. 

 


Tommy_Paine
Offline
Joined: Apr 22 2001

 

Well, take umbrage at the sexist implications against women, it's also a cheap marketing gimmick aimed to manipulate men by casting aspersions on their manhood if they don't wear Docker's.   

Right.  Like marketing knobs know thing one about manhood.


Michelle
Offline
Joined: May 10 2001

Oh, sorry!  I didn't see that in the other thread.

Feministing readers have a good take on it too.


kropotkin1951
Offline
Joined: Jun 6 2002

It deserves to be highlighted in in its own thread so people can understand what Dockers stands for and hopefully give them "feedback."


Bacchus
Offline
Joined: Dec 8 2003

Gah!  Yeah nothing affirms my manhood like pants and hey maybe we can really go back intime and have it when beating your wife was ok and slavery was still legal.

 

Idiots! And with links to Shop women?  Some marketing person needs to get fired


jas
Offline
Joined: Jun 6 2005

I don't know, I feel less offended by this than by many other things. It seems like just a gimmick to me. I think they know it's ironic. I think they also know it will get them a ton of extra exposure. I find it somewhat amusing.


Catchfire
Offline
Joined: Apr 16 2003

Um, excuse me for falling into stereotype here, but are we really to believe that khakis will restore masculinity to its rightful historical place?


Boom Boom
Offline
Joined: Dec 29 2004

I've never worn Dockers, and now surely never will. What a horrible ad.


RevolutionPlease
Offline
Joined: Oct 15 2007

I tend to gravitate to them at ValueVillage, they are comfortable but much more so for $5.  Fuck, gotta find something new to wear.  Who's going to expose Levi's?  Wink


Michelle
Offline
Joined: May 10 2001

That's what made me laugh about it too, Catchfire.  Like, by wearing dad pants, by wearing business casual cubicle pants, that makes you a real man, that makes you sexy and "take charge"?  Way to fight the gender war behind the desk!  Hahaha!

Now "wife beater" undershirts - those are manly and sexy.*  Maybe Dockers should consider adding those to their line.  Just think of the ads they could make about those! 

*For the irony-impaired: no they're not, and that's a sexist name for them, just the kind of sexist name Dockers would love.


Michelle
Offline
Joined: May 10 2001

RevPlease, if you're paying $5 for them at Value Village, then at least you're not giving money to Levi Strauss.  So go for it.


Boom Boom
Offline
Joined: Dec 29 2004

There's jeans made by other companies, you know. I'm wearing Nevada's (from Sears) that cost $29 new about seven years ago.


p-sto
Offline
Joined: Nov 11 2009

jas wrote:

I don't know, I feel less offended by this than by many other things. It seems like just a gimmick to me. I think they know it's ironic. I think they also know it will get them a ton of extra exposure. I find it somewhat amusing.

My first take was some what similar.  A tad patronising to women but I don't necessarily believe that machismo to point of stupidity is misogyny.  Giving the ad a second read the call to "wear the pants" at the end of the ad goes too far with what it implies, at least in my opinion.


Michelle
Offline
Joined: May 10 2001

"Men took charge because that's what they did," isn't misogynistic?  Think about it - if men are "in charge" what does that make women?  Oh yeah, NOT in charge.  Subservient, you might say.  Boy, those sure were the days, when men were men, and women were treated like inferior shit.  Awesome!

Claiming that moving to equality between the sexes means men are androgynous, the world is genderless, and that things are terrible now isn't misogyny?  I think it is.  Claiming that men doing anything even slightly feminine (e.g. eating salad) means that the world is going to hell in a handbasket, and it's time to roll back the clock and for men to "take charge" and "wear the pants" again, isn't misogynist?

Claiming that if men can't help little old ladies cross the street, then no one can or does - that isn't misogynist?  Especially considering that the vast majority of caregivers for the young and elderly always have been, and still are, women?

Claiming that cities are crumbling because of equality between men and women isn't misogyny?  Cities are crumbling because the rich, white, male capitalist fuckwads running this planet are more interested in profits than citizens, not because women have claimed their rightful place.  Now, city-building men AND women can't get enough funding for transit and infrastructure and community centres because they're too busy fighting the kind of rich, white, corporate men (and the occasional white corporate woman) who thought this ad campaign was such a great idea.

I think it's pure misogyny.


torontoprofessor
Offline
Joined: Jun 20 2007

lol at catchfire.


remind
Offline
Joined: Jun 25 2004

catchfire wrote:
Um, excuse me for falling into stereotype here, but are we really to believe that khakis will restore masculinity to its rightful historical place?

On the surface of it, it is amusing to deny such, and one might not think it could assist in returning "masculinity to its rightful place", but when extended thought about historical khakis imagery one sees what it does infer and imply.

 

khakis clothing, was historically worn by either the military, or big game hunters and the colonialists in South Asia and Africa. Patriarchial endeavours are inherent it khakis reality.

 

Nowadays it is worn by mainly the "professional" crowd, so much so that it is a uniform of sorts. It is not just casual liesure and business wear, it implies a solidarity of class distinction and unified action based on beliefs and perceptions. Apparently misogynist beliefs and perceptions, if Dockers is using that type of advertising, as they gotta kow thir cliental, or they would not be as successful as they are.

 

Thus putting the covert into overt, could translate in a myriad of ways societally.


Bacchus
Offline
Joined: Dec 8 2003

If you need a good place for jeans, go to Marks Work Warehouse. Good prices and excellant quality!

 

Don't buy dockers shit


angtwang
Offline
Joined: Jan 15 2010

Nothing wrong with the Dockers ad. The problem lies with the sense of humour of some people on this website. Try being a white male and endure the TV commercials where the hubby is nothing but a goof and target of derision. Gee, no subliminal (heck, even overt) misandry there!

I see the ad as more 'pro-male' than 'anti-female' but I guess for some people, they're one and the same.

Angtwang


Michelle
Offline
Joined: May 10 2001

For some people?  What people would those be, angtwang?  People who think women and men should be equal?

What's funny about the ad?  Tell us where the humour comes in.  Even if you agree with it, I don't see where the joke is supposed to be.  Maybe you could explain.

Who's saying that commercials that make men look stupid are okay?  But yeah, you white men, you have it so tough.  It's hard getting paid so much more for the same work, never being discriminated against, except in a few commercials where guys can't do -- wait for it -- housework, because women are supposedly so much better at it, which is why it's been dumped on us for the last few centuries.

Cry me a river.  Oh, and welcome to babble, of course. :)


p-sto
Offline
Joined: Nov 11 2009

Regarding post 14 Michelle, clearly I've missed a lot of the subtext of the ad, thank you for spelling that out for me.  I would like to disagree with you on one point.  I don't think the authors are attempting to claim that gender equality is weakening men and degrading society.  The attack on discos and lattes makes it pretty clear that they are attempting to pin the blame on cultural evolution.

However, as you've pointed out there's enough explicitly said and much more that is implied to make me agree that ad quite misogynistic.  The weak intention is made worse by poor execution.  It's incredibly arrogant, insecure and ignorant.  I do think that there could be some argument made that over the twentieth century the social identity of the male has become less defined.  It's troubling that so many can't seem to define a male identity that isn't based in aggressive dominance.


wage zombie
Offline
Joined: Dec 8 2004

angtwang wrote:

I see the ad as more 'pro-male' than 'anti-female' but I guess for some people, they're one and the same.

Interesting, I'm male and I see it as being anti-male.  They're trying to exploit men's confusion about masculinity in order to make a profit.  I don't really see how that could be pro-male.  I don't need anyone telling me what i need to change in order to meet someone else's definition of masculinity and it becomes insulting when they're doing it to make money.

The odds that I would ever buy new Dockers before this ad came out though are pretty low to begin with.


Maysie
Online
Joined: Apr 21 2005

Hey, great discussion peeps.

There is always a link between the dominant group and the group or groups designated as "other". White masculinity cannot exist without the presence (even in absence, as the text of the Docker ad bears out) of such groups, which would be all women; men of colour; anyone else who falls outside the line of white male ruling class (or ruling class wanna-be) able-bodied heteronormativity.

So, the ad doesn't refer directly to women, it infers it. Which is, among other things, misogynist.

The "new" (which I don't really think is new at all but let's pretend for a moment) angle for this ad is playing on white men's insecurities something that is not a norm in advertising from how I've read it. Playing on women's insecurities, and in fact inventing insecurities that didn't already exist, that's of course the basis of most advertising aimed at women, but I digress.

There's also the issue of the politically expedient timing of shifting blame away from the beleaguered system of white masculinity (Waaah! Cry cry!), to all the "others" who have gained some social and political ground in the past 50-60 years. Neat trick. NOT.


jas
Offline
Joined: Jun 6 2005

I don't find the gimmick terribly original (this backlash theme has been used, seriously and facetiously, many times in the last twenty years, and to me comes across as very '90s) and my guess is they know that, too. Not only that but to suggest that a brand of pants can reclaim masculinity for someone has to be ironic in this age. Which is why I think it's intentionally silly. So my take on it is it's either hackneyed or it's meant to be silly. Sexist yes -- again, perhaps ironically so -- but I don't see misogyny in it, even if the sentiment is genuine.

I'll concede though that whether the intention is silly or serious they are benefitting from that grey area, and that might be what makes it readable in different ways by different audiences.

But I can see I'm not going to win anyone over with this argument.  :)

 


Catchfire
Offline
Joined: Apr 16 2003

I find this distinction between "sexism" and "misogyny" interesting. It's like when people say that their not homphobic: they don't "hate" or "fear" LGTB folk, they just don't want to give them the same rights as straighties. So why, when an ad asserts one gender's authority over another, that allocates strength and dominance exclusively for males, that denies the full humanity of women, men of colour, seniors, is it not misogny? Is it just "casual dislike"?

Why do the ancient Greek scholars come up for air in discussions about marginalized groups? Do they get so literal with words like "pedophilia" ("it's not really "love"), "kindergarten" ("it's not really a "garden") or "pancake" ("it's not really a "cake")?


Polly B
Offline
Joined: Dec 15 2004

jas wrote:

Not only that but to suggest that a brand of pants can reclaim masculinity for someone has to be ironic in this age. Which is why I think it's intentionally silly. So my take on it is it's either hackneyed or it's meant to be silly. 

 

This is what I was thinking too.  It reminds me of those horrible beer commercials, the guy with the white and blue spandex?  I found it funny, not offensive except in a eye-rolly sort of way.

But that's just me.  Perhaps I don't "get" it.


Weltschmerz
Offline
Joined: Feb 7 2003

I don't think I'd mind it as much if I knew for sure that it was being intentionally OTT.  For instance, if the male model was smoking a pipe, sporting an eye patch and holding a baby tiger.  But this interview makes me think otherwise.

Quote:
In today's world, men have lost a bit of footing, in part because women have come so far, but we also found a few surprising facts: Eighty-percent of those who suffered unemployment in the last year were men. Women outnumber men in the workforce now. But the most surprising fact of all was that men's testosterone levels have been dropping by a percentage point a year for the last 20 years. All these factors add to up say, "Wow, men are struggling in today's world."

Oh yeah, we got it bad.  Thank God Dockers is here to help me regain my rightful domination with their pants.


Star Spangled C...
Offline
Joined: Sep 15 2008

This whole idea of nostalgia for a previous era of masculinity is a common theme in advertising right now. I guess I'm part of the 'consumer target' for a lot of these messages, e.g. a male in my early 30s and I seem to be noticing them a lot, particularly in liquor. I can't get on YouTube from my office but if anyone cares to search, there are ads for Canadian Club whiskey based around the theme "Your dad was not a metrosexual" with old photographs of real men, that I actually found to be a pretty good campaign (I drink the stuff anyway). Wiser's whiskey has a campaign around "The Wiserhood" where men are congratulated for example, for using a real knife isntead of electrical carver to carve a turkey or ripping an ugly seater their wife gave them so they'd match as a way of getting out of wearing it. Again, pretty decent spot. Another one for Chivas all about chivalry and reminding men of olden times when men held doors for women and whatnot. I found that one kinda lame. And, of course, one of the most popular shows on TV these days is Mad Men (based around avertising, ironically enough) which I definitely think is a brilliant show but whose appeal lies largely in nostalgia for a time when men dressed in suits and hats and drank and smoked and their beautiful wives would ahve a nice meat and potatos dinner waiting for them when they got home.

Anyway, I don't work in advertising but, like I said, I seem to be the target demographic and the Docker's campaign just doesn't work for me. I actually do like some of the liquor ads but the theme seems inappropriate for Docker's mainly because I just associate the brand with middle-management men with no style sitting in cubicles all day. If I kick back with a nice glass of Canadian Club on the rocks I suppose I feel vaguely "manly" whereas if I walked around in a pair of pleated Docker's khakis I'd basically feel like a giant tool.


Catchfire
Offline
Joined: Apr 16 2003

Perhaps it would also help to point out that the "decline of the American male" has been a major cultural and popular theme for over 150 years.


remind
Offline
Joined: Jun 25 2004

Pushing a myth for 150 years eh?!

 

The liquor ads doing the same thing are disquieting.....

 

 

 

 

 

 


Catchfire
Offline
Joined: Apr 16 2003

Well, that's just in America, and a fairly conservative estimate. If I were a betting man I'd say it was going on even longer across the pond.


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Login or register to post comments