Recently, while binge watching a favorite show on Hulu, I’ve seen a Mass Mutual commercial run at least twice each show – which in a day adds up to me having seen this thing a bazillion times. A bad thing, since I HATE what this commercial is saying about gender roles.
Click here to see commercial
The dad talks about how knows so much about “girl” things because he’s raising two girls on his own. Now, let me say, that when you’ve lost a spouse for whatever reason, and are raising your kids alone, it is sad. It is difficult to watch your kids grow without your partner – I am not trying to say it isn’t. What frustrates me about this commercial isn’t how sad he is – but what he’s sad about.
He seems to be sad about being an expert in softball, tea parties, and princesses. He knows so much about this because the “appropriate” parent, their mother, is not present. Because if she WAS present, he’d be off doing his solitary “man” activities like he should be – or taking these girls hunting, or to a more man-friendly sport, like football. Or, because if he had boys, it wouldn’t be sad at all that the mother was gone. COME ON!
There are many dads with living partners who know about tea parties. There are many daughters who like to play in the dirt, and care more about superheros than princesses. This commercial affirms so many gender stereotypes I’m trying so hard to push against – a task I had NO idea I’d be working on at this point in time. Not only does it purport some old-school gender roles, it completely ignores the many same-gendered parents – is it sad that two moms must figure out how to “properly” raise a boy?
Can’t we find a way to get our media to represent a more progressive world? A world where men and women can behave in whatever manner feels right, rather than what the dominant culture dictates? A world where persons of color star in commercials more than caucasians?
I truly had no clue when I was growing up that issues of equality would still need fighting or still be so real and in the forefront of our lives – or that a COMMERCIAL would set me on a rant about such things…