Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Stop the presses! A self-esteem builder that I don't hate!


While we're on the subject of ads and their intonation.... I was all geared up to gag over this Verizon spot (from their "rule the air" series)...when I suddenly realized that I like it. OK, it's a bit hokey, and I still don't see why we should be implying to today's young women that there's any reason to doubt their intellect and/or influence in the first place. To me, this is in the same category with (though less objectionable than) all that contemporary coursework from elementary school forward that immerses kids in the horrors of slavery. I realize that it's part of history, so it must be taught, but that's a damn shame: If children have little concept of such horrific race-based evil, then why put it in their minds and risk creating schisms and enmities that didn't exist before? Similarly: Do girls still grow up feeling like second-class citizens? That they have less power, specifically brainpower, than men do? I fail to see why. Honest. Especially since the entire educational experience nowadays unfolds as a celebration of women and, in too many cases, a repudiation of maleness. (See also SHAM chapter 10, as well as the book's conclusion, "A SHAM Society.") And then of course we have all those male-bashing messages in pop culture.

But at least this ad isn't just more feel-good palaver trumpeting hollow self-esteem. On the contrary, it contains lines like "my ideas will be powerful...if they are wise" and "infectious...if they are worthy." [emphasis added in both cases] Now that's a nice message to be selling: that approval is merit-based; that you have to earn self-esteem. That is, instead of this nonsense we've been hearing for decades about how we're all special and wonderful and equally entitled to be president of the United States...

2 comments:

roger o'keefe said...

Wake up and smell the marketing, Steve. They're pandering to young women. That's the market they're after so they make nice. I know I'm a cynical so-and-so, still I feel safe in proposing that's what this is about.

Anonymous said...

Right on, Roger.
Its an ad, not reality, honest.