Subscribe to Bitch—an award-winning, 80 page feminist magazine. Image Map

The Super Bowl Post

So, rather than watch the Super Bowl, I ate food and slept. In spite of my attempts to avoid the whole damn mess, however, I still wound up being forced to deal with the requisite oohs and aaaahs over the commercials. I'm not a big fan of commercials period--but Super Bowl ads are often especially problematic to me because they are well aware that they are appealing to the most base instinct of the macho drunk male getting it on with his macho drunk male friends (I read somewhere that more partner abuse happens during Super Bowl than any other time of the year).

That said--I'm not completely incapable of finding humor in commercials. The following was one of the more amusing (and less problematic) ones. Although I have yet to understand why a shot to the groin is still considered so dang funny.

Which commercials did you like? What commercials were too offensive to deal with?

Enjoy reading this article? Good news! Our quarterly magazine, Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture, is packed with 80+ pages of feminist analysis, reviews, illustrations, and more. Subscribe today!

Subscribe to Bitch

Comments

10 comments have been made. Post a comment.

a guy thing?

The "shot to the groin" is probably just a guy thing. I am no... well actually I do have an undergraduate in Anthology, but that is probably more of a Sociology thing. And to me a guy, well it is darn funny. It probably cannot be explained to any better than trying to explain the pain during child birth to us guys. We just cannot grasp the concept. OK, maybe that is a bad example.

But the above commercial is the first I have seen from the football thingy. My wife (who subscribes to Bitch) and I went out to dinner with her father and then watched a few episodes of CSI: NY, then bed.

Do I have a point, well not really other than the "shot to the groin" was what made the commercial funny... um.. to me anyway.

Slap-stick

It is only a "Guy thing" in that the testicles are the most sensitive areas on the male body, other than that it is called Slap-Stick, a type of comedy which I personally do not find entertaining but some people do..
This is what Wikipedia say about Slap-Stick:
Slapstick is a type of comedy involving exaggerated physical violence or activities which exceed the boundaries of common sense, such as a character being hit in the face with a heavy frying pan or running into a brick wall. These hyperbolic depictions are often found in children's cartoons and light film comedies aimed at younger audiences. Though the term is often used pejoratively, the performance of slapstick comedy requires exquisite timing and skillful execution.

http://alcoholism.about.com/c

http://alcoholism.about.com/cs/abuse/a/aa020201a.htm Here is a link that debunks the "Super Bowl" abuse theory.

"Workers at women's

"Workers at women's shelters, and some journalists, have long reported that Super Bowl Sunday is one of the year's worst days for violence against women in the home. FAIR hoped that the broadcast of an anti-violence PSA on Super Sunday, in front of the biggest TV audience of the year, would sound a wake-up call for the media, and it did."

how does that debunk Super Bowl abuse? Sounds like it reaffirms exactly what I had heard?

La Macha
Editor: Vivir Latino
La Macha on Twitter: http://twitter.com/lamacha

La Macha
Editor: Vivir Latino
La Macha on Twitter: http://twitter.com/lamacha

Superbowl DV

I've taken a number of women's studies classes on DV (domestic violence) and my partner is a social worker and every time that statistic is brought up my teachers and his peers shoot it down. There is no factual studies that back that statistic. It started as a hypothesis and has grown into an urban legend. I think equating the seriousness of DV as something that is trigger by the Superbowl is harmful for the public taking DV seriously, only because DV is based on repeated controlling behavior, not outburst sparked by football.

Whether people have noticed a trend or not, does not make a widespread truth to report it as a statistic. It's false science with a bias, much like what is used against women by evolutionary psychiatrist on why women are inherently less than men "according" to evolution.

But whether there is a correlation between American's fascination with violent sports as a bar to judge the masculinity of a man and the devaluing women as humans, could still be a possibility.

Here's a reliable source of that falsity of the Superbowl sunday and DV myth that popped up as the first result from google:

http://www.snopes.com/crime/statistics/superbowl.asp

I know the answer

Ok here's the deal: My roommate told me that she learned in her women and gender studies class that the Super Bowl was the most dangerous day of the year for victims of DV. I was shocked but I wanted to check the facts because I am a journalism student and I enjoy that sort of thing.

After the advocacy group FAIR reported in a press conference their findings, male reporters (from the Washington Post and others) decided to debunk the myth by trying to find a reliable study that supported FAIRS claims. They couldn't find one. That's becasue such a study would be impossible. There are laws protecting the privacy of the women AND children that flee to shelters and hospitals. In addition, studies on DV are grossly underfunded. The most reliable statistics come from a long-term study from the University of Indiana that reveal that ALL major holidays are times of high risk for victims of DV becasue alcohol is consumed during these times and there is a strong, direct correlation between alcohol and domestic abuse. The reason that FAIR made the assumption that the Superbowl was the worst day of the year is becasue that is what people who work at shelters report. That is not sufficient to use as a reliable study, but it works for me. The goal of that press meeting was to draw attention to domestic abuse. NBC aired a public service announcement that warned viewers: domestic violence is a crime. That announcement saved a lot of people, according to workers at shelters.

What is most disturbing here is that some people decided to defend football and make fun of the advocacy group for relying on data from individuals. It is troubling that they were so offended by the "false" statistic. Obviously the point is that domestic abuse should not be tolerated. Every time "masculinity" is threatened it seems as if someone has to pay. Whether it be a violent attack on a gay man or a lack of media coverage concerning victims of domestic abuse, I think it is all abominable.

Commercialtron

I was mostly underwhelmed by the commercials this year, although I found the game to be surprisingly exciting for a Super Bowl, which are notoriously disappointing.

That said, I think some general trends this year included slapstick, women losing their clothes, disappointing use of gimmicky 3D and a general lack of creativity. I thought the Hyundai ad featuring Billy Corgan was pretty dull. And I was unimpressed with the sexism in a whole bunch of them, especially the Firestone Potato Head ad.

My main interest as far as commercials go was the movie teaser trailers. It struck me how similar Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Terminator: Salvation are going to be, despite the difference between their fictional universes. The entertainment media is creating a pissing contest between Michael Bay and McG about their giant robots, and it's easy to see why. Also, the Star Trek trailer: Starfleet is apparently the greatest clubhouse for boys EVER! And I just couldn't help but get a little bit excited by G.I. Joe, even though that film is clearly going to suck... it's nice to see Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow already going toe-to-toe.

No half time review?

The whole shit storm around whether or not the Super Bowl causes a spike in DV is fascinating. I was unaware of the controversy the PSA caused in '93. I did some googling and found numerous articles debunking the myth that more DV happens on Super Bowl Sunday. Making me want to say thank you, myth debunkers of the internet, for your important work in support of the Super Bowl. If you didn't stand up who would.
P.S. - How can you write a Super Bowl Post and not include any mention of the half time show? Bruce Springstein brought it, did he not?

There were SO many offensive

There were SO many offensive ones..where to start??

Bridgestone and Hasboro got angry letters this morning and made their way onto my boycott list for the awful "taters" ad.

so many more angry letters to come! its funny to realize that i too, am mad as hell and not going to take it anymore.

saw something bad? let 'em know!!!!!

I didn't watch this year,

I didn't watch this year, but I unfortunately saw the Pepsi commercial posted on Stereogum--in which Will.I.Am is compared to Bob Dylan, Shrek is compared to Gumby, and Jack Black is compared to John Belushi. Aside from Jack Black, those comparisons made me feel depressed about my generation, not proud.
Last year, however, I was taken with the beautiful commercial for Sony Bravia in which 300,000 colorful bouncy balls were released into the streets of San Francisco and filmed (they had nets at the bottom of the hills to catch them):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Bb8P7dfjVw

Yes, it's still pushing big LCD screens onto America, but it was a lovely ad, and well done. And since Superbowl is normally chock-full of sappy, annoying, and unfunny advertising, I thought it to be a breath of fresh air.