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Samsung's 'Evolutionary Husband' Angers Men—Is it Sexist?

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 There’s a controversial new ad that’s gone viral this week, and a vocal group of men are up in arms about it, calling it “sexist.”

More on Shine: Sexist Jeans Will Make Your Husband Look Like a Fool

Yep, that’s right. This time it’s men who are being belittled to make people buy something: Samsung’s Evolution Kit, which transforms any Samsung television into a smart TV (though the specific product is really beside the point here).

More on Yahoo!: 'Shocked' by Sexist Poster Ads in India: Ford Executive

The commercial was introduced last week on YouTube, where it had neared 10 million hits by Thursday afternoon. In it, a woman strolls into the living room to find her husband/boyfriend lying on the couch and watching TV. He’s a slovenly Neanderthal who’s burping, chewing food with his mouth open, grunting, and watching a moronic cartoon. Said wife sighs in disappointment, plugs the new Evolution Kit into the back of the TV, and then fantasizes about what a similar kit could do for her man—which is to turn him into a multitasking (though lobotomized) savior who bakes, cares for baby, paints the kitchen, waters plants, cleans, serves champagne, and plays the flute. But after the fantasy, we're brought back to the real husband sitting and farting on the couch.

Sound funny? Yeah, it is—even if it does rely on every tired male-female trope in the stereotype dictionary. Maybe it’s just always a relief to see men, rather than women (and their butts), as the butt of an advertising joke.

But plenty of guys are angry and offended, and have been sounding off online to let everyone know.

“Probably one of the most vile adverts I've ever seen. This isn't the normal IV drip of laughing at men; this is simply mainlining outright contempt,” wrote one critic in a
Reddit “Men’s Rights” page thread on the ad. Another chimed in, “Pure filth. I've seen my fair share of 'men are morons' advertisements, but this one isn't even remotely subtle. The fact that the evolved husband is a brain dead slave to a woman just tops it off.” One man wondered if Samsung was “trying to alienate their primary consumer base,” while others called it “disgusting,” and “sexist,” and promised to boycott the company’s products altogether. 

Fed-up men also took to Twitter, and made up much of the 1,500-plus commenters on YouTube. One wondered which “misanthropic, rabid feminist” came up with the concept, while another said he was, “tired of the double standard and depicting men as idiots in advertising.”

Samsung, for its part, is just sitting back and watching it all play out; a spokesperson for the company told Yahoo! Shine in an email, “Samsung has nothing to share at this time.”

Adweek’s David Gianatasio
noted in a column Wednesday that the outcry should only help the company. “Sure, Samsung squeezed out some questionable material,” he wrote, clearly relishing his play on words. “But the clip is nearing 10 million YouTube views in just a week, and generating gobs of attention for the product, so I'd hardly call it a total stinker.”

Still, critics aren’t only offended about how the ad portrays not only men, but also women—as fools with low self-esteem who stick with such men.

“Yeah, it sucks that men are presented as useless lumps of farting meat who can't do anything in their families. They're not,” wrote a commenter on
Jezebel. “It also sucks that women are routinely presented as f***ing putting up with it as if it's a given that a man would be a manchild whom you'd have to clean up after and do everything for. It's almost like an excuse for men to be useless.”

Gail Dines, an expert on sexist images in the media and a professor of sociology and women’s studies at Wheelock College in Boston, agrees. “It’s not funny because it normalizes masculine behavior and makes a joke of it,” she told Yahoo! Shine in a phone interview. “It’s the reality of many women’s lives, who get dinner ready, take care of the children, help with homework and do the housework, while the husbands are, in fact, sloth-like.”

Further, she argues, men, who are in power in our society, cannot legitimately cry sexism. “You can say [this ad is] prejudiced, in bad taste, insulting, not funny,” she said. “But it can’t be sexist. Just like a black person can’t be racist. Sexism is a word with a very specific meaning, which is a certain group having more access than another group to the things that make life worth living, such as high wages and good housing.”

With light and love

by on May. 24, 2013 at 1:42 PM
Replies (21-28):
NocturnesAngel
by Member on May. 24, 2013 at 2:29 PM
Unfortunately, I can see their point. SMH
lilpep100
by Silver Member on May. 24, 2013 at 2:30 PM
I'm offended with Victoria's secret ads. I don't think it's ok to push other sexy female images onto my spouse. I don't need my children thinking they have to look like that. I don't want to hear a single man bitch about an insulting ad to them, until they remove all the chicks in bikinis from their ads. Many men are lazy when it comes to helping out around the house. If it doesn't apply to them, then move on.
WildPowerMom
by Bronze Member on May. 24, 2013 at 2:30 PM
2 moms liked this

I've seen two barely clothed women making out to sell BBQ sauce, my period portrayed by mysterious blue liquid, and about every stereotype for women imaginable used to sell everything from chemicals to electronics.  Did men get a little sting of unflattering refelction of themselves?  Drat.  So sad. 

Let me encourage them that while they are bitching at the Mad Men of the Advertising Community to throw in a good word for Women while they are at it!

kbix82
by Bronze Member on May. 24, 2013 at 2:31 PM

HAHAHAHAHA

Anonymous
by Anonymous on May. 24, 2013 at 2:38 PM
Funny, cause there can be sexist anything towards women and we shouldn't be bothered by any of it. Whiny babies, men are.
davnrori
by Gold Member on May. 24, 2013 at 2:40 PM
2 moms liked this

 While I agree that the commercial was stupid and not funny at all, I disagree that it's sexist. There are definitely times were husbands or SO's sit around, watching stupid TV, eating on the couch and farting, while we women fantasize about what it would be like if they took care of everything instead of just walking out the door for work, walking back in the house from work, and calling it a day. Men themselves cause this type of stereotype. How many times have I seen on CM a woman complaining that her DH says, "I work and make the money. I shouldn't have to do anything else." or "I work so I should be able to do whatever I want." Please.

If you want to talk about sexist, commercials featuring women are sexist but we're so used to seeing it that no one even comments about it anymore! Every cleaning product commercial features a woman. Every. Single. One. And those women are beautiful, thin, and well put together. Isn't that saying that women are supposed to clean the house, take care of the kids, cook dinner, etc. with make-up on and dressed nicely? Other than the Pine-Sol lady, which commercials show actual average women? Zero. That's right. None.

The men that are complaining about this commercial can suck it. It's obviously not targeting men as the audience. If they want to be portrayed better, maybe they should act better.

NorseGodessMom
by ChaosLover on May. 24, 2013 at 2:56 PM
agreed! Tide has just to start figuring this out. I thought it was cute. if low buget. It is basicly a womans day if you really think about it...
Quoting davnrori:

 While I agree that the commercial was stupid and not funny at all, I disagree that it's sexist. There are definitely times were husbands or SO's sit around, watching stupid TV, eating on the couch and farting, while we women fantasize about what it would be like if they took care of everything instead of just walking out the door for work, walking back in the house from work, and calling it a day. Men themselves cause this type of stereotype. How many times have I seen on CM a woman complaining that her DH says, "I work and make the money. I shouldn't have to do anything else." or "I work so I should be able to do whatever I want." Please.

If you want to talk about sexist, commercials featuring women are sexist but we're so used to seeing it that no one even comments about it anymore! Every cleaning product commercial features a woman. Every. Single. One. And those women are beautiful, thin, and well put together. Isn't that saying that women are supposed to clean the house, take care of the kids, cook dinner, etc. with make-up on and dressed nicely? Other than the Pine-Sol lady, which commercials show actual average women? Zero. That's right. None.

The men that are complaining about this commercial can suck it. It's obviously not targeting men as the audience. If they want to be portrayed better, maybe they should act better.


motherslove82
by Ruby Member on May. 24, 2013 at 5:13 PM
People do enjoy being offended.
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