November 28, 2011

To quote Le Tigre:


Although almost nothing surprises me about life under patriarchy, I am still stunned by this commercial.

RECAP!  Three white dudes in neckties* goof off at their white-collar jobs, playing on their smartphones.  They do a variety of phallic gestures, including popping the champagne cork and playing electric guitar.  One guy adopts a "classic hillbilly TM" accent to ask if "a gentleman with a bro-stache" is invited to this party. **

While they are doing their raced, classed, and gendered performances at their desks***, and loudly, the camera cuts to a woman of color looking on in shock.

So:  GENIUS?  MISOGYNIST?  I mean, this commercial is telling it like it is: woman and people of color do the work while upper-middle class white dudes rub their privilege in everyone's face AND make more money than anyone else in the office.  But is it parody or painful truth?

I have to go vom**** now.  BRB.

*necktie?  phallus.

**"classic hillbilly accent TM"? casual class-privileged reinforcement of economic inequality and race- and class-based stereotypes.

***it is not that their performances are raced, classed, and gendered that is the problem, of course.  It's the way in which benefits or penalties inhere around particular aspects of identity that is the problem, and the way that some people never have to think about it, and can see their lives as solely an individual accomplishment.

****vom?  VOMIT.


  1. Gotta say...this commercial hit me in the same way. And also really speaks to the privilege of 'comfort' and acceptance. The ability to be a multidimensional person in a workplace without fear of judgment or reprisal is also something people of color are often not permitted.

  2. AGREED on all counts. The look on the woman's face really says it all.