Feminist Super Bowl commercial sparks Twitter controversy

Feb. 4, 2015

Just because I didn’t watch the Super Bowl doesn’t mean I didn’t feel the backlash from it.

I didn’t take any hits from linebackers or get brought to the ground while attempting to catch a pass. I wasn’t carted off a field due to an ACL tear.

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Commentary by
Kimberly Wethal
Photo Editor

But when the four-hour display of super-hyped masculinity was interrupted by a commercial that showed what it meant to do things #LikeAGirl, women everywhere (including me) were tackled by the men who took to social media to express their concerns over how they don’t feel empowered and that there was no need for those kind of messages during the game. Basically, it was whining that would be blamed on PMS, if it had been coming from people with uteruses.

Because despite men’s desire to want nothing to do with symptoms of PMS, how dare we run a commercial advertising women’s hygiene products without mentioning male importance!

The commercial itself was nothing more of a statement on how the self-esteem of women goes down as they reach puberty. It’s the same information that all of these boys were taught in middle school health class, only this time it was presented to them on a medium they couldn’t ignore.

It showed adults playing into the “Like a Girl” stereotype, as they flopped themselves on the screen, and then shifted the perspective to young girls who stated that doing things like a girl meant winning a race, striking out their opponent and moving up a belt color in karate.

It says something about male self-esteem when a 10-year-old girl showing signs of loving herself and being confident in her abilities is threatening to the male population. It’s proof that the patriarchal system has damaged men as well as women, seeing that male-positive trends are only emphasized in response to seeing women empowerment.

This isn’t a new trend in social media for the more powerful group to feel like equality for all is a zero-sum-game. You saw it with #BlackLivesMatter where #WhiteLivesMatter was used in response to protests in Ferguson and around the country, and #TransLivesMatter when a transgender woman’s suicide note was publicized. If anything, these reactions show that we’re still not a post-feminism society.

It’s time we created a society where the empowerment of those who have been oppressed isn’t a threat to those who aren’t. Women advancement is something to be celebrated, not feared. Having a boss who happens to have a different reproductive system than you does not make you any less of a man. If you find your sense of humor ruined by society’s attempt to dismantle negative female stereotypes, you’re probably not very funny to begin with.

To create this society, we have to stop referring to women as someone’s mother, sister, daughter, girlfriend, possession. Don’t drug her, because she’s someone’s girlfriend. Don’t take advantage of her, because she’s someone’s sister. Support women in their ambitions. Teach girls that whatever they do well is what it means to perform, play and be #LikeAGirl.

And by the way, if you happen to be wondering, I wrote this #LikeAGirl.

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