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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

CBS Super Bowl Women's Rights Fail

(Cross-posted on Straight Up Jank)
Read this story from The Nation about an anti-choice ad set to run during the Super Bowl. In it, some big football guy's mother talks about how her doctor recommended she abort her fetus, but she's glad she CHOSE to continue her pregnancy because the fetus eventually turned into a big football guy. 
While it's easy to see how this spot breaks new and unwelcome ground for the big game, the (more troubling) fact is that in many ways, the Tebow/Focus on the Family ad is just a new expression of a longstanding Super Bowl tradition in which women are valued only in direct relation to their usefulness to male athletes and fans. (emphasis mine)
The article puts the most recent Super Bowl Women's Rights Fail in the context of general football women's rights fails- the shitty representations of women in the commercials (either young sexually available hottie or shrewey bitch keeping you down) and the exclusive "boy's club" attitude of the games that oftentimes leads to violence against women who try to participate- as players, fans, and media.

Though women make up almost 40% of the Super Bowl's viewership, the ads seem to target men exclusively. So now women aren't only being sold as sex objects or obstacles standing between men and Dudely Bliss, but now we're also "hero incubators."
In light of new research revealing that about a third of women who report partner violence also report that their partners try to pressure them into pregnancy and motherhood (as do 15 percent of women who had never reported relationship violence), this male-targeted argument is particularly chilling. (emphasis mine)
So, yeah, feminists are pissed.

We're not afraid of engaging with the ad's content. The argument is not a super strong one against abortion- Hitler, Stalin, and Osama bin Laden all had mothers who chose life too. A baby born right now has a much higher statistical likelihood of being a rapist or murderer than any kind of famous person. Feminists do not have a hard time shooting that one down. Other, more on-the-surface reasons why the ad is really freakin' offensive:

1. Focus on the Family, one of the most right wing (and anti woman) organizations in the country, paid $3 million for it to be shown. An organization like Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro Choice America, or the National Network of Abortion Funds would use $3 million to help women. I'm just sayin'.

2. CBS denies "controversial" ads all the time. They've denied ads from, PeTA, and the United Church of Christ in the past, and just denied adspace for a gay men's dating website that would have aired during the upcoming Super Bowl. "Controversial" = liberal, apparently.

Not cool, CBS.

(Lots of info taken from this post by Jill on Feministe)

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