There's a culture war going on, after all. This is not an isolated case.
The ad gets pulled. The Green Knight argues
What the culture warriors don't get, though, is that this narrative almost never appears in any serious context. It's always in the form of comedy, and one point of comedy is that it's an inversion of what people think of as the natural order of things. The reason our culture considers a gormless man funny (and a capable woman funny) is that we don't really believe in them. Despite what the culture warriors think, ads like this reinforce the patriarchy as much as they subvert it, because they require it as a norm against which to contrast their comedy.
GN is on my blogroll, I agree with him a lot. But here he omits the overall picture. He is right that the ad does not promote weak men, but instead laughs at them. And he makes a nice point about subversiveness.
But his post glosses over the importance of the issue to the culture war. And I don't think 'patriarchy' is an exact enough term here.
In terms of archetypes, in the ad the woman wants her husband out obtaining food (not bossing her around). That's how I saw it, anyway.
Left-wingers have long intuited that the hunter-gatherer archetypes have to go. [And they're right.] Meanwhile the modern world has its emasculating forces. These trends overlap like in a Venn diagram, but are not the same.
What is confusing is this trend and these forces end up embodied in the same people.
Forget the lame embodiments of two seperate trends. Remember that if and when alpha, non-hunter-gatherer men show up en masse that will be when the USA begins to emerge from the its current Culture War. That's the truth neither the left or the right seems to get.
eg: Many men in the USA did not vote for Kerry in the last US election not becaue they thought he was gay, but because they thought of him as too 'French'.
As for the pathetic man symbol in the TV ad --whether laughed at or laughed with, via any archetype at all-- they are irrelevant in the sense they will have no impact on this.
one last thingIn the baby-boom generation I trace some of the confusion of ancient archetypes with emasculation to ... Dr Seuss! For instance, the enormously influential Horton Hears a Who children's book taught (among other things) that 1) animals kidnap the small and weak and 2) the best way the weak can live in such a world is by making an important symbolic sacrifice.
The Dr Seuss analysis is too long to go into here. I do remember an exchange from the television show Rosanne
A little kid asks his father:
"Dad, I thought it was good to be a man"His father replies
"Not since the sixties, son"
The rw radio host probably feels the same way.
Meanwhile the left is confused as to the extent of the truth of this, and the way forward.