Friday, July 25, 2014

Assholery is not Empowerment, Pantene

I'm an apologizer. Lots of women are. I'm not the only one who has caught herself apologizing to an inanimate object.

It becomes a sort of verbal tick born out of, perhaps, low self-esteem, or geographically associated customs and conventions, or women's inherent fear in a society that is awash in the constant violence that is inflicted upon them - both in reality and repeated in media portrayal for entertainment purposes. When you are the typically less empowered sex, you do well to show your subservience. If you cannot fight, you must flee for survival.

Or, perhaps, it is a result of women's alleged preference for cooperative rather than confrontational or combative interactions. Women are thought to be more socially dependent rather than autonomous, and if you're trying to get along with people as opposed to go your own way, you're eventually going to have to do a fair amount of apologizing.

Apologies often grease the wheel of social interaction.

Still, like anything, apologizing can be overdone, and Pantene decided to hop on the psuedo-feminism train that Dove got going a while back and address the issue of  unnecessary apologizing - to the applause and resulting purchases of scores of women (they hoped).

And they came so close to getting it right. That's what really sucks. Watching this commercial is like watching a cake rise in the oven, hopeful and golden, then someone opens the oven door and the whole thing caves in.

I was with them right up until the end, right up until they glorified this ridiculous, asinine phrase: "Sorry not sorry."

At the end of the commercial, a woman removes the covers from her lover, wraps them around herself, leaving her lover exposed and cold. He decides to wrap his arms around her. Out of love? Respect? Or for warmth??

Here's the thing, Pantene, and all of society:

Feminism isn't about being an asshole, or sarcastic, or selfish. That shit is inappropriate behavior for either sex.

Feminism is not about revenge.

Feminism isn't about women becoming the ruling class.

Feminism isn't about women turning into evil overlords who issue hurtful comments as they steal the covers.

That shit ain't right, no matter who or what you are.

For real.

The way away from over-apologizing isn't to go directly to the other and opposite pole of being an unsympathetic, callous non-human.

How to fix it? Pantene, cut this commercial at 0:45. Then it would be just about perfect.


They really do all have great hair, though.

I'd like to note that, to my delight, many are commenting on this video with the same sentiments I've shared here.

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