Employing stereotypes to make a point in movies and advertising

– ..But you said that you did not want a present for your birthday!

– I said it only for you to know how special I am! I said it because I wanted to show to you that I did not need anything from you! But it did not mean that you should not have bought me something for my birthday. It is my birthday for crying out loud!

The soon ex-girlfriend to be storms out of the flat, leaving a character of Justin Long from Going the Distance completely lost. She adds even more confusion to the situation, in his opinion, by telling him:

– And don’t you ever call me again!

– Does it mean that I should call you, because you are just saying it for the purpose of saying it, but you actually want me to call you again tomorrow? – Exclaims Justin Long at the end.

After these words of Justin Long one could feel slight sarcasm in his attitude toward the lady who just broke up with him. And his further actions only beef up this feeling. He is going to a bar, where, while chatting with his friends, he is told that, in their opinion, he was never interested in having a committed relationship, judging from the way he treated all his numerous short-term girlfriends previously. He disagrees. And then he meets her. A character played by Drew Barrymore, who is not only good at playing boyish video games (the fact that fascinates him and makes her his idol), but who is also a very easy-going, not demanding girl, he is comfortable spending his time with.

Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus. Combine different thinking patterns, different levels of emotional maturity and expression with physical differences on hormonal levels and one will get this. Some call these ads sexist, some just quietly smile, remembering all the personal stories they ever encountered connected to the issue of the infamous PMS. After seeing these ads, after seeing the movie, I am puzzled: What messages do all those movies and advertisements send to the public?

The women who are chosen to be girlfriends for happy-end Hollywood movies are never bitchy, always supportive and understanding of their men. If they ever show some disgruntled attitude, it is always justifiable. They are rational. In the cases where they are not, their irrationality is portrayed as something cute, rather than disturbed or violent. The same goes for advertising portrayals or perceptions of women. No media, especially advertising outlets, have a goal of explaining the hormonal changes within the body of a woman when she is about to have her period. But there are plenty of anecdotes employed by advertisers to sell their product. They cautiously call their advertisements “controversial,” other media outlets point out to even bigger sexism issues that existed in advertising earlier, but how do they justify the actions of some advertisers of today?

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