Super Bowl Sunday: A Feminist Recap

The Super Bowl is generally pretty rampant with commercials littered with sexist attitudes hoping to draw in male stereotypes by exploiting female ones. Maybe this is the first year where I have actually sat through the whole game, but these commercials just screamed out at me this Sunday night.

The first one that really grabbed my attention was the Teleflora commercial with Adriana Lima, a Victoria Secret model. She’s depicted seductively dressing herself… then she says, “Guys, Valentine’s Day isn’t that complicated. Give and you shall receive,” while make alluring eyebrow gestures. Then the screen shows “Happy Valentine’s Day Night” on the screen.

All right, while this is just a flower commercial, it is clearly targeted toward heterosexual males. The implication here is that if you buy a beautiful woman flowers for Valentine’s Day, she will “put out.” That it’s not a hard task to satisfy a woman during Valentine’s Day, and that if you meet that small threshold, you’ll get sex. Not only does this put an unreasonable burden on females for this holiday, the burden of a sexual favor in return for a material object, but also assumes that any man can simply buy their way into relations with a woman. To me, it almost seems to be suggesting that women are objects that can just be bartered for with a vase of flowers…

Additionally, the new Fiat 500 Abarth ad features a woman bending over the on the street being checked out by a man with coffee, initially she’s upset but then changes her mind after slapping him and feeds him coffee foam and drop is on her décolletage. Turn’s out, she’s a car in the end. Then the commercial shows the car riding around the city, blah blah blah. Not only does this insinuate women are products to be bought and literally ridden around the city, but also that objectifying girl only has positive implication. That, when you check out a woman on the street, she will initially be made but then come on to you! What? Way to send confusing messages to men.. Sorry, no actually means no.

Ugh, and I don’t even want to get into the GoDaddy commercials that are featuring a naked women being painted with advertisements. Wow, ridiculous amounts of objectification..

Ever heard of the Lingerie Bowl? Well, I didn’t until one of my roommates told me about this weekend. It’s an alternative Super Bowl option on pay per view where women play. Sounds good huh? Not quite.

This female league is not just an opportunity for women to play football. They are dressed like this—

Even though I’m far from a sporty gal, I’m all for women having football leagues. But, I am not supportive when these talented women are made to become sexual icons that have to dress in LINGERIE to be recognized for their athletic talents. To me, that’s quite a shame. I hope one day we can appreciate these women, not for their bodies to gawk at, but to be enthralled with their competitive success, just as we do with the men in the Super Bowl.

4 thoughts on “Super Bowl Sunday: A Feminist Recap

  1. Wow. I never watch the Super Bowl, so I rarely see these commercials. I also don’t watch too much TV so I rarely see commercials at all. The commercial you mention (the one about the woman being a car in the end) is very insulting. I know men often refer to cars as “she/her” and sometimes “baby.” So the inference that women are just objects shows very often.

    I’ve never heard of the Lingerie Bowl but the idea of women playing sports in those kind of outfits is insulting and degrading. Sports for women can be quite brutal as well so they need protection too, like helmets and other sorts of equipment. The lingerie infers that, like you mentioned, they have to become sexual icons in order to play but also that we do not have any competitive spirit or aggression in games, or even strength to hurt anyone. Your post was very enlightening and thank you for sharing this information for people like me who never watch the Super Bowl.

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  2. I did my own blog post about the teleflora commercial and it still bothers me. Its basically telling men that if you give women gifts they will have sex with you. Why is okay to teach men that it only takes candy or flowers to win our hearts or in this case, our hoohahs? This affects women also, giving us the idea that we have to give it up to make a guy like us or to feel guilty if we don’t have sex when someone buys us dinner.

    I also think this lingerie football is f-ing stupid. Its just a bunch of women in bikinis running into each other. Ive only seen 3mins of it, and they seem really talented, but why in lingerie. Its sad, but true that they may not get as many viewers if they were in actual football gear. This “sport” reinforces the idea that women are objects and meant to be viewed. Women have been fighting for years to be seen as equals and more than just a pretty face and they bring this to the table. ugh!

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    1. Definitely! I really do think that those women are talented in football, they seriously tackle each other and all kinds of stuff. I think part of the problem, in addition to the wearing of lingerie to make money, is that they aren’t wearing enough clothing to protect themselves from the dangers of the game.. im guessing because of some gendered notion that women don’t play as “hard” as men do.

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