I am not a fan of football whatsoever, and so I don’t get caught up in the ridiculous sports hype. My only interest in the Superbowl comes from the growing dread as it gets closer, because I know that many advertisers take this opportunity to release racist and or sexist ads. Advertising space during the Superbowl is extremely expensive, and so advertisers have to get their message across as succinctly as possible unfortunately, far too many choose to rely on an ism to sell their product, ignoring that the same marginalized people that they are attacking are potential customers.
How does Danica Patrick and Jillian Michaels painting their symbols on a naked woman sell the quality of hosting services from GoDaddy? Are we to believe that if we get hosting from GoDaddy, that our site will suddenly be sexay and attract a lot of traffic? How exactly does tech, equal naked female flesh? None of this has to make any sense, because in a sexist society, the idea of co-opting women’s bodies has become so normalized that no real message or connection to the product is needed. Women’s bodies are sold to promote everything these days.
What I can guess from this ad is that they aren’t targeting women, despite our clear activity online. We have business, run blogs and online newspapers and magazines, yet men are whom GoDaddy is interested in. Unfortunately, we all know that this is only the first in the upcoming onslaught of dehumanization in advertising targeted for the Superbowl, and it seems to me that no matter how many times marginalized people complain about these ads, year after year this is what we are subjected to.
When they are not sexualizing us, or erasing us, they attempt to control our reproductive freedom through pro birth (note: I will never use the term pro life) advertisement. The contradiction in advertising is astounding. It says be sexy, be available for consumption by men continually, but if you dare to get pregnant you silly slut, you better be prepared to have that baby. It sends the message that a woman is only good when she is preforming sexually, or having a child. There is no room for discussion of agency, or ownership of one’s sexual choices or bodily autonomy, because any such thoughts would conflict with the construction of woman as a commodity.
Editors Note: For the purposes of clarity, I use GoDaddy as my hosting source for Womanist Musings.