Got Milk, Fuckpants?Posted: July 14, 2011
Women and their periods, AMIRITE? It’s like lycanthropy without the excess hair growth and need to eat bunny rabbits. That’s why I’m so glad that this new Got Milk campaign has brought male suffrage to light and started to show women what total vagina dentatas they are when Aunt Flo comes to town! Drink a glass of milk and calm down, bitch! Sheesh- you are all kinds of carazy today!
The ads feature some real pearlers like, “I’m sorry I listened to what you said and not what you meant” and “We can both blame myself.” – brilliant! Oh man, that is comedy genius right there! If there is something the world needs more of, it is gender based comedy. I can’t get through the week without a good dose of ‘lustful male being denied sex by his bitter wench of a long-suffering wife who has to put up with how stupid he is cause god men are so dumb and they suck and women are so bitchy and they suck!’ Hahahahahahahaha. OH GOD, DON’T MAKE IT STOP.
I’m also really glad that this is going to be around because I really hate how ‘political correctness’ has stopped men from calling me little lady, patting me on the head (or better yet, on the arse) and not taking anything I say seriously. The other day I was telling this guy about my opinion on the refugee crisis and he stood there, and he listened! Ugh! And he made a cogent argument back! And then so did I! And it just went on like that! And the whole time I was like, um, helloooo? I have my period??? Shouldn’t you be undermining me right now???
I mean, I am just psycho when it’s P-time in the V-town, that’s why, every month, I just stop writing my PhD for about a week. Or if I do write, I make sure to highlight the text in red when I send it to my supervisor so she knows, that’s my period talking! LOL! I don’t actually think that the Australian outback has symbolic significance in the Australian imaginary!…or do I? I’m not sure. I’d better ask my Dad.
To switch away from my intense sarcasm, I’d like to point out that I am not denying that women can get bitchy around their period. I do- I usually cry for no particular reason the night before and then I’m tired and at a loss for patience for at least 3 days. I am not denying that this occurs. What I am saying, however, is that treating period induced crankiness or mood swings in this way is incredibly belittling because it plays into the old stereotype that women are irrational creatures who cannot control their emotions and that when women are anything other than placid and agreeable- they have their period. Hence the old ‘joke’- “What’s the matter, love? That time of the month?”
Personally I don’t want any mood I have that doesn’t into the category of ‘beige’ to be attributed to my hormones. It is not a harmless joke. It encourages people to view women with a double standard which suggests that when a woman is passionate or forceful, then she is just having her special lady time and therefore nothing she is saying can be taken seriously. It encourages a fallacy which isn’t ‘Women are bitchy when they have their period’, it’s ‘When women are bitchy they have their period’.
It suggests that men should just humour women when they get a bit ‘worked up’, give them a glass of milk and wait for the transformation to take place wherein said woman is not some vicious harpy. It encourages people to dismiss and undermine women, which is a history of treatment from which women have long struggled to get away.
Maybe there are some who think that such attitudes don’t exist anymore, and that therefore we should be able to move on and joke about it. To that I’ll say three things- there’s a difference between joking in a way that is inclusive and made with a point in mind and joking in a way that ridicules other people. In this campaign, women are the joke. And to an extent, men are too. This campaign perpetuates the stereotype of useless men being all useless and just dumbing around because of how dumb and useless they are. Personally I don’t think of men that way. I love men. I love talking with them, exchanging ideas with them, having sex with them, joking with them, having sex with them, working with them, having sex with them…where was I?
Oh yeah. The second reason I don’t take this lightly is because the ridicule is more damaging due to the extensive historical context of us being treated like jokes: of us not being granted the capacity to think clearly, rationally or to contribute anything to the world except babies, cakes and blowjobs.
Little things make this less light-hearted, more divisive and more belittling. Making the website .org instead of .com? Women are the joke. Holding all-men protests holding signs of these ads, protesting against crazy PMS women? Women are the joke. Suggesting that you patronise her by calling her ‘passionate instead of irrational’? Women are the joke.
The idea of ‘medicating’ a woman with milk ties into a history of women being treated for hysteria in various ridiculous ways. Virginia Woolf ‘got milk’ and she ended up at the bottom of a fucking river. Yeah, I just Woolfed you. You just got Woolfed.**
It wasn’t so long ago that a man could commit his wife to an insane asylum if he thought she was ‘hysterical’. It wasn’t that long ago that women who expressed a sexual identity were given clitoridectomies. It wasn’t that long ago that women weren’t allowed to have superannuation. It wasn’t so long ago that CEO’s would justify women being paid less because they get periods and have babies – in fact, that happened within the last year. It wasn’t so long ago that it was a point of concern as to whether unmarried women in politics were setting a bad example- again, that happened in the last few years.
Such attitudes do still exist (my third point!). It’s an attitude I’ve often encountered, from anything like ‘women aren’t good at comedy’, ‘women aren’t good chefs’, ‘women can’t do well in business because of their emotions’ (yes someone said that to me), being called ‘little lady’, ‘good girl’, being sexually harassed etc And these kinds of attitudes lead to general disrespectful and violating behaviour- from being groped on the street, having a stranger yell at you that you’re a slut, or not take you seriously when you say ‘no I don’t want your number, no I don’t want to dance with you, no I don’t want a drink’ etc etc – again, things that have happened to me and happen to women all the bloody time. All of those things are part of a culture wherein women are viewed as ‘less than’ – and they’re underestimated and dismissed accordingly.
Such attitudes aren’t limited to men, either- I’ve had plenty of women espouse similar views to me and there are shit loads of female created TV shows etc that perpetuate crappy stereotypes. In fact, I’m sure women worked on this campaign.
Here’s the thing though, there are lots of things that can exacerbate a bad mood, or simply create it- traffic, tiredness, IT malfunctions, bad talk radio, poor customer service, having to deal with the fact that Lady Gaga exists- but I would never say to anyone, regardless of their gender, “Oh sweetheart, I know you think that there are illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian land- but I think Mr Poo-Poo Cranky Pants is just tired and annoyed because the supermarket ran out of his favourite soup! Yes he is! Yes he is! Now go have a little nippy nap and we’ll talk about this whole ‘UN sanctioned territory’ thing when you’re not feeling so silly!”
What concerns me about this campaign is that I’m pretty sure a whole bunch of d-bags are now going to use this is as their go to line for chauvinism. It’s going to be the new sandwich joke, because god knows the sandwich joke is fucking hilarious. I have not gotten sick of that at all. Go make me a sandwich! Classic!
Why did the chicken cross the road?
Stop asking stupid questions and make me a sandwich!
Sorry feminism, I’m too busy making a sandwich!
Hahaha- suck it, women! Or how about this one? (** if you aren’t familiar with ‘The Aristocrats’ joke then for the love of god, go look it up- otherwise the following will make no sense and I’ll just come across like a total pervert.)
A family walks into a talent agency. It’s a grandmother, mother, daughter and dog. The grandmother says to the talent agent, “We have a really amazing act. You should represent us.”
The agent says, “Sorry, I don’t represent family acts. They’re a little too cute.”
The mother says, “Sir, if you just see our act, we know you would want to represent us.”
The agent says, “OK. OK. I’ll take a look.”
“First I come out, wearing an evening gown, playing some plucky honky-tonk. Just as I finish playing the song with my tits, my daughter in an evening gown runs on stage and undresses me before stripping and doing gymnastics over the stage, finally ending up underneath our dog which pisses all over her face.
Then my granddaughter performs some auto-erotic asphyxiation while jerking herself off and shitting all over the dog that’s pissing on my daughter! Meanwhile I am trying to fuck myself in the arse with a strap on dildo and my daughter is drinking a jar of molasses before she vomits it all over her own vagina.
Then we each get a bobble-head doll of Rin Tin Tin and shove it up each other’s arses while doing impressions of Hitler on a bad day.”
For the longest time, the agent just sits in silence. Finally, he manages to say, “What the fuck are you guys doing out of the kitchen? Go make me a sandwich!”
Oh man- I cannot wait for the punch line to change to ‘got milk’! Seriously! Think about it!! Totes lolburgers for everyone!
Julia Gillard getting frustrated in an interview? Got milk, Julia?! HAHA! Some random friend, Sally McFuckpants, getting fired up over the carbon tax? Got milk, Fuckpants?! BOOYAH! That shit is gold! Female colleague walks into work bitching about the morning traffic?! Ooop! Looks like someone ran out of milk at home! Buuuuuuuurn!
Oh man, this is going to herald in such an awesome new age where women can just be dismissed, belittled and laughed at- all in two easy words!!
Ohhh and let’s just look at the website! “I’m sorry I forgot your cat’s birthday” – rofltits! Ahhh man, you nailed it! Women do like cats! And birthdays! Women suck!
PLAY IT AGAIN, SAM.
“I’m sorry I believed nothing was wrong when you said nothing was wrong.”
“I’m sorry for looking at the waitress that time I was ordering.”
“I’m sorry I couldn’t guess what I did wrong.”
WHERE IS THE MAN WHO WROTE THIS AND WHY WON’T HE MARRY ME?!
There’s even a mistake verification system and no matter what you type in there- yeeeeep! 100% WRONG BROMEISTER! I mean, I typed in ‘cats’ and even that was wrong!!!!!!
My favourite features would have to be the tracker for ‘Current Global PMS levels’ and the map of your local area showing you where you can buy milk in a bitch emergency.
I’m not saying that everyone who is exposed to this is going to have their inner sexist awakened and they’re going to go around thinking all women are inferior. I am sure there are lots of men and women who will look at this, have a giggle, and happily move on with their lives. But I am also certain that there are far too many people out there who will use this reductive, simplistic clusterfuck of stereotypes to reinforce their own shitty views, while others will reproduce this humour unthinkingly- cause even if they’re not raging misogynists they have a little bit of latent sexism bubbling under the surface. I honestly don’t think we should be enabling those attitudes or making them even easier to flippantly express.
I’m not saying that you can never make a joke about ‘women and their periods’, I am just saying, please don’t make a campaign out of it. Don’t base an entire marketing strategy on the idea that women are crazy and silly and they need to be medicated, by milk or anything else.
**I know Woolf’s ‘remedy’ was more to do with theories of physiology than her gender. Shut up.