in which I take issue with gender in the media

Angie Harmon’s Milk Commercial

Angie Harmon wants you to drink milk, you guys. You can put milk in lots of things, but you definitely should make sure you put it inside your children. “As moms, we try to make sure our kids eat right.” (Just moms try, though. Not fathers. Men have no instinct to keep their children alive.) Also-“giving my family what they need starts with me.” Really, Angie? Just with you? And when you say “family”, do you mean your kids and your husband, whom I suspect is old enough to get what he needs for himself?

The Mirena Commercial

Mirena is an intrauterine device that prevents pregnancy for up to 5 years. On one hand, yay, because it’s hard to remember to take the Pill every day and women need reliable birth control. On the other hand, the risks are just as potentially horrifying as with other hormonal birth control-breast cancer, pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy. (I spent an uncomfortable time on the Mirena drug website tonight.)

Mirena is for women who have had at least one child. There’s a line in one of the commercials-“…if your plans don’t include another baby..” What if my plans don’t include a baby at all? What do I do then? Am I doomed to using hormonal birth control until I’m no longer fertile (danger)? Is the answer to get my tubes tied? Maybe, but I refuse to believe that with all the fancy medical advances out there, we can’t come up with better options for women. Mirena also feels it is best if you are in a stable relationship, because that is totally relevant to whether or not you should be able to choose the best birth control for yourself.

In one version of the Mirena commercial is one of my favorite tropes regarding gender. It’s the one where Men Are Dumb and Will Kill Themselves and The Children and Burn Down the House If Left Alone For Five Minutes. Dad sits in the yard and eat snacks, not paying attention while the children run around hysterically in a sugar coma. Mom, in the meantime, is harried and frustrated, because she’s been out all day doing errands.You know, because that’s what women do.

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One thought on “in which I take issue with gender in the media

  1. MWN says:

    Good news, I don’t want children either, and I talked to my doctor and she is fine with giving me the IUD (Paraguard, that uses copper, not Mirena, but that’s b/c I don’t tolerate hormones well). I’ve heard that there is more risk of the uterus rejecting the IUD if a person has never been pregnant (you know, getting used to a foreign object like a fetus), but it’s not such a huge risk that it’s not an option for you. If your doctor doesn’t think it’s a good fit for you, get a second opinion.

    Also, your commentary re: Angie Harmon’s milk commercial was hilarious, I read it out loud and cracked up.

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