This is why women can’t have nice things.
I. YOUR BODY. YOUR RULES™
So what is the moral of the story (the sales pitch)? Something about empowerment, that women are actually the controllers of the sexual transaction, no matter the manliness or perceived power of the partner involved. By the way, do you notice what MTV projects as the masculine ideal? If you see it, it’s for you.
Note that I write that women are projected here as controlling the sexual transaction. The setting for this commercial is an aborted one-night stand. At no point is it suggested that this relationship is or could become anything resembling a loving, meaningful, stable one. Sex without love is animalism (actually watch some of the shows MTV sneaks between their commercials for reference), yet this commercial doesn’t present the situation as being instinctual or passionate. In fact, she aborts the situation by reciting a prepared script with a giant saccharine grin. Thank you, come again!
Animalism contained by/controlled with cold logic becomes reduced to a business transaction. She may as well beat the poor guy to death with her hardback copy of Atlas Shrugged.
The western world’s popular conception of business/capitalism/progress is a consumerist one, and women are the ideal consumers. Understanding this, what kind of feminine ideal can be presented within our (post)modern cultural frame, what kind of woman can be promoted within the time constraints of commercialism, and what kind of female can be forged by the scripture of Bernaysian salespitching?
Let’s have a look.
II. “Look, guy I almost slept with. I like you a lot because x/y/z.”
This is meant to be perceived as her deflating the male ego, verbally conquering him, stepping up and seizing power. No glove no love, bro. You go, grrrl!
Around 0:13 they show the male looking confused, enfeebled, cowed by the speech. Notice the Che Guevera poster in the background? Che is supposed to be a masculine symbol of power. Even Che is no match for the empowered and intelligent woman™.
Unfortunately, what her speech really does is dehumanize the situation. Reducing the event to a prepared script, she reduces the male to some vague qualities that describe his outside characteristics, but does nothing to describe who he as a person is (and that she is sexually attracted to facile qualities, partial objects).
This reductionism applies to the female as well. By vaguely mentioning the things she intended to do with him, she reduces her sexuality to a consumption good, her body to a menu at a fast food restaurant.
I’m sure it was meant to be a tease, but then again I’m sometimes teased by the low, low price of the McChicken™.
III. This is a condom. There are many like it, but this one is mine. “I have just one rule. You gotta have a ticket if you wanna ride the ride.” — 0:22
This is where things completely derail and the original sales pitch is instead replaced with (progresses to) something many degrees more poisonous.
The “young” female (notice her hands) tells the male that he must have a condom if he intends to purchase her sexual consumer good. She illustrates this point by presenting a condom she already has on her person.
Bitch, seriously? Wasn’t the original intention to have safe sex? Usually a promiscuous woman carries a spare condom in situations like these to help facilitate the sought-after activities. Seriously, what other use does the female have for carrying a condom on her person? The ticket is already there, why is the ride closed?
Apparently, teaching the male a lesson (punishing him) is more important than the original action. Take note. Sex is being projected as being not as important as empowerment, as control. As punishment.
By having an easily-accessible means to facilitate the requirements of her rule and yet withholding the activities without any rational reason for her to do so, it shows that her “rule” is ambiguous, inexact, misleading, and therefore meaningless.
This isn’t encouraging responsibility (which I would argue that promiscuity is inherently irresponsible in the first place), this is encouraging meaningless assertions of power in a bizarre and psychopathic manner.
I am not surprised that this commercial exists, and am even less surprised it aired on MTV.
Still, it’s deeply disturbing when you catch glimpses of the lurking horror underneath the narrative.