A discussion today of tv ads with their cliched gender roles (men are disorganized and can’t do laundry; women hate being dirty and love to shop; and so on and on) reminded me of the worst ad I’ve ever heard in this regard, though it was on the radio, not tv.
In it, a father was patiently explaining to his son why a giant robot was not an appropriate gift for Mommy, and why they should get her diamonds instead.
It’s been years, but I have never quite forgiven this ad for perpetrating this myth that women don’t like giant robots. Lately, though, it has occurred to me that there are some legitimate reasons to explain to little Johnny why he can’t get Mommy a giant robot for her birthday.
Like, “As you know, Johnny, giant robots are pretty big, and our apartment is pretty small. Diamonds take up a lot less space.”
Or, “Daddy read in Consumer Reports that the fail safes on this particular model are a little bit unreliable. Remember what happened in Tokyo? Let’s keep shopping.”
Or even, “How do we know that this giant robot won’t turn on us in our sleep and try to take over the world?” You know how Mommy hates world domination plans that aren’t her own.”
So maybe I was too harsh on that fictional dad after all. Maybe.
What are your excuses for not yet having bought your loved ones giant robots?