Monday, September 22, 2008

Just What Every Woman Needs: A Wild Cherry Steam Thing

In this critical election year, women will most likely be the deciding vote. It's quite a responsibility, really -- the direction, indeed the future of a nation rests in our hands. As such, women are more engaged than ever -- 18 million cracks in the glass ceiling don't lie; neither does the fact that pay equity is front and center this election season.

In many ways, this decision-making power rests well with women. We're comfortable with it. We have long been the primary family economic and social decision makers -- whether it's buying the family home, choosing a car, when to go to the doctor, or what laundry detergent or mustard to buy. Marketers have long known this, and therefore target women directly. Unfortunately, their advertising has not necessarily caught up with women's key roles and critical decision-making positions. Take this ad... "A woman has needs. And right now I need this wild cherry steam thing." All this shit happening in the world today, and all they think women can think about is a snappy new red washer/dryer set? Now, as you all know, I am not without humor, and I appreciate clean clothes as much as the next person -- perhaps more. But this ad is whacked. All I could think when I read it was "Huh? WTF?"

Personally, I think women have more important needs. In fact, I am quite confident we do. Let me enumerate -- for the benefit of the manufacturers of the LG steam washer and dryer and their marketing "gurus" -- just a few of the things that I need, in no particular order.

1) Got equal pay? Um, no. Well, women did just get a one cent raise -- the average went from 77 cents on the male dollar to 78 cents. Woo Hoo. So let's start there -- pay us fairly, and I can buy your fancy appliances.

2) How about a fair and balanced judiciary? So the precious few civil rights and liberties women do have are protected. And so when I sue your ass for sexual harassment and pay discrimination, I have a better than 5 percent chance of winning -- which are the current odds, by the way.

3) While I'm on the subject of the judiciary, hands off my reproductive rights, okay? And let's make them real -- ensure docs are trained in abortion techniques and women's health; make sure hospitals have to offer emergency contraception (even the Catholic hospitals); ensure Rx drug plans cover birth control, especially if they cover Viagra; teach comprehensive, age-appropriate comprehensive sex education in our schools; repeal the global gag rule and increase national and international family planning funding. Course, the more kids I have the more I'm gonna want your fancy washing machine, I guess.

4) How about a basic guarantee of paid family and medical leave, and paid sick days while I'm at it. Yes, we have a federal FMLA law now, but lots of folks don't take advantage of the protections because it's unpaid. If you work in a job with no vacation or paid sick time, then you're shit outta luck. This country's work/family policies are the joke of the developed world -- hell, lots of "underdeveloped" countries do better than we do. Gimme some time off, and I can do my laundry in your super dupper machines.

5) Can you say health care? I knew you could. We need comprehensive, universal, affordable, high quality health care. End of story. 'Nuf said.

6) How about the best public schools on the planet? And affordable colleges so that everyone can explore and reach their full potential. This isn't just the right thing to do, it's the smart thing to do -- it's about global competitiveness and national security. You want smart workers who can build your washing machines? Then we need to do a lot better by our K-12 system and make college more accessible. Oh, wait, you probably outsourced those factory jobs overseas, didn't you? Made in China? Or maybe you just outsourced your advertising efforts -- which would explain your piss-poor ability to relate to American women in this particular ad.

7) Stop violence against women and children -- rape, incest, domestic violence. We need better enforcement of current laws, more funding for prevention and victim support programs, and fundamental social change that tips in favor of simply not tolerating this crap. Can your washing machine, which you seem to think is what women really long for, take care of that problem, please?

8) I hope your cherry red washer/dryer set is energy efficient, 'cuz our environment is in a world of hurt. We need more research and federal support for alternative energy sources, more recycling, environmental education in the schools, better public transportation, etc.

Okay, so I'm on a rant, but damn! These ridiculous ads make me a little crazy. So tell me, what do you really need this election season? Do tell....

Copyright 2008 (text only). The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.


Anonymous said...

I need a President who has the courage to avoid military adventurism.

I need a President that will LEAD the country lawfully... not via fiat.

I need a President that will lead our government... not one who will make the government out to be the enemy of the people it is supposed to serve.

I need a President that respects the law.

I need a President who can go out among the people, not just to military venues with heavily controlled access.

I need a lot more, Zaffy, but this is your blog!

ZaftigRedhead said...

Brilliant, gunfighter. Here Here!!