By David Shaw
The bearded man looks around sheepishly as he applies eye shadow in front of a make-up mirror. He dons a long haired wig and then makes his debut. He enters a room populated by young girls dressed as fairies. One girl looks up in astonishment and then smiles. The sound track is Linda Lyndell singing, “what a man, what a man, what a mighty good man.” The scene then shifts to dad with fairy princess daughter at a Chase bank branch with a voice over speaking to the importance of saving for a college education.
Men dressed up as women has been funny for a long time. A major corporation just decided that a man dressing in a fairy costume could be sweet. This is new.
Having just finished an excellent book, by Jack Myers, The Future of Men, I stopped to savor the moment of seeing this commercial. Savoring is not my typical reaction to TV commercials.
I put aside issues related to corporate greed and the obscenity of college student debit and thought about the future of men. Jack Myers’ background and expertise is in media. His book details examples as to how men are often portrayed in a less than flattering light in advertising and why. While men as a whole still make more money, women as a whole make more decisions as to how household monies are spent.
Myers writes, “For examples of the “men as idiots” commercial genre, simply turn on your TV and watch the vast majority of ads for household products, automobiles, financial services and a host of other items. Men are often characterized as less – than – capable idiots whose abilities can’t possibly measure up to a female’s competence at even the simplest task.”
Myers argues that many advertisement agency executives are simply out of touch with the economic climate change of the very real shift in economic power from men to women. The global warming of female empowerment is very real, yet very often still denied.
When I heard that the sex of my first grandchild was female, I knew that I would have no trouble if she grew wanting to dress like a boy, play like a boy.
There are now more women in the USA with jobs then there are men with jobs. Buy the book. Look it up. More women then men go to college, graduate from college and obtain advanced degrees them men. More women then men vote.
The tide has already changed. It is rising the capital of women. It is also creating great opportunity for men. The main point of the Future of Men, is that the tidal shift is inevitable and accelerating. What is uncertain is how men will learn not to drown and how to delight in the warmth of the new currents.
One of the most precious of these opportunities is caring for young children. Men dressed up as women has been funny for a long time. A major corporation just decided that a man dressing in a fairy costume could be sweet. This is new.
More and more women want male partners who are motivated to care for and about children. Chase knows that more and more women have more and more money to spend and that images of caring, nurturant men can sell product.
Of all of the things that a boy could be called, “fairy” used to be one of the worst. Now it can be one of the best.
I hope that the magic of media, new and old, increasingly reflects what really makes for a mighty good man.
When I heard that the sex of my first grandchild was female, I knew that I would have no trouble if she grew wanting to dress like a boy, play like a boy. I was grateful that feminism had paved the way for her to get support with doing so. I never had a chance to parent a girl so I knew that having a granddaughter was going to be a brand new adventure.
She has shown little interest in dress and play that was traditionally masculine. She has become the most accomplished 2 year old fairy in the world. My granddaughter’s magic wand can turn people into trees. It can be the source of rainbow colored light splashed against a wall, that I had previously assumed where created by prisms hanging in a window. I love it. It might be getting close to time for me to start shopping for my own set of wings. I have an expanded vision as to what a mighty good grand dad can be.
I hope that the magic of media, new and old, increasingly reflects what really makes for a mighty good man. I hope that more and more men welcome the sea change of female empowerment for the access it helps provide men to the oceanic feelings of awe empowered by magical connections with children.