Dockers Man-ifesto Challenges Men to “Wear the Pants,” Give Up Disco. WTF?

Lesbians, get your head out of your girlfriend’s lap. There is a major crisis happening right now! A crisis in manhood! I know you’ve been wondering, “Wait a second, why is the world sitting idly by as cities crumble?” Well, Dockers has been wondering the EXACT SAME THING! And they have a solution.

So, ladies and allies… now that your [imaginary or real] girlfriend is in the other room, why don’t you take a second to look at your lap! Are you wearing pants? Hopefully not. But if you are, you should remove them, and hand them over to someone who can handle them. You know what I’m talking about. A DUDE! I could tell you why, but I think Dockers could tell you why better, so let’s take a gander of the Man-i-Festo.

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Now, we love dudes, don’t get us wrong. But this whole ad campaign, which launched in December and is all over magazines and busstops and train stations, is rubbing us the wrong way — and, probably anticipating our disagreement, Dockers has launched a facebook page where people can “discuss” the art of manliness, amongst other things. So we decided to take it to the people for an Autostraddle Mini-Roundtable.

Here’s the thing about being angry feminists — I know sometimes it all seems so theoretical and abstract, like we’re the only ones who care and it’s pointless. But what media theory attempts to do is use a sociological and feminist lens to understand how things like ad campaigns subtly reinforce damaging cultural values and subconsciously manipulate everyone! YOU DON’T WANT TO BE A ROBOT DO YOU?! These messages shape our society. So we’re going to have to yell, very loudly at our society.dotted-divider2
BeckyStyle Editor Becky:

Jeebus fracking christ. Here’s what i think. REALLY PAPI, REALLY? But besides that, I think it’s interesting they delve so deeply into “the world not needing men”. People who read this most likely haven’t noticed anything wrong (rightly so) but are sure to be like: “Hey! It’s right! I DO sometimes eat a salad! WHAT HAS THE WORLD COME TO?” Then all of their insecurities will start to melt the closer those pants get to their electronic shopping cart. Did anyone else go to the facebook discussion website and cry? Me niether. But I think it’s actually sick that this campaign is using the state of the economy and EVERYONE’S dissatisfaction with how things are right now to get business–so that women can be like “YES WE NEED MEN BACK MAYBE THESE DOCKERS WILL MAKE MY MAN LOOK MORE LIKE JASON BEHR ” and men can be like “MAYBE IF I BUY THESE PANTS SHE’LL STOP FAKING HER ORGASMS”. Keep it up, dockers, I can’t wait to see their: WE PUT THE WIFE BEATER BACK IN WIFE-BEATERS!!! BUY NOW!!!!*

*Disclaimer- I obviously only mean stupid men. Not all men. God help us if this were all men.

Counter-campaign?
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Dania Ramirez

Prefers no pants to Dockers

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LilyIntern Lily:
I HAVE SO MANY FEELINGS ABOUT THIS AD CAMPAIGN. Not only because I took a Womens Studies class last semester and not only because I was raised by a self-proclaimed feminist but because I don’t understand what a “foamy non-fat latte” has to do with cities crumbling and children misbehaving. Did I miss something?

And yes, I get that the ad is probably supposed to be taken lightly, that it’s an exaggerated definition of the phrase “to wear the pants,”,and that Dockers is, after all, just trying to sell clothing… BUT COME ON. I don’t think my grandmother would mind if a latte drinking man decided to help her cross the street (not that she would allow anyone to help her seeing as she’s a beast at 85 and in better shape physically than I ever will be).

And since when did the world decide they didn’t need men? What gender holds the majority of the highest paying and most powerful jobs in the world? What gender is our president? All of our past presidents? I don’t remember any of them being stuck between boyhood and androgyny (except perhaps J. Edgar Hoover and his little cross-dressing habit, but that just makes him more interesting).

Some people believe that sexism is dead, that feminism is no longer relevant, and that we should stop complaining. But then something like this happens and you have to wonder…is it justified to get worked up over this or is this just a joke, a bout of exaggeration that we should play along with? I think they went too far, offending anyone who isn’t a “manly man”…but then again, I’m all for a genderless society. Obviously I’m part of the “problem”.

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Scarlet Johansson

Would rather not wear Dockers

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Laneia

Executive Editor Laneia:

Dear Dockers,

You are the manufacturer of beige cotton casual wear. If ever there was a stereotypical definition of ‘manly’, you would most certainly not be it.

FFF! (Flat Front Forevs!)
-Laneia

P.S. We don’t live in a genderless society, you stupid f*cks. Otherwise, this ad campaign of yours could never exist.

P.P.S. Men need to eat vegetables, too, because everyone — even someone with a giant manly penis — needs to poop on the reg. Didn’t your mother teach you that? Remember your mom? The one who probably gave up 38746 of her own hopes and dreams to raise your ungrateful ass?

P.P.P.S Who in the holy hell greenlights an ad campaign this alienating and insulting to women WHILE ALSO STILL TRYING TO SELL PANTS TO WOMEN OMFG MY BRAIN IS BLEEDING NEVERMIND.

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Rosario Dawson

I am just fine without your pants thank you Dockers

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Alex Vega
Design Director Alex Vega:

I have just as many feelings as any other woman with a brain does when viewing this new Dockers ad … but my ultimate take on it might be a little bit, um… different.  Let me explain.

It’s a smart ad. It’s supposed to be scandalous and piss us off. “Us” = women who don’t think ‘feminism’ is a bad word (and it’s not! But don’t tell that to weirdos/crazies discussing this on Facebook. I can’t go into that, my head will explode.)

I want to let it be known that I don’t condone the slander against discos and foamy non-fat lattes and specifically calling out our “genderless society” and “androgyny” as bad things. That hurts, you know?

But let me offer a little defense for Dockers statements about opening doors for women and old ladies crossing the street:

Just because a man opens a door for us doesn’t mean they think we can’t do it ourselves. It’s just the right thing to do. Like ‘feminism’, chivalry is not a bad word either (see also: honorable, respectful, considerate; courteous, polite, gracious, well-mannered.) And women can act chivalrous as well. I certainly have towards women, my elders, and even men.

If I could have it my way this “call to act” would apply to everyone without using the offensive insults and perpetuating those damn gender stereotypes. I would like to cherry-pick the statements in the ad — take some and leave some (like right-wing conservatives do with the Bible!). Some of it’s good, some can be left in 1955. But whatever Dockers, use that to your marketing advantage. I don’t care. You’re just a stupid advertisement. I design stuff like you for breakfast.

We should all step it up — men, women, everyone! So maybe we shouldn’t hate on it toooo hard. Just ’cause this ad calls for men to “act like men” doesn’t mean that Dockers is insulting ladies … it’s insulting gay men! Which is also terrible. So, on that note, I give up.

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Charlize Theron

Look at me I clearly don't need pants

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Sarah PalmerAssociate Editor Sarah:

There are countless ways this ad campaign enrages me. — so many layers of awfulness! But what’s standing out to me right now is the their warped and ridiculous concept of masculinity.

So, I’m to understand that the feminist movement was all about stripping guys of their manhood? And their pants? They can certainly keep those, in my opinion.

I think we can all agree that women don’t want to strip away masculinity. I don’t think the creators of the ad have an accurate concept of masculinity, because it isn’t about what coffee you drink or what clothes you wear or whether you can protect a woman. These people aren’t talking about a return to manhood, they’re talking about a return to the Stone Age. This isn’t about masculinity, it’s about patriarchy and privilege and machismo. That’s why this frustrates me so much, because this ad doesn’t make a distinction between the two. You can be a man without oppressing other people. I thought that was obvious at this point, but this ad has proved me wrong.

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Halle Berry

No Pants Dance Dance Revolution

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VashtiIntern Vashti:

I wanted to write an intelligent, articulate response to this ad campaign. Something with points and counter-points. Something that sounded more like an argument, less like an emotional rant. But it’s hard not to rant when every time I read this so called “man-ifesto,” I feel like I’m being slapped in the face with glorified hatred.

And so instead I’ll talk about how surprised I was when I read the facebook fan page and saw that a majority of people offering written support of the campaign were women. How willing they were to settle back into their outdated gender roles. Everyone kept saying how proud they were that a company finally had the balls to say that “real men” are being replaced by men “stranded on the road between boyhood and androgyny.” They all talked about the downfalls of other men.

But no one stood up and embraced their own masculinity. Everyone appluaded the manifesto but no one applauded the men. Because they’ve been led to believe that there is no idea of man left to applaud. So they bring down women. They bring down the lgbtq community. They bring down any man who does not adhere to their idea of a “real man.” And for what? A fucking pair of pants.

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NO! PANTS! DANCE!

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RieseRiese:

Because of my extensive background in advertising copywriting, my main reaction to this campaign is “ok dockers are never going to be cool guys let’s not joke around, who picked this angle?” They’d be better off with a tongue-in-cheek campaign like Mentos or Axe Body Spray. Gap did a great khakis campaign in the 90s.

Like what Adiocracy says:

The Dockers campaign, however, is so embarassingly over-processed and overly earnest in asserting its manifesto of old-fashioned assumptions. And, amazingly, it is done without even a shred of humor, which would certainly have helped it along. Sadly, it gives off a vibe of being written by a bunch of ‘Men of A Certain Age’, trying hard to reimagine a new youth.

Meanwhile aren’t they going to alienate their core market? It just seems like exaggerated machismo attempting to compensate for the pleats, which look bad on everyone!

But srsly — I actually don’t really care what this ad says about women or how it feels about women or even gay people, I care because of what it says about men. I think there is and has been a crisis in masculinity, encompassing many of the ideas in this ad. But I think the solution is exactly what Dockers says it isn’t — a more genderless society. I think that a lot of men right now do feel a conflict, and a distrust and unhappiness, because our gender norms limit male emotional expression to a truly oppressive degree and rather encourages a sort of frat-boy/Rambo mentality which is especially harmful for men who don’t fit that macho mold and feel ostractised/sexually undesirable/wussy. I don’t think men eat enough salads, or spend enough time having feelings or going to the disco.

Also if you do get your hands dirty, don’t wipe them on your khakis b/c your wife is gonna have to get that shit out for you, and she’s probs already busy ironing your Hero cape and making you some big juicy steak for dinner.

And anyone who needs help crossing the street should get it from anyone, regardless of gender. Okay? Help people across the street. Put your pants back on.

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Missy

Huh? Pants? Nah, no thanks

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Music Editor Crystal:
When I’m not working for Autostraddle I’m a copywriter at a global ad agency, so I write ads like these and have had a lot of conversations with people about this particular one.

In my opinion the overall message in this Dockers ad is about maturity and accountability, not masculinity. I think it’s targeting teens and 20s emotionally by challenging them to step up into adulthood. But at the same time i think it’s actually trying to appeal to women, to take advantage of this notion of chivalry, that women want men to open doors for them and so forth. Which is probably a strategic move, statistics say that women still make the purchases for the household, which includes clothing for their husbands, bfs, sons.

So that’s what I think this ad was trying to do. But i dont think it was well executed. The shock copy, the stupid remarks about salads and lattes, detracts from the message and has clearly people offside. I think they could have still shocked people and had the same amount of cut through without being offensive. Where i will disagree with some of you is that to me, it’s clear that this is a tongue-in-cheek ad, it’s taking the piss out of its own message. Most of us just don’t find it funny, but a lot of people did otherwise it wouldn’t have run. I believe this ad is being ridiculous intentionally, asking us to challenge it and so we are, we’re still talking about the Dockers brand a month after this campaign hit the streets.

So on a professional level I can appreciate this ad because my eye has been trained to. Creatively and strategically I agree with Alex, it’s smart, people like me will spend their careers striving to write an ad that will have this much impact and free media space. Plus they would have researched tested this ad within an inch of it’s life, with women and with gay men. With the amount of gay people who work in advertising, I’d be surprised if one or two didn’t have a hand in creating or releasing it.

But on a personal level, if I was asked to write this ad campaign then I would have probably walked away. Even though I see what they’ve done and think they’ll make a lot of sales, I dont approve of some of the tactic. Regardless of whether it was written in humour, should have put on their own pants and taken accountability for how this ad could be damaging and regressive in the way it’s interpreted.


Intern Hot LauraIntern Laura:

There’s a lot of WTF going on here. Weird parallels between emasculation and plastic forks aside, the real problem with this ad is how divisive it is. When you’re looking at a billboard telling you to “Wear the pants,” you got three choices –

Choice number one: you can lah lah love it.

Choice number two: you can ignore it.

Maybe you do think the world needs more Real Men or maybe it makes you feel a little uncomfortable but either way, you don’t feel strongly enough to say anything.

Or choice number three: you can talk about why you don’t like it.

Now comes the part where everyone starts to fight. People who think the ad is just superfantastic are going to call everyone who doesn’t like it “uptight.” They’re going to say, “Why do you hate men?” and they’re going to use “feminist” as a dirty word. Team Whatevs might quietly run over and join the men-wearing-pants-lovers because, really, who wants to be called an uptight bitch? They don’t want to be too radical, and anyway, things aren’t that bad for women.

And they aren’t. Lots has changed in the past hundred years, but there’s still so much that needs to happen and so much racism and homophobia remaining. Ads like this set women back because they keep us fighting amongst ourselves.

Men and women who are content tell everyone else “I’m fine. This doesn’t bother me. If makes you so upset, maybe there’s something wrong with you.” “Just relax” becomes the weapon of the comfortably powerful against those of us who experience inequality.

Refusing to support your own degradation doesn’t make you crazy or out of control or uptight. Girls need to know that they don’t have to overlook sexism to be popular.

This just has me thinking about this thing last year at my school where my friend wrote an article about a softball team called “co-ed = mo’ head” and all these people got nasty and said anyone who had a problem with their name was a prude and everyone needed to get a sense of humor. i was just surprised at how many girls were attacking other girls.

Sometimes my mum says I need to just laugh at things because they’re not hurting me. But the only reason they’re not hurting me is because I don’t feel like i have to have everyone’s approval anymore and I’m okay with not just going along with it. But when I was younger I did because it’s easy and because I had no role models for being any other way. It might seem cheesy, but this is something I feel pretty strongly about.

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What do you think?

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66 Comments

  1. Thumb up 0

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    Ok, so enjoying a latte and eating healthy lead to the collapse of western civilization?

    “Men took charge because that’s what they did”. Took charge of what? Women? Society? Yeah, let’s go back to the time when men bossed women around. Oh wait, we’re still there.

    So, healthy living, latte-enjoying, clean men, take note: Dockers does not want your business! What a stellar idea for a marketing campaign! /sarcasm.

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    I think it’s more offensive to queers than anything else, taking pot shots at androgyny and our “genderless society”. Also, who eats salad with a plastic fork and what does that even mean?!

    Weirdly, I’m now craving a gigantic latte and I shall have one and I shall enjoy it while I wear my androgynous and lesbionically fabulous (and non-dockered) pants.

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    i’m just not convinced that khakis are at all masculine. except when i wear them with a tucked in button down i feel kind of masculine.

    this ad campaign seems so much better suited to carhartt. like, hello actual manly manwear. http://www.carhartt.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryDisplay?storeId=10051&catalogId=10101&langId=-1&categoryId=15056

    their slogan: “MY DICK WILL ONLY GET IN CARHARTT PANTS.” right? like their D is a conscientious objector or something? #pooridea

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    My own personal opinion on the content of the campaign aside… I’m really curious as to whether or not this will help their profit line. It’s kind of a risk. Not sure if they would have gone with this one if the apparel industry wasn’t suffering so badly. May just be an attempt at survival? I’m going to check out the Levi Strauss numbers later. Am inquisitive now.

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      i kind of don’t see how it could hurt. i guess i don’t see it alienating their probable demographic…which as far as i know is suburban dudes at kohl’s. not that they wouldn’t see it as discriminatory/counter-progressive, etc, but if they did i wouldn’t see people caring? do people feel passionate about pants? i just don’t know!

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        Right now it’s hard to get people to buy “more clothing”. I think if someone already has a pair or two of Dockers, this probably isn’t going to inspire them to buy another pair. But if this is about expanding market reach outside of people who currently wear Dockers, not sure how effective it’s going to be.

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          I think this campaign is about expanding market reach. I also think it’s going to be very effective, my prediction is that you’ll start seeing a lot more Dockers around town.

          I’m about to rush off to the airport and so I can’t elaborate right now – but as a copywriter at global ad agency I have a lot of opinions about this particular topic. So I will come back and share them when I get off the plane and find internets.

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    As much as I wanted to be upset, to feel violated, to feel like a feminazi, this just made me laugh, as I’ve been working on an essay about the genetic de-evolution of the Y chromosome. The campaign came off a bit imploring, until I cleared my mind…and it still does.

    Speaking of someone who’s fascinated by traditionally masculine and feminine aesthetics and alternates between the two like a kid in a candy store, I still find this pathetic. Really, guys? Did you suddenly have an existential crisis about your archaic, binary views of gender? It’s like watching the very first midlife crisis of Web 2.0.

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    I don’t think it’s effective to broaden their market at all. Besides the actual content of the ad, “manly men” will still not Change their minds and wear dockers. I think they’d go with jeans or dickies. People who buy dockers will probably still wear dockers regardless of this campaign.

    Personally, I’ll just bottom line it and say, bleh! I don’t think it’s funny at all. To see an example of effective marketing, they should have looked at the (was it miller?) beer campaign with the top athletes having man meetings to creat “man rules.” Those were good!

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      yesssss! i was hoping people would google him out of curiosity, but i’m glad someone else knows him. i just remember him from his days on Rosewell where he stood around looking manly and tortured. he may or may not have done the same thing in The Grudge.

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    the real redeeming quality of the ad is the type-face used. I love ould-tymey stuff! really otherwise I wouldn’t want to buy dockers, it’s a bitch getting latte out of them.

  8. Pingback: Dockers Man-ifesto Challenges Men to “Wear the Pants,” Give Up … | girls

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    god, what do you say to this ad. how many times can you say sexism is stupid? how many ways can you say “this was the wrong angle, boys.” what is this, a re-branding thing? you’re never gonna make your product synonymous with manliness when it’s a staple of the PGA tour.

    alex – i disagree that it’s a “smart ad” because “it’s supposed to be scandalous and piss us off.” ‘let’s piss off the feminists,’ to me, isn’t smart or original, it’s lazy. and this particular ad is PARTICULARLY lazy about it. i do agree with you about how chivalry is a good thing, though, and that everybody should be more chivalrous regardless of gender. this point isn’t part of the ad, though, unfortunately, it’s yours. you should have been on this campaign!

    like riese and others said, i think the most damaging thing about this ad is the rigid, crippling idea of masculinity that’s being reinforced. it does a disservice to men AND women.

    ps back in the stone ages when men ate nothing but meat and dominated their tribes and hunted and gathered? they didn’t wear pants. i think they wore loincloths, which are more like dresses.

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      That is seriously a really good point about loincloths.

      I feel like what they’re trying to do here is similar to what they’re trying to do with the Levis ads (same company) — sort of like a rustic Tommy Hilfiger-style patriotism. It works for Levi’s, as they actually did invent jeans and they did so in America. But making that happen for khakis? Gap was on point with their ’93 “Who Wore Khakis” campaign with pics of Jack Kerouac, Arthur Miller, Miles Davis, Amelia Earhart, James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Pablo Picasso et al. Actually Gap has always done a good job making khakis seem cool, and they didn’t even need to mess with gender stereotypes to do it.

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      You’re right, it IS lazy bcw. I agree. I’m glad this looks like it’s backfiring on them. I tried to play devil’s advocate on a couple points and it was SO SO DIFFICULT and, well, I failed and that says something. For me and for the ad haha.

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    Seems like they are targeting the same demographic that Fox News does.

    Ya know, the guys (and their wives who do their pant shopping) who *truly* believe “Glen Beck and I are the only ones who see America’s decline and can save our VALUES from the Muslims and homos!”. America and therefore civilization is in decline, latte-lovin’ queer hippies are to blame, so “hell yeah, I’ll put on my MAN PANTS and be a Tradition Hero and help Grandma cross the street.”

    Of course Dockers are probably the expected daily wear at their middle class office job or considered fancy enough for a nicer night out with the Wifey, classy new trousers would be too “metrosexual”. So maybe they’re not expanding their customer base, but they probably aren’t insulting it either.

    Loved all the commentary. Especially Sarah’s point on masculinity and Laura’s observation about putting women v. women. Spot on.

    And Laneia’s comment about even men need to shit had me in stitches. Brillian.

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    Are we to assume that little old men can get across the street just fine because they have a penis inside their dockers.

    Also because everyone — even someone with a giant manly penis — needs to poop on the reg

    I seriously just laughed out loud at my desk within hearing distance of numerous coworkers, but that was totally worth it.

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    The round table and comments are great points and thought out very well. But I’m sure the ad isn’t ment to offe d anyone that would just be counterproductive to their marketing strategy.

    So what I have to offer is slightly off topic but involves pants.

    It doesn’t matter who wears the pants but who controls the belt buckle.

    That’s what me and my girlfriend tell people when they comment on her being the boy (and wearing the pants) in the relationship. Even tho they are comparing my girlfriend to a boy (she isn’t and has a va jay jay that I love) which is offensive she really does wear pants more than I as I’m often in dresses. ;-)

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    the ad makes me picture a cluster of old ladies on street corners not knowing what to do next

    for the record tho I tried helping a lady once who was clearly struggling with her groceries and she yelled at me , so theres that

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    As someone who has been wearing “man-pants” for years, I never once felt “manly” in a pair of Dockers. I mean, really? Really, Dockers? When your target audience consists of lesbians, gay men, paper pushers, and office slaves, the worst idea possible is to create this ad campaign that only alienates the people who buy your pants.

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    Tact is the ability to tell someone to go fuck themselves and have them want to do it. Dockers, however, has no tact. Unfortunately, whether the ad was good or bad, Dockers has now gotten it’s name further into mainstream discussion – which will most likely work out well for them.

    Now, I would certainly think that further gender separation would be regressive, rather than progressive. I’m a sociology major, so I’ve focused plenty on the Great Gender Divide. I had a physics teacher in high school who was so old school he never let his wife learn how to drive. The women I know who worked with him were always so outraged by this. He was always cooperative about helping her get from place to place, but why exercise that kind of control? What’s the point? Why is it that we can’t encourage each other to thrive in potential and opportunity? Why do we have to label every damn thing as feminine, masculine, androgynous? Even if we do have to lable everything (because we all use psychological short-cuts), why do we have to do so in a degrading way? Whatever happened to pushing the human race to its fullest potential? Oh, I forgot… men are supposed to be working class, meat-eating alcoholics, right? And women are supposed to be in the kitchen doing the dishes, wearing the apron and pearl necklace.

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    I’m not even overwhelmingly offended by this ad just because of its sheer stupidity. Whoever developed the concept for this campaign obviously has not been able to connect with its consumers and didn’t do very much market research. Since when has anyone EVER thought of khakis as manly? NEVER EVER NEVER. Why are you alienating your primary consumers you idiots!!!! It is one thing to give your brand a makeover, but they are doing a complete 180. It would be like Kashi being all like “here’s our mani-FAT-so… In a world full of hippies and tree huggers, we think its time to take down the bike rack and put more junk in the trunk”. When has anyone ever said, “hey dude, brb gotta go dry clean my dockers to wear to the cage fighting match”. I also found it semi-hilarious that the phrase “men were stripped of their khakis” makes an appearance. Yea, because that is going to help their cause. And the main and number one reason I’m not offended by this failure of an ad is because it spurred the development of the counter-campaign pictures featuring beautiful pant-less goddesses. I say next is a campaign for women called “WEAR THE PANTIES” or on second thought DON’T WEAR THE PANTIES ;)

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    Yes the role of man has been greatly diminished. We no longer control corporations, government, money, media and war. I long for the days when you could have a martini lunch at work then go home and beat your wife for not having you’re high fat dinner ready.

    What really is really emasculating men today is our constant whining.

    How about a compromise? Kilts!

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    I hate how most ads (tv, print, whatevs) get by treating people like incapable imbeciles. I realize they have to create the need for their products, open/expand their markets, but sometimes they go too far. I’m always angry that mop and cleaning product ads are aimed at women, who need to be able to make a little time for themselves and to cook. I hate that most beer commercials portray beer drinkers as sexist, lazy men who only watch sports and boobs. In general I hate that products are created and advertised as if men and women are two different, nearly incompatible species, and if a girl wants to wear pants and have a beer, or if a man wants to help around the house or have feelings, then there is something wrong with them. There is something wrong with *that*. I think advertising needs to be smart, and it can be. I think ads should be able to draw in their demographic without alienating everyone else. Is that asking too much?

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    I know lots of Men who would think this is a load of bullshit. Will it affect their pants wearing decisions? Probably not. They either do like stain resistant khaki pants, or they don’t.

    I also know alot of people who would find this campaign hilarious, myself included, if they made it tounge-in-cheek like Axe (as Riese pointed out) or Molson Canadian commercials.

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    Bitching about salad and lattes? Really? You can try pry my latte out of my caffeinated, shaking hands, but I’m not responsible for the injuries! I’m from Seattle, coffee is never a joke here. Also, I would be quite pleased to be stripped of my khakis, or any pants for that matter.

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    I agree with Becky so much right now. They took all these things that are true, and what I consider to be progressive and made them seem bad. I mean, gender roles are slowly getting more and more flexible and allowing, and it’s good that people aren’t sticking to what is traditionally expected of them, or what would have been the only thing acceptable for them decades ago. Men eating salads or going to discos, women “wearing the pants” in every aspect of life, these are good things, because people should be doing what they want to do. It sounds a little crazy but it’s a freedom we all deserve, to stray wherever our desires call us to. Men should eat salads, even parfaits if they freakin’ want to. And if men are supposed to be “wearing the pants” that means they want us (women) back in sun dresses and aprons 24/7, does it not? I will not be subjected to a prerequisite for any bullshit gender role call formed and lost eons ago, no thank you.

    I mean I really am tripping out because they decided to say things about salads and lattes and men all over really are gonna say “damn, I did have that latte! I must not me manly!” even if they don’t realize they’re thinking it. I don’t know if that’s gonna drive them to buy from Dockers but they are likely to be at least a little more sensitive to how they behave daily for a while. Why are they calling for such regression? I don’t understand. What dumbass at the corporate roundtable pitched this bullshit? And what was he thinking? And who were the even bigger dumbasses nodding their heads at his proposal? I always wonder how ideas like these make it through the works.

    Alex, you always manage to slip some gold into whatever you post: “I would like to cherry-pick the statements in the ad — take some and leave some (like right-wing conservatives do with the Bible!)”
    So genius.

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    Psst… Lily… J. Edgar Hoover was never president. I believe you might be mixing him up with Herbert Hoover.

    I only point that out because your overall point was rockin’, and also I need to feel like my History degree was not a complete waste.

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    A friend of mine just wrote this on the Docker’s wall. Couldn’t agree more…

    This campaign just completely perpetuates outdated gender stereotypes. It’s good to eat salad, guys. Because you know…vegetables are a lot healthier than manly-men steaks. And the only reason you should choose a metal fork is because it’s better for the environment than a plastic fork. (NOT BECAUSE DOCKERS SAYS IT MAKES YOU A MAN. ) You should eat vegetables so you can live longer and have the strength and health to be a good father and to be a good person, in general. THAT’S WHAT REALLY MAKES YOU A MAN.

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    I don’t understand where Dockers got their definition of what a real man is. =(

    My Dad listens to Lady Gaga and eats salad and he’s married, works hard, supports his whole family, helps anyone he can. He’s my definition of a real man. I don’t understand how being insecure makes you manly.

    That all sounds better in my head. haha

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      Same with my Dad. He treats my mother to the occasional dinner. He washes dishes and sweeps floors and mops and cleans up around the house and does “women’s work.” Similarly, my mother paints the house and fixes pipes and puts together furniture. She goes outside and helps my dad do “men’s work.” And they consciously blurr the lines between the gender stereotypes because they believe that marriage is a partnership that comes from mutual understanding and helping one another. They do it because they appreciate each other.
      My dad doesn’t come home and demand dinner to be made for him. If he sees my mom is busy, he just…makes it for himself.

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    Somehow, I feel like this ad might have been influenced by the popularity of Mad Men. I mean it’s like some idiot at Dockers watches the show and thinks that things were better in those days, and voila, a stupid ad is produced. And the women who say they like this ad actually hate it, they just pretend to like it so their stupid boyfriends and husbands will like them. Personally, the main thing I don’t like about the ad is the headache I get trying to read it. I bet Vega would have designed it to not only read better and look cooler but also make sense.

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    So much for the evolved MAN. Sadsville is what I think of this whole campaign. I guess if you are marketing to Grandpa though, it makes sense. Its just that… Men today are different and BETTER than they were. Why try and take away their salads and change that?

    Also… Lady Gaga doesn’t believe in pants and neither do I!!!

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    Hmmm… they suggest that everything is getting worse when actually people have never had it better than right now. And if that were so, it was the fault of the generation of our parents.

    To some people postagrarian and postindustrial, and postmodern, society, is to blame for anything you’re unhappy with. Which is the good old days fallacy. When you imagine good things of the past, you believe you can replace the bad parts that accompany it by the better parts of today. The classic example being, of course, women having a “manly” man at their side and being fully emancipated.

    Oh, and I happen to wear both (non-Dockers) khaki pants and a khaki-like skirt. I’m wondering where that leaves me on the road between boyhood and androgyny :)

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    Hi,
    I’m in advertising. The goal in advertising is to generate buzz. All the discussions and blogs (including this one) are bringing more traffic to Dockers. The end result is that you blog about it and get their product into the heads of people that (like Emily) have never heard of them. Doesn’t matter if it’s negative.

    I rip these ads out of my magazines and have them pinned up on my wall because they are memorable and stand out from the other ads – which is the whole point. They may offend some, but the best advertising always does. Dockers had to do something to break their uncool diaper bottom image.

    Just wanted to let you know that it’s ok you feel this way because that was the intention of the writer.

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    As a man, the media message I see – what I call “the media definition of masculinity” – is: To be a “real man”, one must have a high paying job… so he can buy lots of shiny crap… so he can attract lots of gorgeous women to sleep with. (And, “since “you”re not sleeping with enough hot women..” (because it’s an impossible standard, and because women know their power comes from “NO”), “..buy more of our new & improved shiny crap and you’ll score more hot babes and your value as a man will go up”).

    The ONLY example of “men’s media” that contradicts this is “Fight Club”, when Tyler Durden says [b]”You’re not your job… the car you drive… your money in the bank or the contents of your wallet. You are not your effing khakis!”

    (I was tempted to cite “Earl” as an example – but a major component of Earl’s appeal was that most viewers could look at the show’s grubby K-Mart wardrobe & hick lifestyle and either feel superior for the IKEA they have, or run out and buy something to set themselves above “Earl”.)

    Media (TV and film) does not serve the interests of the audience. We’re not their customer, we’re their product… We are the thing they sell to advertisers. The primary interest of advertisers is to keep us – women AND men – feeling inadequate, so that we’re motivated to buy their products in an attempt to enhance our image.

    The point of “Fight Club” was that our society IS lacking a coherent, intelligent, relevant definition of “masculinity”. (It also failed to offer one…) Instead of that, we have “masculinity” as portrayed in “Animal House”, “Weekend at Bernies”, “Dumb and Dumber”, “Beerfest”… we have the media version based on insatiable consumerism, and we have the societal version based on “tough vs. fluff” BS. This ad is the worst of both worlds – it says “Be a man, be tough… buy our pants, tough guy.”

    I reject both. I’ve had to develop my own definition of my masculinity, in how I answer the question “Am I proud of the man I see in the mirror? Am I a devoted father, a loyal partner, a trusted friend and a compassionate person? Do I tell the truth, keep my promises, give people the respect they earn, and earn the respect I seek?” In other words, I define my masculinity in terms of my character – not my possessions, or my sexual prowess or demand, or my “manly” hobbies and activities.

    As a sign of my independence from these fraudulent external definitions, I openly wear nail color (I even have a blog about it..) – I literally say to the world “If you must judge me, go ahead… but judge my character, not the color of my nails or my defiance of imposed expectations of masculinity.”

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