As Jenna mentioned last week, Dockers is pushing a new ad campaign that's based around "trying to inspire men to be men." After reading the Dockers "Man-ifesto," I'd say all it does is continue the Bro-ifying of all things male.
You'll note that the word "manifesto" is separated into two parts, so that men, who apparently need to be reminded how to be men, will be able to identify that this is a very manly ad campaign. The word "man" is right there! And just in case men didn't get the memo that Dockers were some hardcore ass-kickin' gender-defining threads, the man-ifesto itself is filled with sexist, homophobic, patronizing bullshit that speaks, in Campbell's Chunky Soup badass font, to what is apparently a target demo of 17 year old douchebags in order to promote the notion that wearing Dockers is akin to be a true grown up. Because there's nothing as adult as being marketed to by the same type of people who used sassy fonts and bad-ass lingo in your youth to try convince both you and your parents that "when pizza is on a bagel, you can eat pizza anytime," right?
Let's break this pants-ifesto down, shall we?
Once upon a time, men wore the pants, and wore them well. Women rarely had to open doors and little old ladies never crossed the street alone. Men took charge because that's what they did.
Ladies, were you aware that men took charge in the olden days because "that's what they did?" Or were you too busy in the kitchen, where you belong?
But somewhere along the way, the world decided it no longer needed men. Disco by disco, latte by foamy non-fat latte, men were stripped of their khakis and left stranded on the road between boyhood and androgyny.
Translation: if you don't wear khakis, you're totally gay.
But today, there are questions our genderless society has no answers for.
Oh man, ladies. If we had a quarter for every time someone in our genderless society asked a question that had no answer, we'd, well, we'd be making an equal wage with our male counterparts.
The world sits by idly as cities crumble, children misbehave, and those little old ladies remain on one side of the street. For the first time since bad guys, we need heroes.
The whole bloody world is falling apart because YOU didn't buy your father his Dockers for Christmas! Now is a time for heroes! The first time since...bad guys, whatever the hell that means.
We need grownups. We need men to put down the plastic fork, step away from the salad bar and untie the world from the tracks of complacency. It's time to get your hands dirty. It's time to answer the call of manhood. It's time to wear the pants.
Amen, am I right? Thank the lord that men in khakis will finally swoop in to "untie the world from the tracks of complacency." And what kind of bro eats salad!? Whatever! You need to get in line with the anti-khaki disco crowd, bro! Salad! Lattes! East Coast elitism! Men in khakis will finally save us from the world of...other men in khakis!
Can I tell you something about Dockers? My father loves them. Wears them when he's golfing or on a casual business day. They are stain resistant and wrinkle free. They look nice with a sweater or a golf shirt. They are sturdy and reliable and reasonably-priced and my mother has been buying them at the mall for approximately 20 years.
Now let me tell you something about my father: he's helped to raise three daughters, he takes his job very seriously, helps neighbors and friends whenever he can, and has been happily married to my mother for over 35 years. My father is a grownup. This ad campaign is not aimed at my dad. It is aimed at men who have absolutely NO intention of growing up, but every intention of claiming every stereotypical "man" role as a means to act as if they've crossed some great developmental threshold. If anyone has to grow up, it's the advertisers who keep pushing this sexist, backwards bro culture down everyone's throats.