Super Bowl 50 was the biggest sporting event of the year and for most of us here at Republican Reader, it was a matchup without favorites. We sat back, relaxed and enjoyed the spectacle. And we really did enjoy it for everything that it was until we found out about a Twitter account called NARAL (@NARAL).
The name didn’t ring any bells so we had to check it out. We then realized they were a Pro-Choice advocacy group and we already had some idea about what to expect. As it turns out, they are more than just that. They have taken it upon themselves to be the judges of which Super Bowl ads were sexist and too pro-life according to them, singling out companies and letting them know that they and their fans will be boycotting their products because of the commercials.
They even came up with a “cool” hashtag – #NotBuyingIt. We were already a few quarters into the game and we knew we had to scroll down to check out their tweets from the start. It was a good decision.
The first ad that caught their scrutinizing eye was the Hyundai one with Kevin Hart worrying about his underage daughter on a date. He gives her date the keys to his new Hyundai, which features a Car Finder, which allows him to check up on the kids and make sure his daughter is safe. It played on something every dad understands and it is a really funny commercial.
The NARAL folks got all riled up because, according to them, “taking away your daughter’s autonomy and stalking her on a date isn’t funny”. In essence, what they are saying is that parents shouldn’t get involved in the dating lives of their female children because it is sexist. If anything else, this commercial is about guys understanding guys and realizing that those other guys might need someone to keep an eye on them.
We already had a pretty clear idea about where this is going to go – over-analysis and overemphasis of something that was supposed to be funny. We did not, however, realize that it was going to be this misdirected and naïve.
The next Super Bowl ad that “earned” the #NotBuyingIt hashtag was the new Snickers ‘You’re not you when you’re hungry’ commercial. It starts with one of the most legendary movie scenes of all times being filmed, the one from The Seven Year Itch with Marilyn Monroe standing over the subway grate and getting her dress blown upwards. We suddenly notice these are man legs and instead of Marilyn, we see Willem Dafoe in the iconic dress, complaining about standing over a grate, saying it is a dumb idea.
Of course, he then gets a bite of Snickers bar and goes back to being Marilyn. The whole Marilyn vs. the creepiest actor ever thing is just hilarious, but according to NARAL people and their fans, it is both transphobic and, and this is a quote, we are not kidding, “implies women OK w being objectified as long as they have snacks”. That is an actual quote.
They should probably check up on what transphobic means, also.
Doritos was the next company to feel the wrath of the NARAL people, all over one of the funniest Super Bowl ads this year. It features a classic ultrasound scene and a fetus that somehow “feels” the Doritos his or her dad is eating, moving in the womb as the dad moves the chip around. Finally, when the mom throws away the Dorito dad uses to play with the fetus, the baby “shoots” out. Of course, this is only implied.
This one really takes home the gold. According to NARAL, the dads are being represented as clueless and moms as uptight. However, this is not even the biggest problem of the commercial. The biggest problem is that the ad uses #antichoice tactics of humanizing fetuses. We are simply paraphrasing their tweets, hand to God.
They also took a shot at the Buick Cascada commercial with one of the female guests at a wedding, (gasp) going for the bouquet. Because that never happens. They also misread the Audi commercial which is, among other things, about the father-son relationship.
It is like the whole world is against them.