14 August 2005
He fears/she fears
Rather a lot of advertising boils down to "Use our product/service and you will get laid more often." However, you apparently can't use the same approach for men and for women, as Lindsay Beyerstein explains:
I've recently gotten paid to write posters suggesting to men that Viagra may help them lead a more fulfilling life but we wouldn't dare suggest that anyone actually needs Viagra. Oh, no! Marketing to men's sexual insecurities is all about "you're wonderful, but you could be extra-personally-fulfilled." When marketing to women's sexual insecurities the message seems to be "You are vile, but you could be acceptable."
I don't have any particular sexual insecurities one of the most secure bets on earth is that my dance card will continue to remain blank but she's quite right: you let a guy think, even for a moment, that John Thomas won't be up to the task, and you've got the very definition of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
I admit, though, that I don't understand why women would respond to a pitch that tells them that basically they're undesirable and unappealing and generally worthless. Columnist Cynthia Heimel once claimed, "We have no faith in ourselves," and proposed this test:
Walk up to any woman on the street and say, "You know something, sweetheart? You'd look an awful lot better if you lost fifteen pounds. And do you really think that hair style is becoming? Don't you know anything about bone structure? Anyway, with ankles like yours, I wouldn't bother to leave the house."
Instead of the proper response, which would be to deck you, nine out of ten women will apologize, burst into tears, and run away.
I hasten to point out that I have not tried this experiment, and don't plan to do so.Posted at 8:30 PM to Table for One