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Miller Lite Beer is Running a Sexist “Man Up” Campaign

Miller Lite Beer is Running a Sexist “Man Up” Campaign

It’s hard being a sports fan who self identifies as a feminist.  Largely that is because so much advertising can be offensive.  Have you seen the latest Miller Lite Beer commercials?  They feature various versions of their new slogan “Man Up”  –  all selling the idea that without drinking what is being presented as the best light beer, a consumer isn’t “manly” enough.

The multiple commercials show a variety of sexist scenes ranging from training ultra femme women wearing bathing suits to save their man from drinking a less masculine beer, to negatively commenting towards a man choosing to buy a different light beer and strawberry body wash.  You can even follow the “Liteguards” individually, as if they were weekly Playboy Playmates, offering advice and tips on “manning up.”

This form of advertising is problematic for a variety of reasons.  First, beer drinkers aren’t only men.  Second, we should not be sending messages to men or women that suggest that the most masculine is the most elite.  I realize historically most light beers are advertised to women because, unfortunately, historically we equate weight issues as women’s issues, but trying to tap in to the large male base of beer drinkers by attempting to disassociate your light beer as not part of the other womanly light beers forces you to redefine stereotypical gender roles.

Aside from the hetero-normative narrative that all of these women have men or are seeking relationships with them, perpetuating the notion that women are somehow responsible for taking care of their “man” is also problematic and frankly annoying that we still have to highlight that issue.  

I realize some people will enjoy the playful nature of these commercials and because Miller Lite has created multiple advertisements, we can assume they are doing well.  But doing well at the expense of women is no longer acceptable.  

I am a firm believer in the power of humanity and part of that is the understanding that we can teach people how we want to be treated.  I am an occasional beer drinker, but I can be clear that I will probably never consume a Miller beverage again.  It may feel like a drop in a large ocean, but it is what I can do to contribute.  It is especially important to me because the point of advertising is to sell a product.  Instead, Miller has lost a consumer and hopefully by spreading awareness, they will lose many more.

What do you think?  If you do enjoy beer as a beverage choice, will you choose to drink Miller Lite?

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61 comments

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5:24PM PDT on Aug 12, 2011

An R: "do nothing but peddle idiotic stereotypes and misogyny"

These light beer commercials show one idiot male after another, sandwiched between "funny" violence toward men...and you call that "misogyny"?!? That's the most illogical thing I've read in a long time.

3:49PM PDT on Aug 12, 2011

That's true, there's not a beer ad that ISN'T blatantly sexist, unless it's for a real beer that is decent enough to sell itself as something worthy of drinking. Miller and other horse p*ss do nothing but peddle idiotic stereotypes and misogyny to idiots who think their beer is...beer. LOL @ Marie W. It is frozen gnat urine, I agree.

12:10PM PDT on Jul 31, 2011

Yeah, the commercials are stupid and sexist--saying a beer commercial is sexist is like pointing out the sky is blue--but I have to say I have seen far worse from beer companies.

There is a legitimate reason to dislike sexist advertising: It perpetuates stereotypes and outdated gender roles. It's tiring to see women with perfect bodies paired with "schlubby" guys--you rarely see the reverse. The media promotes all sorts of unrealistic images, and people are unfortunately shaped, molded, and in some cases, damaged by them.

And while I agree this is pretty minor in the grand scheme of things, if we can have a little less sexist and sometimes misogynist advertising, that might clear the path to addressingi some other problems facing women today.

7:46AM PDT on Jul 30, 2011

This article is STUPID. If you don't like an ad don't buy their crap! You don't even have to watch it. Simple. Also, there's nothing "manly" about an alcoholic beverage with "light" in the name... And feminists should stop being such crybabies and rant about something that makes a difference!

11:36PM PDT on Jul 26, 2011

I agree with Fred H. Instead of arguing over how beer commercials are 'wrong' because they portray women as heroes, how about we address misandry in the media? For instance, female violence to males has become a staple in many Western comedies, where a woman is allowed to hit a man with impunity. If the reverse were to occur, however, there would be outrage. Why is this allowed? Everyone should keep their hands and feet to themselves, violence should either never be seen as funny, or funny regardless of who is being hurt (such as male or female).

6:58PM PDT on Jul 23, 2011

@Melisa A,
Good girl!! You're right, it's a stupid commercial, ... and TOUCHET on your comment about being a liberal. I didn't need to bring politics into the discussion. The article against the commercial was more of a feminist rant than politically motivated. :)

9:36AM PDT on Jul 23, 2011

What kind of a Real Man drinks a "Light" beer of ANY brand?

12:44PM PDT on Jun 16, 2011

I just think it's a stupid commercial. Won't stop me from drinking Miller light though. Oh and Don I am a proud liberal. (Why is everything about politics?)

10:36AM PDT on Jun 15, 2011

This is a waste of an article; do you really think your furthering the feminist cause by ranting about a dumb commercial? Every time someone calling themselves a feminist goes on a vindictive tirade like this it only serves to convince the weak-minded parts of the masses unable to separate the messenger from the message that feminists are just oversensitive women with gigantic sticks up their butts about anything even slightly related to gender roles.
*This is not helping you!*

Ok, so you don’t like it, how many other commercials do you not like? Personally I try to avoid watching them when I can, and if not the last thing I do is dwell on them allowing them to waste even *more* of my time. All too often I have to restrain my anger at the directors of the idiotic arrangement of images & speech intended to coerce me into buying their product, so I do know how you feel.

And yet when you are representing a movement you have to pick your battles and this is not one of them. By reading the comments of others I can see that you have several other reader riled up against a beer company, but what does that accomplish? It’s not like Miller is lobbying to screw with women’s rights or preaching that condoms are evil, or blaming the victims of rape. Their just making a dumb commercial. Why don’t you focus on real issues instead of this tripe.

8:27AM PDT on Jun 15, 2011

What's funny is that, when women are "heroes" in a storyline, the PC complaint is that it's "perpetuating the notion that women are somehow responsible for taking care of their 'man.'" Yet, when men are the "heroes," the PC complaint is that it's perpetuating the notion that women are dependent upon men.

What gets monotonous is that, no matter what happens in this world, we twist it into further "proof" that women have all the problems and men have all the power.

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