This is a print ad for Summer’s Eve, which sells a range of feminine hygiene products. The tagline for the ad is “No one’s ever told you to ‘grow a pair.’” The phrase “grow a pair” refers literally to the testicles or balls, but more generally references the attributes and values associated with masculinity. When used derisively, it is an insult directed towards men who are behaving in an effeminate manner. The tagline suggests that women are empowered, because they are born with the innate courage that men must be socialized to learn. Summer’s Eve then suggests that women should take care of their ‘courageous’ vaginas with the advertised cleansing wipes.
This ad claims that courage is a trait women are born with. Do you agree with this statement? Do you think that people are born with masculine and feminine behaviors or that they learn them?
Can you think of other insults that are directed towards men who fail to conform to conventional masculinity? Are they treated the same way as women who fail to conform to conventional femininity?
Do you think this ad sends an empowering message to women? Why or why not?