Trucks destroy the idea of manhood

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Today’s media can bombard us with a lot of mindless drivel. While some topics like politics or violence may catch our eye, many more topics escape our notice. 

Almost anyone who’s taken a gender-communication class can tell you the media is saturated with these typecasts, but there are certain commercials that seem to rocket right past being a stereotype and off into the vast space of just plain stupid. 

A number of truck commercials have begun to market their vehicles as being the epitome of what a true man needs. If it’s big, tough and can get the job done, then it’s for real men. These stereotypes aren’t exactly new to media, especially not in truck commercials.

 If the commercials had stopped there, they’d still remain somewhere in the realm of our biased norm. But as with anything truly manly, Chevy decided they had to take it to the extreme.

Let’s take a look at Ford and their F-150. They had the foresight to include a small step that would help truck owners enter and exit the bed of the vehicle. A pretty obvious step forward if you ask me, seeing as many trucks have included small steps to enter their cabin for quite some time now. 

While this could have been an outstanding opportunity for truck companies to come together and help make trucks more accessible, it turned out that such a wonderful future simply can’t exist.

Instead, Chevy decided to openly mock Ford Motors, calling the step a “man-step” and poking fun at any real man who would ever possess such a thing. Real men claim they don’t need a man-step, as though manhood becomes null and void the second you buy a truck with a step on its bed.

I don’t know about other men, but for me, whether my vehicle has a step should never be an indicator of my worth. 

It’s childish and petty to draw such an extreme conclusion from such a small thing. What about a family man with children, or a man with a disability — are they suddenly less manly because they want to access their truck bed easily? What if they’re just not very tall? God forbid they buy a product that would assist them in their daily lives.

Commercials like these are not only in bad taste, but can be harmful to people who are easily influenced. It’s insulting to us, the viewers, to be marginalized like that. So wise up Chevy, and stop perpetuating these gender stereotypes. 

That would be a huge man-step in the right direction for media imagery.

Coconino Community College
Student Housing at NAU