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LETTER: Males are victims of violence, too

Advertising depicting boy-on-boy injuries still seem to be acceptable
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Re: The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

While violence against women and girls must be ardently challenged, so does general societal violence. The latter includes the violence gratuitously sustained by men and boys, in actuality and media/pop-culture representation.

For example, there’s a relatively new Oreo Cookies TV commercial out, one that makes light, with smiles, of a pubescent-looking boy’s black eye. The bruised boy’s little brother gets him to smile after holding a dark-brown Oreo cookie to his own eye.

The viewers, being potential product consumers, are given no clue as to the actual cause of the conspicuous bruise. Still, I really didn’t get the impression that the boy had received the ring-around-the-eye bruise from an accident.

Was the boy hit by another boy, as I believe we, the viewers, are supposed to presume? If so, does that make it socially and therefore ideologically thus politically acceptable? Or was he supposedly assaulted by an older sibling or even parent? Or slugged by a girl, be she a friend, girlfriend or school-peer bully?

Nowadays, commercials get cancelled at the drop of the figurative hat, or at least edited, when they offend vocal thus influential segments of the viewership; yet this anti-male violence-accepting commercial, in our supposedly enlightened times, continues to be broadcasted unchanged. Really, what does this say about us collectively?

Meantime, I’m seeing boldly socially progressive TV ads, perhaps overdue. They notably include two ads, both consisting of a gay-male couple: One involves two men in their 20s (one is Caucasian and the other Black) caressing each other after one places food in the other’s mouth; the other ad has two non-white men towel-drying a little girl together, she being their daughter.

Why is there such a clear contradiction of advertisement-media values? One value rightfully recognizes and represents societal sexual diversity, while the other value maintaining the ideological/political acceptability, or at least making light, of a boy having had his eye blackened as though we were still residing in archaic times. And where are the otherwise-noisy cancel culture activists?

Frank Sterle Jr.

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