I just saw this commercial and it took me a long few seconds to register that I had in actually seen it:

Mayflower movers are easy to spot. They're the ones that always go the extra mile to protect what's precious. Even on their days off. That's why we've been protecting your belongings since 1927. Mayflower--we were made to move.
Because the women designated as "brides" are precious belongings, get it? Although I usually avoid YouTube comments, I noticed that "MayflowerMoving" left a defense of the ad in comments:
MayflowerMoving says:
It's not meant to be sexist at all. Just meant to show that he loves her and wants to protect her as much as he loves protecting people's stuff for work.
Wow. That's love, folks, amirite? I mean, to be loved as much as some other people's stuff? Is it getting hot in here?

Seriously, though, if you are reading this and thinking it's just a sweet and light-hearted little ad, think some more. It only seems romantic because of our deeply ingrained ideas of romance: woman as property, and man as its protector.

It's all part of what Zuska calls "the gender smog we breathe" (see also her follow-up here). The fact that so many reflexively move to defend these light-hearted ads, comic strips, and so forth is just more proof of how insidious our ideas of gender relations are, not a defense against the ubiquity of sexism.

Finally, it simply doesn't matter that the ad is not "meant to be sexist". Intent is irrelevant. the ad promotes retrogressive gender roles. If one has thoroughly internalized retrogressive ideas of gender roles, one doesn't have to "intend" to express sexist behavior--it just comes naturally.

[Assvertising: Parts One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen, Fourteen, Fifteen, Sixteen, Seventeen, Eighteen, Nineteen, Twenty, Twenty-One, Twenty-Two, Twenty-Three, Twenty-Four, Twenty-Five, Twenty-Six, Twenty-Seven, Twenty-Eight, Twenty-Nine, Thirty, Thirty-One, Thirty-Two, Thirty-Three, Thirty-Four, Thirty-Five, Thirty-Six, Thirty-Seven, Thirty-Eight, Thirty-Nine, Forty, Forty-One, Forty-Two, Forty-Three, Forty-Four, Forty-Five, Forty-Six, Forty-Seven, Forty-Eight, Forty-Nine, Fifty, Fifty-One, Fifty-Two, Fifty-Three, Fifty-Four, Fifty-Five, Fifty-Six, Fifty-Seven, Fifty-Eight, Fifty Nine, Sixty.]

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