[Man and woman stand at the window of a cabin; it is dark and stormy.]

Man: In all the years we've been coming here, I've never seen a storm like this. [Lightning flashes and thunder crashes; the woman turns into the man's arms like a scared child; man grins at her patronizingly.] I'm right here. [He pulls out a jewelry box.] And I always will be. [The woman opens the jewelry box, revealing a necklace; she smiles up at him.]

Male Voiceover: The new "Love's Embrace" collection from Kay Jewelers. Now you can surround her with the strength of your love. [Couple embraces; shape of necklace is shown to be mimicking his arms wrapped her and hers around his neck.] Give her diamonds in a design that captures the comfort found in each other's arms. [Images of necklaces onscreen; text: "Collection from $79.99 to $1,800." Image of a Kay Jewelers in a mall.] One more reason Kay is the number one jewelry store in America.

[Cut back to woman now wearing necklace embracing the man once again.]

Woman: Don't let go. Ever. [They kiss.]

Jingle: Every kiss begins with Kay! [Text on screen: Words of jingle punctuated by a glinting diamond.]
Shaker Siobhan asked me to post this one; every time it comes on the television, Iain looks over at me to watch my eyes roll so far back in my head that I practically strain them. I hate Kay's marketing to begin with: The whole "Every kiss begins with Kay!" shtick is utterly barf-inducing with its implicit suggestion that women are just whores who trade affection for shiny presents. But adding the element of women being scared little girls who need men to put their strong arms around them in thunderstorms just about sends me over the bloody edge.

And, btw, if this necklace is about "captur[ing] the comfort found in each other's arms," then why is it not a gender-neutral design…? Oh wait—I know this one: Because it's not really about any mutual comfort found in "each other's" arms at all, but about the same old tired narratives about heterocentrist romantic love, male dominance, and the protection/rescue of women behind a wholly fabricated and incoherent story about an egalitarian partnership.

This is a gift meant to be purchased by a straight man who fancies himself a modern sort, but still defines his manhood primarily as a protector and provider, who thinks he believes that men and women are equal because he doesn't actively discriminate, and doesn't have the self-awareness to see that regarding women as "in need of his protection," he is merely a benevolent oppressor, but still an oppressor all the same.

That's called chivalry, and, at its essence, it translates to: "In exchange for other inequalities that will be perpetuated against you to maintain our privilege, we'll protect you from the worst of our lot."

And, evidently, thunderstorms.

[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, Sixty-One, Sixty-Two, Sixty-Three, Sixty-Four, Sixty-Five, Sixty-Six, Sixty-Seven, Sixty-Eight, Sixty-Nine, Seventy, Seventy-One, Seventy-Two, Seventy-Three, Seventy-Four, Seventy-Five, Seventy-Six, Seventy-Seven, Seventy-Eight, Seventy-Nine, Eighty, Eighty-One, Eighty-Two, Eighty-Three, Eighty-Four, Eighty-Five, Eighty-Six, Eighty-Seven.]

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus