Yesterday, the California Milk Processor Board launched a new pro-dairy campaign based on the old premise that PMS turns women into insufferable turds. The message, directed at men, is that milk can ease a woman’s PMS symptoms and is therefore good for her poor, put-upon (male) partner. Finally! An ad campaign that stereotypes women AND promises to make straight men’s lives easier!
It’s about time!
The website for the campaign, everythingidoiswrong.org (get it?), is unsurprisingly chocked full of lazy, offensive, unfunny bullshit about men, women, and PMS. Sections include a “video apology enhancer” that lets you plug in “what you did wrong” to an apology video of teddy bears and big-eyed kittens (I tried one but it won’t let me embed it here—suffice it to say it was barf-inducing), and a sensitivity vocabulator that encourages men to say “I love your spirit” instead of “calm down” when the women in their lives get OUT OF CONTROL for a few days each month. There’s also a milk locator (because who can find milk these days?) and a PMS threat level indicator (current level: “Red. Everything is wrong and it’s all your fault.”).
Not to fall into the “look out it’s an angry lady!” trap being set by these sexist dairy-mongers, but this website has me seeing red (look out! everything is wrong and it’s your fault!). Haven’t we heard enough of this tired story that men are victims, held hostage by women’s monthly cycles? Complicated milk issues aside, this is problematic on so many levels. Women are not dangerous while menstruating, and men don’t need to wave milk in front of us like matadors to keep us from blaming all of our problems on them. We’ve heard it before! Your jokes aren’t funny and they honestly don’t even make sense! (Overheard in the Bitch office just now: “When I have cramps the last thing I want to do is chug a glass of milk.”)
Of course, the orchestrator of this campaign (which, by the way, is getting play on media outlets all over the US because of the Milk Processor Board’s NPR sponsorship), Jeff Goodby—of the milk board’s creative agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners—finds the idea hilarious and has high hopes that other
asshats consumers will as well. As he told the New York Times, he thinks people with “a sense of humor” will find the ads “tasteful.” “The women who see it, for the most part, think it’s hilarious,” says Goodby. “The hope is guys will see it as funny, too.”
(Tired PMS humor+ an “if you’re offended then you just don’t get it” attitude = ironic self-fulfilling prophecy wherein women actually do lose control and hurl milk at Goodby’s face. Not because of periods, but because of legitimate rage.)
I don’t know which women he polled before the campaign rolled out yesterday (he claims it was a “small focus group” but this one finds the whole placate-horrible-women-with-milk campaign to be mighty sour.