Sexuality of Women in Renault Commercials & Modern Oblivion

Is it a demented sign of acceptance when lesbian couplings can be depicted in car commercials? The commercial for the Renault Twingo Miss Sixty — a car seemingly marketed at women because it has floral decals on the exterior and comes in a girly shade of metallic pink — features two women at a party who make eye contact and the next thing you know, they’re stripping down in a bedroom and one is blindfolding the other. Then, the next thing you know, the one who was doing the blindfolding sneaks off and takes the other girl’s top and then you see her wearing the top and walking out to her car, which is the same color as the appropriated top. Watch the video for a clearer understanding:

On one hand, yay for not being afraid to depict lesbians in a tv commercial. Treat it as the normal thing that it is. It shouldn’t even be remotely surprising to see gays and lesbians depicted in commercials; it should be as normal as seeing heterosexual people depicted. I figure the more stuff like this happens, the more accepted it will all become and we’ll move away from the hatred and fear.

On the other hand, I can’t help but wonder if it wasn’t just a salacious way to get attention, in the way that many commercials often sexualize women as a way to get attention. Particularly when the commercial tells you nothing about the item being sold. Admittedly, the car is being marketed to women, somehow in conjunction with the Miss Sixty brand of clothing, so I suppose they’re less likely to be trying to appeal to men through a bit of nudge nudge wink wink.

For now, I’ll just be happy that at least an implied lesbian relationship can be shown on tv in a commercial. Well, not in Italy. In one of the more hypocritical moves, Silvio Berlusconi’s media companies have banned the commercial. I’ll let that sink in for a minute. The numerous media companies owned by Berlusconi — the prime minister of Italy, who is currently facing a variety of charges stemming from having sex with a underage prostitute — think the commercial isn’t right for Italian television. Have you ever seen Italian television or even some of the poster ads at bus stops there? Yeah …

*For what it’s worth, I was stuck on the title for this post and decided to turn to Leo Steinberg for inspiration and borrowed (tongue in cheek) from his Sexuality of Christ in Renaissance Art and Modern Oblivion.

(Mid-term) Election Day

Dutch Political Parties [Day 158/365]
I’ve got Arcadia’s song Election Day stuck in my head today. I may not be in the US, but I’m more than aware of the mid-term elections taking place there today. I have no idea how things will go this time; for every person ranting about the Democrats, there seems to be an equal number of people opposed to the Republicans/Tea Party candidates. I’m curious what the voter turnout will end up being, since a lot of people on both sides seem pretty motivated, and a lot of people have been taking advantage of the option to do early voting.

One thing I definitely don’t miss about elections in the US is the deluge of political commercials. They so rarely say what the candidates goals and plans are; they’re just an excuse to attack the opponent. From what I understand, political commercials are technically an option here in the Netherlands, but I’m not sure how much they’re used. Regardless, if/when they’re created, they’re done by the party, rather than individuals, I think. They’re also not aired constantly. In fact, I’ve never actually seen one. That could be because they’re so rare or because I don’t watch a lot of Dutch television channels. Or a bit of both!

As I’ve mentioned before, the campaign season here is fairly short — although the time it takes to finally agree on a government coalition can be quite long — and it’s generally somewhat less obnoxious than US campaigns. It’s certainly not perfect, and we get our fair share of awful candidates, but at least it’s not quite as in-your-face and irritating as I remember things getting in the US before I moved. I don’t miss the constant commercials, the huge campaign signs in every yard, and the campaign phone calls, both robotic and real. I still get quite a few political e-mails on a daily basis as the elections draw near. That’s more than enough for me! There’s a fine line between motivation and irritation, even for a politically concerned person like myself.

But don’t let the ugliness stop you from voting. Do your duty! Go vote! (Preferably Democratic. 😉 )