MILFs, Perimenopause, And Silence: Jezebel Shows Its Ageism—And Ableism And Sexism–By Mocking The Cialis Ads

By Andrea Plaid

Cialis Is Here

Can I say that the more I deal with the rest of the ‘net, the happier I am that Tami and I started Squeezed Between Feminisms?

Two of the latest ageist microaggressions:

An online friend posted a great photo of actor Bill Murray dressed up as Jimi Hendrix sans blackface, which seems to be the new way to express how post-racial we are in the US. (/sarcasm). My online friend, a Black woman wrote: “Bill Murray slayed without a lick of blackface. [T]ake note, [W]hite people.”

A Black guy of indeterminate age posts: “lol, Bill Murray looks 138 years old.”

I replied: “Maybe his age gave him some wisdom to not do blackface, unlike the relative many 20-something and 30-something white kids who are?”

His response: “Co-sign with the above statement.”

Of course he does.

The second? From Jezebel–of course.

While founder Anna Holmes is on tour promoting The Book of Jezebel and some broadcast-media types are trumpeting the tome as, in so many words, online feminism writ in ink—even as some folks question whether the site itself is relevant as a feminist site anymore—some writer on the site had the mind to show how Jezebel stays losing that cache by going for cheap ageist, ableist, and sexist laughs over the Cialis ads.

For those who may not know, Cialis is the latest drug to help out with erectile dysfunction. According to PubMedHealth (emphasis mine):

“Erection problems are common in adult men…[e]rection problems become more common with age. However, they can affect men at any age. Physical causes are more common in older men. Emotional causes are more common in younger men.”

The byline-less writer, who implicitly describes himself as a man of “uncertain retirement” goes right for the ageism two short paragraphs in:

Cialis is out with a couple of new 60-second spots in fairly heavy rotation, while Viagra is silent. For now. Which makes sense. Competing dick pill commercials would confuse the fuck out of already confused Men 50 And Older facing uncertain retirements.

Because age-addled memories ha ha. Same goes for economic uncertainty that can negative impact one’s later years. (/sarcasm)

After, again referring to the demographic with the ableist “dysfunctional dick demo,” he gives a reimagining of the commercial’s characters’ real lives, which are really tired-ass regurgitations of the Desperate Old Men Trying to Stay Sexually Relevant, complete with wives aged 10-20 years younger than they are (one wife is graced with this sexist description: “a second wife [who] is a former B-movie star sex addict 20 years his junior. Clint was able to wrangle Cindy thanks to a small fortune stockpiled from insider crude futures tips”), porn-surfing at the tech start-up they don’t fit into precisely because tech is considered a young person’s game (and, of course, being Jezebel, the character had to be surfing “pixelated Asian porn”—so, Asian porn, hee hee) and the framed-as-pathetic sexual practices, partners, and behavior (“Jim often tells his co-workers ‘umbrellas are for fucking pussies’”; “Despite their open marriage, Ted is still fucking his secretary on the sly”).

The reason I quoted the PubMed Health is because the nameless Jezebel writer is so busy going for the “look at these pitiful codgers tryna fuck” laugh that he omits the major fact that ED spans ages—as does the sexual desire and pleasure for those who are into them. In other words, ED just isn’t an “old man’s issue” and fucking isn’t the providence of those under the age of 40. And need I say it? Ageism, ableism, racism, and sexism ain’t feminist.

And it’s not that the Cialis ads don’t deserve to be mocked, but not like that–I think their twee-ness stays ripe for a good comedic ripping. The next time Jezebel goes for a laugh, they need to grasp that the best humor goes for the topic, not the people affected by it, like this great poke-fun from Bill Murray’s alma mater, Saturday Night Live:

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