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State Farm’s Commercial: Hilarious or Hurtful?

When I first saw the new State Farm commercial, I have to tell you, I cracked up so hard my face turned red. In it, a wife calls her State Farm agent, sarcastically thanking him for buying her husband a falcon. The agent is confused and says he didn’t buy it; the husband explains that with their savings from State Farm, they were able to buy the very wild, very out of place bird on his arm.

Then, in the background, there are dozens of other men walking around with their “savings,” which include other stupid purchases—from a parrot to a suit of armor to a moose head—and their angry wives walk with them, furious. My husband would totally buy something inappropriate if we suddenly had a hunk of money, for sure—like a replica of Robin Hood’s sword, for example—but I would completely support it because I like that stuff, too.

But I had to ask him if he was offended by the commercial. Recently I read an article by jeremiad about how unfairly men are portrayed in the media. I’m usually outraged about the way my sex is portrayed, but I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about how men look on TV shows and commercials, and he is right. They are stereotyped just as often as we are, and though their bodies may not be used as the awful sex objects ours are, there is still plenty of fodder there for contempt and outrage.

My husband says he thought it was just funny, but then again he would; he’s one of the most laid back people I know and doesn’t get angry over much, unless it’s very personal or affects him directly. But I was wondering how other people felt about this commercial? Do you think it portrays men unfairly? I sort of think it does—though it would be accurate in my own life, and my husband agrees.

I also have an economic problem with the whole commercial, which implies that by not spending as much, you have extra money. I don’t know about everyone else, but right now we are struggling to fit car insurance in, period, let alone have extra money allocated for it. If we saved money, it wouldn’t be from money already set aside—it would simply be money that would be going to another bill. To imply that we have such extra revenue available for spending on frivolity is insulting to many Americans right now. 1 in 7 of us are on food stamps—though my family and I barely did not qualify, we certainly applied. I would think that most people would spend such “savings” on groceries or utility bills, if not their debt, before buying the mounted head of a moose (and carrying it around on the sidewalk).

Still, I do laugh when the commercial airs, and I’ve found in my old age, as I call it as I approach the big 2-9, that laughter is worth quite a lot in life. So perhaps it has a tiny bit of value.