Comments

  1. DavyG says

    It’s clearly light-hearted. It’s clearly a joke. It’s clearly not mean-spirited. Honestly, leave this kind of phony, outrage-seeking to the professionals at taking offense over in GLAAD …

  2. Patrick says

    While I appreciate the humor of this ad (cause it is a bit funny and inventive and the ads are very nicely designed) I can’t help but express concern over them as well. I WAS that kid who walked around in high heels and lipstick, and my parents DID send me to play soccer and Tae Kwon Do. They did it for health reasons, wanting me to be active and have an outlet for my ADHD, but giving parents the idea that their little boy needs to “man up” is a bit gross… Makes you wonder what aforementioned parents might do when little Johnny tells them he prefers Kevin to Kaitlyn.

  3. RyanInSacto says

    To be fair, that kid is going to need to know self-defense. Isn’t it possible that the ad is trying to convey that instead of the nefarious message you’re suggesting?

  4. George says

    I agree with the last two posters. Karate isn’t even usually seen as particularly “manly” anyway. It’s designed for anyone to be able to do it. I think its saying that this little guy is gonna need to learn how to defend himself if he’s going to be his fabulous self.

  5. Christopher says

    I think the message is a dangerous one, as evidenced by the linked article about the baby-killer although I agree that the design work is appealing.

    It’s hard to deny that what is being depicted in these ads is exactly what led to the demise of that poor 17-month old. Perpetuating this type of thought just breeds the idea that “manning up” is actually a possibility and an option to cure “the gay.”

    Beyond all of that, I’m surprised feminist groups haven’t already jumped on this because what does it imply about women? What about women who want to do karate and the strength of women?

  6. Smartypants says

    God, this hits home. When I was in second grade, I remember racing home with the list of afterschool activities being offered by the school district. I was so excited that ballet was on the list. My dad was not. Our conversation went something like this:

    Me: I want to take ballet lessons.
    Dad: You should take judo lessons. If you take ballet the other kids will tease you and beat you up.
    Me: The other kids already tease me and beat me up.
    Dad: If you take judo, you can beat the other kids up when they tease you.
    Me: I don’t want to beat up the other kids, I want to take ballet.
    Dad: You’re taking judo lessons.

    I ended up studying judo for three years. Never did get the ballet lessons, but I was the only boy in the gymnastics class.

  7. JTlvr says

    The ads are insulting. Kids should be kids, not bullied and boxed into strict, archaic gender roles pushed on them by their parents and society. Too many LGBT youth try to and do commit suicide annually.

    I was that little boy would dress up in Mommy’s clothes when she wasn’t looking. I played with my sister’s Barbies, AND my GI Joes, Voltrons and Tonka trucks. I didn’t want to learn automotive like Dad, I learned to cook and bake with my Mom. My father pushed me into the Scouts, football, Little League, soccer, karate… anything he could to get me to act more like the other little boys. I tried, too. I joined the JROTC and a fraternity. Oh, I learned A LOT about men…

    Being pushed onto other men — coaches, teachers — to butch me up, I became a victim of abuse. Decades later after much therapy, I know I shouldn’t have been made to feel insecure, weak and unsure of myself. I am who I am. I should have just been left to be a little boy.

    Incidentally, my Dad later told me he used to cook and bake too when he was younger. Especially when he was angry or stressed. I told him, I do the same and asked him why he quit. “Men don’t do that,” he said. And I said, “How sad you think that way.”

  8. david says

    I took karate to “man up” when I was a kid. The only thing I succeeded in doing was breaking my arm. The ads are cute — but dangerous things can come in cute packages. They are discriminatory. They reinforce homophobia and gender discrimination. They should stop.

  9. JTlvr says

    @YvesPaul: I do like your interpretation. After looking again, I get a kind of mixed message.

    The LGBT is going to get picked on, we need to learn how to defend ourselves if we’re to be who we really are.

    So yeah, go take karate lessons. But fight to be who you are.

  10. Frozen North says

    Given all the articles lately on gays getting beaten up. It’s probably not a bad idea if we, All, went and had a few karate lessons. Heck, even nude karate and then some nude yoga…for stretching.

  11. Fenrox says

    I am more offended by Karate than anything else. Such a fucking scam, just work out and do gymnastics and you will be fine for any non weapon fight in your life.

  12. Jon Mitchell says

    I am all for gay youth being trained in martial arts. It give them the confidence they need to walk the halls of their future high school. My parents put me in Judo where I learned tolerence equals strength. This could go a long way to getting bigoted families to bring their kids to a place where they actually learn not to be bigoted and take care of themselves. And I still vaccuum in a pump with a 3″ heel.

  13. Vince in WeHo says

    The ad isn’t saying for the kid to STOP wearing his mom’s lipstick and trying on her high heals.

    The ad is suggesting he START learning some self-defense skills.

    Frankly, that’s a great idea … for anyone.

    Glass half-full/half-empty. The choice is yours.

  14. Dallas says

    The ads are so beautifully shot and the kid looks so sweet that I’m inclined to think the ads intention is to suggest self-defense and not to suggest manning-up kids.

    It’s all about the intent of the advertiser.

    I think the kid looks awesome and if I were his dad I’d want him to be able to defend his fierce self.

    -Dallas

  15. nojackla says

    Welcome to the 21st century. These days, sissyboy (like me) is allowed to wear high heels and practice Karate. Not at the same time though. Generally, Karate is practiced barefoot.

  16. Dusty says

    I think these ads are awesome. They’re edgy and thought-provoking. The idea I get is “If your kid likes to wear mom’s shoes, you might want to consider self defense.” Of course there is a suggestion of “man up your sissy kid” but the art style counteracts that suggestion. I’m impressed.

  17. wtf says

    like all GOOD advertising the subtext is left up to the consumer. This way you keep your base very broad. So, in effect, it might technically bring together not only ‘phobes who are worried that their kid is too faggy, but might also bring allies who have children who may be at risk of being bullied who may need the protection. Either way I think the ads are effective and well done. I immediately thought of myself doing those same things, and then getting beaten up as a young gayboy for being just that – and wishing I’d had the skills to kick some ass myself. So if it helps just one kid get some skills to protect himself, I say, YAY. Color me half-full.

  18. TANK says

    Imagine if francis bacon were forced to take karate lessons instead of getting the shit kicked out of him by his father after discovering that he liked to dress up in his mother’s clothes…undergarments?

    No, I can’t either.

    This is asinine. Karate is for short dudes or dudes with short man complexes, anyway. Judo chop!

  19. Toto says

    If there is one point to stress about martial arts its that in order to be of any real use to anyone it takes a hell of a lot commitment and a real desire to improve. Being enrolled in Tae Kwon Do from 9 to 21 I saw soo many kids come and go who had NO interest in learning the art, who were socially rejected and teased at school, and were only showing up because mum and dad wanted to toughen them up. They made a few ranks but eventually that lack of passion and the motivation to just be tougher lead to them giving up. The thing I worry about is the idea that they didn’t develop a real ability to react to an attack and have the false sense of being prepared.

    To me this ad indicates more discomfort of a parent and reinforces societies belief that feminine equates to weakness. Where are these ads running anyway? If its a men’s mag it doesn’t make the ads seem more sensitive. Maybe they should also include a child who likes taking pretty, wussy, “artsy” photographs… oh wait a second…

  20. ratbastard says

    It’s a dangerous world. There are people who want to hurt you, rob you, whatever. I see a substantial number of people (men , women ,boys ,girls) who are trained / brainwashed to be passive or passive-aggressive. This is especially true of guys…some people are offended by masculinity in a guy (not mindless,savage aggression, just normal masculinity) and they preach similar thinking ideologies that attempt to brainwash and beatdown boys and men into being wussies.

  21. ratbastard says

    Many guys cook! The best cooks in the world are guys. I’m a good cook. I know how to sew up and repair clothes also. That’s got NOTHING to do with being gay or some kind of gender identity role play. Why do some gay guys identify cooking as gay? Or being neat? If you are going into the service you better learn how to be neat, and how to sew up clothes. And knowing how to cook is a basic necessity in life. Mommy isn’t always around to cook your food and do your laundry.

  22. Jarvis says

    Without karate lessons, that little boy won’t have the balance to wear those shoes without risking his ankles!

    I took karate as a kid, totally helped me become a more confidant man in heels.

  23. says

    I WAS that kid who walked around in high heels and lipstick, and my parents DID send me to play soccer and Tae Kwon Do. They did this for health reasons, wanting me to be active and have an outlet for my ADHD, but giving parents the idea that their little boy needs to “man up” is a bit gross.

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