The Crazy Wife

This State Farm commercial has been running for a while now. Though it is humorous and at first it may not seem offensive, I think it relies on and enforces gender role stereotypes. It portrays the women as two extremes. The wife is the paranoid, jealous woman that the audience is set up to dislike. The circumstances are such that she appears annoying and crazed. The hypothetical woman she suspects is on the phone with her husband is another stereotypical woman – the mistress.

If the husband were indeed cheating on his wife, he would be the disliked character in the situation. However, the revelation that he is in fact speaking to a male State Farm agent makes him the innocent, noble one. The way the situation is portrayed makes the audience root for the man and against the woman.

While I think that this ad is mostly degrading towards women I can also see the argument that the man is stereotyped as well. He appears, at the beginning, to be a sleazy cheater. The commercial clearly depends and plays on gender stereotypes in the audience.

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2 thoughts on “The Crazy Wife

  1. colleenkase91

    I think you did a great job with this analysis! The commercial clearly plays on the stereotype of women as jealous and crazy and sets the audience up to dislike her. I also agree with your point that the man is initially set up using the trope of the cheating husband. This is an interesting stereotype in our society, since heterosexual men and women are equally likely to cheat on their spouses. I think the fact that the this trope exists despite evidence to the contrary is a result of society’s assumption that men have greater sexual agency and desire.

    Reply
  2. cryan412

    I agree with your analysis as well. When I saw this commercial for the first time, I also thought that the woman was set up to be the disliked character; she seems just crazy and annoying! However, I would also like to note that the ad perpetuates the idea that men are always the ones expected to cheat. We may be rooting for him in this specific commercial, but the set up puts men in a negative light since we expect him to be cheating even if he isn’t. Not only that, but the commercial sticks with the idea that men are the ones expected to work while women phone them from home as if they’re just sitting around patiently awaiting his return. The woman appears annoying and paranoid, but it also seems as if she has nothing better to do than sit around and call her husband.

    Reply

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