Generation Opportunity, funded almost exclusively by the Koch brothers, recently paid for an anti-ObamaCare ad entitled “The Exam – Creepy Uncle Sam.”
The ad employs horror movie scare tactics: the Grim Reaper music, the dim lighting, the innocent young woman, the very creepy Uncle Sam, and, of course, the forceps. Given that the “misguided” protagonist of the ad is a young woman, it’s safe to say that the ad is directed at, and trying to scare and thus control, women. Additionally, the ad patronizes women by suggesting that they cannot make their own medical decisions, and that their unwise decisions will haunt them later. This is “gender as structure” at work, as theorized by Judith Lorber. She attests that women are devalued, and thus controllable in the eyes of the dominant (Lorber, 117).
Finally, it should not be ignored that Uncle Sam is creepy, that he is holding forceps, and that it appears that he is going to be giving some kind of pelvic exam. Given that the female patient assumed that a doctor would be examining her, that she originally had her legs spread, and that she struggles to close her legs as Uncle Sam moves closer to her, the ad is tainted with violence and sexual violation.
Source: Lorber, Judith. “The Social Construction of Gender” (1990).