What do you think of when you hear or read “battle of the sexes”?
Depending on your age and dominant culture, you may remember Billie Jean King and ex-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs. Here’s a clip of the movie based on the subject to either refresh your memory or bring you up to speed on that important piece of US history:
You may also think of the Equal Rights Amendment, highlighted by King’s activism following her win against Riggs.
The marketing team for the 2017 movie did something right; you’d have to sift through 14 Google pages to find “battle of the sexes” referring to something other than the movie Battle of the Sexes! After that, you’ll find old (year 2000) scientific research related to genetic differences, radio shows that feature contests of men against women, and more sporting events that highlight a man and woman as opponents.
The British Broadcasting Corporation’s channel BBC Two had a series called Battle of the Sexes that ended in 2011. It was billed as such (bold added for emphasis):
Classic British comedy adapted from a James Thurber story about a tweed manufacturer’s elderly accountant who devises a plan to save the company from an American takeover bid. The arrival of an efficiencyexpert from the States causes enough of a stir but, when it turns out to be a woman, the old-fashioned number cruncher declares war.
In his 2009 WalkerSands.com article, author Mike Santoro talks about competition between males and females in an online version of the game Trivial Pursuits meant to reinforce the battle of the sexes:
[I]f you had guys and girls playing, it would inevitably break down into a battle of the sexes team battle. Maybe I’ve just grown up with ultra competitive friends, but there seems a need on both sides to say, “I’m better than you,” and then objectively prove it.
Santoro discusses the marketing genius behind the game and concludes: “So for now, the men are victorious, but even more successful are the marketing minds behind Trivial Pursuit.”
We want to hear your point of view:
How has all of this marketing made our Western culture more divisive, more sexist? Or, how has it made a dent in the problem of sexism?
How can we, as a society, eliminate the gender wars, the battle of the sexes.
Who benefits from this war and how? Is it all a spectacle to help wag the dog? How are consumerism and politics tied into this war?
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Photo credit: Shirly Niv Marton