Have you seen the new Allstate Mayhem commercial? It opens with the Allstate Mayhem spokesman Dean Winters jogging, saying, “I’m a hot babe out jogging…” Then you see a man in a car ogling the “hot babe” and driving into a lamp post. The commerical ends with the Winters saying, if you go with Allstate, “you can be better protected from mayhem like me” [meaning, the woman running].
Excuse me? Women running = mayhem?
The men ogling women are the mayhem!!
Just last week I was driving my car and suddenly the car in front of me dropped about 15 miles per hour for no apparent reason. Then I saw the reason: a woman was walking her dog on the side of the road in a sports bra (in our recent 100-degree weather stint). When I passed him I saw that yes, he was staring out the window at her instead of focusing on driving.
Of course, this is not the first time I’ve witnessed such careless driving. Countless men have hung out the window of their car ogling or yelling at me while they are supposed to be driving and all I have been doing is running, walking, or even waiting for a bus. More alarming, last year, two women were walking home from work, facing catcalls from men in a truck. The driver lost control of the vehicle and both women were hit and one was killed.
We women are going about our days, yet WE’RE the mayhem? YEAH RIGHT.
As I was watching tv the other night I saw AllState’s newest commercial in their ‘protect yourself from mayhem’ series…
Here are my 2 big issues: the implication that slobbering over a woman from your car is generally acceptable, and that the woman is in fact the bringer of the mayhem. This commercial says any woman jogging, or walking, or simply existing on any sidewalk in America is fair game to be sexualized, and rarely does that sexualization remain silent, it is usually accompanied by street harassment yelled from a passing car. I personally jog about 2miles every morning and there are streets I will not jog on because I know someone is going to honk or catcall and at 8 in the morning that’s not something I want to deal with. But this commercial is saying go ahead young men(any men really) stare, stare at her until your basic motor functions are compromised. And then blame her.
She is the mayhem, she is the reason you crashed your car into a lightpole. She made you do it, she made you crazy. Does that sound like abuser logic to anyone else? Why do you make me hit you, sounds a lot like, why did you make me crash the car? Presumably if the ‘woman’ had not been so carelessly jogging along the sidewalk this young man would never have been distracted and would have been able to competently drive his car. But the message here is one we have heard before (in rape cases), men cannot biologically control their impulses when it comes to sexuality and women.
The solution is clear to me: women pose such a serious risk to male drivers that we can no longer be allowed to jog outdoors. This is for the good of the nation, we simply cannot expect men to remain in control of their functions while we prance around the neighborhood. America is counting on us.