I am speechless. Videogum is not however:
‘Oh good grief. Look, you can’t criticize them too much because at the end of the day they are trying in their very weird (you’ll see) way to make the world a better place. But you can criticize them a little bit. For example, here’s a criticism: I’m pretty sure that anyone who is interested in buying a CHILD SEX SLAVE isn’t going to be particularly swayed by AN IRONICALLY CLEVER ADVERTISEMENT FEATURING JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE THAT PLAYS ON MODERN CONCEPTS OF MASCULINITY. Pretty sure that is not how we move the needle on the whole “fucking kids in dank Queens basements” thing.’
And Salon says:
‘Real men pop beers open with the TV remote, pour milk straight into the cereal box and shave using a chainsaw; therefore, um, you shouldn’t support sex trafficking?’
I think videogum make a good point. This isn’t really about ‘child sex slavery’ at all. It is about Ashton Kucher telling us what a ‘dude’ he is. And celebrity dudes in this day and age have to have a social conscience as well as a six pack and a celebrity dudette wife. Masculinity is being sent up here, but only to reinforce it. Real Men may be incompetent, ditzy, OTT, and camp as Christmas, but they are MEN. They don’t BUY GIRLS. And, to be frank, they look rather girly.
h/t Mark Simpson, who has taken apart especially American machismo, and the obsession with definining what makes Real Men Really Men!