Got Milk or Got Insensitivity?

This ad by ‘got milk’ contains a multitude of problematic implications and assumptions. The very line ‘I apologize for letting you misinterpret what I was saying’ is patronizing and shifts the blame onto the woman for ‘overreacting’ or acting irrational. In doing so, the ad belittles the experiences of women who suffer from the symptoms of PMS. For many women, PMS is not only incredibly physically painful but is also mentally draining and exhausting. These effects are caused by the body’s hormonal level changing and although is it recognized as a medical syndrome (for which medications are often prescribed and necessary), society continues to treat PMS as a non-issue. For women who suffer from endometriosis, PMS can be excruciatingly painful and debilitating. Despite the symptoms being incredibly taxing and agonizing, women continue to carry out their everyday tasks without allowing PMS to inhibit their performance and capabilities. Instead of focusing on the strength that women display during PMS, the ad choses to simply portray women as unreasonable beings who are difficult to be around during this time. Using a male to address issues that are exclusively female issues and can only be truly understood by those who experience it. This ad shifts the focus from the effects of PMS on women to the effects on men which in most cases are simply minor inconveniences as opposed to the physical and emotional symptoms that the women must cope with.


In the revised version of the ad that I edited, I chose to change the slogan and highlight the way in which the original ad focused on male perspective and appealed to a male audience while discussing a female issue. The pain of PMS symptoms is ignored as the ad prefers to depict PMS as simply being irrational and irritable. Although many women, myself included, do experience symptoms of PMS that 

include mood changes, spells of anxiety and depression, it is not as simple as the ad makes it out to be. Instead of choosing to educate the audience on the effects milk has on PMS symptoms or even the effects that PMS symptoms have on women, instead it chooses to make the effects of PMS on women only discussed when their behaviour has an effect on men. Their changing mental states and emotional states are regarded as absurd and ridiculous, often allowing men to label women as ‘crazy’ or ‘hormonal’. In my changed version of the ad I wanted to keep the apologetic aspect without its patronizing nature. I also chose to remove the ‘Everything I is’ and replace it with something that I would have deemed more helpful to an audience and encourages them to go out and seek education on an issue that affects women every day. Overall, I aspired to have the ad expose the ways in which issues and topics only become widely discussed in relation to men and any inconvenience that may be caused to them which in reality are should not even be considered inconveniences. The original ad empowers men to belittle a woman’s emotions and experiences during the period of PMS which is unacceptable.

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