Milk, PMS, and…Men?

This ad was created by the Got Milk foundation, one that is highly respected and that usually promotes positive messages. The main external point of this ad is to inform that “Milk can help reduce the symptoms of PMS”. However, that simple message which should be considered the most valuable piece of information is the smallest printed on the ad. The statement made by the two men suggests that women are extremely irritable due to PMS and that nothing men do is right in their eyes.

Women are constantly targeted for issues that our out of our control. We are judged for our actions and are looked down upon when we don’t act respectable and poised through the eyes of society. The underlying message of this ad suggests that women are uncontrollable. The men find the need to make this aspect of a woman’s behavior their issue. Berger says, “Everything must appear to be the result of his being there” (39). It is unnecessary for this aspect of a woman’s life to surround a man. They are “apologizing” with contradictory messages that actually act as mockery rather than a sincere apology. This ad implies that it is actually women who cannot get it right. We are blamed for not complying to the idea that we must treat men with extreme kindness. As Killbourne mentions in Killing us softly 4, “women often feel ashamed and guilty when we fail which we will”(Killbourne).

If this ad were indeed created to provide women with valuable information about Milk, they would not be the “objects” of mockery. However, since in reality this ad is not aimed at women, once again men are taking control and putting themselves in the forefront.


Jean Killbourne, Killing Us Softly 4

John Berger Ways of Seeing (1972)

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