In 2013, Disney-owned Marvel Comics, publishers of popular superhero franchises such as X-Men, Spiderman, and The Incredible Hulk, manufactured and sold boys and girls t-shirts for the Avengers comic franchise. The shirt for boys is blue and has an image of Iron Man and the words “Be a Hero” printed across the chest. The shirt for girls is red and has a group of Avengers - The Hulk, Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man - with the words “I need a hero” printed on it.
This ad for Axe, a division of Unilever that sells and markets male grooming products, is part of a campaign called "Find Your Magic." The ad poses a series of questions to the viewer, showing men of different ages, races, ethnicities and sexual orientations in a variety of scenarios. The ad's penultimate question asks: “who needs some other thing when you’ve got your thing? Now work on it!"
This 2006 commercial for Axe Body Spray depicts a stampede of bikini-clad women running toward a single man who is applying the product to his body. The women look almost like animals in the way that they run through the wilderness, while the man has a satisfied grin on his face. The music is dramatic and reaches its climax as the women reach the single man. The tagline reads: “Spray More – Get More – The Axe Effect”.
This ad for Axe shampoo (a men's line under the Unilever brand) is set at a house party full of young people. A man walks through the crowded living room into an empty kitchen and is followed by a woman. After he enters the kitchen, she slams the door behind them both and says passionately “I just want to bury my face in your backside.” Then, she bends him over the oven from behind and rubs her hands and face all over the back of his hair. The man remains silent but looks pleased and excited. The final slogan is “Get some Hair Action with Axe shampoo,” with the words “Hair Action” illuminated in red neon lights. This ad, like many others selling the Axe brand since the early 2000s, suggests that its products can be used by men to attract women.
In this November 2014 clip from “The Late Show with David Letterman,” standup comedian Aziz Ansari discusses how his relationship with his girlfriend, a “huge feminist,” has prompted him to assess his own views on gender equality and feminism. In the clip, Ansari asks audience members to clap or cheer if they consider themselves to be feminists. When the applause is what he believes to be slightly subpar, Ansari reminds the audience that the textbook definition of “feminist” is someone who believes that men and women should have equal rights, and goes on to say he feels like everyone here supports that notion. However, Ansari qualifies his previous statement, adding that he thinks many people don’t identify as feminists because of intense or negative connotations associated with the word, such as being “crazy.” Ansari goes on to prompt viewers who believe men and women should have equal rights to label themselves as feminists, much as a doctor that treats diseases of the skin would label him or herself a dermatologist. In the next portion of the clip, Ansari uses contemporary pop culture to make a point about feminism: “You don’t go to a Jay-Z and Beyonce concert and think Beyonce should get 23 percent less money than Jay-Z,” drawing a reference to gender pay inequality. Ansari goes on to say that we wouldn’t criticize Beyonce for having the right to vote, or think that she should be at home making Jay-Z dinner, addressing both women’s suffrage and stereotypical domestic roles.