On Monday night’s two-hour series finale of “Boston Legal” (that I never dreamed I would find myself watching), William Shatner joined in a civil union with James Spader and Candice Bergen married a jolly looking Jewish man. But this post isn’t about how terrible William Shatner is or how annoying Candice Bergen was in Miss Congeniality. This post is about penises!
At one point in Part 1, Candice Bergen tells James Spader, “You really are something.” And he replies, “Usually when women say that it means the Enzyte is working.” He made a funny! Anyway, that reminded me of a paper I wrote earlier this year called, “The Politics of Santa Claus’ Penis: Masculine Fantasy in Enzyte Advertisement.”
In light of the holiday season, I thought I would post the Enzyte ad I wrote about and a couple excerpts from the 5 page paper.
Representations of the phallus abound at the office holiday party: a woman in an elf costume holds the North Pole, men ram each other with reindeer antlers, and all the men (except Bob) wear ties, phallic representations of their social status in public work. The men bow down to Bob and the women line up to sit on his lap. He embodies the perfection that Enzyte claims to sell. His huge grin never falls, and Enzyte promises the same about the naturally enhanced erection he has obtained “after a few short weeks.”
And the conclusion:
The Santa Bob Enzyte ad’s use of overdetermined phallic innuendo could be mistaken as harmless, but this is far from reality. Not only does it reinforce traditional gender roles and patriarchy, but it succeeds in perpetuating masculine insecurity, which can lead to shame, violence, and monthly payments of $19.95. Unlike Smiling Bob’s costume, the very real consequences of Enzyte advertisement cannot be removed from society as easily as a Santa suit.