Gender Issues

It's Flaming Men

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Memo to Yankee Candles: YOU ARE DUMB.

Full disclosure: I have a penis between my legs. Fuller disclosure: it's my own penis. Yes, I am what is colloquially referred to as a man. A dude. A male. A Scrotal-American. I have hair on my face and do not lactate. And that's about where that shit ends.

I have an entertainment center in my basement with a big TV and surround sound and video games, and if you call it my "mancave", I will kick you in the crotch. It's not a retreat away from the womenfolk. Womenfolk hang out there too. I don't need a retreat away from womenfolk because the womenfolk I hang around with don't need to be retreated from.

I don't need my own version of Diet Dr. Pepper. I am unswayed by tequila ads that question the ongoing feminization of tequila. In other words, my dick is particularly immune to being marketed to. Which is as it should be. The world does not need more gender-specific products. I'm talking to you, Yankee Candle.

Apparently feeling that the marketplace for Fire That Smells Like Flowers is diminishing, the people at Northeastern Overpriced Wax And Perfume have introduced a line of four... wait for it... Man Candles.

Already, I've got a problem. You're a candle company. You're putting out a line of candles for men. And you don't call them MANDLES? In for a penny, in for a pound. Go big or go home. These are the mantras of a successful scented wax phallus business, people.

So what scents do Man Candles come in, if you'll pardon the expression? Well, one is "Riding Mower". Which means they took a scent they thought was feminine, "grass", and gave it a manly name, becaue what's more manly than sitting on an overpriced toy tractor to make your lawn a couple of inches shorter? If you need a name like "riding mower" to enjoy the smell of fresh grass blowing on a summer breeze without your heterosexuality feeling threatened, then "Riding Mower" is for you!

Similarly, "2 x 4". Or, as the girl version of the candle is probably called, "Sandalwood". Or "Pine". Or "Cedar". The point is, real men don't like to be caught sniffing the rich scent of wood, because penis. The only way wood is acceptable is if it's long, hard, and holding up a wall. Me, I find something deeply anti-entropic about smoke that smells like wood, so Yankee Candle can keep the TWENTY FIVE DOLLARS they want me to give up for one of these things.

Then we have the weird ones. There's "First Down". First Down! Football! Grunting and sweatiness and tackling and helmets and ass-slapping and more grunting and concussions and yardage! What blend of chemicals does Yankee Candle think football smells like? For the first time in You Are Dumb history, ACTUAL SMELL TIME!

"Game on! This combination of orange, patchouli, vetiver and leather is as exciting as game day."

I had to Google it, so I'll save you the trouble. Vetiver is an Indian grass. So, OK. Grass is part of football when the grass isn't made out of plastic. Leather is part of football except when, again, it's been replaced by plastic. But orange? That's at best the smell of a middle school soccer game, and patchouli? Patchoulis is for hippies, not men!

But if the patchouli-laced "football" scent gets you down, head on over to MAN TOWN. Yes, that's right. Yankee Candle tried to think of four things men do, and came up with mowing the lawn, buying lumber, watching football, and starting a gender-segregated municipality, a sort of inverse-parthenogenetic Paradise Island. Your twenty five bucks can buy you a trip down to Man Town, which smells like... "spices, woods, and musk". That's very non-specific, frankly. Except for the musk.

You know what sentence I've never uttered nor heard, and would automatically reject if I did hear it? "Hey, Bryan! Set fire to this thing and it'll spray musk into an enclosed space! It'll be manly!" I've been using male hygiene products for years, and not once have I thought a chemical approximation of deer smegma was the scent for me.

And if that makes me effeminate in the eyes of Yankee Candle, well, that's a cross I'll gladly bear.

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