Citi’s popular 2012 ad featuring a female rockclimber is anti-marriage propaganda that caters to the female fantasy of perpetual courtship. The rockclimber’s gravy train rolls on indefinitely thanks to free resources in the form of buying on credit, a supportive provider boyfriend, and the possibility of pivoting to a higher status man after the vacation.

Unfortunately for women who follow the example set in this ad, perpetual courtship is a dangerous game. The rock climber is on pace to slam head first into the wall in about five years. Her appearance will bear scars in the form of crows’ feet, looser and rougher skin, more coarse hair, and a diminished youthful glow. At that point, it will be a challenge for her to find a man willing to commit who is half as appealing as the boyfriend in the ad.


The commercial opens with the woman peering into a glass counter display. The height of the counter and arrangement of the room suggests a jewelry store. We cannot see what is behind the glass. The woman hands over her credit card, and continues to stare longingly at whatever it is she just purchased.

The next scene reveals that she was shopping for rock climbing supplies to bring on her expedition with her boyfriend. New shoes and nylons. The narrator makes it clear that she is no girly girl. Instead of high heels, only unsightly rockc limbing cleats.

Nylons are a clever way of referring to the climbing ropes. Yes, here we have an independent woman unburdened by societal expectations of femininity. A woman so independent that she purchased this gear on her own, enabling her to accumulate those valuable credit card points.

On second thought, she may be less self-sufficient than the ad wants us to assume. Imagine all the credit card points she would earn by putting the plane tickets, hotel room, and meals on the card. But we don’t hear a word about those expenses. That’s not what her Citi card is for. That’s what her boyfriend is for. This vivacious, magnetic and super-independent woman splurges for the “nylons” while her boyfriend covers all the real shit.


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A Woman Uninterested In Marriage

And speaking of the boyfriend, it’s clear he has been trying to cajole her into marriage. “We talked about getting a diamond… but I hoisted the rock I really had in mind.” You go girl!

The boyfriend’s pseudo-proposal of “hey maybe we should talk about maybe someday getting engaged if you want” will always be there, but the opportunity to climb this big rock… Better act fast and do it now before several more millennia of erosion cause it to crumble into an unscalable heap.

Also, why is there a binary choice between getting engaged and rockclimbing? They can’t do both? No, the reason she postpones marriage is she has no desire to be tied down.

A Woman Dominant In All Aspects Of Her Relationship

Look at the boyfriend during the climbing scenes. His girlfriend takes the lead as the kick-ass adventurer. He’s just along for the ride to stare up at her supportively.


See how as she straps on all her gear, he follows her like a trained puppy. It’s clear she is in control, whether it’s deciding what to do on vacation or deciding how they will spend the rest of their lives.

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A Woman Who Takes Male Attention For Granted

Underlying this woman’s psychology is that to her, male attention is a given – a constant that will always be there. When she has her fill of the courtship dance, she can snap her fingers and accept commitment from this boyfriend, some other man from her past, or a man who she hasn’t met yet.

What she doesn’t realize is her ability to extract future commitment offers from men has nothing to do with her passion for rock climbing and everything to do with her being slender, pleasant looking, and youthful. Those attributes do not last, and as they diminish, so does the status of the men willing to give her the time of day.

A Woman Looking For Something Better

This woman does not want to cut off her options by committing to the man she’s currently sleeping with. There may be a higher quality alpha male right around corner. After all, doesn’t her rockclimbing accomplishment make her more attractive to high status men? Time to ditch that zero and find a hero! Or at least continue being open to an opportunity for superior cock, should she encounter it while still being courted by her boyfriend.

The rock structure in the commercial is undeniably phallic, and the rockclimbing woman enthusiastically covers every surface of it as her boyfriend watches from below. A subliminal nod to cuckoldry.

Thanks to free and easy resources (due in part to credit spending courtesy of Citi) and social conventions that encourage women to indulge in the endless courtship model, this woman is approaching the end of her prime fertility years without any present desire for marriage and children.

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Citi’s Motivation

Why does Citi promote this lifestyle in a nationwide ad campaign? The most prolific credit spenders are single women. The longer a woman remains single, the more frivolous purchases she will rack up, and maybe she will carry a large outstanding balance on her card.

Of course someday she will extract commitment from a man who will pay it off. Greater interest charges for Citi and no default when it is all said and done.

But in reality the ad is probably just the brainchild fantasy of a female marketing professional (one who is fatter or uglier than the ad’s protagonist, with pitiful dating prospects), and everyone along the way nodded their head and conceded “good, this is empowering, let’s go with it.”

If women follow the example of this ad, they will end up with massive credit card debt and far less appealing marriage options than they have in their youth.

Read More: Why Are Men Becoming Less Interested In Marriage?

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