I’ve been holding off on this topic for a while — sexist ads, misogyny in marketing, et al. After all, living in Las Vegas is like being in the cultural petri dish of disgustingly sexist ad concepts. (Anyone remember the billboard where a naked woman is wearing nothing but strategically placed sushi? And who could forget the sweaty cleavage on those radio station billboards?)
But I’ve just got to rant!
I know we’re living in the 1980s Part II, but hasn’t anyone given these ad boys the memo? Women make up the majority of the shopping public. And women are the primary gender when it comes to making household consumer decisions. And this includes big purchases like cars and electronics. Oh, and it includes being the majority of those who purchase men’s clothes as well. But speaking of that, there’s plenty of sexism there, too. Like these ads depicting porno-rific women sniffing some men’s briefs to show how sexy they are.
Yes, yes, sex sells. I know. You know. We all know. My beef is not with sexed-up advertising. It’s the advertising that posits a robotic woman as the perfect lusty and beer-providing object (lookin’ at you Heineken) or the perfect example of “flat buns” (lookin’ at you Carls Jr.). The glossy ads that depict merely women’s body parts are the worst, ala the new Tom Ford cologne campaign. What gal doesn’t want to lay around with a cologne bottle on her pubic bone? Speaking of cologne, what “chick” isn’t living in fear that she’ll be uncontrollably compelled to maul a man wearing Axe or any of the other crap with the lamest ads ever?
And I haven’t even touched the other side of the sexism cesspool, which serves to maintain strict gender norms (Mama’s got the magic of Clorox …).
Well, all hope is not lost. Even men are getting annoyed at all the sexist crap in advertising, at least in Australia. So there’s hope.
But for me the central question remains: What do we do about it? You can’t boycott everything. Complaining to companies only has limited effect. And, frankly, if you get in too many faces you’re just labeled as a shrill, femi-nazi, bitch. Not that I let that stop me. But it gets old, even from my side of it. How long can you fight? Is fighting it effective? Is there a more effective way to get the establishment to listen? I’m asking because I don’t know.