Feminism is not alive and well in advertising

December 30, 2014 11:36 am

Not to come across as someone of the Tumblr generation, who calls inequality at any possible chance, but I am of that generation, and there are far too many reasons to call inequality. So, allow me to call it… again.

I have a pet peeve. It’s only a little thing. Most people tell me to get over and stop going on about it so much, but I can’t bloody help it… It’s the Cif fairy tale adverts. They’ve been around for years, and they have infuriated me for years. So I started to watch other adverts and noticed the subtle misogyny and indirect reinforcement of traditional gender stereotypes.

feminism

 

The first time I saw the Cif fairy tale advert I remember asking why my vagina meant I was supposed to care about cleaning that much. I hate cleaning. Actually, I pretty much just don’t clean. Vagina or no vagina, I don’t clean. I have never had an, “oh no you can’t see my house, there might be dirt somewhere” moment. Not one. I also don’t know why I would want a “prince” to climb the side of my house… That’s sinister. I am definitely not cleaning for that guy.

Maybe I am being overly sensitive about this. After all, the advert clearly works, it’s been around for so long… Even if it has meant that I’ve purposely avoided Cif every time I’ve been in the market for some cleaning products.

Christmas adverts are renown for tugging on the heart strings, being cringey, or both. This year has been an excellent crop of heart warming christmas-ey goodness. From John Lewis and Monty, to Waitrose and the reluctant ginger bread baker, to night time Christmas with Boots. It’s a good year for Christmas adverts.

Then there’s Morrisons. Ignoring the irritating song, and complete lack of originality, why are the men just brining each other beer and sitting around while the women cook? Why do men get to watch TV while the women baste the turkey? Get back in the kitchen lady, there’s a sandwich to make. So my vagina also means I get to cook, great, then I can clean up with my various Cif products, that has got to help me land a building climbing prince. In fact, the only women in the advert are either cooking, cleaning, pregnant, or looking after children. It’s good to know I live in a time where women can be independent, intellectual and interesting all on their own. Oh, wait.

I honestly don’t know why I’m surprised. I guess I thought that maybe, just maybe, we might have progressed, as a society, beyond this. Clearly not. I’m sure one day cars will stop being almost exclusively marketed to men. I’m sure one day cleaning products will stop being exclusively marketed to women. So that day isn’t today, I will just have to deal with it and stop being so grossed out by adverts for women, I mean honestly why do adverts even need a love interest? But, why am I the one that has to get over it? I don’t want to. So I will just continue on my way in this world of righteous indignation… and dirt.

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  • ChrisRobinson

    As a male, I don’t dash out every day to ‘get beer’ or watch football, or drive a fast, penis extension on wheels, or watch ‘Top Gear’. I do my own cooking and cleaning.

    Gender stereotyping will not end while there’s money to be made out of it. Moreover, even in this day and age, the median female wages are 75% of the median male wage. Caring is the domain of women both in work and at home. Three women are murdered every week by somebody known to them, usually an abusive partner.

    You’d think we’d have made progress since the ‘Equal Rights’ Act of 1975.

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