Thursday, December 22, 2005

I want to live in Russell Brown's world

There was a surpsingly large article about sexist advertising in the Sunday Star Times. The argument appeared to me to be: "Guess what sexist advertising didn't end in the 1970s, isn't that weird".

Now I thought the article was pretty lame and lacking in analysis myself (although good on NZUSA for raising these issues), but not quite as lacking in analysis as Russell Brown's response. He apparently doesn't believe that showing overwhelmingly in the domestic role, caring for men, is sexist. He also believes that men are more often portrayed in a derogatory way than women in advertisements. I agree that more advertisements are aimed at women than men, but that's no bonus often means those ads aim to make women feel shitty enough to buy something they don't need (see the recent discussion on photo retouching).

Now my ability to argue about sexist TV advertising is somewhat limited becuase I don't watch much television (this isn't a political stand - I love television, it's just that I'm never home and there are no Joss Whedon shows on at the moment). But I promise to watch an entire ad break sometime during the Christmas holidays, and analyse the gender stereotypes in each advertisement, for those who have the luxury of believing these things don't matter.

The print advertisements I see are more than enough though. I've already touched on the fact that beer drinkers are apparently terrified that women might drink their beer, because men wouldn't possibly drink a beer that had girl germs on it. I've never seen a beer ad that didn't have a big 'girls keep out' sign on the club house door. Often it's worse than that - there have been Tui billboards that have almost driven me to accidents, in my hand-waving and ranting to anyone who happens to be in the car with me (the Hutt road became a lot safer when they removed the 'leave it natural - it's way better' billboard).

Then there was that Yellow Pages ad that I needed explaining to me:
-> Florists
-> Florists
-> Florists
-> Florists
-> Escort Agencies


  1. Anonymous9:30 am

    The one with the new mother whose friends come over and need to use the bathroom - "what does your loo say about you?"

    The many in which men can't be trusted to look after simple domestic tasks, but are saved by great product plus wife.

    Singapore girl.

    And the growing number of "it's for a good cause, so that justifies objectifying women's bodies" billboards - Madge and SAFE.

  2. Anonymous1:26 pm

    I watch a fair bit of TV (Ok, I half-watch it and do other stuff at the same time) and Z and I are constantly commenting on how stupid and offensive various ads are, both towards women and men.

    Top worst 2 are (and there are many many more that are truly awful, but these ones piss me off so much I have to acutally turn over the channel, even if I'm not really concentrating):

    1) The New World ad, where girl wanders around supermarket looking at food, stopping to consider the calorific value of each item. At the end she sneaks a chocolate bar off the shelves. Ooh how naughty. The music for this ad sucks arse too.

    2)Amway ads for E Funkhouser products. They occur during 3News a lot, and I HATE them so much. Lamest format ever, lamest products ever, lame presenter, and an extremely lame attempts to sell lame 'beauty' bullshit to women.

    Funniest ad ever: Rangiora Baptist Church.

    "Is your name a swear word? Think about it."

    LOL. We piss ourselves laughing each time we see this ad. I doubt you get it up north, but I can tell you, it's worth living in Chch for...

    Anonymous makes an interesting point - lots of ads do potray men as usesless and stupid, who are then are saved by a cleaning product (often brought to them by wifey). Ew.