This was sent to me by alphabetics who writes, “Not sure if you heard about this. I’m sure this is just the kind of thing you’ll love.(Also someone should make some official sarcasm punctuation because sometimes that doesn’t translate well on the internet. You won’t like this one little bit.)”
When I clicked on this link, my eyes rolled so goddamn hard one of my contacts got lodged in my brain. Women are interchangeable with meat in tons of advertising examples, and now KFC has dropped any pretense of advertising not being sexist.
Well if people are going to look there anyway then big corporations may as well capitalize on that, right? …Right?
Wrong. Fuck KFC. I sincerely regret buying a two-piece meal fifteen minutes ago.
I happened to see this in my facebook feed today and, while it's not the focus of this blog, I thought you guys might find it interesting to see an interesting difference in approach to gender and how one presents oneself in a social media setting.
--Dave Mooney (who lacks a tumblr login)
We’ve had a spate of sexist vintage advertisements from the 50s coming through our submission form, and while we do occasionally post these from time to time I’d like to ask that readers not submit these with great regularly.
The reasons for this are twofold. Firstly there are any number of “Top x Sexist Vintage Ads” article out there, and should we decide to run a vintage ad we won’t be short of source material nor places to find it.
Secondly, the purpose of this blog is to highlight the fact that sexism in advertising is something that still happens. There’s a certain appeal to sexism in vintage ads because we can laugh and pat ourselves on the back because Thank Glod We Aren’t Like That Anymore.
Except you and I know that’s not true.
If you do want to submit something - and I’d love it if you did! - I’d like to see current examples of sexism in advertising or, alternatively, articles about sexism in the media. That’s our focus, because it most pointedly gets across the message that we still have a long way to go so far as gender equality is concerned.
In yet another dodgy bit of promotional wossnamery, PETA have thrown together (and I use the term perhaps-literally) a parody of recently-released indie platform game Super Meat Boy called, rather stunningly, Super Tofu Boy. Besides being incredibly badly coded, the game features their character, Tofu Boy, attempting to rescue Bandage Girl (Meat Boy’s love interest in the original game) from Meat Boy, who, according to his character bio:
is a vengeful, bloody cube of rotting animal flesh. And he smells.
Compare with the description of Tofu Boy as “sexy”, “charming”, “irresistible”, and as someone “who has his way with the ladies”. How very mature of Peta.
The casual bastardization of one of the best games of the year isn’t what I take issue with, however - it’s the storyline Peta have decided to use. Y’see, apparently Bandage Girl had a bit of a fling with Tofu Boy, then left Meat Boy, and now Meat Boy has kidnapped her. It’s up to Tofu Boy to rescue her again. And again. And again.
In this game, Bandage Girl is little more than a MacGuffin - something for PETA’s ill-conceived parody character to fight over with Meat Boy.
Once again, PETA sees the objectification of women as perfectly acceptable in the fight against people eating delicious, tasty meat products. Comments in this game abound about how vegetarians “are better lovers” than meat-eaters (“Vegans do it better!” proclaims one in-game “tip”), and that you shouldn’t “keep Bandage Girl waiting”.
"But Ben!" I pretend to hear you call into the dark of the night. "Super Meat Boy, the game on which PETA’s lamentable parody is based, does much the same thing, doesn’t it?” Well, yes and no. The plot of Super Meat Boy does revolve around the standard videogame trope of “Oh no, your girlfriend has been kidnapped!” (one of many references to games from the 80s and 90s featured in Super Meat Boy) but subverts it in the last world of the game where Bandage Girl has to rescue Meat Boy, who has been kidnapped by the game’s villain, Dr. Fetus. Bandage Girl even holds her own as a character in the game, with none of the nerfing one usually expects in the transition from a male character to a female one in a videogame (cite: Princess Peach as a playable character in Super Mario Bros. 2, who can’t jump as high but can float in mid-air thanks to her frilly pink dress).
It’s much better than Nintendo’s attempt to subvert the trope with their DS title Super Princess Peach, which had Peach rescuing Mario from Bowser but, regrettably, shaped all of her special powers and abilities around emotional extremes. Lovely.
So what do I think of PETA’s efforts? As a feminist, I think it’s abhorrent. As a fan of Super Meat Boy, I think it’s shite. As a gamer, I think it has terrible controls that render the game largely unplayable.
Hey, I just wanted to add something small about what byakkoyanomusume said about cleaning stuff ads. Some of them have men in them, like the Cillit Bang ads, but what are they doing in the ads? Telling the women how to use them properly. The silly women are ~amazed~ at how amazing and marvellous the product this wonderful man is giving them. It's our job to clean, but we need the menz to tell us how to do it!
Let me mansplain this for you. Y’see, while women are perfectly built for the job of keeping an entire house clean 24/7, their tiny little brains can’t possibly process the numbingly complex intricacies of how to operate a simple sponge. That’s where the man comes in. He supervises and coordinates. That way he can take the credit for the cleaniness of the house when his chums turn up for their late night poker game.