Sunday, 1 May 2011

And that's why mums shop at Sexism!

There are some kinds of sexism that feel like a punch in the gut. There are some kinds of sexism that are interesting on an analytical level. There are some kinds of sexism that are so brilliantly preposterous that I just laugh and laugh.

And there are some kinds of sexism that make me so fire-spittingly furious that I want to break something in half.

Oh, mums! They are wonderful! They cook, they clean, they change nappies! They are happy never to be noticed, "like the air"! They are basically the Virgin Mary, but now with a new and improved formulation (guaranteed 27% more effective than the leading brand), sponsored by your friendly neighbourhood multinational conglomerate, Proctor & Gamble!

Seriously, "proud sponsors of mums"? We have sponsored schools, those irritating video ads on buses, Guy's Hospital canteen is a flipping McDonalds - and now mums everywhere are officially sponsored by P&G? Did the Mothers' Union take a vote? Is everyone who's ever pushed a baby out of her vagina now required to wear the P&G logo prominently on her (solely for breastfeeding!) chest? And will they be monetarily compensated for this? I should really phone my mum more often.

"The head without a body." Yes, that's not creepy at all.

And the logos at the end? The brands chosen out of P&G's mighty stable to best represent motherhood? Behold: Fairy (Why do women have small feet? So they can get closer to the kitchen sink!), Ariel (wash my clothes!), Pampers (change my nappy!), Pringles (uh, feed me junk food? Not sure how this one got in), and Lenor (wash my clothes MORE!). Ah, the joy of motherhood: there are some experiences so precious that money cannot buy them. For everything else, there's over-priced and unethically-sourced products for performing menial and unappreciated tasks.

The whole thing's reminiscent of the Iceland "because mums are heroes!" campaign: the faux-sisterhood "we totally respect you while defining you solely by the fact that you are a mother, which equals primary caregiver, so good for you but also get back in the kitchen" attitude.

This is not the kind of sexism I really expect to be confronted with during a Sky Sports ad break. Girls in bikinis, new Lynx Eau De Wanquer, instant microwaved sex on a plate, that was all normal - but sanctimonious "be nice to your mum, but make sure you don't link her oppression to the wider social forces shaping patriarchal capitalism!" was just weird.

1 comment:

  1. This advert made me feel a little sick as a single father.