The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Silent Sexism …

I need to rant.

You see I’m totally fucking over subtle sexism.

Don’t get me wrong, I am over overt sexism as well, but this subtle shit is doing my head in – especially in ads.

On face value, it’s nothing.

It almost feels normal in fact.

But when you stop for a second, you see the little digs.

The references to women loving shoes.

Or the colour pink.

Or some other cliched, sexist bullshit … like doing anything for doughnuts.

Oh they’ll say it’s “all in good fun”.

Or “… it’s not meant to be real, it’s advertising”.

They’ll claim you’re being too sensitive or that you “can’t say anything these days”.

Implying there was absolutely no other way they could approach the task they were given.

As if we’re bloody idiots.

And while some simply don’t get it – having spent their life living in the bubble of another era – deep down they know.

Or at least suspect.

The reality is they just don’t want to admit it.

Even if that’s just to themselves.

So they say this shit. Write this shit. Produce this shit.

And many will let it pass.

Mainly because they’re not paying close attention to the ads.

But it still seeps in.

Leaving it’s message.

Not the one the client wanted, but the one the old, conformist, sexist guys did.

And that’s why I think it’s the most dangerous sexism of all because when it’s done quietly, it affects slowly … creeping into the ears, eyes and minds of those who are exposed to it, while those who are aware of this shit, hear it like a scream.

18 Comments so far
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Thank you Robert.

Comment by Mary Bryant

is this the moment i remind you of your husband and his infamous cake incident?

Comment by andy@cynic

No Andrew. I’ll have him explain the reasons why at dinner this weekend.

Comment by Mary Bryant

Again? Really?

Comment by George

the gift that keeps on giving.

Comment by andy@cynic

This made me laugh loud.

Comment by DH

boys who are children who think thats what makes them men.
i could have become one of those fuckers if it wasnt for the women in my life.
fuck ive become oprah.

Comment by andy@cynic


Comment by DH

Well said. Apart from being morally dubious and illustrating a lack of the insights for which agencies are supposedly paid, it’s commercial idiocy to alienate the majority of your potential customers.

Comment by John

And when I write morally dubious, I mean morally indefensible.

Comment by John

Well said Robert. The way men and women are portrayed in advertising, especially by brands who use the opposite sex as some sort of comedic straight man (excuse the reference), is terrible. That said your point about silent sexism is very true. Very dangerous and often unseen unless you are attuned to it. As the father of 3, independent daughters I am very sensitive to how much is quietly pushed on them by people living in a bubble of their own making.

Comment by George

when bonnie was born i looked back at all the shit id put into the world and asked if i had helped the world wed brought her into or added to the shit. on reflection i was pretty good and where i wasnt was because of a fucking planner.

Comment by andy@cynic

Yes Robert. It should not need to be said but no one else is saying it.

Comment by Katerina


Comment by Jemma King

thank YOU!

Comment by leigh

I agree with every word on here. Even Billy seems to have got the message because his silence on this post is loud and clear.

Comment by Pete

I’m sorry but I have to ask – what’s wrong with saying that women love shoes????

Comment by All About Life

[…] the fact women deal with this blatant – and subtle – prejudicial shit every single day and don’t want to kill every man they meet, is […]

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