Dueling car ads highlight subtle sexism


#1

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#2

It just seems utterly bizarre to me that they’d do this. Isn’t this just twice as much work as making one advert?

Also, not sure anyone in human history has ever appeared cooler by driving a Passat.


#3

Presumably the marketing people have numbers backing up the fact that this approach will make them more money.


#4

Given that we live in a patriarchy, that’s presumably true. But it doesn’t mean that it’s not worthwhile to point out sexism, especially subtle sexism, in advertising and other mediascapes.


#5

It’d be great if someone actually interviewed some admonkey about this shit and got some falsifiable claims and data and suchlike actual journalism…I can see it’s happening, but it’s hard to imagine why.


#6

I never said there was anything wrong with pointing this out, or that the strategy is necessarily a good idea for society at large (and even if it were harmless, I can’t see any harm in changing it).

I would dispute the idea that we live in a patriarchy though, I think such ideas are gross simplifications of gendered human interaction.


#7

Why do you disagree that we live in a patriachy? Are you saying that all things are equal now for men and women, now that the latter are, what, allowed to smoke cigarettes and vote? Or maybe, that women actually have it even better than men now?


#8

i’d be curious about whether that’s actually true.

in my personal experience, i’ve seen marketing folks start with their gut instincts then combine that with information from previous campaigns. if it were just numbers after all, we would use computers.

trying something new is very risky. hollywood, for instance, loves sequels because they can more easily project revenue based on prior success. and, you aren’t going to create two of the exact same movies: one with a female star, and one with a male star to see how they compare.

producers believe male directors and male stars draw more crowds. so they don’t change, and things stay implicitly sexist.

i’d suspect the same sort of forces are at play here. ( though, i also wouldn’t discount explicit sexism by a producer or by a marketing team. someone would need to challenge them on their sexism, and if the tops are all men: who would risk that? )


#9

No, but the world is a big and complicated place. Of course there are still lots of cases of gendered discrimination that need to be tackled (mostly in the developing world, but still lots to do in the west as well). There are many patriarchal aspects to human society, just as there are many matriarchal aspects too. Also, even when looking at patriarchal aspects of society, there’s no guarantee they all necessarily benefit men, many ostensibly sexist practices are of great benefit to the health and wellbeing of women at the expense of men. Trying to work out some kind of objective measure to see which sex has it better would be an exercise in futility. Each case needs to be analysed by itself and in context, creating an overarching dogmatic ideology of victimhood helps nobody.


#10

The fact that gut-instincts may be involved doesn’t prove anything one way or the other. It’s certainly possible it’s true though, it would depend on analysing some specific campaign to see whether it’s possible to prove a causal link though (and even if there was a causal link you would still have to provide extra evidence to show why the difference exists, you can’t just assume it’s some innate sex-difference). I don’t know if anyone has ever done such research, and if so if it’s any good (these things are often studied in a very half-assed manner). I don’t see how it’s possible to generalise either way.


#11

Oh, please do enlighten us.


#12

it would depend on analysing some specific campaign to see whether it’s possible to prove a causal link though

i totally agree it would be cool to have some actual analysis.

I don’t see how it’s possible to generalise either way.

you did, though. your gut instinct was to initially say:

Presumably the marketing people have numbers backing up the fact that this approach will make them more money.

given that the ad is sexist – the bar is pretty high to say that there are magical numbers to explain sexism and not just… sexism.

not to throw stones – but maybe you can see that if the people approving the campaign had the same instincts as yours, then you could see how it could be released into the world. sans actual numbers or “science”.

they just presume it makes sense, so sexism ( and other -isms ) stand unchallenged.


#13

well… women get the door held open for them all the time… isn’t that a fine tradeoff for smaller wages and fewer opportunities?


#14

So true! There are even guy friends of mine that I hold the door shut on.

So, it’s totally equal!


#15

off the top of my head I think a good example is payment equality, a naive look at the figures shows a very obvious bias, but if you look into it in more detail there are lots of different things to untangle. one clear example comes with dangerous jobs, these are often high paying due to the inherent dangers, and they are also professions where men make up the vast majority. this looks to me like something with overall benefits for the health and wellbeing of women, though it’s clearly sexist, and in a way usually decried by feminists (wrightly or wrongly, I’m not even making a judgement here). in other circumstances, such ‘chivalrous’ sexism could well be harmful to women, but in this example it’s clearly one where they benefit (and have benefited throughout history as well (see war and crime & punishment for further examples, this goes against the overly simplistic historical narrative some feminists create as well).


#16

you did, though. your gut instinct was to initially say:

It did seem to say that, my intention was more to say that the marketers believed that it was a fact, I could have worded that better.


#17

well… women get the door held open for them all the time… isn’t that a fine tradeoff for smaller wages and fewer opportunities?

no


#18

#19

don’t agree with me man, i was trying to make a point. :wink:


#20

Do you do any research or just shoot from the gut on everything?

Fishermen: $41,000
Loggers: $35,000
Aircraft pilots: $70-120,000
Misc. extraction workers: $41,000
Iron and steel workers: $41,000
Roofers: $39,000
Garbage collectors: $33,000
Farmers and ranchers: $61,000
Driver/sales workers and truck drivers: $46,000
Power-line installers and repairers: $56,000

The median salary in the us is about $50,500 right now. Three of the top ten most dangerous jobs pay more than that. Yeah, men are totally doing this to keep women out of those high paying jobs on the garbage trucks. But then, that would be an overly simplistic narrative difficult to untangle.