Friday, December 21, 2012

Sexist?

Amongst several complaints about advertisements that were not upheld by the Broadcasting Standards Complaints Authority was one against the Lindauer ad in which men are bawling their eyes out because, as we find out at the end of the ad, their womenfolk are off partying together, drinking Lindauer.

Yes, of course it's ridiculous, and it's so over the top that it goes beyond offensive and into the realms of idiotic. For me it doesn't do the job properly - you remember the ad, certainly, but as for what product it relates to...does anyone know?   Too many ads are fun to watch but fail to promote their product in any way.

The complainant had said: 'I've had enough of sexism against men in the media. This ad isn't even attempting to be humorous. It just shows men in emotional distress, then mocks them. It's sick.' The complainant said also that if the genders had been reversed in the ad, there would have been an outcry. Yup.

I certainly think there are too many ads in which men are shown to be idiots, especially in relation to all-wise women, but for me this one just doesn't even go there. It's stupid and as an ad, ineffective.

Anyway, whether you think the ad's good or not the interesting response from the BSCA was there were precedents to show the level of acceptance of offensiveness could vary depending on gender.  

This is an interesting comment. Viewers are prepared to accept men being treated offensively to a higher level than they'll accept women being treated offensively, in ads. Now, there could be an element of sexism here, although I suspect that most ads in which men are portrayed as idiots are actually made by men. The TV program QI discussed this in an episode that was shown yesterday, in fact. In terms of stand-up comedians, women are much less appreciated than men - by women. Woman will laugh at men when something funny happens to them or when they make a joke. They'll laugh much less when something funny happens to a woman, or when a woman comedian tells a joke. Women comedians have a hard time gaining acceptance with audiences because women are seen to be less funny by women. This is curious, isn't it? Yet, the comedians on the QI last night were sure of their facts in regard to this. Even the one woman amongst the group agreed, and made a very good spontaneous joke about what happens to women comedians...something about them being corralled up and sent off to some place in England that's not regarded very highly.

Of course there are women comedians who've made it big time: French and Saunders are an extremely popular duo, and also very popular separately. Phyllis Diller was a terrific comedian, who could wow any audience, and if you go to Google you can find plenty of results by typing in female comedians. The interesting thing about this group, however, is that many of them don't seem to be terribly well known, or at least they're not well known to me. Maybe I don't move in the right circles, or maybe they don't impact NZ audiences so much.




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