Feminism, but not as we know it

Previously in this blog I have noted that the high proportion of complaints to the Advertising Standards Bureau that come from humourless feminazis. And today we have another story from the Sun-Herald, doing a poor impression of its Melbourne palindrome, complaining that the board dismissed more than 200 complaints against the piss-funny Nando’s Fix advertisement, which features a stripper.

Among other free publicity, the story details the efforts of the Women’s Forum Australia to overhaul the Advertising Standards Board, claiming “its decisions do not reflect the wider community’s standards, particularly on the exploitation of women”.

Watching the ad, it’s about as far from prurient or exploitative as an ad containing strippers could possibly be. And it’s obvious to anyone but the most humourless harridan that it is a parody.

The ad subverts the stereotype of women so common in ads: the all-knowing supermother – watch as she laughs off the foibles of her helpless, inferior husband and breezily juggles career and family with the aid of the judicious purchase of margarines and cleaning products. The woman in this ad is clearly playing on that image, except her career happens to be lap dancing. Funny AND clever – who could object?

Besides, any lobby group that claims to represent community standards is lying in the most breathtakingly brazen fashion. A lobby group, by definition, does not represent the majority; it represents a minority who believe, for whatever reason, that they deserve special treatment. And a group of socially conservative feminists who oppose abortion, therapeutic cloning and the sexualisation of young women has got to be just a wee bit on the niche side, rather than representing the mainstream.

So when this lobby group claims an advertisement does not meet the standards of the community, its beef is with reality, not the Advertising Standards Board. The board quite obviously reflects community standards, but those standards are not what the group would like them to be.

“We want the ASB changed because it doesn’t reflect the views of right-wing prudes who appropriate the language of feminism to promote a conservative social and political agenda,” would at least be an honest claim.

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2 thoughts on “Feminism, but not as we know it

  1. The Nandos’ ad is a bit of amusing frivolity. Until the media stories of the last few days, it never occurred to me that even the most hardened PC-warrior or the most prudish social conservative this side of Osama bin Laden could object to it, but there you go.

    Kudos to the ASB for getting this one right.

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