Richa Mishra

This Oscar Wilde quote describes me the best: Every woman is a rebel, and usually in wild revolt against herself. My friends and colleagues say am soaked in 'oil'. But, I am still learning to count in barrels and smell the gas. This with just the right blend of music and sport.

Richa Mishra

Objectifying gender is not ‘jest’

| Updated on March 30, 2013

shave

Wish one had the powers to read an ad makers mind then one would have found answers to some pertinent questions.

Questions like: Why the peg of the jest is on gender? Is there any checks and balances? Does consumer has any say? And why do the actors/models who lend their names and face to such ads agree to do it?

Last couple of days one has been watching and reading about the Ford Figo advertisement. An advertisement where one failed to understand the humour, if any: Three scantily-clad women gagged and bound in the trunk of a Ford Figo compact car. The ad advocates Ford’s tagline for the car: “Leave your worries behind with Figo’s extra-large boot”.

In Shakespeare’s words it was “O jest unseen, inscrutable, invisible, …”

Experts have voiced their views, strong opinions have been expressed, and the company has sacked an employee, the ad makers JWT India also saw heads rolling. But, this was not the first time that advertisements that objectify gender have been made.

A recent conversation with a public relation professional comes to my mind. The professional and his firm have been involved with an ad for a shaving cream brand, which said that women prefer men who shave. Really!

Who decides what women want? The professional said it was based on a survey done. Well, then whom did they survey. Besides, correct me if am wrong, in this ad haven’t they treated men as an object.

We have ads where a seasoned actor in a very patronising tone says that henceforth in his films,the female leads name will appear before him in credits. Well thank you! A good move!

Yes, it is a matter of opinion. Yes, it is creativity. But, at what cost? Who governs these ads?

Guess its time to impose some self regulation.

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Published on March 30, 2013
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