Posts Tagged ‘Sexist Ad’

“Money Minded hona padega thoda” Is the first response by a Delhi Girl in a video titled “Millionaire or Good in Bed” on Youtube where Youtuber Love Rudrakash asks girls, what kind of boy would they choose – one who’s a millionaire or one who is good in bed? The video is a collection of response by educated, independent, in all probabilities gender equality or say Feminism taught women of India.

Most girls in the video choose a Millionaire!

One girl frankly says she would “marry a millionaire and have extra marital affair with a man good in bed.”

There’s another video on similar lines on Youtube titled “Mumbai Models on Millionaire or Good in Bed” where again more girls (models) who must be earning well themselves say they would prefer a Millionaire over a person good in bed. In this video one girl makes it pretty clear that while “there can be many ways to satisfy oneself in bed, there can just be no substitute for a millionaire!”

Only one girl in both the videos is heard saying – Well I can earn my own money – Just one!

So why am I discussing these videos?

Because few days ago, an advertisement by Ola Cabs for Ola Micro invited wrath of Feminists ultimately leading to pulling down of the advert from social media and all other channels for being “SEXIST.” For those who did not see the ad – it shows a girlfriend hopping from one shop to another asking her boyfriend to buy things for her and the boyfriend emptying his wallet as per her request with a funny background sound repeating “Baby, Baby”. The guy in the end says – Meri girlfriend chalti hai 525 rupaiye prati kilometre se par Ola Micro chalti hai 6 rupaiye prati kilometre se. There is another ad showing father-child duo with almost similar lines – but that hasn’t drawn flak from anyone.

While the social experiment videos have confession from girls themselves of their preference of a Rich Man (need I discuss the reasons?), an ad depicting that reality has been pulled down for being Sexist! Such was the furore by Feminists on Social media that while one threatened that she would commit suicide and blame Ola Cabs for the same; other claimed the ad was worse than what ISIS does to Women (yes really)! Feminists opined that the ad was promoting “Rape Culture” and was designed by patriarchal ad film makers who objectify women all the time.

So was the Ad Sexist?

Well to me not. And no matter how much someone wants me to think it is, I won’t. Because what I saw in the ad was truth and if truth is sexist, so be it! From phones to laptops to apparels to what not – girls do demand stuff from their man and if an ad shows a comparison of how much he is spending while walking with his girlfriend in a market vs riding with her in a cab – how is that Sexist? One can say there are many women who do not fall into this category today which I completely agree with and respect at the same time but why should I be forced to think that the ad is a comparison between a woman and a car and not comparison between the money that the man is spending on his girlfriend vs drive in the car? Do we not calculate our financials on basis of our expenditures on different things including the amount we need to shell out on our relations as well? Is it Sexist? If it is then how come those ads that come on occasions like Akshaya Tritiya asking  husbands/in-laws to buy special Jewellery for “her” NOT?

But then I thought I may be WRONG to think that ways (you know I speak up for men and in feminists minds I am a Victim of Patriarchy) and hence decided to take public opinion and ran a poll on Twitter on what people thought about the ad. About 2000 people responded to that Survey out of which 80% believed that the Ad was NOT SEXIST while 20% believed that it was SEXIST! When I posted the poll results another feminist opined that since most people who follow me are MRAs (2000 really?) the result is expected!

Ola cab

So I went to an educated, strong and Independent woman who I really admire to take her opinion. This is what Dr. Shobha (@DrShobha) said – “To my way of thinking, there is nothing sexist in the Advertisement. It showed a man voicing his thoughts loud. Don’t we all exchange suggestive messages and innuendos on whatsapp between husband and wife or girl and boy relationship and laugh over it and enjoy it? This outrage in my view is unnecessary, least relevant to resolving actual issues pertaining to women.”

Another very young, independent girl, Suvie Ritu said this to me about the ad – “Old Ad sends a sweet message that women love to be pampered by their man in form of buying her gifts. Sexism is when something unfair is spewed against a Gender. What is shown in the ad isn’t unfair but the sweet equation in a relationship. It depends on how we look at it – sweetly or cheaply.”

Hashtag #OlaAd had many such responses from women themselves –

Sangeetha Shetty (cafeeinehot) – I honestly did not find #OlaAd disturbing. People these days can outrage over any silly thing.

Jade (@ImGoanCrazy) writes – On one hand, I wish my clients had a sense of humour. On the other, companies with a funny bone get slammed. Sigh!

Sanyaasan (MohMaaya) says – I would also outrage against #OlaAd if I had not seen things like that happening up close and personal!

And this long one by Priyanka (GurugramDiaries) – Don’t know how much Ola Cabs ad is going to help it but I am sure the very same men who are laughing it off are going to be the best father to their daughters. Take humour the way it is….and just laugh it off. 90% of advertising on TV Channels is Sexist. We have better ways to educate the world than scratch and root sexism where it shouldn’t bother. And if you can’t – then make sure you are agitated for ads that project men as incompatible to women’s feelings and needs because everyone is not the same!!!

I am not quoting any reaction from a Man here because – well you know  😐 😐

If everything has to be looked from the prism of Gender, sexism against some gender can be found. Sexism against men is rarely objected. No one bats an eye when ads stereotype and ridicule men. Ads like that by Amul Body Primer Ultima showing a husband getting slapped in front of his child and wife laughing over it; Asian Paints declaring ‘Husbands are Useless’; Gillette calling unshaved men ‘lazy and ugly’ or Vodafone suggesting any man walking behind you can be a rapist or molester – never become a reason for protest. Even if someone objects, they are passed as light humour. Strangely, feminists who claim they are about equality for all and against any gender stereotyping pretty much enjoy and have fun over these male bashing ads!

Coming back to Ola – Well the lines towards the end in the Ad could have been worded better but then I am not sure if creative agencies are consulting a “Feminist” yet to pass the “Sexism Test” for every script they write. I suggest they do especially if the ad has got anything to do with man-woman relationship. Because in the words of famous feminist Anita Sarkeesian “Everything is Sexist, Everything is Racist, Everything is Homophobic and we have to point it out all the time to everyone” and she has many ardent followers in India now. So it’s better to be safe than sorry!

Ola has a lesson in hand and with them I feel should every brand. It doesn’t matter whether the Ad was Sexist or not – A brand has been branded as Sexist! Surprisingly, the same people who were boiling against boycott of Shahrukh or Amir Khan movies by those offended with their allegedly anti-national comments are now asking for public boycott of the Cab operator without any mercy as they are offended by the allegedly sexist ad by the brand!!! Double standards much….

In the end…. it doesn’t matter if Ola is trying to rope in as many as possible women entrepreneurs to partner with them, it doesn’t matter if Ola is putting efforts to give employment to scores of women drivers, it doesn’t matter if the company adopts most stringent measures for women’s safety, it doesn’t matter if it takes immediate action on complaint by a female passenger, it doesn’t matter how many lives of women it is impacting  – since it showed an Ad which has been declared Sexist by a selected Few – it needs to be shunned and boycotted. All the people behind the ad should be called as those spreading rape culture and women should not board their cabs because suddenly they have become unsafe! All of this because – Feminism in India 🙂 🙂

Can I please request some of these women to go and protests against those laws also that require a husband to “maintain” his wife and her “lifestyle” even if she is able bodied, educated and earning????

 Dyammmmm SO SEXIST!!!