The week in sexism

Supermarket staff in Britain could claim millions in equal pay cases: The claims have been made against the supermarket chain Asda and involve assessing whether supermarket store-front staff jobs, which are mainly held by female workers, are of equal value to  higher-paid jobs in distribution warehouse jobs, which are held mainly by male workers. Distribution warehouse jobs may well be considered higher value due to “uncomfortable conditions, additional skills and unsocial working hours involved” but this is a significant development in the private sector where equal pay job evaluations aren’t as frequent. 

Gender flip by the Bondi Hipsters: They say simplicity is the ultimate sophistication and I feel that the gender flip is a simple and elegant way of exposing sexism. Comedy duo Bondi Hipsters have done exactly this by posing like Miranda Kerr in Mario Testino shoot for British GQ. Also check out Emelie Eriksson’s post on gender flip that exposes American Apparel.

18 things female seem not to understand (because, female privilege): Mark Saunders has published examples of so-called female privilege on ThoughtCatalog. Apparently, when women protest against sexism, we are speaking from a privileged position, compared to men. This would have been an interesting read but the list ends up being a non-issue because it is so badly researched and poorly thought-out. It is still useful read, if only to exercise your response to similar challenges.

Here’s an example: “Female privilege is being able to turn on the TV and see yourself represented in a positive way. Female privilege is shows like King of Queens and Everybody Loves Raymond where women are portrayed as attractive, competent people while men are shown as ugly, lazy slobs.” 

A two-second consideration would remind you of the male-biased nature of American media (post coming up soon!). Mark Saunders seems to forget that King of Queens and Everybody Loves Raymond are male-centric shows, created by men.

Also check out Sophieology’s well-researched rebuttal and Charles Clymer’s list of mirroring male privileges at PolicyMic.

Paulina Gretzky’s sexy golf magazine shoot: Because apparently female golfers weren’t cover-worthy. A casual google will tell you that’s not true at all. I googled “female golfers” and seven of the ten search results were for lists of “beautiful”, “hot”, “sexy” golfers…What is a female golfer if not beautiful, hot or sexy.   

Veet’s “Don’t risk dudeness” advertisement: The geniuses at Veet manage to diss both sexes by suggesting hairiness in women is an undesirable trait because it turns you into a man. The advert has now been withdrawn but a snippet can be found here. Body hair is a strictly personal issue. Institutions that pass judgement and exercise gender policing perpetuate a sexist mindset. It may take us a lifetime to undo the damage. The same goes for advertisements for men’s grooming products that tell men they need to be hairless in order to have sex with women. We can’t expect corporate money-making machines such as Veet and Gillette to care about these issues until we care about them. Let the Veet fiasco be a lesson to marketing corporates. Apparently the advert was based on a survey of women who told Veet that they felt like dudes at the first hint of body hair. It’s a shame they didn’t ask the rest of us. 

Any other interesting ones I’ve missed?


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