Jen Thorpe
Jen Thorpe

Standard Bank, you can stick your dishwasher where the sun don’t shine

Ek kan nie. Get a dishwasher for mom, while dad sits on his post-feminist patriarchal derriere and watches his new home theatre system? Nee. Ndixolele. Jammer, maar nee.

I don’t think I need to go into what is wrong with this advert. If you don’t know by now, you will never ever ever know (apologies to Simply Red). But, what I do want to know is what we’re going to do about this?

Gail Schimmel thinks that despite the advertising codes, which are quite clearly being broken, a complaint to Advertising Standards Authority wouldn’t work. She thinks we need to start right at the source — to get to the creatives who are clearly not creative and have just been watching way too much Mad Men. Could they be the game changers? I’m not convinced.

We had problems last year with Markhams, and Durex, who simply didn’t get that sexism was not as cool as it looks in glamorised TV. There’s the possibility that they could be engaging in the “we know you know we’re being sexist and that’s why it’s so ironic” type of advertising. But here’s a thought for all of them, we know that you can’t come up with anything except old tropes which are offensive, and mean that I didn’t even remember what the original ad was for, and had to google it.

Why must we endure? Why must we endure Koo implying mom makes all the food, KFC implying that eating a bucket of their extra crispy factory farmed chicken will give mum a night off because normally she’d be doing all the cooking, Aquafresh implying that it’s normal that dads don’t help to take care of their kids oral hygiene (because it does it all in one, mum), or tampon and sanitary towel manufacturers assuming that women are afraid to do things on their period? Enough.

I always think of a certain friend of mine when I hear blatantly sexist advertising. She said “I can’t understand why they pursue it, don’t they realise that women are the ones doing most of the purchasing?” That’s where the power lies. Until the creatives stop seeing sexist advertising that works for selling things, they’ll keep regurgitating this same predictable nonsense.

So if you’re a woman with an account at Standard Bank, I encourage you to contact them on [email protected] and ask them why, seeing as they have all your money that you’ve earned from your job, they want to relegate you to gleefully cleaning the kitchen (ask them perhaps, whether they realise that you have a job, and that women are allowed that too). If they don’t reply, close your account and move to another one with cheaper rates and better ads.

And if you’re a man, I hope you will do the same. Men don’t have to sit in front of the TV all day long. They can be part of a family too. If you’re a man who is tired of being branded a lazy layabout who drinks beer all day and watches TV nonstop, email [email protected] and tell them so.

Stuff brandpower. Feminism, helping you buy better.

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  • Women are patriarchal – and this needs to end
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    • rmr

      @ Just a Bloke – you realise you are trapped in limited thinking? In my world the women work the 18 hour days.

    • Just a Bloke

      @rmr.. doing what? Do “your women” let the kids run them? Do they play the martyr? Is it deliberate poor management of time out of misplaced guilt that darling has to go to pony lessons to the north and ballet to the south?

      Tell me, what do they do for the 18 hours? Not build roads, mine minerals, design aircraft, fix electricity transmission lines, farm food. Please elaborate.

    • Jenjengerenjen

      Sadly, the debate misses a much deeper issue. The high levels of violence against women by men in SA can be attributed to a sense of entitlement by men, I.e I rape because I can. Underlying this is the belief that women are less than men. Unequal. For those of you who lament for the days when men were men and women subservient, and there are more and more lately,bear in mind that those beliefs contribute directly to women being subject to sexual and domestic violence.

    • Just a Bloke

      @jenjenwhatever. stick to the point. washing dishes is not subjugation any more than going down a mine shaft every day to support a family is. It is just what has to be done. Read Adam Smith and learn about efficiencies due to the division of labour. Rape is an aborrent crime. It has nothing to do with the division of task in the home economic system.

    • Rebecca

      @Just a Bloke: (All stats courtesy of World Bank 2011):
      Women do 66% of the world’s work, and they produce 50% of the world’s food. This is despite the fact that they are at a slight numerical disadvantage (49.6% of the world’s population). Sounds to me like they’re pretty busy, in addition to doing the vast majority of childcare. For God’s sake, read a book or something before you embarrass yourself further.

    • Just a Bloke

      @Rebecca. Are you insulting me? If you read the context of my posts, I specifically referred to the middle class contributors to this blog. World Bank stats have nothing to do with people targeted by dishwasher advertisements. To repeat, misuse of statistics is a common lie.

      The third world context is very different. Not that men have such a great time either – enduring all sorts of labour, hardship and travel to provide for families. And please don’t go on about the exceptions. Most men are caring and accountable to their responsibilities. Maybe get your eyes out of feminist books and look at the world. The car you drive, the roads you drive on, the technology you enjoy, they didn’t materialize out of Facebook, they contributed to making it possible.

    • Me Tarzan, You Jane

      Lol, stupid ad, stupid article. If you didnt like the ad and its connotations skip it! It’s a case of if the shoe fits… and clearly you are trying your best to infer the ad aims to fit YOU into that mold purely because you were born a specific gender. Who cares? Oh wait clearly you do and any ad, I’m sure, you inspect with a fine tooth comb to ensure it doesn’t offend your feminist ideals. If even 1% of families in South Africa had a set up where the husband sat on his behind while his wife did all the chores then the ad was clearly aimed at that minority. As it is, with our patriachal society being a reality, the percentage is no doubt bigger. Move on Jen there are bigger issues to deal with and write about.

    • Reasoning?

      @ Just a bloke
      It is when both have to go out and work and then she gets to work a second shift at home while he kicks back and expects to be waited on.

    • duncan

      Am I the only one who gets the feeling that every single one of Jen’s supporters is on this board making noise?

    • duncan

      Oh look! Over the week Standard Bank’s share price is up again and they’ve increased their market capitalisation over Absa. Return on Assets Managed, market share in the retail space and Return on Equity are looking gooooooooood. We’ll get a monster dividend! Keep it up ladies! This particular shareholder gives you the same salute that used to be reserved for those hotties on Motley Crue videos

    • Just a Bloke

      There is more pleasure in giving than receiving. The Dad who works long hours so their sons and daughters can be clothed, educated, housed safety and have that dream wedding. The Mum who thinks of everyones’ needs and gains a spiritual fulfillment in knowing that the domestic ship is sailing smoothly and confidences are being built.

      Why knock women who like to do things for their families? Why resent Dad some off-time in front of the TV or whatever takes his fancy? What about advertisements showing the man mowing the lawn/fixing the car/fixing the roof, must we make them politically correct too?

      The ideal ad: a darker hued male with a lighter hued female (who has a girlfriend on the side – with a limp); all loading the dishwasher together. Quick interruption as Dad quick plats the (ugly) sons hair and makes sure his ballet outfit is presentable. A klunking noise, never mind as daughter, despite her light frame, lifts up the dishwasher with one hand while tightening the loose bolt with the other. At the end they all dance together, the woman leading.

    • Garg Unzola

      That’s not sexism. Sexism is when the dishwasher is the woman.

    • rmr

      @justabloke you poor soul. I was not thinking of raising children when I said that the women in my world work 18 hour days. I was thinking of my female friends who are lawyers, accountants, doctors, engineers, ceo’s, journalists and then also look after their children.

    • Just a Bloke

      @rmr. ah your friends have well paying careers and (if happy) good for them and if not, made greedy bad decisions to get more money. Poor souls. All the professional women I know with children work part-time. Professionals do have a choice to forego luxury for the family soul … or not. Divorced are they? Workaholics with that martyred harrassed, hurried air about them are misguided. – maybe they need to take time out and read a book. Time saving tips to pass on:
      1) The house decoration is fine as it is – no need to buy more things
      2) Drink less coffee
      3) Less time on Facebook gives you more time with real people
      4) Less time talking about people gives you more time talking to people
      5) Use a slow cooker
      6) Get organised and shop online
      7) Kids don’t have to do every activity
      8) Kids can make their own lunch/beds, put away clothes
      9) A smile and relaxed countenance is better than makeup
      10) Homes are appreciated for atmosphere, not colour coding
      11) It really doesn’t matter what what other people think,

    • Oldfox

      @Just a Bloke
      Nothing wrong with a wife who has a full time career spoiling her husband now and again.
      Of guys I knew well, around my age, only one had a wife who never worked. Most wives of my peers work full time, in jobs or careers. The husband should share some of the housework (few people have domestic workers who work 7 days a week) and some of the childrearing functions.

    • Oldfox

      It is a fallacious belief that it is only in recent decades that women have contributed to the family income. Proverbs 31 verses 10 to 31 of the Old Testament describes a very industrious and business minded wife and mother. OK, not an average family, as they had several servants.

    • Oldfox

      What is “normal” in terms of gender relations, is of course just conditioning and learned behavior. If a society or tribe is patriarchal, it’s NOT because that is God ordained, as many men like to believe. Many thousands of years ago, most societies were matriarchal.

      Two surviving matriarchal societies – maybe the only two – are the Mosuo in Yunnan and Sichuan provinces in China and the Zapotec Indian women of Juchitan, Mexico.
      The Zapotec women believe men are only good for making babies (or sex). Men are not allowed to trade, or shop for the household. Westerners would consider the behavior of Zatopec women quite scandalous. Here is an article on these Zatopec “red hot mamas”

    • Oldfox

      The Richer Sex: How the New Majority of Female Breadwinners Is Transforming Sex, Love and Family

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