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Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Casual Misandry of Advertising

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

***

I was initially pleased and amused to learn about the Peranakan Museum's offer of free admission for men (from 26th May to 3rd July), with women who accompany them getting a 50% discount - a reversal of the usual Ladies' Night promotions.

Notwithstanding the promotion's aim - which was to promote an exhibition on the evolution of the sarong kebaya over four centuries (in other words, this exhibition will be of greater interest to women - a point explicitly conceded since it is to "encourage women to bring along their male [associates]"), this was a rare (if essentially negligible) instance where men are given an explicit privilege over women.

The promotion is titled "Women Don't Get It!", a spin on the common female refrain of "Men don't get it" (which is referenced in UOB Lady's Card's slogan of "The Men Don't Get It.")

However even here a contradiction suggests itself - if Women's don't get "It", how come they get a 50% discount on admission? This would suggest that while women may not partake of the full privileges of "It", they are not altogether left out in the cold.

The real problem comes when one reads the text of the promotion:


"Ladies! Drag your man to the Peranakan Museum. Time to dump him if he can't be bothered to take you to your favourite Kebaya exhibition, especially when it's free for him"

(let us ignore for the sake of charity how many women's 50% discounted admission will be paid for by - you guessed it - the guys bringing them there)

Despite the promotion's claim to be "tongue-in-cheek", just imagine the outcry if similar language were used about women.

"Guys! Drag your woman to the football game. Time to dump her if she can't be bothered to take you to your favourite game, especially when it's free for her"

For one, AWARE would be on their tails, given that they shriek and bitch over much less significant matters (even tongue-in-cheek ones, no less).

It would be no surprise if they once again remained silent on this matter, as on other more important ones, given their revealed ideology that only men can do wrong. Again, we can profit by asking the sociological question: "Who Benefits?"

To be clear, I am not against humour of this sort. Why, then, is this post titled "The Casual Misandry of Advertising"? This is because what I'm against is the double standards of Female Privilege - where in this case it's acceptable to use men as the targets of gentle mockery, but not women; if everyone were subject to the same standards, it would be non-discriminatory.

To look at it another way - there is no discrimination if the police accosting and fining people who jaywalk. There is a problem of discrimination if the police accost and find only people of a certain race who jaywalk.

Meanwhile, anyone who starts talking about how misandry and/or double standards are acceptable because of 'Male Privilege' gets rocks in their mouth:

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