I had decided to get lunch at a new restaurant in town. I believe in supporting local business. Then I saw this cute little marketing card on the counter. And it made me feel not so good about supporting this business.
How many ways is this offensive?
It tells me the place isn’t interested in my business.
It assumes that the male is the default person, females are the “other” and don’t really count.
It reminds me of continued sexism in the world, which I had forgotten for just a moment as I contemplated a nice hot lunch, and made me feel bad.
It makes everyday, casual sexism acceptable.
It sends the message to boys and young men that sexist comments are ok.
It tells boys and young men that an important thing about you is whether you have a hot girlfriend.
Why would a business put this sexist ad in their window?
I pointed it out to the business owner. He nodded in agreement and what he said was that the vendor provides marketing materials which he just puts up, implying that he hadn’t read them or thought about the messages. (There were a bunch of these cards in the restaurant, with other messages.) He took the card and ripped it in half and threw it away.
So that’s one reason why we see sexist marketing: because regular, perfectly nice people don’t give it a second thought. And that’s why I say, “See something. Say something.” Raise awareness. Don’t just accept the messages that you see.