This is gross on way too many levels.
The German supermarket chain Esko is selling gendered sausages. WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN.
Apparently the men’s sausages are made to be "hearty” and “strongly-spiced," while the lady meat is "lean," with “high-quality vegetables” and a “delicate sheep casing.” They’re versions of the same company’s product, yet they have different ingredients, different prices, and very different packaging.
The man-marketed ones or "Manner Bratwurst" are labelled with a sexified woman posing in front of flames, because of course. The labels on the "Frauen Bratwurst" feature a topless man, staring down at some sausage below, framed by the strange design choice of a cloudy sky background.
Esko customer Suzanne Enz called bullshit on this #everydaysexism and wrote a letter to the chain’s management about their awful marketing.
She said the products implied that "men eat a lot and heartily, while women mainly want to be thin… Women are there to please, while men are allowed to enjoy."
She goes on: "Of course you can react to it as if it's just a joke, and presumably most sausage-buyers will do that. But your choice of name and accompanying advertising is still the expression and promotion of a - in the best case - thoughtless normative sexism, which gives each gender a 'right' role to play, with a built-in hierarchy."
Esko officials responded without addressing the gender problem in their product, thanking Suzanne for her opinion and only explaining why the sausages are different prices (the women's are more expensive per 100 grams, because of that aforementioned delicateness). Suzanne was also told that her complaint was passed on to the next level of review.
German feminist blogger Antje Schrupp says this food gendering is actually a widespread problem, with gendered mustard also sold on German shelves. We've seen our share of weird sexist advertising stateside, but this is extra revolting. Kudos to Suzanne and Antje for telling Esko to stuff it.
Thanks to The Local.
Photos via The Local and Antje Schrupp.