In case you didn’t know, we are currently in the middle of International Anti-Street Harassment Week. (Hooray!) However, there’s nothing more sobering than seeing an incredibly misogynistic catcalling advertisement promoting…chocolate candy? Snickers decided it was a good idea to hire actors to play construction workers to yell “loud empowering statements” at women on the street. But, watch the women’s reactions. Very few of them seem empowered by this loud disruption.
Besides the fact that the entire premise is completely contrived and corny, the ending implies that when men are hungry they’re women’s allies and the solution to that is eating a Snickers so they can get back to being their dudebro selves. Great. Snickers is telling us that men are sexist pigs by default.
And sure, hollering gender equality slurs at me is better than any of the other sexist stuff, but do men have to be hollering ANYTHING at me? I’d rather be left alone entirely. In this ad,male privilege is yelling at women and mentally invading their personal space. Even though the messages are nice ones, these construction workers are reminding us that they are in a position of power by disrupting these women’s days by reminding them that sexism exists. The paid actors were the men who had scripts and knew exactly what was happening as opposed to the unsuspecting women who were catcalled and then asked to sign a waiver for Snickers to use the footage. All this to sell chocolate; I much preferred the Betty White spot.
What do you think? Is advertising taking a step forward and two steps back?