The Sexist And Forgiving ‘Men Will Be Men’ Trope In Advertising Needs To Be Done Away With


I’ve stopped watching TV. Reasons include a slew of pan masala advertising disasters that vex me to the point I have a migraine. And then we have the thinly veiled idiocracy of the boys will always be boys type of an ad script that’ll send you cringing into another dimension. #NotAllMen but men will be men? Make it make sense. Given the astronomical impact such ads have on the psycho-social behaviour of the masses, maybe it’s better to hide your remotes if you have children in the house.

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And when there are deodorant advertisements airing in this day and age that trivialise topics like rape and worse, defend that utter bullshit in the name of satire, you know it’s time to pack your bags and move to Mars. Something’s genuinely up with their writers. Their bizarre obsession with casting women as props is archaism at its finest. Use XYZ deo and have women ramming into your chest at 1500 kmph like a magnet. Angels might descend too, if your musk is tantalising enough, who knows? Creativity 0. Imbecility 10. Need to know what psychotropic substances they’re on.


Using sex appeal to peddle your product is the oldest trick in the book. However, when done tastelessly and in a manner that has everyone wondering who approved it, it can transform into something chauvinistic in a matter of seconds. There’s sexism and then there are overt references to rape and it’s no longer stupid, it’s outrageous and of course the feminists come calling. They just want their claim to fame. Damn feminists, can’t even pass on a sexist WhatsApp jokes masked as *non veg* content in my group. To hell with wokeness. Now let me lounge on my couch while my wife slaves doing unpaid domestic labour. As she should. And I’ll go back to watching trash television airing the same old ads and giggle like a child.


Next up we have a cinematic masterpiece where you see two men in an elevator with only their stomachs visible in the frame. In the middle you have a jeune mademoiselle (Disha Patani fyi) talking to someone on the phone. As she reaches her destination and steps out, the stomachs in the frame relax, revealing the men’s flabby tummies at full display. I have so many questions. Were those men preparing for the Olympic swimming competitions? You know, the only place where such dedicated breath control is a requisite.

As a woman, I don’t know what to feel. All I can infer is that whenever I’m in a public place, a bunch of creeps will be going out of their way and doing something nonsensical to seem…attractive? I don’t know? Men, if you’re reading this, please note that that’s not how things work. All I want to do is throw up after seeing this garbage promoted as something that’s cool.


Let’s drag another crowning achievement of the ad industry, shall we? A man is hungry. And in no time, his demeanour transforms into what we call a hangry person. But during that transition, he seemed to also have swapped his gender and in no time, we see a ‘heroine’ grace our screens in place of the aforementioned man. Because nagging characteristics are a trait native to uterus owners only, right? And after soothing that hunger with a micro-mini snack (which is the size of my finger btw) the heroine is back to the original version of being a good boy who does no harm. Sweet little boy just wanted his snacks. Aww.


I can’t not mention a case of blatant reverse sexism in a recent car reselling ad that lent a new perspective to this whole ruckus. 2 women talking about how they wished they could just return their husbands like the car if they weren’t satisfied enough. I found it equally repulsive (if not more) to the men will be men set of ads. There are plenty of people who didn’t and laughed it off seeing the rare occurrence of women being at the other end this particular time. But honestly, can we just overall move on from sexist stereotypes and rely on organic creativity. Like please hire a new team, it’s not that hard.

We’ve also written about the hype of Turkish shows in India. Read here.

- Digital Fashion Writer


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