Monday, 2 January 2012

libra doesn't get it

i'm sure you've seen the new libra ad? if not, try here where the comments are pointing out just exactly how bad it is. the first time i saw it, i wasn't really paying attention, so didn't see the end & didn't even know what it was advertising. but the second time, when i did pay attention, my initial reaction was along the lines of "stupid, gross, just so totally wrong wrong wrong".

i guess most of that reaction was informed by some of the eye-opening that has happened for me here over the last year. as is often the case, others have already made the salient points so i will point you to this piece at voxy which sums it up:

This ad in a grand feat of mulit-tasking manages to insult cisgender women by portraying them as competitive, bitchy and non-inclusive, as well as transgender women both by depicting a highly stereotypical drag queen and because, as my Twitter friend pointed out “I guess if you don’t bleed, you’re not a girl.”
By insinuating that if you use tampons you are somehow more of a female Libra is a perpetuating an outdated image of women. In mainstream media (or any media) this is not okay, especially as this ad seems deliberately designed to get a few cheap “laughs.”

and there is also this one, with some useful contact info at the bottom (though some of that is aussie-based). and this post from scar who shares how she feels about the matter (and i appreciate the point at the bottom, so am trying to be not all bleeding heart about this). if you're a twitter user, the hashtag is #transphobictampons, their facebook page is here and there's a petition here.Link

30 comments:

Scott Chris said...

Yes, I guess it is a crass ad as many are, but presumably there are plenty of women out there to whom this ad will appeal.

And advertising is essentially amoral, so it is only really a bad ad if it fails to boost sales of the product. Taking that point of view I suspect it is a good ad, and will be even more successful if attention is drawn to it through controversy, which may be it's primary aim. I'd be inclined to ignore it for that very reason.

stargazer said...

"presumably there are plenty of women out there to whom this ad will appeal."

[citation needed]

also, ignoring bigotry doesn't diminish it or make it go away. raising awareness and campaigning against it might not either, but it certainly isn't worse than doing nothing.

and yes, we already know and i've pointed out in many posts on this blog that the current tactic of some advertising agencies is to make an ad offensive enough so that it will trigger complaints, thereby tripling the publicity. hardly a new concept SC. if you ignore, they just keeping pushing the boundaries further until they get one, and in the meantime you're expecting us to just shut up and put up with whatever crap they want to spew out? easy for you to say when it isn't targetted at you.

there are plenty of consumer campaigns that have resulted in change. i hope this will be another one. if you don't want to join in, then at least stop telling us what "plenty of women" think and what we should do.

Anonymous said...

"presumably there are plenty of women out there to whom this ad will appeal."

that comment reminds me of paul henry saying "i'm just saying what people are really thinking".

just because people are transphobic bigots, doesn't mean there should be products catering to/encouraging their transphobia.

L.L.

Scar said...

"but presumably there are plenty of women out there to whom this ad will appeal."

I think you've grossly misjudged women as a whole. I have seen practically zero support for the ad from women.

I think Libra/SCA have grossly misjudged here; Hell Pizza's controversial stuff hinges on irreverent 'bloke culture' to be successful, but women (the target market of Libra) are generally far more morally upstanding than 'blokes'.

And just as an aside, the footnote on my blog post wasn't directed at you, Stargazer, you're addressed your past problematic behaviour and made every effort to be a better ally :-)
The person(s) whom it is directed at are well aware of who they are.

Mike said...
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anthea said...

Moderation note: have removed a comment for blatant transphobia. Future comments along those lines will fare the same.

I.M Fletcher said...
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anthea said...

Okay, because people don't seem to get it: arguing that trans women are not really women is not acceptable (nor is questioning the identity of cis women who do not menstruate and/or use tampons for whatever reason). Preceding comments with "I don't mean to be offensive but" or similar does not change that. Thanks

stargazer said...

thanx anthea for cleaning up and just want to support you in what you've said.

Anonymous said...
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Scar said...

Happy to engage the transphobic trolls in my space and take them off your hands :-)

Anonymous said...
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Hazel Parson said...

Scott Chris: if you do not think that companies regularly make moral statements in advertising about the products they are selling and the people who buy them, you have not been paying enough attention.

It is objectionable to claim that women who do not regularly bleed from the crotch are not women.

It is objectionable to present women as competitive, nasty, and intolerant in order to sell tampons (women may well be competative, nasty, or intolerant: we're people!).

It is objectionable to show boob shots to sell tampons.

Most of all, it is objectionable for anyone to claim that a company is not making any sort of moral statement about the nature of gender or of typical female behaviour when they say and do these things in their advertising campaign.

I really wish I hadn't seen this ad.

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TheRealist said...
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LudditeJourno said...

Wow just logging on to find you'd written this stargazer, nice one :-) and it strikes me how many comments have needed to be removed because they were offensive. So big learning to do around transphobia methinks - might be time for the Human Rights Act to reflect that, what do we think?

Scott Chris said...

anthea says:- "Moderation note: have removed a comment for blatant transphobia."

Glad to see White Knighting isn't gender specific. Oops, I nearly typed White Knitting by mistake ;)

Scott Chris said...

Hazel Parson says:- "if you do not think that companies regularly make moral statements in advertising about the products they are selling and the people who buy them, you have not been paying enough attention."

I would suggest they are most are selling morality as added value which is different from being moral. Why publicize it otherwise? The true altruist seeks no reward.

But I take your point. Not all companies are amoral. I was being too cynical.

Scar said...

The number of comments that needed to be deleted is...quite disheartening.
The fact that they are being deleted though is extremely positive :-)

I.M Fletcher said...

I see that the drag queen, Sandee Crack (probably not his real name?) who appears in the ad is offended - that it has been pulled.

The Melbourne drag queen who stars in the ad, Sandee Crack, has defended his involvement in the ad.

In a blog post yesterday he said he identified as a gay man who dressed in drag as a performer, and had never considered himself transgendered.

He slammed the backlash against the ad as “dragphobia”.

“Unfortunately, a small portion of the trans community have chosen to view the ad as a personal attack on their fight to be viewed as equal women within society. This is a fight I also feel strongly about and I hope to help educate the wider community on.

“However, I feel hurt that representing myself as a drag queen on television and playing out a common place scenario in my life has lead to a clear ‘dragphobia’ among some transgendered individuals, who wish to pull the plug on something that reflects true honesty about the life of a drag queen.” …

He said he was shown the ad before its release and was “thrilled with it”.

“I believe strongly that by putting a drag queen into the mainstream media, we are one step closer to acceptance and this is something I am very proud to be part of.”


So, that says it all really. People that hate the ad are guilty of 'dragphobia' (try that one on).

Scar said...

...feel hurt that representing myself as a drag queen on television and playing out a common place scenario in my life...

His use of women's bathrooms is a 'common place scenario'?
Why does he use the women's bathrooms if he identifies as male?

...something that reflects true honesty about the life of a drag queen.

Wouldn't a more realistic advert show him going into the male bathroom and being harassed for being in drag?
Being shown a tampon when you don't identify as female doesn't really come across as a terrible hardship.
I mean, if he's not offended by having his masculine identity being pointed out, then why would he throw a wobbly at the end of the commercial and walk out?
Does he in fact identify as female? In which case, that would make Sandee transgender.

There's some pretty heavy dissembling going on here, methinks.
Perhaps even some internalised transphobia.

Annanonymous said...

I think that people who need to dehumanise others for a laugh are pitiful.

stargazer said...

shelley bridgeman has written a post that gets it. warning to avoid the comments though.

WAKE UP said...

Tansphobia, Islamophobia...boy, there can't be many optional "phobias" left to choose from...

Just as well they don't actually exist.

stargazer said...

wake up: are you a muslim or a trans* person? if not, how do you know they don't exist. how about taking on one of those identities for a couple of weeks, then letting us know how people respond to you.

perhaps you think it's really clever dismissing other people's lived experiences. unfortunately, it doesn't reflect well on you at all.

Scar said...

I'm curious, Wake Up, as to what you call beating someone to death for being transgender?
Other than 'murder' of course.

Because it's something that happens with alarming frequency; especially in countries like Brazil.

goodgravey said...

Thank you stargazer. I was going to blog on this, but felt it better to leave it to others who were far better placed than me to do so.

I did, however, post on Libra's so-called apology.

Sadly, there were a lot of women who were supporting Libra. Both my wife and I took on the trolls on both the 3News and the Libra Facebook pages. Then of course there were the "I am a trans* person and am OK with it, so all others are too" kinda stuff.

I was also really pissed off at the MSM reports that put outrageously transphobic in quotemarks, but not "apology".

One of the things that disturbs me about incidents like this is that the comments that come out of the initial offense, in the articles, etc, just so justify the outrage in the first place, and are often far worse (in my privileged mind) than the initial offensive incident.

And oh wow, the bingo card responses. Mind spins.

Anonymous said...
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