Monday, 20 February 2012

Auckland Feminist Action takes on Tui's sexism

Media release from Auckland Feminist Action, up on Scoop earlier today.
Campaign launched against Tui beer ads
Auckland group Feminist Action has launched a campaign to get Tui to withdraw sexist beer ads featuring its all-female brewery. 
“These ads are retro-sexist”, says Feminist Action spokeswoman Leonie Morris. “They mimic tired old sexist attitudes in an ironic way. They are funny only to people who are happy to laugh at put-downs of women.” 
The Tui brewery ads feature women in skimpy clothes and sexualised poses, who are relentlessly depicted as more stupid than the dorky group of men who try to infiltrate the brewery. 
 “The ads say that men should judge women just on how they look, that women are stupid and that it’s okay to laugh at them,” says Ms Morris. 
Retro-sexist beer ads promote a form of mateship that dismisses women’s concerns and trivialises relationships with women. “Demeaning women in these ads is harmful whether the ads are funny or not. Valuing women only for how they look has a corrosive effect on women’s sense of self-worth. Men who demean women like this are more likely to be violent to them, and we have a huge problem with violence against women in New Zealand.”
“Women have been protesting against these kinds of ads for decades, and a lot of women feel silenced because they’re now so common,” she says. Young members of Feminist Action particularly wanted to campaign against them. “It’s not okay to make sexist, racist or homophobic jokes.” 
The campaign will use Facebook, an online petition and other social media to gain support and put pressure on Tui owner, DB Breweries, to drop the ads. 
Auckland Feminist Action is a new group acting on persistent inequalities between women and men in New Zealand.
This sounds like a campaign to watch, and will sadly probably attract a fair bit of backlash too.

Feel free to discuss the campaign idea here, keeping in mind, as always, that as this is a feminist blog we're probably more interested in comments that are rational, on topic, and don't draw on misogynist rubbish.  If you want to rant about how Tui's ads aren't sexist and how feminists don't have a sense of humour and wah wah wah I'm sure there are plenty of other places to go do that so best you go to There soonest.


Anonymous said...

It IS ok to make jokes...its called free speech. When you show the same concern for the many more ads that make fun of males etc I might think you were serious...until then grow up and quit the whining...its losing you any respect you might have had.

The Woman in the ads are portrayed as confident,fit,sexually secure athletic uber females anyway..its the guys who appear as dorks...yet again. Just whats your beef?

LudditeJourno said...

Anonymous at 11.59 (any further comments need a handle), telling us to "quit whining" before you ask us what the problem is doesn't seem that genuine.
Nor does your Tui billboard in itself "Advertising is harder on men."
You're right, ads about men which tell us men can't do housework, or parent well, or need to stay in mantrol or whatever are very harmful to men. Many feminists don't like them either.
I suggest if you have passion for such a campaign you get going on it, and let other people (it's called free speech) campaign on issues which irk them.
It is ok to make jokes - but it's boring and discriminatory when jokes just reinforce actual power imbalances or stereotype all people in a group as one thing.

Tasha said...

I happened to listen to the radio this morning at the gym because my Mp3 player stopped letting me load music. I thought More FM would be the least vile of breakfast shows - instead they were bashing this initiative.
While I understand why many people think the ads are "just a laugh" - their conversation decedent into "maybe we should smash some bottles of Tui on her doorstep".
(Thinking about this now I wonder if I should lodge a complaint)
So yes - there has certainly been some backlash.
It can be depressing how people see these ads as purely harmless - but it's appalling how vile some people can be towards to those who speak out against them.

stargazer said...

@ tasha, that's really terrible. i'm so glad that these women are taking this initiative. but isn't it funny (well tragic, really) that free speech applies to tui ads, but it somehow doesn't apply to anyone who wants to call them out on it. our free speech is to be quashed, by threats of violence even, but their free speech must be defended at all costs. what a warped world we live in.

SMSD said...

Tasha, I suspect that these days More FM (in Auckland at least) is one of the most vile radio shows, as Marc Ellis is co-host. If you are looking for mysogyny, Ellis is always a good place to start.

Lucy said...

About time! After that waterslide one came out I thought this can’t go on much longer. I worked for the heinous company DB (aka the boys club) for a short time and I would love nothing better than to see these misogynistic pieces of crap ‘ads’ pulled.

Anonymous said...
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Brett Dale said...

I dont drink beer,and Im not in the age group this ad is trying to appeal to, Teen boys to early 20's, not big on banning ads that are offensive though, I would rather not buy the company product.

I also feel the people who normally are loudest at screaming out "Free Speech" are the ones who believe that free speech who applies when its their point of view.

Anonymous said...
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Beerbaron said...

Free speech doesn't mean that what you use it for is correct. And sexism isn't always there despite what you think you see.This is another beat up drama queen example of why you people here are getting further and further marginalised....and you deserve to be.

Beerbaron said...

PS...I haven't looked back through the posts here but did you say anything re the Piri Weepu bottle feeding ad?

don said...

way to go,girls - alienate all men and half the straight women at the same time!

talk about shooting yourself in the foot with a shotgun at point blank range - I'd choose your battles a little more carefully if you want to be taken seriously

A Nonny Moose said...

Before any other dudebros decide to leap in on the wagon, I suggest a careful perusal of

Yes, we have other things to do, which we can SHOCKINGLY do at the same time.

Yes, you have free speech but SHOCKINGLY we have the ability to criticize that which you choose to use your free speech on.

Seriously, try a little harder with your arguments boys. We've heard your bingo points all before.

stargazer said...

i've deleted a couple of anon comments. please use a consistent handle if you want to comment here - try reading the words above the comments box.

@ don & beerbaron: nice how you think you represent the whole world and can speak for them. unfortunately for you, we know better & we really don't care what you two think. and we don't need to have written about any other topic to be able to write about this one.

Julie said...

It has been incredibly disheartening to see so much vitriol spewed at Leonie for fronting this. I expected people to argue, but to just attack attack attack, make assumptions about her (and feminists in general) that really just prove the point that there is still a lot of judging women on their appearance, well I'm disappointed. There's a whole other post in that unsightly bucket of hate, sadly.

We've argued the funny stuff, the "politically incorrect" argument, before here. I'll see if I can hunt up some links.

What's (y)our beef? Advertising that objectifies people, in particular women. I don't like that most of the images I see of women on the television reinforce out-dated sexist attitudes that me and my sisters must be suitably decorative to appear in public society. More on this in an actual post soon I hope.

In future comments perhaps those who are so enamoured of the Tui ads (and their many-headed ilk) could actually put up an argument, make a case, rather than just being pointless and abusive. Kthxbai.

Clare said...

Beerbaron, what is not sexist about this ad? The entire premise of it is sexist. Yeah, let's show some scantily clad skiny white women standing around and somehow everyone will want to drink our beer.

Well no, a) women won't want to, not if that's how you see us - as objects, b) men who have grown up enough to stop thinking with their dicks (or who were never interested in women in the first place) won't, and c) anyone with any kind of taste and discernment wrt quality beer won't either, because Tui is shit.

So actually, the only people this ad doesn't alienate are the young straight men who care more about getting tanked on the weekends than the taste of their drink. And as long as Tui keeps on being cheap, they will buy it no matter HOW it's advertised. But by alienating all other sectors of the market (women! we exist! we even drink beer! we are, in fact, half the population!) with these ads, Tui is actually shooting itself in the foot.

And you would think when someone points out, like Leonie has, that alienating half your potential market isn't such a good thing, people would actually go oh good point. But no, because apparently being accused of being sexist is actually FAR more offensive than being sexist in the first place.

And it's not as if Tui doesn't know how to do it right! The 'yeah right' ads are funny without being inherently sexist. It's a kiwi catchphrase by now. But when they do come out with this lazy, sexist and just plain boring crap and someone tells them how lazy, sexist and boring it is, it's OMG HOW VERY DARE YOU NO SENSE OF HUMOUR/PC POLICE/LESBIANS/HYSTERIA.

People aren't bashing the company, they're bashing its ads. But despite all the men rushing to its defence, accusing us of taking it all too seriously, it seems to me like they're the ones taking things a helluva lot more personally than they need to.

Clare said...

Whoa that was... longer than I thought.

Anonymous said...

Hi, my name's Steve. Sorry I have to post as anonymous, but I can't figure out the other options. I also tried "reading the words above the comments box", but all I saw was the article.
Anyway, I just wanted to say two things:
1) Since its nadir in the early '90s, sexist advertising has been crawling back nauseatingly and steadily. Facilitated and defended by "PC gone mad" mentality. I'm very glad Leonie is taking this stand.
2) It's not just advertising...


Ps what is a "dudebro"?

stargazer said...

thanx for your comment steve. unfortunately tui have cancelled their meeting with leonie. not very surprising, they never did sound like they cared about what impact their advertising was having.

as to your last question, try this:

Anonymous said...

What a pathetic nonsens stand by the feminist action brigade or hairy armpits brigade. Can't you see the ad in its real form?? The women as gorgeous and confident as they are are in control here. They work and run the brewery, they are managers, artisans and absolutely stunning. Go poke fun at something more deserving. Cheers.