Tell Snickers to Remove Its Street Harassment Ad
It’s International Anti-Street Harassment Week — but unfortunately, not all companies have gotten the memo that street harassment isn’t okay.
The post below originally appeared on Stop Street Harassment.
More than 6,000 people have signed a Care2 petition demanding Snickers’ latest Australian ad be removed.
Have you seen the commercial? It opens by asking, “What happens when builders aren’t themselves?” It then shows a group of construction workers shouting empowering things to unsuspecting women on the street:
“I’d like to show you the respect you deserve!”
“A woman’s place is where she chooses!”
“You know what I’d like to see? A society in which the objectification of women makes way for gender-neutral interactions, free from assumptions and expectations. You go, girl!”
Sure, women used to a lifetime of “Hey baby,” “Nice legs,” “Smile for me,” “Show me your tits,” and any other number of degrading comments often thrown our way in public spaces would certainly find these pro-feminist comments refreshing. One woman in the ad even puts her hand on her heart and mouths “thank you” to the men.
Refreshing, that is, until the ad ends and the rug is pulled out from under the viewer. “You’re not you when you’re hungry,” reads the text.
Taken as a whole, the Snickers ad is sending a message that pro-feminist men are unnatural — men are only feminist when they’re hungry and therefore “not themselves.” When they have junk food on hand, they go right back to being the sexist street harassers they normally are.
This ad isn’t just insulting to women fighting street harassment — it’s insulting to men, particularly construction workers, who are often stereotyped as being street harassers. This isn’t true, obviously — men from all walks of life street harass, and it’s unfair to peg this behavior on just one group, especially blue-collar workers (classist much?) It’s also insulting to project the idea that any man’s default position is anti-feminist.
One thing’s for sure: we won’t end street harassment by keeping men hungry. You can sign Stop Street Harassment and Care2’s petition asking Snickers to pull the ad from the airwaves here.
Julie Mastrine is an activist, feminist, and writer. She is the Activism Marketing and Social Media Manager at Care2, and is a social media volunteer for Stop Street Harassment. Follow Julie on Twitter and check out her e-book, Make Your Own Sandwich: A 20-Something’s Musings on Living Under (And Smashing) The Patriarchy.