This Offensive Snickers Ad Accidentally Shows Exactly How Sexism Hurts Men
"What happens when you're hungry? You're not you."
That's the message Snickers wants you to come away with after watching their new advertisement airing in Australia. And just so we're clear, in Snickers' world, "you" doesn't mean acting like your unique and special self. It's synonymous with being a sexist goober to every vagina-owning human that comes within your vicinity — because that's apparently how you sell chocolate to men in the 21st century.
Giving chocolate bars a gender identity is a strategy advertisers would probably be wise to avoid, but the male demographic beckons. So how do you sell men a product traditionally associated with women? Easy: You make sure it's really offensive to ladies, so that dudes know the product is for them!
Since the marketing directors at Snickers seem to believe the only way to sell to young men is to treat them like sophomoric losers, they've come up with an ad showcasing how eerie the world would be if men were, like, respectful to women.
I know, totally avant-garde, right? How would the world keep turning if men weren't total ignoramus to the opposite sex?
This minute-long advertisement takes you through a day in the life of a nameless construction crew that continually harasses passing women with compliments instead of catcalls. Apparently, the viewer is supposed to believe that the former is better, even though both sound pretty terrible to me.
At first, the women, who I'm assuming are paid actors, appear to be oddly disappointed. It's almost like they were expecting an invasive comment about their breasts from a total stranger and they're bummed they didn't get it.
Then a token "curvy" lady, the one who no man in his right mind would ever talk to because she's average size, is totally dumbfounded when she's told she looks good in burgundy. They didn't tell me to go eat a salad or show me which way the gym was? Shocking.
By the time the men start spouting off really crazy stuff like, how they "hate misogyny" and "believe in equality," the women think it's freakin' hilarious. Hungry men say the darndest things! Is this candid camera? Men can't possibly believe women are people! We all know they are brainless neanderthals, especially when they are working class!
Ultimately, it's hard to tell who this advertisement insults more. On the one hand, the women in the advertisement are naive props shocked that men would ever treat them with respect. On the other, the men are portrayed as presumably idiotic, disgusting and flat-out predatorial in their natural state. In the world that Snickers Australia envisions, it seems like whether you're a man or a woman, it pretty much sucks to be you.
This video is the perfect demonstration of how sexism hurts both genders — and why feminism can release both women and men from the shackles of oppression. Wouldn't the world be a beautiful place if we were all free to reveal ourselves without having to adhere to gendered notions of who we are supposed to be?
Men shouldn't be told that being kind to half the population is equivalent to being untrue to themselves. They should be taught to show love and respect for women. A man treating the opposite sex as his equal shouldn't be funny, it should be expected — for both genders' sake.
Update 03/27/2014: Apparently, this isn't Snickers' first attempt at sexist advertisement. The image below is from a magazine clip from 2012.
Image credit: Women You Should Know