Sunday, August 28, 2011


In Belfast, we got a bag of potato crisps with our lunch packs - along with salad or sandwich, a chocolate bar, a bottle of water, and fruit or yoghurt - everyday, but in one of the university residence kitchens I found a bag of crisps from McCoy's, who apparently think that crisps need to be gendered:

The text on the back says:
As thick as you like them and built with ridges deep enough to carry the maximum load of our unique full-on flavours!
Remember, these are crisps. How similar are they to male sexual prowess? I say, not at all. It also puzzles me to whom these crisps are supposed to attract. Men - so they can be as manly as these crisps? Women - so they can be satisfied by these crisps? It's baffling.

Another campaign going around on Facebook for breast cancer awareness is a game that gets people to post in their status their shoe size followed by the word "inches", then the number of minutes they take to do their hair, and then a sad face. (There's a copy of the inbox message on this blog). Bizarre? But this is what you get:
9 inches, 10 minutes ):
5 inches, 15 minutes ):
Apparently this is to create a mixture of anger and curiosity in men upon reading about how their women are unsatisfied, and get them to ask questions. Upon which, one presumably explains the purpose of the game - to raise awareness for breast cancer. However, men are completely left out of the campaign, and they can only find out by trying to break into an inside joke, if they even would ask The above game also specifically focuses on men's sexual prowess (or lack thereof) which again, have nothing to do with breast cancer.

This is the latest in a series of Facebook status games (started anonymously) to raise awareness - all involving risqué undertones. Previously, there was a game to post "I like it on the..." followed by the location where a woman places her handbag or purse. There was also another game to post "I like..." followed by one's bra colour as a status.

The main aim is to get both women and men curious about such a strange status, which allows one the opportunity to explain about breast cancer. But some people just play along because perhaps suggesting one's sexual activity and habits is supposed to be empowering. However, these games construct women as being frivolous, seductive, and hostile to men - so how are men supposed to help the women in their lives prevent and deal with breast cancer?

These sexual innuendos attract attention because sex sells. Breast cancer awareness has unfortunately bought into these frivolous constructions of women, along with associating irrelevant concepts which may not be so effective in informing women and men about the statistics, methods of prevention and cure of breast cancer. Associating irrelevant concepts also has the unfortunate consequence of reducing the respectability and credibility of one's product or campaign.


orange streaks said...

The description of the crisps remind me of condom adverts! Anyway I must say, I like the fact that you blog when you have something significant to say / relate, especially on gender-related stuff. A far cry from blogs that are so self-centric (which mine was guilty of, until adult working life took over and I got too busy to update) or plain frivolous. Yet at the same time you manage to bring your point across in a simple, not too intimidatingly-intellectual way (keeping in mind how certain sections of our community are prone to ape the outward modernity of the West and its language, but seem to prefer staying away from the serious, intellectual spirit and discussions it can generate.)

Sya said...

I know right, so suggestive for what?

I agree with you - debate is important and I firmly believe it can be done simply and respectfully, with evidence.

Here's a great article on why we need to talk and not take words from 'authority' as automatically correct. Who's to say you cannot have your own interpretation of what you read?

Thanks for the kind words, all good is from God alone :D


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