When Can These Stereotypes Be Eliminated From the Stage?
14 June 2019
Men unable to change diapers; women cleaning while men kick their feet up on the couch; women having trouble with parking: Scenes like these, which play on gender stereotypes, are now banned in British advertisements. Britain’s advertising regulator announced the changes in December, but companies were given a six-month adjustment period before they took effect.
The U.K.’s Advertising Standards Authority said in a statement that it will also ban ads that connect physical features with success in the romantic or social spheres; assign stereotypical personality traits to boys and girls, such as bravery for boys and tenderness for girls; suggest that new mothers should prioritize their looks or home cleanliness over their emotional health; and mock men for being bad at stereotypically “feminine” tasks, such as vacuuming, washing clothes or parenting.
The guidelines were developed after a report from the regulator found that gender-stereotypical imagery and rhetoric “can lead to unequal gender outcomes in public and private aspects of people’s lives.” The report came on the heels of a few British ads that perpetuated negative assumptions about women, including one for Protein World, a weight-loss drink, which paired a bikini-clad model with the question: “Are you beach body ready?” The posters inspired a Change.org petition with more than 70,000 signatures demanding the removal of the ads.
Read the full article in The New York Times.