These campaigns for girls are equally campaigns against boys. Already there are deeply entrenched biases against boys across the board. At universities, for example, girl graduates outnumber boy graduates by almost 2 to 1. The average income of women under 30 is already higher than that of men under 30. The myriad of pro-girl campaigns – grants, courses, quotas, affirmative action, and propaganda to diminish the human male and the competitiveness of boys – continues unabated.
Ignorance or Cynicism?
The foregoing advertisement is a regurgitation of those same old wearisome feminist bugbears that have plagued us for so long:
- The failure to differentiate between equality of opportunity and equality of outcome.
- The failure to understand that the quality and quantity of output will affect reward, promotion, and curriculum vitae.
In attributing the advertisement to ignorance, I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt. It may be more accurately attributable to cynicism. It’s hard to believe the ANZ Bank lacks the resources to ascertain the facts.
The ANZ “Face-Slap” Advertisement:
For an insight into the mentality behind these “ignorant” efforts to persuade the public, we can look at an earlier advertisement of the ANZ Bank and a complaint lodged with the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) 13 July 2010.
The advertisement presented two versions of an encounter between a male and two female co-workers at an office water cooler. In one version, the three co-workers were convivial with each other. In the other version, the two women slap the man’s face.
Initiating his complaint against the face-slap advertisement, the Complainant, C. MacDonald, said:
The “In an ideal world” ad campaign, which is fine until the hapless male main character apparently offends a couple of female co–workers at the water cooler with, perhaps, and off-colour joke. They respond by both slapping him in the face.
Whilst this may be the accepted response in the old world to female offence-taking, I can only imagine the howls of outrage nowadays if a TV ad depicted a couple of men slapping a woman in the face because she happened to say something that they didn’t like.
Let’s be fair here: what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, and it is NOT OK to depict females assaulting a male as OK, when the vice-versa would be roundly condemned as unacceptable.
So, there are 2 aspects to the complaint: the violence, and the double standards.
The ANZ’s Arguments in Defence of the Advertisement:
[Emphasis is mine]
This campaign is built on a creative platform involving two truths. The first is that we’d all like to live in a perfect world. The second is that we don’t. The world is far from perfect, and always will be. ANZ lives in the same, very real world that everyone else live in, and ANZ doesn’t pretend it’s anything other than imperfect. ANZ is striving to make banking life simpler, more accessible and more rewarding to improve it.
The TV commercial was created by DDB around the idea that by illustrating visually two extreme versions of everyday situations, ANZ can demonstrate understanding of everyday life and because it does, it is in turn offering simpler ways to bank.
After the face-slapping:
The subtext is that the man obviously told an inappropriate joke that, in his world, would elicit positive response from the women but in the ‘real’ world was offensive. The best way to show the different viewpoints was to exaggerate the women’s response….
This advertisement was created with enormous importance placed on the requirement for social responsibility. The nature of the creative thought, and possible interpretation by the public, was given significant consideration by DDB New Zealand and ANZ during the creative process.
The intentional and distinctive creative direction of this entire commercial is based on a clearly communicated ‘slapstick’ comedic treatment.
Again in the context of this commercial, it was used for cause and effect in a humorous way with no intentional violent positioning. The over-emphasis of the reactions of people throughout the commercial supports the over dramatised nature of the slapping scene.
Consumer research conducted by DDB did not result in any comments around this scene illustrating or condoning violence. Likewise, DDB New Zealand agrees with the consumer research findings and had created the scene in a way that did not illustrate unacceptable violent behaviour.
The slapping of a man by a women is a well known, tried and true comedy action that has been used in film and television since the 1950’s to demonstrate a situation where the woman is annoyed or irritated by the man, usually over an off-colour joke or comment. As the lead character in the commercial is a man, the context of the use of this stereotype makes sense.
Can you believe this? You can’t make this stuff up.
A humorous and surreal look at real life situations is at the heart of the creative direction for this commercial. DDB took into account the generally prevailing community standards by actively initiating consumer research in advance of the commercial going on television, to ensure that the comedic treatments used did not cause offence, contempt, abuse or ridicule in any way.
The research results were strongly positive and showed that the style and tone of the humour used within the commercial was appropriate.
The ASA Complaints Board simply rubber-stamped the ANZ’s arguments.
The ASA says the violence is okay because depiction of female violence against males is well-established in our culture, and a joke, and therefore acceptable. For no better reasons than these, the ASA side-steps the double standards issue here. They hide behind a bigoted convention against men to completely ignore the underlying rights and wrongs of the matter.
Would the ASA have condoned two men slapping a woman? Or imagine if someone had complained against an advertisement favorably depicting rape. Feminists insist that ours is a rape culture. Would the ASA dismiss the complaint on the grounds that rape is well-established in our culture and therefore acceptable – a joke, even?
Double Standards to Justify a Double Standard:
Note this: their excuse for the female violence against males is the same as their reason for attacking boys. A well-established and widespread acceptance of lower pay for girls is bad, yet female-on-male violence is okay because it has a well-established and widespread acceptance. They use the same rule against males and for females, as if we’re talking about different species here, not different genders of the same species. It’s like justification of slaughter for meat. Slaughter of a different species is acceptable, but slaughter of the same species is not. It’s tantamount to saying the sexes are so vastly different, the rules that apply to one can’t possibly apply to the other. This is the supremacizing of one sex and the dehumanizing of the other. Humanity vs the beasts. Hit the beast if we don’t like the way it moos. Why not? Everybody else does. It’s the norm, people!
They use double standards to judge double standards. Once we open our eyes, their hypocrisy stares us in the face.
The Burden of Western Males:
The foregoing all goes to show what men are up against. The bigotry is institutionalised by outfits such as the ASA. That a major corporation with the support of a quango would outlay large sums of money to promote the de-humanising of the male, confirms that the bigotry is entrenched and widespread. It is so unabashed and sure of itself, it literally markets misandry.
There has never been a better time for the female consumer/borrower. A drop in men’s demand for money, inter alia, has led to the lowest interest rates for generations. Men can no longer afford to borrow for betterment. The reason for this is no one thing, it’s everything:
- Reduction of their employment opportunities due to Affirmative action.
- The transfer of assets from men to women during relationships and divorce.
- Having to support, through taxes, the children of State-dependent mothers as well as their own.
- Being held back by the overwhelmingly unproductive structures of feminsim in general.
- A malaise among men, induced by a wearying barrage of anti-male negativity, such as the ANZ Bank’s advertisements.
The ANZ has the wherewithal to know all this, and this is where cynicism raises its ugly head. To pander to a female market is one thing, but to promote one sex at the expense of the other is not capitalism. It’s distortion of the market not to increase the market but to shamelessly kow-tow to ideology and feminism.
An enlightened society would have nothing but contempt for such bigotry, and those who perpetuate it.
Finally, some of my wording might seem strong, but it comes nowhere near the invective that would follow any excuse for rape on the grounds that we live in a rape culture. My God, if any major corporation suggested such a thing, corporate heads would roll. Careers would be wrecked. Lives would be ruined. Politicians would scramble not to be left behind on the PC bus. The media would scream. The war against boys and men would escalate all over the feminist world.