'Harmful' gender stereotypes in adverts banned in the UK

villicodelirant

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https://www.bbc.com/news/amp/business-48628678

A ban on adverts featuring "harmful gender stereotypes" or those which are likely to cause "serious or widespread offence" has come into force.

The ban covers scenarios such as a man with his feet up while a woman cleans, or a woman failing to park a car.

[...]
Other situations likely to fall foul of the new rule include:

  • Adverts which show a man or a woman failing at a task because of their gender, like a man failing to change a nappy or a woman failing to park
  • Adverts aimed at new mothers which suggest that looking good or keeping a home tidy is more important than emotional wellbeing
  • Adverts which belittle a man for carrying out stereotypically female roles
I have a lot of questions. A lot.
 

villicodelirant

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I'm all for breaking down gender/sex stereotypes...
May I ask why?
Generally, stereotypes are a tool used in narrative and media - which include but are not limited to advertising.

I don't know, Gargamel has unkempt hair to signify something about his character.
It's quickly conveyed , even to someone who has never heard of the Smurfs, that he's the villain, the smurf's arch-enemy, a sociopath.
Would it be more interesting and woke if Gargamel looked like the fairy godmother?
Probably, but the young (and less young) viewers would be more confused.

Well, okay, you can have the orcish-looking princess (hi Shrek!).
Can have the plot twist when the nice-looking character is actually evil and ******* insane.
But that's a one-off.
That's a plot twist.
You can't do that as a rule, because you would have bad fiction, difficult and confusing to follow at best, irreconcilable with the real world, unrelatable and unable to elicit suspension of disbelief at worst.

I'm a bloke. I can relate with a knight slaying a dragon to undress the princess, because in everyday life I am supposed to put a lot of work into it in order to get laid.
I can't relate with a guy locked up in a tower waiting for the princess to give the dragon a lecture about how holding people captive is bad.
That might have good comedy value precisely because of how unrelatable the character would be.

In this respect it's worth pointing out the difference between the original Ghostbusters and the remake that was hailed by the liberal media because it was supposedly (*shiver*) feminist.
Despite all the supernatural crap going on, the characters' motives in the original are easy to understand.
It makes sense that they would behave like they do, in a world where ghosts are real.
They're good characters. Not very deep, but they work.
They're relatable.
The remake? Not very much.

When I watch a movie, I want to know immediately who's the good cop, who's the bad cop, who the corrupt cop, who's the hooker and who's the math genius.
I want to connect with the characters somehow.
I'm okay with a plot twist, when you find out that the good cop was corrupt all along, but that must be done on purpose.

Is there any chance you were talking about "breaking down" those "traditional" gender roles that societies have evolved in the real world?
 
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statik13

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I'm all for breaking down gender/sex stereotypes... but if you're offended by ads... jesus wept.
It's not about being offended by the ads. I'm sure many of them are quite clever and funny.

It's about ensuring that kids don't grow up thinking that little boys must become cowboys and little girls must become housewives.

From the decision:

The review found that "harmful stereotypes can restrict the choices, aspirations and opportunities of children, young people and adults" and that these stereotypes can be "reinforced by some advertising, which plays a part in unequal gender outcomes".

As a result some people could be held back from "fulfilling their potential, or from aspiring to certain jobs and industries, bringing costs for individuals and the economy", it added.

Ella Smillie, a policy expert at CAP, told the BBC: "There is nothing in our new guidance to suggest that ads can't feature people carrying out gender-typical roles. The issue would be if in that depiction it suggested that that's the only option available to that gender and never carried out by someone of another gender."


https://www.bbc.com/news/business-46558944
[doublepost=1560606752][/doublepost]
So does that mean they are going to now have to show a male and female walking down the beach and one asking the other. “Mary, do you ever that un-fresh feeling?”

Or men talking about how good the latest feminine hygiene product is?
No. It absolutely doesn't mean any of that.
 

villicodelirant

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It's about ensuring that kids don't grow up thinking that little boys must become cowboys and little girls must become housewives.
I really, really don't think that soap commercials have the power to instill into little boys the mandatory imperative to become cowboys.

At best, kids can watch the diaper commercial linked (which, of course, kids do all the time with extreme attention... or is that easily triggered adults?) and get the idea that being a cowboy is a "manly" occupation (if you live in 18th century California, at least), whereas becoming a ballerina is a more "girly" one, i.e. one that is more often chosen by girls.

It seems to me that would not be an exactly new bit of information, nor a particularly incorrect one.
I'm not really seeing a good reason to censor a depiction of reality that's relatively realistic (at least for the lofty standards of advertising).
 

rotlex

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Scary stuff. Government controlling the media to the point that now there are rules and regulations on how people are to be portrayed? Wow. Just wow. Nice that they try to hide that in a nice little excerpt that talks about it just helping to assure kids fulfill their potential. Ya. Ok.
 

Plutonius

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It seems to me that there is probably someone who would have objections to any advertisements that are shown.

How would this law be handled in a court of law ?

If one person thinks that the advertisement is harmful, is the advertiser guilty ?

Or does it require a polling of people with a majority finding it harmful ?
 

Scepticalscribe

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It's not about being offended by the ads. I'm sure many of them are quite clever and funny.

It's about ensuring that kids don't grow up thinking that little boys must become cowboys and little girls must become housewives.

From the decision:

The review found that "harmful stereotypes can restrict the choices, aspirations and opportunities of children, young people and adults" and that these stereotypes can be "reinforced by some advertising, which plays a part in unequal gender outcomes".

As a result some people could be held back from "fulfilling their potential, or from aspiring to certain jobs and industries, bringing costs for individuals and the economy", it added.

Ella Smillie, a policy expert at CAP, told the BBC: "There is nothing in our new guidance to suggest that ads can't feature people carrying out gender-typical roles. The issue would be if in that depiction it suggested that that's the only option available to that gender and never carried out by someone of another gender."


https://www.bbc.com/news/business-46558944
[doublepost=1560606752][/doublepost]

No. It absolutely doesn't mean any of that.
Excellent post and very well said.

And if @villicodelirant feels that,
I'm a bloke. I can relate with a knight slaying a dragon to undress the princess, because in everyday life I am supposed to put a lot of work into it in order to get laid.
I would argue that not all of us do.

In any case, I don't relate - and I never did - to the princess in the tower, a object or a prize lacking agency or autonomy, waiting to be undressed by a knight or devoured by or guarded by a dragon. As a child, I used to rage at how stupid, and passive, and helpless and positively moronic the female characters usually were.

That is an appalling message to want to send to young girls, even subliminally, that they should wait to be rescued, that they have no autonomy or agency or active choice in life, that being rescued equates to being surrendered and possessed, but not something she has a choice in, as she is merely a prize, a trophy.

Perhaps she prefers the dragon, perhaps she cannot abide the knight, he is uncouth and uncultured, his breath stinks, soap and water are alien to him, his intellect is underwhelming, his lack of culture profound - why should being "rescued" lead - to her being undressed?

You know, the guy climbing the trellis, (clumsily), a lute in his hands and a rose between his teeth would have a little more sympathy from me. There is a reason that artists and singers get laid in real life.



I can't relate with a guy locked up in a tower waiting for the princess to give the dragon a lecture about how holding people captive is bad.
Well, I can. Actually, I'd even script the lecture and take perverse pride in delivering it.
 
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villicodelirant

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I would argue that not all of us do.
But of course.
You do you.

But surely you can agree that a majority of guys would have an easier time relating with the knight slaying the dragon, rather than with the passive knight waiting to be saved, because usually guys are asked to take a more active role in courtship and in life, generally.

There are profound reasons for this and there is a seemingly endless offering of research suggesting some.

For example, for this 2017 study,"ratings of attractiveness were around 1000 times more sensitive to salary for females rating males, compared to males rating females [...] economic status can offset lower physical attractiveness in men much more easily than in women".

But we're talking about the mean of a distribution.
Distributions have tails.

I'm sure there's plenty of guys who dream to be the passive knight waiting for the princess to lecture the dragon, and I wish you to find your princess.

Just don't complain too much if in the Princess Bride Buttercup is basically useless: that works for the larger part of us.

That is an appalling message to want to send to young girls, even subliminally, that they should wait to be reduced, that they have no autonomy or agency or active choice in life, that thing rescued equates to being surrendered and possessed and
You went down quite the slippery slope there.

I don't think that a simplified description of how the world actually works (guys are expected to be more active and forward) is an appalling message to send to kids, though.

I'd say that raising them on a fabricated idea of how the world actually is might be more damaging and a source of frustration in their early adulthood.

There is a reason that artists and singers get laid in real life.
I'll just leave this here.
 

statik13

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But of course.
I don't think that a simplified description of how the world actually works (guys are expected to be more active and forward) is an appalling message to send to kids, though.

I'd say that raising them on a fabricated idea of how the world actually is might be more damaging and a source of frustration in their early adulthood.
Are you saying that in your vision of "how the world actually works" girls can't have careers in STEM and boys can't have careers in caregiving?
[doublepost=1560614959][/doublepost]
I’m pleased to see that, in addition to addressing stereotypes of women, they’re going after harmful stereotypes of men as well (that they’re dopey and useless in the home, that it’s emasculating to do “women’s” tasks, etc.)
100% agreed. This is meant to reinforce that kids can grow up to be whatever they aspire to.

I see it as a very good thing.
 

villicodelirant

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Are you saying that in your vision of "how the world actually works" girls can't have careers in STEM and boys can't have careers in caregiving?
No, that's not what I'm saying.
I'm saying what I am saying, and it's not that.

Most of these discussions get derailed by someone confusing the notion of distribution, of likelihood and of expected utility of a choice with the much stronger property of impossibility or the much weaker property of possibility.

And congratulations, you've been the first one on this thread.

Yes, people can become Formula 1 drivers.
There's around 30 (thirty) of them for 8 billion people, though, so I wouldn't advise a random kid (who is not e.g. the son of Michael Schumacher) to put all of his or her eggs in that basket.
Yes, people can become homeless.
I would not suggest that as a career.

Girls can have careers in STEM and boys can have careers in caregiving.
They can find satisfaction and happiness in there.
Is that likely?

I don't expect this to be common, because for most guys there's more value in other careers.
I would never, ever suggest a randomly selected boy to strongly consider a career in caregiving over engineering or finance.
If my kid expressed a desire to be in childcare, I would lecture him about

1. How, as a boy, there will be a higher social pressure on him to be financially independent, and there's not a lot of money in childcare
2. How he'll have a harder time being hired over his female counterparts
3. How his masculinity might be put into question unless he compensates by being jacked, speaking with a baritone voice and riding a Harley (which incidentally costs money).

Explaining this would be my duty as a parent.
If that's still what he wants to do, I would support him every way I could -- while crossing my fingers, hoping that when adulthood comes he won't suddenly start wishing he had gone with engineering instead.

As I said:

I'm sure there's plenty of guys who dream to be the passive knight waiting for the princess to lecture the dragon, and I wish you to find your princess.

100% agreed. This is meant to reinforce that kids can grow up to be whatever they aspire to.

I see it as a very good thing.
"Can", on the other hand, does not always mean "likely to".
I think adults should be responsible enough to steer kids towards choices that are likely to be successful.

And writers of soap commercials should just be responsible for... selling more soap.
 

Cycom

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No, that's not what I'm saying.
I'm saying what I am saying, and it's not that.

Most of these discussions get derailed by someone confusing the notion of distribution, of likelihood and of expected utility of a choice with the much stronger property of impossibility or the much weaker property of possibility.

And congratulations, you've been the first one on this thread.

Yes, people can become Formula 1 drivers.
There's around 30 (thirty) of them for 8 billion people, though, so I wouldn't advise a random kid (who is not e.g. the son of Michael Schumacher) to put all of his or her eggs in that basket.
Yes, people can become homeless.
I would not suggest that as a career.

Girls can have careers in STEM and boys can have careers in caregiving.
They can find satisfaction and happiness in there.
Is that likely?

I don't expect this to be common, because for most guys there's more value in other careers.
I would never, ever suggest a randomly selected boy to strongly consider a career in caregiving over engineering or finance.
If my kid expressed a desire to be in childcare, I would lecture him about

1. How, as a boy, there will be a higher social pressure on him to be financially independent, and there's not a lot of money in childcare
2. How he'll have a harder time being hired over his female counterparts
3. How his masculinity might be put into question unless he compensates by being jacked, speaking with a baritone voice and riding a Harley (which incidentally costs money).

Explaining this would be my duty as a parent.
If that's still what he wants to do, I would support him every way I could -- while crossing my fingers, hoping that when adulthood comes he won't suddenly start wishing he had gone with engineering instead.

As I said:






"Can", on the other hand, does not always mean "likely to".
I think adults should be responsible enough to steer kids towards choices that are likely to be successful.

And writers of soap commercials should just be responsible for... selling more soap.
Well said. Along these lines, there is a push toward equality of outcome instead of what we should actually want: equality of opportunity.
 

statik13

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No, that's not what I'm saying.
I'm saying what I am saying, and it's not that.
Good to hear

I don't expect this to be common, because for most guys there's more value in other careers.
I would never, ever suggest a randomly selected boy to strongly consider a career in caregiving over engineering or finance.
If my kid expressed a desire to be in childcare, I would lecture him about
But then what's with all this guys/boys/him nonsense then?
[doublepost=1560618005][/doublepost]
Well said. Along these lines, there is a push toward equality of outcome instead of what we should actually want: equality of opportunity.
Which is what this ruling does. It helps make sure that all people, regardless of gender, are shown with the same competency in ads.
 

Eraserhead

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Nov 3, 2005
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It’s incredible to see just how offended so many people are for everything under the sun. Weaklings.
And conservatives are offended by the idea of an advertising regulator challenging stereotypes. There’s a lot of seriously offended people out there.
[doublepost=1560618478][/doublepost]
No, that's not what I'm saying.
I'm saying what I am saying, and it's not that.

Most of these discussions get derailed by someone confusing the notion of distribution, of likelihood and of expected utility of a choice with the much stronger property of impossibility or the much weaker property of possibility.

And congratulations, you've been the first one on this thread.

Yes, people can become Formula 1 drivers.
There's around 30 (thirty) of them for 8 billion people, though, so I wouldn't advise a random kid (who is not e.g. the son of Michael Schumacher) to put all of his or her eggs in that basket.
Yes, people can become homeless.
I would not suggest that as a career.

Girls can have careers in STEM and boys can have careers in caregiving.
They can find satisfaction and happiness in there.
Is that likely?

I don't expect this to be common, because for most guys there's more value in other careers.
I would never, ever suggest a randomly selected boy to strongly consider a career in caregiving over engineering or finance.
If my kid expressed a desire to be in childcare, I would lecture him about

1. How, as a boy, there will be a higher social pressure on him to be financially independent, and there's not a lot of money in childcare
2. How he'll have a harder time being hired over his female counterparts
3. How his masculinity might be put into question unless he compensates by being jacked, speaking with a baritone voice and riding a Harley (which incidentally costs money).

Explaining this would be my duty as a parent.
If that's still what he wants to do, I would support him every way I could -- while crossing my fingers, hoping that when adulthood comes he won't suddenly start wishing he had gone with engineering instead.

As I said:






"Can", on the other hand, does not always mean "likely to".
I think adults should be responsible enough to steer kids towards choices that are likely to be successful.

And writers of soap commercials should just be responsible for... selling more soap.
Why can’t girls and boys do what makes them happy? Money isn’t everything...
 

raqball

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Sep 11, 2016
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How do transgender peeps fit Ito this and how do you know what offends or stereotypes them? Is it based on their former or current gender? What about those who identify as another gender but have not transitioned?

Morre silly PC mumbo jumbo....

Next up. TV shows and movies will be targeted...
 

Eraserhead

macrumors G4
Nov 3, 2005
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How do transgender peeps fit Ito this and how do you know what offends or stereotypes them? Is it based on their former or current gender? What about those who identify as another gender but have not transitioned?

Morre silly PC mumbo jumbo....

Next up. TV shows and movies will be targeted...
Maybe tv ads should have men vacuuming in them sometimes. Or women drinking beer.

I don’t think the sky will fall. They might even sell better.
 
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villicodelirant

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But then what's with all this guys/boys/him nonsense then?
That's not "nonsense", those are two nouns and pronoun in the English language.
It was hoping that it would be apparent to a learned person that the symmetrical argument is equally valid.
I'll spell it out for you:

For most girls there's more return in other careers than car mechanic or mercenary.
I would never, ever suggest a randomly selected girl to strongly consider a career as a car mechanic over caregiving or psychology.
If my female kid expressed a desire to be a mercenary I would lecture her about how, having been born as a member of the choosier sex, there is absolutely no bloody point and no reward in getting shot at, especially when she's much more likely to bloody die in hand-to-hand combat against an average-sized male soldier and guys at home prefer, on average, girly girls with perfectly done nails.

But if she really really like her G.I. Joe cartoons and that's what she wants to do, I'll support her and be proud of her.

Which is what this ruling does. It helps make sure that all people, regardless of gender, are shown with the same competency in ads.
So, making ads more unrealistic than they already are, since in the actual reality competency is unevenly distributed.
Not sure what good this would bring to society.


Well said. Along these lines, there is a push toward equality of outcome instead of what we should actually want: equality of opportunity.
This a gazillion times.
Scream it, brother.
Freedom is being free to try and do what you want to do, without unreasonable, artificial obstacles.

Of course, all the PC nonsense usually comes from very middle-class people who on average (*) occupy very traditional roles and don't actually like the idea of lower classes having the same opportunity as them...

(*) demonstrably so, left as exercise for the reader