UPDATE: Please sign the Care2 & Stop Street Harassment Petition!
Have you seen any of Snickers’ “You’re not you when you’re hungry” campaign? They show someone doing something out of character — until they eat a Snickers and then return to their normal self.
They have a new commercial in this campaign that was filmed in Australia that caught my attention.
In it, construction workers who are hungry and thus “not themselves” yell “empowering” things to women on the streets.
“I’d like to show you the respect you deserve!”
“A woman’s place is where she chooses!”
“You know what I’d like to see? A society in which the objectification of women makes way for gender-neutral interaction free from assumptions and expectations.”
Since Snickers is saying they are saying these things while they are not themselves, it suggests that when they are their normal selves they, what, yell crude and harassing things to women? Ummm, why would we ever feed them, then?
Also, holy crap — this is the answer to our problem — we can solve street harassment by starving men!
In all seriousness, there are two main reasons why this commercial is problematic:
1 – The trope that street harassment is only perpetrated by construction workers is OLD. Yet, companies and media continue to love to use it, with recent examples being SNL and Lego. In reality, men of all social classes, races, and professions street harass and there are many construction workers who do NOT street harass. Let’s try to at least be accurate in the representation of street harassers.
2 – Even though the construction workers are saying positive, non-harassing things, they are actually still engaging in behavior we do not support. They are singling women out and demanding their time and attention as they yell at them. Men are able to walk by the site and go about their business and keep thinking their thoughts, but the same is not true for women. They are interrupted, their attention is demanded. That is not equality. If you wouldn’t yell it at a man, you probably shouldn’t yell it at a woman. Remember: women do not owe you their time or attention!
You can contact Snickers to let them know why you’re #NotBuyingIt!
Also, a few suggested tweets:
@SNICKERS not all construction workers are street harassers when they “are themselves.” stop promoting that tired trope @SNICKERS women do not own anyone their attention, whether it’s for “positive” or harassing attention