The New Censorship – Gender Roles And Yes, It Is Censorship

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To portray men as bumbling domestic fools may or may not be a viable advertising strategy – that so many do it implies that it works* – and to portray men as bumbling domestic fools may or may not have societal implications. But to ban the portrayal of men as bumbling domestic fools is censorship. Something which has no place in a free and liberal society. Quite obviously, the same applies to women being shown as domestic goddesses but entirely incapable of filling up a computer with the necessary bits and bytes.

Yet this is what we have now come to in Britain, we have such censorship:

Ads that perpetuate harmful gender stereotypes such as a man struggling with household chores or girls being less academic than boys are to be banned, the regulator has announced. The new rule – that ads must not include gender stereotypes which are likely to cause harm or serious or widespread offence – comes into effect in June following a consultation. Scenarios likely to be “problematic” include depictions of a man with his feet up while a woman takes sole responsibility for cleaning up, and a man or a woman failing to achieve a task specifically because of their gender, such as a man struggling to change a nappy or a woman being unable to park a car, the Committee of Advertising Practice (Cap) said. Advertisers will also have to tread carefully when contrasting stereotypical personalities of boys and girls or if they belittle a man for carrying out stereotypically “female” roles or tasks.

This is censorship, there is no other word for it. Hey, it might all be in a good cause, it’s still censorship. Thus we have to conclude that Britain is no longer a free and liberal society.

The Committee of Advertising Practice has replaced the Lord Chancellor’s Office in determining what may and may not be said in public. We had that 50 year period when no arm of government was controlling our speech and now it’s all back. We can say f**k, as the LC wouldn’t allow us to, but can’t mention the implications of f**k in a dimorphic species because CAP won’t allow us to. It’s not exactly an advance, is it, to simply replace one censor with another, one set of fashionable nostrums about speech with another?

There’s always the suspicion that the same prodnoses have just found another office to operate from….

 

*Women dispose of some 80% or so of domestic spending. Advertising is very largely aimed at women therefore, ads are a reflection of what sells to women.

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Matt
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Matt

This is bonkers – it’s now ok to show a woman struggling with housework, but not a man. Or a man being a domestic god, but not a woman (well, goddess, but you get what I’m saying).

This is one reason we need a proper constitution, with freedom of speech baked in.

Frank
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Frank

What the fuck is this garbage? “This is censorship, there is no other word for it. Hey, it might all be in a good cause, it’s still censorship. Thus we have to conclude that Britain is no longer a free and liberal society.” That’s quite a jump there bud. You probably can’t use racial slurs in advertising either so I suppose that’s censorship too. OUR LIBERTIES ARE BRING TAKEN FROM US, BY “THEM”! What is the point in this article? Why are you upset that advertisers can no longer depict a specific set of harmful stereotypes? “Censorship” of this kind… Read more »

Frank
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Frank

I just noticed this gem:

“Women dispose of some 80% or so of domestic spending. Advertising is very largely aimed at women therefore, ads are a reflection of what sells to women.”

Got a citation for any of those claims?

timworstall
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timworstall
Frank
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Frank

I checked your “citations”. 1 – Those are in reference to US household spending, not the UK. Do better. 2 – Blog posts and articles from nearly a decade ago are hardly relevant in this context (believe it or not people shop differently today (you may have noticed the rise of online retailers like Amazon and the decline of our high street shops) and the Neilson “study” (from early 2013) even mentions that those trends were changing in the fucking third paragraph! 3 – Having worked in advertising for over 20 years I’m (admittedly anecdotally) well versed in how advertisers… Read more »

timworstall
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timworstall

“Those are in reference to US household spending, not the UK. Do better. 2 – Blog posts and articles from nearly a decade ago are hardly relevant in this context” Excellent, evidence is not to be taken as evidence then. That’ll help us in understanding the world then, won’t it? “All I got from your article was some vague notion that our liberty is somehow being taken away (oh the horror!) but no clear view of how anything bad has or will actually come from this (new or old regulatory body).” Our liberty is being taken away, government is specifically… Read more »

Frank
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Frank

“Evidence is not to be taken as evidence then. That’ll help us in understanding the world then, won’t it?” I suggest you familiarise yourself with the scientific method. The “evidence” you cited is not relevant as it doesn’t substantiate your claims. This is basic stuff mate. “Our liberty is being taken away, government is specifically telling us that we may not do or say certain things.” This is literally everything a government does. I think you may actually be an anarchist (in the literal sense, not the edgy teenager view). “As a liberal I am, by definition, concerned with liberty.”… Read more »

timworstall
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timworstall

“”Censorship” of this kind has always existed, it’s not like we’re suddenly on some slippery slope towards the collapse of society where anyone that says The Wrong Thing will be locked up for being politically incorrect.” Well, that’s rather one of the points that I made, isn’t it? That we used to have the Lord Chancellor’s Office telling us what couldn’t be printed, said on the stage or TV. Now we’ve a different group of people with a different set of rules. But it’s still censorship. We had a brief interregnum when there wasn’t anyone telling us what could be… Read more »

Shadeburst
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Shadeburst

Hear hear. I’m more than a little fed-up with ads designed to humiliate men. I’ve read Tim’s replies in this thread and they hold as much water as a leaky sieve. If the ads were designed to humiliate women or poc they’d be blasted out of the water.