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The new Dabur honey ad is blatantly sexist as it conforms to the notion of patriarchy that women belonged to someone and that they need guardianship, vigilance and protection.
Even after all that we talk and write about gender equality, it’s sometimes an eye opener to see how patriarchy is deeply ingrained within us. Unless we scratch the surface, everything can be passed off as something that is so natural. Let’s take the new Dabur honey ad. In this ad, the woman becomes thinner and prettier after she has Dabur honey, which makes her husband notice her.
And once he finds her beautiful or desirable, he makes sure that she wears the Mangalsutra, which is visible to others, thus marking his territory. There is nothing wrong or right wearing a Mangalsutra, but this video categorically shows that the husband clearly uses it to symbolize that the woman belongs to him, which is a feudal culture, where women are treated as property and are needed to be marked. In this ad, the role of the woman once again confirms to the notions of patriarchy that women belong to a man and need to be guarded and protected.
The woman in this ad very happily declares that her husband looks cute when jealous but conveniently forgets that it is this so-called marking of territory has given to rise to many crimes against women in the society. In all times, a woman’s body has been used as a power play of shame and honour. Rape has been used as a war tactic to humiliate the opponent, on how ones territory can be invaded by another man while raping women who supposedly belonged to someone else.
This ad tries to exploit what is deeply conditioned in our minds, that women belonged to someone and that they need vigilance and protection but on deeper levels creates the same problem that patriarchy had preached throughout the ages, that a woman is a part of a man, and not as an individual herself, someone who can choose and make her own choices.
Watch this ad here
Proud Indian. Senior Writer at Women's Web. Columnist. Book Reviewer. Street Theatre - Aatish. Dreamer.
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