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Indian advertisements have been repeatedly called out for their blatantly sexist messaging. This Kwality Walls ad celebrating a little girl's 'round rotis'...sigh.
Indian advertisements, just like the rest of Indian media such as music and cinema, have been repeatedly called out for their blatantly sexist messaging. This ad celebrating a little girl’s ’round rotis’…sigh.
We had men’s deodorant companies showing how women can be ‘won’ (like prizes) in droves if you smell a certain way, we had girls hiding their faces in shame because of a minuscule pimple or because they were dark (and hence, not marriage worthy or capable of getting a job or friends!), we had sad homemakers moping over their washed clothes not being bright enough or their cleaned utensils not sparkly enough until the advent of a certain washing powder or dish washing gel.
However, of late, we’re witnessing a positive change. With the changing socioeconomic scenario and a focus on gender equality, many ad-makers are conveying empowering messages through their advertisements. So, now we have washing powders talking about ‘sharing the load’ of the housework between the man and the woman of the house, we are witnessing daughters trying to help their mothers build their own careers, we are seeing advertisements where women are constantly breaking the glass ceilings at work or breaking the stereotypes attached to their genders. So, with these positive changes around us, I was shocked to the core to see this 20 seconds Kwality Walls ad.
Here, a mother comes in with her young daughter while the rest of the family is seated at the dining table. The mother announces, ‘Tan-a-nan chhoti ki pehli gol roti’, and the rest of the household start celebrating this achievement with Kwality ice-cream. So, a little girl making round rotis was the best cause of celebration that the ad-makers could come up with, huh? And you know, what was the worst part? There is a young boy sitting at the table and who takes the roti in his hand and admires its roundness!
That is the moment that hit me the most! Like, you could literally turn around the message into something empowering by showing both the children coming out of the kitchen with their respective round rotis and that in itself could have been a cause for celebration! But no, apparently the ad-makers felt it was a cause for celebration ONLY when a little girl manages to make a round roti!
Maybe, her next achievement will be to cook a perfect seven-course meal, who knows? Because you know, stereotyping gender roles are so attractive and how it helps maintain our Sanskari society’s status quo!
No, Kwality Walls, gender stereotyping is not cool! Not in this day and age. Maybe, next time take a message or two from advertisements like this one by Brooke Bond Red Label where the underlying messaging is that a boy making tea doesn’t become a girl, rather he is someone whom all girls like.
The advertisement media plays a crucial role in influencing the society’s mindset and hence advertisements that perpetrate sexism are indirectly encouraging the same. It’s high time such ad-makers realize that and bring about a change in the messages that they convey.
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Kasturi’s debut novel, forthcoming in early 2021, had won the novel pitch competition by Half Baked Beans Publishers.
She won the Runner Up Position in the Orange Flower Awards 2021 for Short Fiction.
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Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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Chetan Bhagat had no business slut shaming Uorfi Javed or any other woman. If he wants to 'guide' young men in the 'right direction' then he should take accountability for his words.
Chetan Bhagat, one of India’s bestselling authors, thought it was an ingenious idea to slut-shame Uorfi Javed, an Indian actress and influencer, at the Sahitya Aaj Tak literature festival.
“Phone has been a great distraction for the youth, especially the boys, spending hours just watching Instagram Reels. Everyone knows who Uorfi Javed is. What will you do with her photos? Is it coming in your exams or you will go for a job interview and tell the interviewer that you know all her outfits? On one side, there is a youth who is protecting our nation at Kargil and on another side, we have another youth who is seeing Uorfi Javed’s photos hiding in their blankets.”
Uorfi Javed responded with a video on her Instagram stories calling out Bhagat’s bluff. She shared the screenshots of his previous chat conversations with Ira Trivedi, author and yoga instructor, which came to light during the #MeToo movement.
While boys are taught to naturally own the space they enter, girls are taught to give up, to accommodate, to adjust since "it is their primary responsibility to keep families and relations together."
Yesterday, I was watching these 4 young girls around 16 – 17 years old play badminton. They were having fun, goofing around with all 4 of them equally involved in the game.
In some time two of their male friends joined them, and as part of round robin, the 2 boys replaced two of the girls. All good.
As the play continued, I started noticing a change in the way the game was being played. The shuttle was played most of the times between the two boys and there was a sense of competition and aggression brought in. The other 2 girls playing soon starting losing interest in the game as they hardly got any game time. Even if the shuttle came towards them, the boy in their team would move and play that shot. They soon moved to the sidelines as the boys continued to play.
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