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The Snickers Ad That Failed - You're Sexist When You're Hungry

Last week Snickers Australia posted this commercial for their product, which started out as the picture of perfection, and then did a complete 180.

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It begins with actors dressed as construction workers yelling out to real women in the street, but instead of catcalling they shout empowering, anti-misogynistic statements such as:

"Want to hear a dirty word? Gender bias."

"I'd like to show you the respect you deserve."

"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."

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It's beautiful to watch the genuine reactions of these women, conditioned by years of harassment shouted by strange men, as their expressions change from those of cringing discomfort to relief and delight. One thanks them with her hand over her heart.

And then there's the whiplash of Snickers' slogan "you're not you when you're hungry", as if men respecting women are simply unnatural — they're just so hungry they can't think straight. It completely devalues everything the commercial achieved, dismissing male behaviours that are a large part of the social conditioning of not only women but also other men (verbal abuse, sexism, and misogyny) as just trivial, excusable side effects of being hungry.

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Illustration for article titled The Snickers Ad That Failed - Youre Sexist When Youre Hungry

Cadbury Australia's replied with a new, well-timed piggyback ad for Boost (their Snickers equivalent) thanking Snickers for starting the debate and saying that they proudly respect women whether they're hungry or not, employing the hashtag #SexismIsNuts. (source)

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Illustration for article titled The Snickers Ad That Failed - Youre Sexist When Youre Hungry

Thanks to sociologist Dr Michael Kimmel for raising the original commercial and to Albert Santos for Cadbury's followup.

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