A question about Asda's Christmas advert

(124 Posts)

When I first saw it (and every time since tbh) my gut reaction was that it is sexist. The woman does all the work while the man does nothing. It's insulting to both genders.

But I have seen numerous posts on here, and been told by several friends, that this is a fairly good representation of Christmas for them and their friends. So my question is this:

Is the advert still sexist if it is actually representative? I think it is but I'm struggling to articulate why.

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 11-Nov-12 15:13:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

kickassangel Sun 11-Nov-12 15:53:39

With anyone/thing that sends a message, you need to ask 'who gains from this'?
Well: the store - if you go there to buy their goods. Men - cos they get to do f-all and still have all the pleasure of Christmas. The kids - same reason. Women - not so much.

Seriously. Being reminded of the sheer volume of work required to produce the 'magic' is meant to encourage you to spend money? How? I would look at the ad, think 'sod that' and book a table at a restaurant instead.

I've only seen the ad a couple of times but I can't recall the mum being treated in any particular way - she was just in charge of things iirc. I also don't remember the dad looking stupid, he was just overruled on the size of the Christmas tree. I do all the things the mum does in the ad and its not because I'm being forced to by DH, my child or society, I just like things to be nice at Christmas and I like to do it myself.

Maybe I need to watch it again...

Stewie it serves some men but IME it does most of them a grave disservice. Or are the men I know so unrepresentative of their gender? confused

SomersetONeil Sun 11-Nov-12 17:58:39

I don't know a single family - not my generation nor my parents' - where the Mum does every single bloody thing, including the washing up and being relegated to the pouffe. Does anyone? Really? hmm

If this is you, and if you're not entirely happy about it, then maybe it's time to start thinking about that.

minibreaks - no, nobody is forcing you: 'society' isn't frog-marching you into the kitchen and standing over you while you do everything. It's not that literal. There is a huge expectation on women, historically at least, to do the lion's share in the house and this takes generations to eradicate. Ads like this only serve to remind the more enlightened out there that there's a load of people who haven't moved on.

My children wouldn't recognise this set up in the slightest. Their Dad isn't a useless buffoon, for a starter. And I'm not a taken-for-granted martyr. But this is certainly a great way to start drip-dripping the idea that a woman's place is hearth and home, and a man's place is to be entitled. sad

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 11-Nov-12 18:13:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ConsiderCasey Sun 11-Nov-12 18:16:10

I think the really insidious bit is how in practical terms this ad is bad for women and good for men, yet it is presented as a compliment to women.

It's really clever in a devious way because it convinces women that the unfairness they are subjected to should be worn like a badge of honour.

ConsiderCasey Sun 11-Nov-12 18:18:54

To be fair SGM, our frenemies F4J are up in arms about it but that is because they have bought into the lie, that this ad idealises mothers and belittles fathers. .

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 11-Nov-12 18:20:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

How do you know they haven't? DH is practically frothing every time the bloody advert comes on. The point I was trying to make (poorly, obviously! grin) was that yes, the advert serves some men, societal norms, the patriarchy or however you want to phrase it. But making a generalisation that it serves all men is surely as misguided as the people who made the advert?

Sorry if I've misunderstood what you meant.

Casey it does belittle fathers. As I said in my OP, this advert is insulting to both genders.

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 11-Nov-12 18:38:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ConsiderCasey Sun 11-Nov-12 18:48:50

Sorry OP I do actually agree that it insults both genders and its great yhat your DH is hands on and quite rightfully insulted. But I do believe the overall effect is worse for women. It tells one gender they are lazy but that they don't have to do anything and tells the other that they are controlling martyrs and DO have to do everything.

Besides F4J are not complaining about how it insults women, because they do not think it does. They see it as an idealisation of motherhood without seeing how damaging that is.

But yes, if I were a man who shared the housework I would feel sidelined.

SomersetONeil Sun 11-Nov-12 18:48:54

Do the women who think this ad is OK; that it reflects reality and is what it's like at their house like it just because it's about Christmas? As if the inherent sexism starts and ends with Christmas Day, but the rest of the year the husbands are pulling their weight equally?

Are people getting the warm, fuzzy Christmas glow, but missing the bigger picture?

This place is littered with threads from women who are at the end of their tether from doing everything and carrying men who do not pull their weight. who are completely exasperated with the status quo and don't know how to change things.

All this ad does is show them that they're wrong to feel like that, that they should be happy and satisfied from doing it all.

And worse, it shows their husbands that they're being completely unreasonable in wanting more. It's really, really horrible. Anyone defending it - defending the actual depiction of the woman doing EVERYTHING WITH NO THANKS needs to take a long, hard look at themselves.

ConsiderCasey Sun 11-Nov-12 18:57:03

To give an example, when I'm at my mum's house I don't put stuff in the dishwasher after dinner. I make a joke of how if I did do it she would just rearrange them anyway.

What I should actually do is stop being such a lazy cow and learn how she likes to load it and do it that way blush.

Ah, thank you Casey, I see what you meant. smile

Stewie can you explain what you mean by structural benefits please? I'm fairly new to this topic and I'm not sure I understand what they are.

scottishmummy Sun 11-Nov-12 18:58:24

it may be representative for some,doesn't make it any less sexist
if this mirrors someone gender roles and martyred mummy status,that's a shame

InNeedOfBrandy Sun 11-Nov-12 19:01:15

God casey I do things like that at my mums and nans blush

Yama Sun 11-Nov-12 19:08:11

I saw the advert on Youtube after a couple of threads on here.

Yes, very sexist.

I showed it to dh and he said "but surely nobody actually lives like that any more?" I had to explain to him that (according to MN anyway) life really is like that for a lot of people.

Mumsnet really has opened my/our eyes in terms of just how widespread sexism is in our society. It gives an insight into other peoples houses and lives.

Anyway, Asda has now been added to my list of shops I will not darken the doorstep of again.

scottishmummy Sun 11-Nov-12 19:09:18

I disliked it,doesn't warrant a complaint didn't rile me that much

ConsiderCasey Sun 11-Nov-12 19:11:34

Somerset, I totally agree. We can argue over who it insults more but at the end of the day it shows women doing far more and expecting no credit. And presenting it as something that is normal and good.

The reality may be like this for many women but it ruins relationships, and breeds resentment and unhappiness (it certainly went a good way to ruining mine because I refused to take that role and was made to feel guilty for it) . Such drudgery is NOT a good thing that should be presented as something to aspire to. It should be presented as the marriage killer that it is.

maybenow Sun 11-Nov-12 19:12:41

It can be both sexist and representative of the majority situation (if it is, i don't believe that, but it might be in some circles).
The problem is that it glorifies a sexist distribution of christmas chores.

Casual racism and thuggishness is representative of the majority situation in some communities but an advert would not be allowed to glorify that - e.g. watch the local derby in the pub, get blasted on our brand of beer, drink 12 pints of it, start a fight with a group of men of another race, get picked up by the police. ergo.. buy our brand of beer!!

ATourchOfInsanity Sun 11-Nov-12 19:15:46

I don't get why there is so much fuss about this. I am cooking for my dad and DD this year. I cooked for us three and EXP the two years before that. I do all decorating and shopping for presents and food. I need help getting the tree so dad does that with me, but the advert is a fair reflection of my Christmas.

I don't think it is trying to tell people this is how it should be, they are playing on the 'behind every great man is a great woman' line at the end. They are thanking the woman for all of her hard work and planning, not saying she HAS to do it.

If anything it highlights to men all of the things done without them, which perhaps they can now help with as, if anything, it should be shaming men that DON'T help. Those who DO help can feel smug that they are 'better' than the man in the advert.

Yama Sun 11-Nov-12 19:18:23

I'm so glad that my Mum really hated housework and cooking because I've never aspired to be good at it or to martyr myself. I couldn't fancy a man that thought of me as his Mum.

ConsiderCasey Sun 11-Nov-12 19:21:25

Brandy, ok I'm gonna be super helpful to my mum this Xmas in the interests of not being a hypocrite. But the shock could finish her off grin

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