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Have you seen the Saudi version of the catalogue? I am so dissapointed with IKEA.

(64 Posts)
FryingNemo Tue 02-Oct-12 05:47:38

Article here:

IKEA airbrushes women out of catalogue

I know they have apologised but I am so cross for the reminder that I am a second class being in the eyes of so many. Is there any point in writing to them?

Cadmum Tue 02-Oct-12 05:56:50


DyeInTheEar Tue 02-Oct-12 10:46:14

I'm cross too. It's completely crap. Ikea are bowing to the notion that (western dressed?) women are offensive and so should be invisible and irrelevant - and it's been done to make money (or not offend a frankly highly offensive attitude).

I won't shop there any more but doubt they'll be crying in a board meeting about that.

Thing that pisses me off more is how accepting many will be about this. Imagine a similar issue involving race - i.e. airbrushing out a certain race so as not to "offend" the racist sensibilities of another country. There would rightly be an outcry.

Uppercut Tue 02-Oct-12 10:54:25

"... I am so cross for the reminder that I am a second class being in the eyes of so many."

So many... Saudi Muslims? Islam has been around for a very long time. A letter to Ikea isn't going to change that.

MummyPigsFatTummy Tue 02-Oct-12 10:57:58

This is outrageous but not surprising sadly. And what does this even mean (IKEA's statement at the end of the Guardian article)?

"We are now reviewing our routines to safeguard a correct content presentation from a values point-of-view in the different versions of the Ikea catalogue worldwide," it said.

Are they now going to airbrush women out of all their catalogues so it isn't obviously different for SA or just add full covering for women who do make it in to the pictures?

It is disappointing but no surprise. International companies have absolutely no shame about giving in to all the sexist rules in place in SA so they can get their hands on a slice of the business there. If you visit a hotel in SA even if it is run by a major international chain, you will find that most of the leisure facilities are restricted for women, Saudi or otherwise - we almost universally are banned from hotel pools and gyms/health spas, and there are often restrictions on where in the hotel restaurants we can be seated. Occasionally a hotel will put in a (generally inferior) gym/spa for women only but this is actually fairly rare from what I can see on the websites.

Personally, I think it is disgraceful and I think a boycott of international companies which do this would be in order, but I don't think people who know (who tend to be men because of the nature of business in SA) really care very much and most people don't know. I only found out because a colleague of mine mentioned it when he came back from a business trip there.

flyoverthegoldenhill Tue 02-Oct-12 11:06:21

I thought Ford did this a few years ago, airbrushed out workers who were, I dont even know how to explaing as it was soooo wrong, I think it was a straight forward case of racism. I nearly fell out of bed when I heard this on the radio this am. So how will they manage the tv advert ? Though I did prefer the "In the kitchen at parties" ad.

Ponders Tue 02-Oct-12 11:19:08

There are some Oriental people on pp102-3 - they have been airbrushed completely, male & female - why is that?

Ponders Tue 02-Oct-12 11:22:09

& on pp 112-3, a whole family group including older man with white hair & beard has gone, along with a bottle of spirits on one of the tables (yes I am a saddo who loves spot the difference)

it's a bit extreme

nailak Tue 02-Oct-12 11:34:20

do you not think you have to think of things from the view of the country that they are advertising in? I mean people in Saudi probably wont buy from a company with a bottle of spirits and would find it distasteful to have it on the table in a catalogue, and offensive.

As a lifestyle catalogue doesn't it have to change to reflect the lifestyle of each country?

Uppercut Tue 02-Oct-12 11:35:02

"it's a bit extreme"

Well, Wahhabists can get a bit touchy over these kinds of things.

On a more general note I see no reason why people think Ikea, or any other manufacturer for that matter, should feel obliged to promote cultural imperialism along with their chipboard furniture.

Ponders Tue 02-Oct-12 11:40:14

I was being ironic, Uppercut grin

Uppercut Tue 02-Oct-12 11:51:12

It would be ironic if a family were constructing a flatpacked drinks cabinet in a SA Ikea catalogue.

My second sentence wasn't specifically aimed at you, BTW.

MummyPigsFatTummy Tue 02-Oct-12 11:57:07

How is it cultural imperialism to object to the existence of women being effectively excised from a catalogue which, ironically, sells products exclusively for the home, the only area in which women should properly exist according to Saudi culture? Cover them up if necessary - don't just delete them.

Oddly, in one picture there is a black woman sitting on a chair with her feet up on another chair. Her feet are bare in the international version and have socks on in the Saudi version (for religious reasons I imagine). She has earrings and her white top is pulled away from her neck showing some of her shoulder in the international version. In the Saudi one, the earrings are removed and the top pulled back up to the neck. However, it appears to be the same model from what I can see. I think IKEA are trying to pass her off as a man in the Saudi version, which is interesting (if ultimately of no particular relevance).

brass Tue 02-Oct-12 11:59:47

if South Africa had been richer perhaps we'd still have apartheid. Money won't indulge human rights.

nailak Tue 02-Oct-12 12:00:16

I agree that tit would have been unrealistic for the magazine to go out with uncovered women, and instead they should have used covered women.

TuftyFinch Tue 02-Oct-12 12:10:43

I have written to Ikea about this. My suggestion was to use horses instead of people. Horses don't offend anyone. My suggestion is being 'considered'.

MamaMary Tue 02-Oct-12 12:19:48

Nailak, what do you mean by 'uncovered'? Is a woman dressed in pyjamas (long sleeves, long trousers, very loose-fitting) 'uncovered'? Just out of interest.

flyoverthegoldenhill Tue 02-Oct-12 12:28:53

I'm horsist !

flyoverthegoldenhill Tue 02-Oct-12 12:29:57

I dont want any horses running through my beautiful new kitchen Ikea or not !

TuftyFinch Tue 02-Oct-12 12:36:32

Well, they've said yes to the horses now. I just had an email. You'll just have to send in your own suggestion. Not cats though because people don't like to see cats in catalogues for some reason. Have a flick through a couple of catalogues, you won't see one single cat.

MoreBeta Tue 02-Oct-12 12:39:22

You all buy Saudi crude il when you fill up your car with petrol.

In fact we all buy a lot of products from countries with reprehensible human rights records.

It is not posisble to avoid it and Ikea should not be castigated for complying with local customs where they do business. It is how the world is - unless you want to stop buying petrol and millions of other imported products.

brass Tue 02-Oct-12 12:39:27

no there is a cat

Startailoforangeandgold Tue 02-Oct-12 12:39:33

As soon as I see the word Saudi I know my feminist hackles will rise and blood will boil.

Makes me sick we let them get away with so much because they have oil.

MoreBeta Tue 02-Oct-12 12:39:42

crude il = crude oil

brass Tue 02-Oct-12 12:40:37

local custom = twee
human rights = bit more serious

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