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Sexism alive and well in karcher

(38 Posts)
rogersmellyonthetelly Tue 16-Oct-12 21:17:01

Went to b&q to get one of those window vac things due to dog jumping up at patio doors constantly and being sick of bloody paw marks on the window.
Karcher pressure washers all lined up with pictures on the boxes of blokes doing manly things like cleaning cars etc. window vac box has picture of ecstatic looking woman cleaning windows. Fan bloody tastic. Tbh when I took it out of the box I was surprised it wasn't pink.

baddancingdad Tue 16-Oct-12 21:34:15

Are you really sure this is sexism? What if it's predominantly men that buy car washers and women that buy window washers - do you know that it's not?

As a man I do not much of a problem with pictures of men washing cars, I don't think I'd have a problem with pictures of men washing windows either.

tbh I'm a bit new to all this; what exactly is the problem here?

kim147 Tue 16-Oct-12 22:12:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

baddancingdad Tue 16-Oct-12 22:29:34

The company probably doesn't care who uses it. They probably know, however, after extensive market research who their customer is. I would assume they are primarily concerned with sales than messages.

I am probably confirming some sort of horrible stereotype here, but I know what a pressure washer for the car is. I have absolutely no idea what a window vac is.

kim147 Tue 16-Oct-12 22:32:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ashesgirl Tue 16-Oct-12 22:33:35

Welcome to the Feminism area, Baddancingdag smile

ashesgirl Tue 16-Oct-12 22:33:57

or Baddancingdad, even!

baddancingdad Tue 16-Oct-12 22:37:28

Sounds pretty good, but I think I'll stick to a sponge and wiper smile

Thanks for the reply Kim; tomorrow I'll ask my wife to clean the drains out cos I'm doing the laundry...!

baddancingdad Tue 16-Oct-12 22:38:15

Thank you Ashegirl smile

ashesgirl Tue 16-Oct-12 22:41:14

Ok, I was being a little facetious there. grin

But the problem exactly is that several of us here question stereotypes like this.

Yes perhaps men mainly do buy these products currently - but probably because society tells us that's a man's type of job.

I don't believe women are inherently programmed by nature to clean windows anymore than men are born to clean cars. We pick up these ideas because of what society deems a man's and a woman's job.

baddancingdad Tue 16-Oct-12 22:49:02

Ok, I can see that that is true. Is there a natural hierarchy regarding inside work and outside work though; is cleaning the car of greater status than cleaning windows? Why on earth does it matter??!!

I'm going to guess that you'd answer that question (because I know it was my turn to be a little facetious) by saying that if it's not addressed at this level then it perpetuates into who gets to be a doctor or not.

Except that there are more women than men currently becoming doctors aren't there?

ashesgirl Tue 16-Oct-12 23:02:35

Yes sort of. It's that women tend to be portrayed doing domestic chores at home - ironing, cleaning and so on. Which kind of perpetuates this idea of women should be doing the housework/childcare

You may say in this day and age that doesn't hold true in reality, yet you only need to look at the relationships board here to see how the division of labour often ends up pretty unequal.

Also we have a paygap still and can be argued this is in part because women's careers take a massive hit when they traditionally take on the childcare/stay at home roles.

I didn't know that about doctors. If true, that's great to hear. Not that women are dominating that field but that women are equally entering from what was once a tradtionally male career decades ago.

On a wider level , I think there are issues with not enough women entering certain careers such as IT or Science, because there isnt much positive portrayal of women fulfilling techinical roles in the media in the media. Which brings us back to stereotypes again.

ashesgirl Tue 16-Oct-12 23:07:27

Have a watch of this - this explains it well in terms of Lego and toy stereotyping:

MmeLindor Tue 16-Oct-12 23:08:09

It does matter because it is being suggested - via just about every blooming advert - that housework is women's work.

And it is the message that we pass to our kids, at least those kids who don't have feminist parents pointing out the sexist ads.

It doesn't surprise me though cause Kärcher is a German country and the casual sexism here is pretty rife. Particularly in advertising.

baddancingdad Tue 16-Oct-12 23:12:34

I don't know about that; for me one of the most standard portrayals of western family life over the past decade or so has been that of The Simpsons; stupid fat father and child prodigy daughter (don't get me wrong, I love The Simpsons).

For all the couples I know, the mother has chosen to stay at home or go part time. I don't think any of them offered the father the option of taking on the childcare role. In each case, it is obvious to me that the father will therefore see his career develop beyond that of his wife.

How about you Ashegirl (is it ok to ask?), would you push on with your career whilst your husband stayed at home to look after your children?

baddancingdad Tue 16-Oct-12 23:16:26

Hello MmeLindor smile

In your opinion, who makes the decisions about which brand of washing powder is purchased (say)? I would say that that is central to how advertisers pitch their adverts. In my household Mrs BDD makes that decision and I think I'd get told to bugger off if I tried to interfere! (I'll ask her later and let you know!!)

MmeLindor Tue 16-Oct-12 23:21:42

Whoever does the shopping obviously. wink

As to who stays home - that depends on the jobs and earning potential of the couple surely.

baddancingdad Tue 16-Oct-12 23:43:34

So, if women are all doing the shopping then the advertisers of the products will aim their products at women. What I'm suggesting is that the adverts only reflect reality and do not determine it. The reality, it seems to me, is that for the most part women choose to be the primary carer for their child, which leads to a primary responsibility for household issues, which leads to primary responsibility in choosing which brand of detergent to purchase.

Which takes me back to my question as to whether women are happy to be the breadwinner and have a househusband! smile

AbigailAdams Wed 17-Oct-12 00:03:13

That last post shows a shocking lack of political awareness and critical thinking. And the question you should be asking is why more men aren't happy to do be doing the childcare?

baddancingdad Wed 17-Oct-12 00:12:26

How does it show that Abigail?

I'm not asking that question of the posters I've been talking with because they aren't men. Why are you telling me which questions I'm allowed to ask and which ones I'm not? I actually think it's the same question; are men prepared to consider taking primary responsibility for childcare and are women prepared to consider being the breadwinner. This question is one for each individual couple to consider and I'm asking the individuals I'm talking with.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 17-Oct-12 00:21:13

Bdd there is a relationship between what adverts portray because "that's how society is" and how society actually is. If only women are portrayed vacuuming in ads, soaps, whatever, it reinforces the norm.

DH and I both have careers and both take on some childcare - on days we are both at work the kids are in school/nursery. I do know two couples where the woman is the WOHP and the man the SAHP.

baddancingdad Wed 17-Oct-12 00:21:20

NB Critical thinking: logical thinking that draws conclusions from facts and evidence.

The people who make the decisions at the point of sale for most domestic cleaning items are women; therefore advertisers target their products at women.

This is pretty logical and is backed up by evidence confirming that women make the majority of purchasing decisions. I'm not sure what's so shocking?!

AbigailAdams Wed 17-Oct-12 00:27:24

It's not looking at the whole picture bad, as Doctrine explained.

You don't like be told what you should ask? There's a shocker.

baddancingdad Wed 17-Oct-12 00:27:37


I get that - there's obviously a circular relationship there; but we don't all do what we're told by advertisers do we?! smile What do we expect, though? Are we asking them to take social responsibility over proven marketing doctrine? I can't see how we could sell that idea in a market-driven environment. What the OP is essentially suggesting is that despite women being the primary purchasers of their products (presumably) they should not have a women using the product. That just seems a bit... well, silly.

baddancingdad Wed 17-Oct-12 00:34:42

Abigail, you have a rather odd habit of slightly reframing what I say. I didn't say anything about 'not liking'. I asked why you were telling me what I should and shouldn't ask; you didn't answer.

I'm interested to know what "there's a shocker" means exactly.

"Not looking at the whole picture" isn't really an answer either is it? Accusing me of a shocking lack of thought is quite a strong statement and I would have thought that you could back it up and say what was fundamentally incorrect about my thought that advertisers merely addressed their customer.

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