Today, I was walking home from work and I suddenly noticed this red billboard.
It’s not that it’s new or anything… I just never really noticed it. In my opinion billboards is just noise that’s part of the Toronto landscape. However, this is beside my point.
I was so captivated by the actual ad itself. I have seen inappropriate, rude, and just plain out wrong ads out there.. but it’s always been through studying or through my Facebook feed. It’s never really been first hand.
I have never been so offended by a billboard ad, though, and I’ve seen a lot.
This ad, by Home Hardware, is plain out and straight up sexist. No, HH doesn’t have their logo displayed and there is NOWHERE that says it’s by them. But of course, their brand font and colours are all over it. When you’ve been fed by the spoon of logos and capitalism, you get to know your brands, no?
I was so taken back by this ad that I actually had to take a picture to fully process the message of this ad. I can be completely wrong here of course but to me, as a woman, it implies that the only people who work on homes, who build homes, who go to this store to make homes are Rick, Darrin, Joel, and Rob… men! Not women. NOOOOOO… women don’t pick up hammers and paint their own homes. Of course not. Home Hardware welcomes these men because they know that they’re the ones that do all of the work.
I couldn’t feel more appalled. What about the women who live alone? Who enjoys home renovation? Who actually own their own home reno companies? Who works in construction? Who have no men in their lives in order to hammer a nail to put paintings or fixtures up? How about the women who help their mothers with all the house work after their father decided to ditch them? Building a home, a house, is not about being a man or a woman. But this ad implies just that.
What bothers me is how the female presence in the construction industry and culture is disregarded. It’s ads like these that help the manufacturing of these social ideologies where men are seen as the home providers. Where men have to do all of the work and labour around the home, and out of the home too… for that matter. Though I may be arguing a female side to this but the male side can be argued as well. Why do men have to do all the work? No wonder there is this pressure for men to never be failures, to also work and provide… it’s ads like these help contribute to these ideologies. No men, you don’t have to be the providers.
I am against this ad because it demonstrates a visual barrier between women and men. I don’t consider myself a hardcore feminist but damn, Home Hardware, you fucked up.
Please if anyone else is reading this ad differently, let me know. I am welcome to a different point of view… however, I’ve thought about different ways this can be interpreted and that’s all I got.
I love and enjoy the creativity that goes into advertisement. I admire the craftsmanship in them and the thought provoking aspects in them. After a while, I don’t feel like ads are selling to me. I just feel like they’re just there. I like reading into them and what they’re really trying to say. This is why I wanted to point this one out.