21st century feminism

Monday, 12 April 2010

Jack, James and wasn't there another one...

So disappointed to see Labour's manifesto cartoon. Sadly, it's an advert for gender stereotyping. I could overlook the fact that the little squiggly family has two boys and only one girl (it couldn't possibly be two girls and one boy could it?) if it wasn't for the following:

Joe, the dad, gets introduced by name "that's Joe," Jane gets the tag line "his wife." So, it immediately sets up its male audience: We don't meet Jane and "her husband" Joe. Bear with me it gets worse.

Dad announces he "just wants to take care of his family." Good for him. Lucky family. All being cared for like that. And then he gets to chat to the disembodied voice about a new industrial revolution. "Ambitious."

Mum's not talking about the revolution. She's too busy sorting out "Gran" (who doesn't like her biscuits) and the kids who are snapping round her ankles (for cash). Apparently, she needs "all the help she can get." You bet she does, that's one huge stereotype that she's got to break out of. Oh, but she'll be safer when she's alone in the big-wide-world because she's got all those lovely male policeMEN cycling around.

But the worst bit for me was the kids. James gets to show off his knowledge (what's the capital of peru?), Jack is a radical and is reassured his voice will get heard (save the hedgehogs). Sadly Jill doesn't even get a voice. There's no little vignette of her moment in the spotlight. She's invisible. 

It's not a proud moment to be a Labour supporter who's a feminist.


  1. Wow, and also, ya know, the fact they are all white.

    Interested to see the girl didn't get cast in the 'liberal hedgehog-saver' role, but instead gets the 'headphones in ears' role, normally reserved for teenage boys in my experience.

    My intellectual opinion? What a bunch of toss.

  2. Thanks for you intellectual opinion :-D

    You're right, all white. They seem to be trying to reach (reinforce) the middle class white nuclear patriarchal family. Depressing. I wonder in reality how many actual families actually conform to this? It feels a bit like papering over the cracks of what life is really like. Where this kind of thing used to be aspirational, it now feels oppressive and forced.