A usual male response to the 'Real Women' campaign...
As stated in a previous blog post, the 'Real Women' campaign appears to be a breakthrough in terms of the concerns around promoting women's interests. However, disappointingly, after posting it to Facebook, there were comments branding the policy document "sexist". As expected, this was a male's comment, but what was missing from the analysis was the true nature of the document, as they believed it was a magazine, not a policy document that expectedly addresses one issue.
A woman even commented on the link, saying that it looked "patronsing". However, again the comment surrounded the belief that it was a magazine, due to the cover that the policy document comes in. There was a discussion around whether it was part of marketing or not. Whilst I disagreed that marketing was as important as the respondents were saying, after considering the comments, it may actually be important for us to re-assess the marketing if the target audience seems to be seeing the use of the current images and colours as patronising.
However, the male who felt as though the campaign is sexist said that the title should include men in it, instead of just "Real Women". I think this relates to the point above, that they confused the meaning of the campaign, as it is around a chosen policy area, and that we will only achieve equality of the sexes if we tackle the gender inequality that women themselves face. Only then, will women and men's interests reach a near parity. He believed that there needed to be a man on the front cover with a woman too, to allow equality. However, I disagree. Whilst in general it is important to have an equal representation of sexes (his comments are trivial when considering the unequal representation of women in parliament, top FTSE 100 jobs etc), having a man on the front of the cover would detract from the need to address solely women's interests. It makes out that men are needed to make women 'real'. The use of solely women promotes an independent feel to the campaign, one that helps it gain more grounding in political debate.
It is interesting to also see the lack of media coverage around the campaign, given it is the recess too. This most likely is because the media institutions by and large are controlled by middle age, white men, and are going to pay little attention to a campaign that highlights the inequalities that women face in society.
It is disappointing to have received the responses I did from the posting on Facebook, but to be honest, it is just the usual expected male response to a promotion of women's interests.