Wednesday, May 24, 2017

One of these things is unlike the other....

So about a month ago Pepsi released an ad on police violence and protest starring Kendall Jenner. In short the ad led to a nightmare that gave several impressions. Such impressions include that a white woman is the center of attention in a world of protesting that constantly sees people of color in the cross hairs of police violence, protests are just big parties, and that everything will be fine if you offer the cops a refreshing drink.

Shortly after the beer company Heineken came up with an ad that takes a different approach. It seeks to bring together people from different walks of life in hopes of fostering some sort of communication rather than the usual form of people on different sides bickering and yelling at each other. Mind you people shared it with sniping comments at Pepsi and Kedall Jenner but let's not look at that let's look at the ad in question.

Its a noble effort and I like what they are trying to go for. Take a look at it.

They have 3 pairs of people, each on a different side of an issue. The pair don't know each other and start by working together on a building project to put together a bar. They take a break during the project where they they sit and talk about their respective backgrounds. After finishing their break they go back putting the bar together. Finally they are offered drinks then are shown a short film of each person in the pair giving their opinions on a specific topic. Here each person sees that their partner is on a different side of a major issue. In these cases the issues were transgender recognition, feminism, and climate change. And then the final challenge is presented.

Each person is given the option of staying and discussing their differences over drinks or leaving the encounter.

I wager they did this multiple times until they got three cases to put together but all three pairs shown here agree to stay and the ad ends with them starting to talk.

I'm gonna get to the point fast and say that something is fishy as fuck here.

The transgender and climate change situations are pretty cut and dry. Either you recognize transgender people as they identify or you do not (for the record I do) and you either agree that climate change is a thing or it isn't (I do).

However feminism isn't as plain and simple as this ad shows. It's presented in a manner that was meant to make it very clear which side is right and which side is wrong.

The anti feminist is a white guy and the feminist is a black woman. The anti feminist gives a generic rundown of thinking feminism is about misandry and so forth. The feminist just vaguely says she is a feminist with bold determination. The anti feminist says that women's place is to have men's children. The feminist is asked if she could be friends with someone that says women's place should be in the home and does not answer.

The anti feminist is given a few chances to give his views on feminism while the feminist is allowed to coast without saying her views on feminism.

His concerns are never addressed. Her views are never described much less challenged.

At the end of the ad he toasts with her saying, "Smash patriarchy."

Its like we are just supposed to assume that being feminist is clearly the right thing to do and if you are not then you are absolutely wrong.

What I'm getting at is that unlike transgender rights and climate change feminism is a complex issue that requires a level of nuance that can't be summed up or skipped over for the sake of a 5 minute ad. Hell you could have made that ad with 3 pairs of people with different views on feminism and it would still lack full nuance.

I hope that ads like this continue and hope that useful discussions take place as well but let's be clear.

This was only a start.

Stay Frosty!