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27 Responses

  1. catfood
    catfood April 4, 2013 at 12:42 am |

    Caperton Gets Marketing.

    Don’t present what’s meaningful to you. Present what will connect with your readers and viewers. Duh.

  2. Kasey Weird
    Kasey Weird April 4, 2013 at 1:19 am |

    Eep. That’s where I did my undergrad!

    …They’ve got a long history of terrible advertizing, actually.

  3. Pseudonym
    Pseudonym April 4, 2013 at 1:30 am |

    You’re assuming the motivation for putting up that billboard is to encourage donations to the Women’s Wallof Honour. Maybe the real purpose is to tell everyone how awesome these three dudely donors are for caring about women.

    1. speedbudget
      speedbudget April 4, 2013 at 7:48 am |

      Oh, jeez. Now they’re going to require billboards along with cookies.

    2. catfood
      catfood April 4, 2013 at 9:07 am |

      It does seem as though the “Women’s Wall of Honour” could be absolutely anything. How would this billboard be different had they substituted “Keystone XL Pipeline” or “Happy Pasture Puppy Shelter”?

      It’s not about the Wall. It’s about the three dudes.

  4. FMAiscool
    FMAiscool April 4, 2013 at 1:57 am |

    to me, there’s a possibility they’re women as well…and in that case, i can’t come to the same conclusions

    1. Alara Rogers
      Alara Rogers April 4, 2013 at 8:43 am |

      If they’re women, they’re women who are pretty soaked in male privilege, who have an entirely masculine external presentation… and in *advertising*, it does not matter what your subjective experience is, what matters is how other people objectify you.

      In other words, if a trans woman who is dressed as a besuited man, presenting as a man, using a man’s name, appears on a billboard, she is, for the purpose of that advertisement, a man, because no aspect whatsoever of her subjective experience of womanhood is getting into the message she’s sending. Or rather, she’s still a woman, but she’s playing a man in the ad, so the ad is still sending the message “Be like this awesome dude”, not “Be like this awesome woman.”

      Spuds MacKenzie was played by a female dog; Lassie was played by a male one. If they were sentient beings, they might be amused or irritated that humans can’t tell their gender from looking at them, but they’d still be beings who were choosing to play opposite-gender characters. Lassie is still a female dog even if she is played by a male. Bart Simpson is still male even though his voice actor is a woman. He’s not “really” a girl, he’s really a boy, but since he’s a fictional boy he’s played by an adult woman. All the women who’ve played Peter Pan on stage were playing a character who was very, very much a male archetype (the whole point to Wendy’s role in Peter Pan is that the boys who won’t grow up won’t allow a girl to not grow up alongside them; they still expect her to be an adult, they just expect to be able to disrespect her and grant her no adult authority.)

      The three men in the picture aren’t fictional, but to the best of my knowledge, none of them are out as trans, so regardless of what they are subjectively, for purposes of the ad they are men. So no. There isn’t a possibility that they are women, because it’s an ad displaying men. The fact that the men happen to be real people who might possibly be women who are in the closet about being women doesn’t make it an ad showing women; an ad is about the information conveyed in the picture, within the lens of cultural perception, and nothing else.

      1. FMAiscool
        FMAiscool April 4, 2013 at 3:29 pm |

        you do have a point, although personally i would like the world to be a place where looks do not matter (i’m not sure if that constitutes as feminism or not). i guess there’s society’s perceptions of what’s female or male that i should be more aware of. also, i had no idea peter pan was about that, but then again i haven’t watched the film since i was little..

        1. DouglasG
          DouglasG April 4, 2013 at 10:29 pm |

          I shouldn’t judge a stage play by its film version (though it would be interesting to see the play compared to the pantomime).

    2. Donna L
      Donna L April 4, 2013 at 11:10 am |

      Not to mention that not all trans women thought of themselves as being exactly “women” yet, prior to transition, to the extent that living in the world as a woman and being perceived and treated as such is part of actually being a woman.

  5. Wordwizard
    Wordwizard April 4, 2013 at 3:22 am |

    The old Ms. Magazine used to have a page sometimes, called NO COMMENT, for things like this.

  6. Angie unduplicated
    Angie unduplicated April 4, 2013 at 8:48 am |

    That looks like the first paragraph of a dystopian SF story.
    You did say this was fiction, didn’t you?
    OTOH, now we have uncovered the four economically and socially illiterate white males who hallucinate the irrational health care costs on those itemized statements from the hospital. Get the ropes out and I’ll hang ‘em.

  7. Bunny
    Bunny April 4, 2013 at 9:33 am |

    Nothing says “honouring women” like three bland white dudes.*

    *I get that these are specific, real people, but could they have picked a more bland, personality-free image? It looks like more like a random stock photo than a picture of actual people being themselves.

    1. shelly
      shelly April 4, 2013 at 6:56 pm |

      Pretty much, yeah.

  8. Athenia
    Athenia April 4, 2013 at 11:14 am |

    Donate and YOUR FACE will be on this billboard!

  9. klaym0re
    klaym0re April 4, 2013 at 11:27 am |

    Don’t you have a woman in your life who’s great?

    um… no?

  10. Emolee
    Emolee April 4, 2013 at 12:25 pm |

    That ad seems really condescending to me. Like they are patting themselves on the back for patting women on the head. Or something.

    1. (BFing)Sarah
      (BFing)Sarah April 4, 2013 at 3:37 pm |

      lol! Agreed.

  11. rain
    rain April 4, 2013 at 1:49 pm |

    Literacy fail on the Women’s Wall of Honour home page:

    Join us as we’ve chosen to celebrate remarkable woman.

    Also, ugh to the honouring wives and mothers page. Not that I don’t think they deserve recognition, but unless I see at least a hint of understanding of how women’s unpaid labour props up our economy, I’m going to dismiss it as just more Mother’s Day card swill. Here’s a “special honour”, little lady, so we don’t have to think about gender equity and second shifts.

    And, now that I’ve looked up where the donations are going (see FAQ or Project TWENTY12), I’m even more disgusted. It’s fundraising for building construction. So we should donate $1200 towards the university’s capital budget because they say that the building “recognizes women”?

    1. Bunny
      Bunny April 4, 2013 at 2:56 pm |

      It is? Huh. That’s an impressively transparent bit of grabby money-seeking, right there. Now so much honouring women as waving them about as a prop to bring in money. I’d assumed money donated for the wallof was going to go to some significant charity or other. If not, I can think of some shelters, healthcare centres and other places that could do far more to “honour women” with a donation than this.

      Donate money so we can build a (large building we want to use with a) wall all about how much we love giving lipservice to women!

  12. Joedj
    Joedj April 4, 2013 at 5:28 pm |

    When I read comments like these I wish you were all my sisters and we were sitting down to a big dinner.

  13. Bloix
    Bloix April 4, 2013 at 7:44 pm |

    JIm Spatz is a wealthy real estate developer and prominent philanthropist in Halifax. Riva Spatz is his mother. This whole thing is about getting rich guys to make donations to this university in the name of their moms or their wives. The whole concept of “remarkable women” is incredibly patronizing – a ‘remarkable woman’ is a woman who gave birth to, or maybe is married to, or the daughter of, a rich guy.

  14. Ellen
    Ellen April 4, 2013 at 8:04 pm |

    My favorite is the section “Why Honour a Woman?”

    It sounds so weird that they felt that needed to man-splain might deserve honor.

    Then the answer is pretty much – for anything you like that she happened to do.

  15. Bloix
    Bloix April 4, 2013 at 9:07 pm |

    Ellen, I don’t they’re man-splaining. They’re talking to other men. The idea that they might be explaining something to a woman didn’t enter their heads. They’re reassuring the rich guys that this isn’t really about honoring women – it’s about rich guys showing off.

    1. catfood
      catfood April 4, 2013 at 11:35 pm |

      Ba-da-bing. Yes.

  16. Plus Size R Us » Billboard Fail: Why this billboard celebrating “remarkable women” doesn’t work

    […] the Original article April 6, 2013 Uncategorized “remarkable, Billboard, celebrating, doesn't, Fail:, Women […]

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