Gabriela Braga on Unsplash

Angry Cries of “We Wee Whee”

Lil Weiner Ad Set Off Hurt Feelings & Gender Discussion

According to a recent story circulating on the evening news, the world has heard much ado about a little sausage symbol that triggered political and cultural uproar. The symbol riled up folks, so much so that the ad was quickly removed from sight. Meanwhile, the ensuing protests have crossed several oceans. The story here is that a political candidate was able to prompt young male voters, to support his claims that gender equality is a viable threat to the good of an entire nation. Before I go on, cards on the table, I personally have neither vote, nor interest in either party in this election. My interest is how an ad campaign uncovered misogynistic umbrage that was lounging easily just beneath the collective vote bank.

So, controversy ensued, the ad was removed, and the creators swiftly apologized for offending men. The men who took offense to the sausage ad and the political candidate in their lead, related it to the need to overcorrect gender equality efforts, thus far. Now, if you look at the ad, no one points to the sausage and claims that it or the caption is in direct comparison to the male anatomy. The allegation is implied and there lies our story. On the basis of that reference, women or rather feminists are to be castigated for breaking the foundations of society.

According to the political candidate and his rather staunch supporters, women are the destroyers of tradition and national order. They dared to step into the ranks of society as recent hiring practices opened doors, long sealed shut. Lately, those doors have creaked to a slow halt, as fear of enraging men, spread through the country. On the basis of an ad, the outcry claims quite a lot of power that women may not recognize.

There are three things that remains the same and unfortunately seems to be still accepted as truth.

  1. Women are powerful. With the deft move of applying for a job or a career, women have the ability to destroy culture, society and civilization as we know it. Weapons that must be immediately removed are education, careers and decisions about having a family. Women may bring down society, not because of what we do but whose cradle we rock, and whose pillow we share. Well, slide on that super heroine cape!

2. Feminism is evil. The EXPECTATION to be treated as an equal human is the cause of all subsequent disasters. How dare you speak up to be valued for your work or want equal pay? If enough people whine loud and long enough to smack a label on inconvenient women as, “feminists” watch how quickly doors will slam shut. If you noticed I used the word people, instead of men, you are sharp. Feminism has enough men AND women to trample it down to the ground so that it never sees the light of day. You super heroine cape might come with a super villain mask.

3. Entitlement runs abound. When a group in power has had the position of access over a long period of time, any threat to that power is swatted away and eventually extinguished. It’s understandable. If things go your way all the time, why would you tolerate or accept change? It worked well so far, who wants to change it? There lies the point. It is also human to recognize that there are things that are not equal or acceptable and you will be inconvenient to all around you to go after what you want. The names and faces change but the reasoning will still stay the same. Power wants to stay in place and everyone wants to be part of the big picture. Absolutely everybody believes that their way leads to truth and justice.

Before we dare to judge practices in some far away culture, take a moment to look right here in our own garden. In every election, the same rhetoric seeps into the air and we are so used to it, that it until it creates a strong stench, we do not even take notice how deeply it pervades our own culture. Take a look at the worldwide political rhetoric that surrounds the evils that women with short hair, short hems and short tempers bring to the political pulpit. Every nation practices some form of misogyny in relation to financial opportunity. The names and face change but the story stays the same. Female students compete for the same marks as men until graduation. The rest of life is a sliding hill from which a few rise and the rest run out of energy from nurturing everyone else.

So, national societal threat? Please… who has time for that agenda?

Rachel Varghese writes about communication, social norms and finding our way. Uncertainty is a familiar face in the mirror. Move forward anyway. Drop me a quick note, rachel@reelvolume.com to start the rest of your story.

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