By Patrina Fong and Farzana Gulista

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, April 29, 2009) – An advertisement sponsored by Vititones/Vodafone features the 'Babes Club'.

The woman promoting the club looks excited and surprised and underneath the picture reads "Would you like to get the hottest babes delivered free to your fone daily?", with the words 'free' being bolded and 'amazing value' in caps.

At a glance, one might think this is a cross between a human fed ex and a new phone sex hotline/escort service.

The second part of the ad about the 'Nokia Games Club' has a woman peering seductively with a phone resting against her parted lips.

What is the relevance of the picture of the woman to the game? Does the woman attract your attention to 'sell' the games?

More insidiously, is the sexual innuendo that by joining this club you can play games with women or are women themselves the game?

Finally, below that there is a picture of a car, beside it says 'hot rod' and then the outline of a female body.

We were told that the hot rod is a type of fast and powerful car and wonder if the fast aspect of that term is meant to apply to women?

The message behind these ads is that women are sexualized objects, a commodity, form of entertainment and 'available' to anyone (in the first ad for paying $0.20 per day to be a member of the club).

Research has shown that there are linkages between the objectification of women and sexual assault.

Treating women as objects send out the message that women are subhuman and can be treated as such.

Case in point, women do not have human rights, are not equal to men and violence is perpetrated.

There is great concern about the number of young perpetrators of sexual crimes.

What do boys and young men learn from the media? That women are seductive and inviting and are merely body parts to be used?

Thus when women are sexually assaulted they asked for it in some way or enjoyed it?

It is these views that create a climate and tolerance of violence.

The pictures, language and implications of the ads are insulting and unacceptable.

The marketing strategy and the fact that these ads are published is demeaning.

The media can play a positive role in shaping attitudes towards women.

We believe that the retailers should be more sensitive and respectful of women.

Fiji Times Online: http://www.fijitimes.com.

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