15:15 GMT09 April 2020
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    Many Swedes were not impressed by the idea of glorifying a behaviour in women that is seen as deplorable in men.

    A new collaboration between the Malmö Advertising Agency and the department store Hansa, which sells fashion items as well as food and drinks, has raised eyebrows.

    As a first step in a more long-term strategy, the agency chose to honour women who take more up room in public places by spreading their legs, aka womanspreading. The campaign culminates in the self-explanatory motto “Celebrate the womanspread”.

    “The fact that men take a seat in the public space is so obvious that it has even been given its own name. That women do the same is not as common. That's how the idea was born in the campaign”, Malmö Advertising Agency copyrighter Paola Pellettieri explained to the news portal Resume.

    The campaign will be presented in the form of outdoor advertising, podcasts, and print and radio broadcasts aimed at attracting customers back to central Malmö.

    “We want to take up the fight for a vibrant city centre. Therefore, we have rebuilt and implemented a number of updates. When it was time to communicate the changes, the choice was Malmö Advertising Agency. Their creative concept is just right for us and for how we want to position ourselves”, Hansa marketing manager Johan Bladh explained.

    Netizens, however, were not wowed by the campaign itself or its woke message.

    “Well, Hansa Malmö thinks we should celebrate 'womanspreading'”, a user mused, adding a clownface smiley.

    ​“Vulgar. Should women behave like this to be feminists now, too? Talk about acting strangely. Today's feminists are strange indeed. It was otherwise with the genuine feminists of old who fought for kindergarten, equal pay, etc”, another one chimed in.

    ​Others suggested that the “exposure of the female groin” was a “strong sexual signal” and that feminism was “women's worst enemy”.

    Still others pointed out the logical flaws in the reasoning.

    “Women do not like how men behave, but basically copy all men's behavioural patterns”, one pondered.

    ​“Imagine constantly pointing out 'oppression' and 'problematic' behaviours in men, only to copy those behaviours and highlight them as cool and empowering. The irony is lost on them”, another added.

    ​“Left Communicators: 1) generalise a bad behaviour that some men have 2) instead of men holding back this bad behaviour, they think women should imitate it. How serious and constructive".

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    Tags:
    public outrage, advertising, feminism, Sweden
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