In case anyone needed reminding that the foam-flecked wings of Islam and Christianity don’t hold a duopoly on swivel-eyed witlessness, ultra-orthodox Jews in Jerusalem have taken to ripping down advertising posters that contain images of women. Which is an affront to freedom of expression and insulting to women – until you remember that feminists have had plenty to say about the depiction of women by the advertising industry, and quite a few have taken direct action to express it.
Hmm. Similarly confused thoughts come to mind when watching the following:
Now, according to AdRants, the clip has been “banned”, although I’m sure there was never any intention of using it in mainstream media; it will live and/or die on the web, where it exists as much to sell the reputation of the creative team as it does to shift units of denim (rather like Benetton’s latest attempt to foster intercultural harmony). It’s offensive, in the sense that quite a few people will be offended by it, although different elements will offend different people: the implied lesbianism; the implied necrophilia; the buttocks. I suspect, however, that the big problem comes with the pile of dead women, and the clear suggestion that someone is going round killing them for their jeans. The question is whether it’s less or more reprehensible when we know that the killer is a woman; we can hold onto the notion that killing women is A Bad Thing, but this time we can’t really blame it on the patriarchy, can we? As Camille Paglia said – and she’s a woman, so it’s OK – “There is no female Mozart because there is no female Jack the Ripper.” But if there were, she’d almost certainly work in advertising.