According to a survey published by Mediaprism in November 2012 for the Laboratoire de l’égalité (equality laboratory), 56% of women and 34% of men feel they come into contact with sexist behaviour on a daily basis. (1) How can we explain this persistence of gender stereotypes? Who can be held responsible? What measures should be taken to fight against sexism? How can we make both the public and brands aware of the issues caused by stereotypes?
The media world receives sexism accusations
The majority of participants in this study believe the media are particularly responsible for the persistence of stereotypes. In fact 67% of them are in favour of a watchdog committee who would be responsible for ensuring that television ads do not reflect gender stereotypes. Nearly 8 out of 10 participants also believe that both public and private television should join the fight against stereotypes.
Interview with Salim Azar, Professor at the University of Cergy Pontoise
Womenology: What are the characteristics of a brand hoping to address a female audience?
The emergence of new sociological, political, philosophical and artistic trends has caused new approaches to consumption and brands. Beyond a symbolic and emotional view of brands, self-expression has become a decisive factor in consumer choices and preferences. Movements such as feminism and postmodernism have highlighted the importance of the consumption of symbols and feelings, in a subjective and hyper-real context. Feminism highlights women’s day to day experiences, and postmodernism emphasizes the importance of hedonism and pleasure in life. By capitalizing on these movements, it is now widely accepted in marketing that consumers no longer choose products just for functional uses, but also for what they represent. Brands become de facto capital because they act mainly in this way. In my research, based on an anthropomorphic brand approach, I am interested in analysing the traits and characteristics of “gendered” brands. I found that brands, like humans, have a sex, a gender and a sexual orientation. These tools help managers to improve their ability to address all women.