Trigger warning: some of these images may be disturbing.
We’ve all heard that sex sells, but apparently sexism sells, as well. Here are five recent products that feminists (or just decent people) would be more likely to protest than pay for:
1. Kidnapped Woman Truck Decal
This past week, Hornet Signs, a sign company in Waco, Texas stirred controversy by unveiling a decal of a tied up woman. The large sticker is designed to fit on the back of a truck and to look as though a kidnap victim is lying in the truck’s bed. The fact that the sticker looks so realistic doesn’t help matters any.
“I wasn’t expecting the reaction that we got,” said the company’s owner, Brad Kolb, apparently oblivious to the offensive nature of marketing violence against women as fun truck art. Although he doesn’t “condone” the work (apparently selling and profiting from the work isn’t condoning it), he explains, “It was something we had to put out there to see who notices.” Ah, I see, he didn’t want to do it, he had to do it. Sounds like a business with a conscience.
This past weekend, Australians David Boulton and Jethro Batts unveiled their new smartphone app, Titstare, at a major tech conference. In their own words, “Titstare is an app where you take photos of yourself staring at tits.” The presentation they gave consisted of non-stop jokes about why it’s important for men to gawk at breasts.
Though some believe the app may be satire, you don’t need to look too far to see similar misogyny on the part of its creators. The duo responsible also heads HateYouCards, a service that sends mean-spirited messages. Some of the cards include decidedly non-feminist messages like “Thanks for swallowing” and “I know you’re the one because the smell of your vagina doesn’t make me gag.”
3. Nude Pencil Sharpener
Apparently, some people can’t even sharpen a pencil without degrading women. This disgusting design features a naked, headless woman screwed to a podium. Users must sexually penetrate the woman with a pencil in order to sharpen their pencils to a point. It’s appalling enough to make you want to switch to using pens exclusively, but then…
4. Bic “For Her” Pens
When Bic created pink and purple pens just for women, it finally provided females with a suitable tool to write. Actually, it turned out that women were content to use the same pens that everyone used and largely made fun of the not-so-revolutionary product. Rightfully, women believed that marketing pens that are “attractive” and “designed to fit comfortably in a woman’s hand” specifically to their gender is insulting and rejected the product.
5. Skirt Mouse Pad
You might have to see this one in action before realizing how awful it is. You see, the mouse doesn’t rest on top of the skirt, it goes beneath it. To operate his computer, the user must put his hand inside the skirt and wiggle it around. Who needs internet porn when you can turn women into sexual objects even while playing computer solitaire?
Photo credits: Thinkstock