Today in Existing While Female: Just Tryin' to Get an Education Edition

by Shaker Calixti, a twenty-one year old university student in Nebraska, with a tendency to text-rage all over the place.

The other day, when I walked into my English class, I found a stack of ads on my desk and scattered on the other desks in the room.

Someone explain to me, on what planet is it appropriate to equate this:

—and this [image possibly NSFW]:

No, really. The latter is a real ad. Shouldn't be surprising; aren't college-age douchebags kind of Axe's target audience? But walking into an empty classroom and finding these ads on the desk still enraged me.

Why? Because the woman in the ad is portrayed as an object. She's headless, has no identity, and exists as a passive thing to be acted upon ('wash me,' seriously?). She's supposed to be a personification of sex—thin but tan, big boobs, defined waist and hips but very low body fat; she's even got a hipbone visible lest you think her hips and breasts mean she's fat. Because fat women can't be sexy in the Axe universe either.

I know Axe ads have always been sexist and misogynistic, but I think this is the first time I've seen them treat women as literal objects, things to be acted upon, possessing no will of their own. And expected or not, it still pisses me off. These are ads meant to appeal to straight cis men my age ('people' in Axeworld—I guess women, and gay and trans men, just don't exist there, except as 'humour' or objects).

Say it with me, Axe advertisers: Women are not objects.

Aw, who am I kidding? In Axeworld, if I even exist (a fat lesbian? Not likely), I'm an object. Unilever must really not want my money.

[Cross-referenced in Assvertising and Today in Disembodied Things.]

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