Shampoo Maker Shines Through

What do shampoo and gender labels have in common?  Probably nothing, but a commercial launched late last year opens the door for discussing something more than bounce and body.

In November 2013, Pantene Philippines aired a video that quickly went viral. At just over a minute, there is no dialogue but plenty is said.

Described by critics as feminist propaganda, admirers describe the Labels Against Women advertisement as a meaningful effort to portray the reality of negative stereotyping.  The ad depicts scenes that include:

  • An assertive business man is seen against the backdrop of the word Boss, while a similarly staged woman is paired with the word Bossy.
  • A man engaged in public speaking is labeled as Persuasive, while his female counterpart as Pushy.
  • A woman, possibly a mother, working late is labeled Selfish, while a man is seen as Dedicated.

Gender bias is real. Men and women of all ages make judgments each day based on worn-out stereotypes. In the working world, gender discrimination works both ways, but women often bear the brunt of public opinion for not being, accomplishing or looking as others believe they should.

In New York, gender discrimination takes forms that include gender-specific treatment or company policies and sexual harassment that creates a hostile working environment or expectation of sexual favors.

Can a shampoo wash away human tendencies toward unrealistic or illegal expectations?  Not likely, but an intelligent commercial adds to a conversation that has a long way to go.

If concerned about gender discrimination in your work place, seek experienced counsel from a New York labor law firm.

 

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