The UK on a Roll With Absurdity: Britain Bans Ads Containing 'Harmful Gender Stereotypes'



Yesterday, I covered a town in the UK’s knife-swapping program: If you’re a victim of domestic violence, they’ll trade you a dull-pointed kitchen knife for your sharp-pointed one. That way, your violent maniacal man can’t stab you to death. Oh, shoot — he can still slit your throat.


I highly recommend you read the article. But a warning: If you’re allergic to Stupid, take some Benadryl first.

In fact, take some whether you read that one or not. This one’s a doozy.

Here we go:

In Britain, scenes in ads with gender stereotypes will now be banned.

Because grown people just can’t take it.

As reported by the Agence France-Presse, Advertising Standards Authority Chief Executive Guy Parker explained in a statement:

“Our evidence shows how harmful gender stereotypes in ads can contribute to inequality in society, with costs for all of us. Put simply, we found that some portrayals in ads can, over time, play a part in limiting people’s potential.”

The government’s just watchin’ out for y’all dummies.

“It’s in the interests of women and men, our economy and society that advertisers steer clear of these outdated portrayals, and we’re pleased with how the industry has already begun to respond.”

The ASA’s released a list of ad scenarios “likely to be problematic.”

I’ve said it more than once: The most diabolically woke word in the English language is “problematic.” If you see that word, run for your life.


Same goes, apparently, for seeing these scenarios:

  • An ad that depicts a man with his feet up and family members creating mess around a home while a woman is solely responsible for cleaning up the mess.
  • An ad that depicts a man or a woman failing to achieve a task specifically because of their gender e.g. a man’s inability to change nappies; a woman’s inability to park a car.
  • Where an ad features a person with a physique that does not match an ideal stereotypically associated with their gender, the ad should not imply that their physique is a significant reason for them not being successful, for example in their romantic or social lives.
  • An ad that seeks to emphasise the contrast between a boy’s stereotypical personality (e.g. daring) with a girl’s stereotypical personality (e.g. caring) needs to be handled with care.
  • An ad aimed at new mums which suggests that looking attractive or keeping a home pristine is a priority over other factors such as their emotional wellbeing.
  • An ad that belittles a man for carrying out stereotypically ‘female’ roles or tasks.

This is…what’s that word? Oh, yeah: pathetic.

First of all, any time you generalize, you err; yet generalities exist for a reason — they reflect common truths. And if men and women fall into divided roles by and large, there’s nothing wrong with that. Let everyone do as they wish, however that ends up.


For example, if there are more male coal miners than female, who cares?

Furthermore, if you’re a woman who wants to be a coal miner, but you think you shan’t dare accomplish it because the coal miner in the diarrhea commercial had a penis, then I’m sorry — but you’re silly.

People should do what they want; they’ll figure it out. We don’t need the government trying to protect our dinosaur brains.

Fortunately, the ASA’s cuttin’ everybody a little slack — here are some situations they’re cool with (for the moment):

  • A woman doing the shopping or a man doing DIY.
  • Glamorous, attractive, successful, aspirational or healthy people or lifestyles.
  • One gender only, including in ads for products developed for and aimed at one gender.
  • Gender stereotypes as a means to challenge their negative effects.

This isn’t the country’s first ridiculous advertising rodeo: In October, they banned commercials because the model was too slim (here).

As for their latest triumph, in a year, the ASA will review the policy’s success.

Success at being breathtakingly goofy?

Mission Accomplished, goobs. Mission accomplished.




Relevant RedState links in this article: here and here.

Find all my RedState work here.

And please follow Alex Parker on Twitter and Facebook.

Thank you for reading! Please sound off in the Comments section below. For iPhone instructions, see the bottom of this page.

If you have an iPhone and want to comment, select the box with the upward arrow at the bottom of your screen; swipe left and choose “Request Desktop Site.” If it fails to automatically refresh, manually reload the page. Scroll down to the red horizontal bar that says “Show Comments.”



Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on RedState Videos