BIC SA (best known for ballpoint pens) is under fire for what has been labelled a sexist advert, that they sent out on their Facebook Womens Day on Womens Day. The advert stating that women should 'look like a girl, act like a lady, think like a man and work like a boss', received a lot of criticism on social media.
Wow it's like Donald Trump hacked the #BIC account.— Biénne Huisman (@BienneHuisman) August 11, 2015
The message the BIC ad is actually sending
Speaking to Stephen Grootes, Rebecca Davis expresses why she is offended by this ad. She says that telling women to 'think like a man' is meaningless, given that women don't know how men think and that men don't think in a homogeneous way. She adds that she feels that the ad insinuates that if women are left to think and act in feminine ways that they won't have a chance of succeeding in the workplace - which is 'nonsense'.
The message that it is actually sending that a feminine way of thinking is fundamentally less robust, less intellectually vigorous than a man. That in order for women want to succeed, they should take on more stereotyped masculine ways of thinking.— Rebecca Davis, Journalist and Social Commentator
Even the phrase 'Celebrate Women' is beginning to grate on me. Because most of us would be happy not to be celebrated but to be given equal pay, not be raped and treated with a modicum of respect and dignity as a lot of men are.— Rebecca Davis, Journalist and Social Commentator
BIC kind-of apologises
In an apology, issued on their Facebook page this afternoon, BIC said:
We would like to apologise to all our fans who took offense to our recent Women’s Day Post. We can assure you that we meant it in the most empowering way possible and in no way derogatory towards women. We took the quote from a “Women in Business” blog site. The blog site explains the quote and what its intentions were when it was written. BIC believe in celebrating women and the powerful contribution women make to our society.— BIC South Africa