They say a picture is worth a thousand words. So I am wondering which words you would choose to describe the advertising practices of Nikon – the camera company. Take a look at some of these Nikon ads:
Sadly Nikon, like so many companies, has chosen to exploit women to sell their products. We’ve come to expect it from beer companies and the like (not that being a beer company makes it alright), but a camera company??? Seriously? I mean do they really think they are going to sell more cameras by showing “hot girl on girl action”?
I am honestly insulted that companies resort to this tactic. I consider myself to be a typical guy who like a lot of stereotypical guy things. I like football, buffalo wings, classic cars and stupid movies. However, I am smart enough to recognize that when companies use women’s sexuality to sell their products they are degrading and marginalizing women. That allows men to see women as sex objects rather than human beings. It is in that space that domestic and sexual violence exists.
I know that a lot of men who will read this will say that there is nothing wrong with “sexy”. In fact, my friend Andy said those exact words when I was encouraging him to stop buying American Apparel t-shirts. I told him about their horrible advertising practices like this:
I get that these images are intended to be arousing so that we, as men, associate that feeling with that product (that sounds strange but it is true). It is about pleasure. If we associate a product with a pleasurable feeling, we are more likely to buy it. Some men can’t see past the sexual nature of these images and see the real damage they cause. In fact, this never registers with most men until a woman close to them experiences domestic or sexual violence. It is time for men to be enlightened.
Most men are good guys who believe that violence against women is wrong. They just don’t realize how violence against women comes about and why it still exists. They also don’t realize that they may be contributing to it by supporting these companies (and thousands of others), by laughing at a sexist joke, or by staring at a woman’s chest instead of her eyes during a conversation. These things seem innocent enough and are an accepted part of our culture, but this is where men must check themselves and each other. We must begin to change our culture so that these sorts of behaviors no longer go unchecked or unnoticed. If we do this, we will begin to create change. It will take time, but it will happen. It starts now…