Cross-posted at Miscellaneous Me.
When I first saw the recent Australian Snickers advertisement online, I had no idea of what I was about to watch, presuming it to be a generic homemade video and not part of a corporate advertising campaign. The viral video was simply listed on an entertainment site as, “Aussie Builders Surprise Women With Loud Empowering Statements,” and was tagged under, “funny” and “pop culture.” From this, I expected the video to be bit of lighthearted amusement at least, a display of female empowerment at best. The aim of the video is obviously to entertain through the reversal of the stereotypical assumption that construction workers are misogynistic, and it opens with the question, “What happens when builders aren’t themselves?” This already implies that any act of female empowerment to follow will not be a true representation of the average construction worker, an ambivalent start to a supposedly “amusing” clip.
The advertisement looks to parody the sexist catcalling of builders at passing females, and does a fabulous job of reversing these roles, by rather ingeniously (or not) representing a group of men shouting down at women who are attempting to pass by. As one clichéd gender-equality statement after another is yelled down by the male workers at unsuspecting, young and photogenic females, I start to feel rather squeamish. By the time the Snickers slogan: “You’re not you when you’re hungry” flashes onscreen, poignantly overlapping the construction workers’ chant of “What do we want? Equality! What don’t we want? Misogyny!” I’ll admit I felt sick. Apparently, construction workers and, by extension, the entire working male population, will only support equality of the sexes when they are experiencing hunger. Not to worry though, a quick Snickers will “give them some nuts,” and revert them to the male chauvinism that is, according to this, their natural state. Cheers, for that metaphorical kick up the vagina.