There is some fantastic news from the advertising regulator that harmful gender stereotyping in adverts will be banned, finally, from June 2019.
Dads Unlimited has been asking for this kind of poorly thought-through gender stereotype adverts to be banned for some time now due to the unconscious messaging they inherently communicate to their audiences, about the inequality of Fathers and much more.
Adverts where Dads are portrayed as not being able to cook a nutrious meal and can only fumble about with some frozen fishfingers – are not ok.
Adverts where Mum flusters around with the weight of the world upon her because she’s trying to look after two children, while Dad just comes home from work and sticks his feet up – are not ok.
Like many social movements and societal progressions before, something like stereotyping starts off from a place of humorous observation, but as society moves on, changes, and becomes more educated; as society becomes less racist, less anti-feminist, less judgemental – unfortunately stereotypes persist in maintaining an inaccurate narrative about their subjects.
This is a great step forward for British consumers, British families, and ultimately, British children.
Future generations of children can now grow up without external prejudices being handed down subconsciously via broadcast advertising media.
The situation in their own home may be one of inequality and one of their parents may indeed not ‘pull their weight leaving the other parent to do most of the adulting, parenting, and household management… and yes, that’s not ok either!
But thankfully, now, these adults and children will be being fed perceptions of equal parenting, equal partners, and equality in the family household. That is a fantastic foundation upon which our children’s societal norms can be built.
Hopefully, this new rule will drive positive change in those households where equality is yet to reach.
For more information see the article on the BBC: ‘Watchdog bans ‘harmful’ gender stereotypes in adverts‘