French Connection's "This Is The Man/This Is The Woman" ad campaign has been around for many months now. It has bothered me right from the start. The Man in this campaign is presented as active: the copy is in all caps, and often in quotations - he speaks for himself, in an assertive voice. The Woman is passive: the copy (with standard capitalization) makes observations about her appearance. In the example above, The Man says, "DO NOT DRESS LIKE CHILD." Apparently this maxim does not apply to The Woman, of whom it is written, "The woman is not undersized. The jacket is oversized. But the effect - it is the same." The Man asserts rigid standards of masculinity, while The Woman is infantilized and objectified.
Today I went to the mall. At French Connection was the most gratuitously sexist window display I have ever seen.
The copy on the window reads, "THE MAN ENDURES CHRISTMAS" which, first of all, is a highly unseasonal sentiment, and a rather ineffective way to get people in the Christmas shopping spirit. The mannequins are posed with punching bags, which I suppose is how The Man is supposed to take out his frustration with the holiday season. All the men I know who enjoy Christmas must either be pretending, or they aren't Real Men.
On the other hand, "The woman prepares for Christmas." Which not only makes her the presumptive homemaker, but also the source of The Man's annoyance. How is she preparing for Christmas? Apparently, by standing with a fan blowing up her skirt. Again, while the male figures are depicted as active, the female figures are passive and ornamental.
This display isn't unique to the one FCUK location. Apparently, it's in other locations around the city too, and, one assumes, across North America.
Fuck you, FCUK.