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Spanish Mother’s Day ad is offensive to women — and terrifying to men

Shine On
May 6, 2014
Spanish Mother’s Day ad is offensive to women — and terrifying to men
via YouTube

Tu decides -- "you decide" -- is the tagline of a new Spanish Mother's Day ad for international clothing company Desigual, and while the video may aim to empower women, it couldn't be more offensive.

Released last week, the ad features an attractive young woman trying on a new dress at a high-end boutique. The scene is seemingly innocent, until she shoves a cushion up her dress and fawns over her fake baby bump before pulling out a condom pack to prick holes in a rubber, all the while bearing a rather mischievous face.

This whole sperm bandit scene is accentuated by the jolly little jingle playing in the background, as if to assure women that this act is totally light-hearted -- not something that could potentially derail a man's life against his will.

And while we could make the argument that this ad is totally offensive and discrediting to men and their role in parenting, it actually does the most harm to women.

First, the frivolity with which the actress treats her decision to hijack a man's sperm reinforces the harmful stereotype that women are not to be taken seriously; that their decisions are based on whimsies and fun things (like "how cute do I look with this baby bump?") rather than actual real-life contemplations (such as, say, "how am I going to feed this child?").

Second, it romanticizes pregnancy and the decision to bring new life into the world to a terrifying degree. Yes, pregnancy is beautiful and something to be celebrated, but it's not about looking good. Plus, we have a feeling swollen feet and stretch marks might not go over quite as well with this fashionista.

Lastly, the ad seems to ignore the whole spirit of Mother's Day. Somehow, glorifying a woman who decides to selfishly trick a man into becoming a father seems like a poor way to celebrate women who sacrifice their own desires to put the needs of others first.

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