Politics & Policy

Firm’s Anti-Drunk Driving Ad Blasted as ‘Sexist’ Even Though It Made the Same One Featuring a Guy

Newsflash: That's the opposite of sexist.

A British taxi firm is being blasted for a “sexist” anti-drunk driving ad — despite the fact that it also made a version of the exact same ad featuring a man.

The ad, put out by Southampton’s West Quay Cars, features an overweight, middle-aged woman seductively biting her finger with the words: “If I Start To Look Sexy — Book A Taxi.”

“I am speechless at how awful this is,” said Orla Sheehan, president of the Southampton University Feminist Society.

A post in the society’s Facebook group even called for a boycott.

But here’s the thing: The firm also made a version of the ad with the exact same words featuring a man with a gold chain necklace, mustache, and popped collar. 

Making the exact same ad with people of each sex is basically known as the opposite of sexism. On top of that, according to manager Lee Haynes, 16 of the firm’s 22 employees are female — which would make them all sexist against themselves.

If you want to call the ad against her “​fat-ist,” you’d have to also complain that the one against him is “moustache-ist” “gold chain-ist,” and “chest hair-ist.” The group didn’t mention those microaggressions at all.

Or, you know, we could just stop complaining and see the bigger picture.

As the taxi firm’s manager put it: “We recognised that the campaign may be controversial, but in our opinion, our obligation to try to reduce the amount of lives devastated by drink or drug drivers ever year was overriding.”

Well, good luck trying to override the impulse to cry sexism at every turn.

— Katherine Timpf is a reporter at National Review Online.

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