Mid-day Reports On Women Against Male-bashing

http://mid-day.com/news/2009/dec/161209-shave-india-campaign-gillette-AIFWA-uma-challa.htm

‘Gillette is breaking families’

By: Anshuman G Dutta

A Hyderabad-based women’s NGO joins hands with its male counterparts against the Shave India Campaign

Bollywood hotties Mugdha Godse, Neha Dhupia and Minissha Lamba are urging women to encourage their men to get rid of facial hair. But, here’s good news for those men fed up with “derogatory” advertisements prodding them to shave. The fairer sex supports the stubble too.

After men-only NGOs raised their voice against the new campaign of Gillette, a multi-national brand of safety razors, which has launched a tirade against facial hair, a Hyderabad-based NGO, All India Forgotten Women’s Association (AIFWA), has also join hands with its male counterparts.

Gillette, a brand owned by Procter and Gamble (P&G), launched a Women Against Lazy Stubble (WALS) advertisement featuring Bollywood hotties urging women to encourage their men to get rid of facial hair. Men grow stubble just out of their laziness, the campaign said.

According to the NGO, the advertisement is derogatory and has the tendency to create  family disharmony.

“The Shave India Campaign is all about male bashing. Showing men in a poor light has become a corporate gimmick,” said Uma Challa, president, AIFWA.

The NGO has asked all memebers to shun Gillette products to mark its protest against the company. Besides, it has invited other like-minded people to join the cause and boycott the company till an apology is furnished.

“A man — be it husband, father, brother or son — play an important role in the family. And this is not because of their preference to shave or not to shave. Shaving has nothing to do with the relationship and being lazy,” she said.

Challa also informed that her husband Kiranam Chatti, who is a scientist, also did not shave on December 7 that was observed by India Men Welfare Association (AIMWA)  as National Stubble Day.

While AIFWA  insisted upon the vital role of men in a family environment, it is also planning to make it a nationwide campaign. Its website while severely criticising P&G for the advertisement called the idea vile, anti-male, loony stunt. “If P&G doesn’t hesitate to indulge in demeaning our men, they shouldn’t expect women to refrain from demeaning P&G either,” read the website.

“The advertisement says “Women on Warpath” against their lazy husband because they are not shaving everyday. It’s a ridiculous even to think,” said Uma.

This is not all. To protest the Gillette advertisement AIMWA has launched another campaign “Refund for Razors”, where all the members will send their used Gillette razors to the company. “We are boycotting all Proctor & Gamble (P&G) products and our members are enthusiastically following it,” said Virag Dhulia, founder member of AIMWA.

“With other social activists  joining our campaign we have proved that the advertisement is against our basic motto of promoting harmony in a family. No corporate body can promote Indian women to go on a “warpath” just because their husbands are not shaving every day. Moreover, no one has the right to call us lazy  over such thing,” said Swarup Sarkar, coordinator, Save Family Foundation (SFF), who is spearheading the movement against Gillette’s promotional feature.

Also read: SOS: Save our stubble


Uma Challa writes on her blog
I, as a human being, empathise with the plight of the modern day man, who is expected to be nothing less than perfect in order to be spared of ridicule or hatred in the society.

Present day women always have so many excuses for behaving the way they do, and are always talking about what they want. But now that male-bashing is promoted as a laudable pursuit by selfish companies like P&G and there is no price for being pig-headed and unfair, they really don’t see anything wrong in dictating terms to men. Yes, guys, this is what the flakes want. The verdict is finally out.

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