Harold Bishop has a posse

The Rae St Institute > Blog archive > Pimp my ride (or don't) + Becak Bule! + Is this leaflet sexist?

Friday night, as every last friday of the month (for the past damn near 10 years) saw Critical Mass.

Now this month was special for two reasons.
  1. The police were chilled, the media was quiet (a little bird 9 foot tall androgynous helicopter pilot in a rabbit suit tells me that Mick Wallyums is off elsewhere these days.. network cross-promotions and ads for cheese.. high demand for naval officers and all that)
  2. The single COOLEST FUCKING PIECE OF MACHINERY I'VE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE* was there:





    Yep... a bubble spewing, 100% pimped (exploitation connotations of the word notwithstanding and all that) quad bike - designed, built and piloted by two quality Massers.
* No responsibility for hyperbole will be accepted. Keeping in mind of course that exaggeration is what separates us from the animals.

Except the weasels.


Anyhoo, we drifted down to Prahran, then back (as always) to the inner norf (it would be nice to finish down southside OCCASIONALLY, even though I don't actually live there.. egalitarianism etc). Then off post-mass further north to see a recently imported Indonesian bike taxi (BECAK BULE!) which looked like hell to ride but at the same time amazingly practical.

Now, a question that I'm going to throw to the floor (not physically, of course, though the metaphor is an interesting one) is something that arose about a leaflet. Here's the leaflet (sides 1 + 2):



For my money both sides are sheer brilliance, but side 2 is the one that's going to still get printed, at the expense of side 1 (the chopped off caption is "Bargain Hunters")

The issue at hand was one raised by the friend of mine who printed them (and I *think* designed them) -- that side 1 is sexist?

Is it, though? And that's what I'd like to get some feedback on.

My take is no, it isn't -- while it's drawing on the whole shopping-gender-role thing, that's what consumerism BEGAN as. It sits at the core of the ideology of consumerism. As a piece of retro kitsch, using the idea of female buying power as central to a critique of consumerism is totally reasonable, since that's how it began in the immediate post-war years. They weren't selling to the men, they were selling to the women. And you still see echoes of that today.

But what do you think?

1 Comment - [post a comment]

Designer Bum - Rufus B, Sunday, July 31, 2005, 12:41 PM
It's not sexist, it's actually a parody of life. Have a look at any gentrified inner suburb. Single White female driving ‘Fuck Off’ Porche Cayenne or better still BMW. I urge any blogger to walk down a street such as High St., Armadale VIC and count the number of women in oversized, petrol drinking, superfluous, statement making 4WD's. You will run out of fingers! Tax the fuckers, heavily, and give the money to Lollie Pop Ladies!