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When is the discriminatory treatment of women not really discriminatory? How about when an ad campaign shows women and men being treated exactly the same? Nope: that's still discrimination! At least, in South Africa. But to really judge, you need to see the photos, which follow the story from True's 13 March 2005 issue:

Gender Discrimination

To call attention to its new Fall line, the Young Designers Emporium of South Africa has a new poster ad campaign in its shop windows. The "Brand Spanking New Fashions" posters feature models in their underwear sporting red marks on their thighs to imply they've been spanked with a paddle. The Law Society of South Africa has expressed outrage over the posters, which go "against the grain of eradicating the trivialization and humiliation of the female body," says Society spokeswoman Nonto Umlaw. "We show a man and woman being spanked," points out YDE Creative Director Sam Coleman. "It is quite surprising that no one said anything about the man." (Pietermaritzburg Witness) ...Well no: obviously he deserved it.

And here are the photos -- one's discrimination, the other is fine:

Discrimination!
'Spanked' woman. This advertisement is an outrage. It's horrendous discrimination for a woman to be "spanked" -- why, look at those red marks and everything! The store that ran this ad should be hounded out of business.
'Spanked' man. This advertisement, however, is fine -- no problem seen; perfectly acceptable, please carry on. Any redness seen is probably just a color balance problem with the photography. (Photos courtesy YDE.)

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12 Comments on This Entry

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Posted by Herby, Germany on June 20, 2009:

I'll have you know that corporal punishment in South African schools was, until around 1990 or so, quite commonplace. My butt has had the displeasure of being "paddled" on more than one occasion -- the cane, however, was much worse.

Using the metaphorical paddle in an ad such as this would, to most Safricans, therefore be more hilarious than sexist, discriminatory or dehumanising than anything else. One can only assume that there was no trouble with discipline in Nonto Umlaw's schooling days since girls only got rapped over their fingers with a ruler.

Posted by Warp, Alberta, CA on December 13, 2009:

Well I must say she is mighty fetchin'. At least the guy looks to be in similar physical shape as the girl, so that is one point in their favor. I agree this is stupid discrimination.

Posted by Audrey, New Jersey on January 19, 2010:

I would like to apply to be a model for your fashions! :) Or a make-up artist (I love to paint bottoms red!) Haha, looks fun, and not so surprising that people freak out about silly stuff.

Posted by Gary, Austin,TX on February 19, 2010:

I'm going to organize a new political party", "Anti-PC". It will include, as a list of the ethnic groups that support it, all the derogatory nouns I can think of. To start with: I'm. Jewish, so the first plank in its platform is "All kikes welcome."

I doubt this will get posted.

So there.

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Why, is it offensive? -rc

Posted by M, Texas on March 31, 2010:

I find it distasteful because they're always young people. I'm 50 decrepit years old and wanna see some old hags getting spanked! How about some old geezers? Ahh. I can just see my wrinkled, pasty sagging rear turning beet red, but who wants to look at some delicious looking young hottie every time? Old farts of the world rebel! Let these whippersnappers know we want to see old wrinkled asses as well!

Just don't hit to hard.. I'm mostly skin and bone and that looks like it might break my hip bones..But then again maybe I could sue for breaking my bones... Hmmmm...

Posted by Kay, UK on April 17, 2010:

Hmm... The thing that immediately strikes me isn't that they're spanked - there are people who have that fetish and who am I to judge - but that the woman is far more sexualized and hotted up than the male. It almost looks as if he thought he lost his keys while idly undressing after work, and scatterbrainedly got down on all fours and started thinking about where they were. The woman on the other hand while thankfully not eyeing the viewer, still seems to be posing more than the guy.

It would have been far more interesting (and hot) if the guy would have gotten the same treatment: Wearing nothing but a loose shirt and tight sexy shiny undies, legs in the spotlight and given the same shine treatment while wearing shiny sexy shoes (yes, there is such a thing as manly sexy shoes too).

The legs of guys is hot too, and a far too neglected thing in advertising. I've never gotten why guys seem so obsessed with their arms.

Posted by AllanW, Rancho Cucamonga on July 20, 2010:

I don't agree that these pictures are "exactly the same."

The woman is wearing "sexy" underwear, and nothing else (except shoes) below the waist. Her face is almost completely hidden in shadow. There is a fairly large red blotch on her leg near her butt, implying that there is much more hidden by the underwear, and that it was caused by a lot of spanking.

The man is wearing dark trousers, although they're pulled down to mid-thigh. His briefs are apparently designed to be functional, not sexy. He also has a red blotch on his leg, but at least the visible part is much smaller than hers, so even if it was caused by spanking, it doesn't seem to be as extreme.

To be fair, I haven't seen very much underwear for men that was designed to look sexy. What I HAVE seen looks pretty stupid to me - I'm not sure if other people feel the same way, but if they do, that certainly explains why there isn't a lot more of it, and it also explains why the guy isn't wearing it.

I don't think this invalidates the main point of this story: the two pictures have more in common than differences, so the idea that one is offensive and one isn't is pretty silly.

But I don't think you can truthfully say that the pictures are identical except for gender.

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The photos are "identical" in what they are portraying: both have been exposed down to undergarments that are typically worn, and both show evidence of being punished. Simple as that. -rc

Posted by John, Honolulu on July 28, 2010:

M, Texas: that is both hilarious and disturbing. Anyways, I can understand their fuss. Just saying, which one do you think was used more?

Posted by Sam, Seattle on September 24, 2010:

My thoughts on male underwear is that the stuff absolutely sucks! There has never been anything that I think looks sexy and I urge all males to do something about it! I started wearing ladies underwear 49 years ago and I still do to this day and my wife and me still have a blast when we go shopping together!

Oh, and the spanking bit? I urge everyone of you out there to go and try it, just remember this: Spanking is NOT about muscles, it is about getting the erogenous zones to wake up and react, and they DO react when done right!

Posted by CHARLES F, MALIBU, CA on November 4, 2010:

Does anybody REALLY think that the slightly reddened blush on the models' thighs are the result of anything other than a light, erotic spanking? For those individuals who have been unfortunate enough to have experienced a true paddling, the "blush" would actually be a blatantly dark crimson.

Complain when a real travesty has happened; not a silly ad campaign, advocating only erotic S&M.

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I don't think anyone really thinks the marks are from spanking, I think they (correctly!) think they're from makeup. -rc

Posted by mark in Pa on May 25, 2012:

Is that Ashton?

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I'm pretty sure Ashton is 1) not from South Africa, and 2) not in need of low-paying modeling gigs. But the model does resemble him! -rc

Posted by Thera in the South on May 25, 2012:

Pfft. A tempest in a teacup.

On a more personal note, I would totally shop there. The ads are creative, unusual, memorable and eye-catching. They're generating "buzz"; exactly what an ad campaign is supposed to do. People who have never heard of YDE now have. Success!

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Exactly! It's surely why they were happy to let me reproduce the ad images. Smart! -rc

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