This week I've been struck by two awful images of women from two different media campaigns: the Hollywood blockbuster The Devil Inside and 'the sleekest way to long lasting freshness' - the TV advert for 'Glade Discreet':
One lot are possessed and taking part in a series of 'unauthorised exorcisms' (begging the question, is authoriszation usually the big question with exorcisms?). The two images on my tube platform are: a nun with eyes that have rolled inside out, and a child with a crucifix cut into her lip.
The other lot are possessed and taking part in an exorcism of an even more mysterious nature. In the latest advert for 'Glade Discreet' one generous lady rocks up at her friend's house, 'very contemporary' she compliments her. Lucky she's all dressed up in Armani-ish business casual for what they've got planned. Yes! You're right - she has brought 'the thinnest air conditioner there is' and they can both sit there snorting in the synthetic air, not speaking, laughing sporadically, and looking close to ecstasy. Surely they must be possessed too? Or Armani Friend One emits smells that need exorcising so urgently friends come round to help.
As women we need to get a bit more on the ball about what is completely ridiculous in terms of marketing. Women have always been stuffed into virgin/whore dichotomies, and classifications of irrationality which vary from being inane nesters or witches. Most of us aren't defined by either, and are scared by both.
I believe using the image of a nice old nun to shock by giving her gammy eyes, and a child with carved skin is nasty, violent and lazy. It's not clever or thrilling to take a 'fluffy' image and whack something 'bad' on. Puppies with slit bleeding throats, hamsters fresh from the guillotine, Richard Hammond with '666' burned onto his head. Who needs it?
People choose to see horror films and that's up to them, but I resent having the posters forced down my throat. More than that I resent them being seen by all the young school kids who stand on that platform. They should be better protected from frightening, stupid images. Young girls of four or five are eye height to demonic nun and carved lips or images (which now move) of underwear models, giggling with their thrill at gamboling about in pants. Parents can't choose whether they want their daughters to see these. (They would be much better off looking at the fantastic blog - 'women laughing alone with salad'!)
I feel deeply annoyed watching women who are slightly more stupid than cows (because cows don't spend as much cash on clothes) larking it up giving each other Glade Discreet. Most women would freak at being given an air freshener as a present. At best it's a crap gift, at worst terrible for the environment, and insulting about hygiene. Who has criticised that lady for her last freshener being indiscreet? Was it that odd woman from the last campaign who wanted her Glade stinker to match her collection of stone vases?
What's up with this lot? Why should I be bombarded with images of the female as demonic or dumb ass? Why should young girls not be able to turn away from this as bombarded on the tube and the telly? They may get such weird ideas about women, they will take more than unauthorized exorcisms to challenge.