Top Women’s Day Fails


Mar 8, 2016


Sometimes, the best intentions pave the way to… hilariously missing the point. These attempts to celebrate International Women’s Day will have you laughing out loud or banging your head against the desk. (We suggest the former, with a martini in hand.)

Sending Pre-Made Women’s Day Wishes

India.com is offering ready-made Women’s Day messages perfect for SMS, WhatsApp, email, Facebook, etc. We honestly don’t know where to begin — the image that looks like an amateurish mock up for a maxi pad ad? The simultaneously sappy and offensive messages? Too late — we’re choking on that martini already.

Challenging Some Stereotypes By Celebrating Others

We think we get where Titan Raga was trying to go with its Women’s Day ad — challenging gendered assumptions — but the result is more tone-deaf than harmonious. The only message that comes across is: If you’re not sleeping your way to the top, you are… a man? (And we’re stumped as to how the ad helps sell watches either way.)

Allowing Women Into Men-Only Zones

Truefitt & Hill, a high-end barbershop, is for one day only allowing women into its restricted “men-only” zones for a “special session of indulgence,” which includes massages and nail treatments. Thanks for the honor of a glimpse into the hallowed halls of your He-Man Club; we’ve truly achieved equality now. Onwards and upwards!

Making Women Work Longer Hours

Today, Air India sent its longest flight with an all-female crew from New Delhi to San Francisco. So… for Women’s Day women have to work longer hours, while men get the day off? We’d just like to understand what point the airline is trying to prove — that a woman-run flight won’t spontaneously fall out of the sky? That’s been clear for more than 30 years — since the first time the airline tried this gimmick.

Shilling Masked As Empowerment

Today, Sonakshi Sinha — ‘in honor’ of Women’s Day — will attempt to set a world record for the most simultaneous manicures and pedicures. There’s nothing quite like sporting Flamenco Fancy on your toes to celebrate “the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women” and make an urgent call to “accelerate gender parity” say you’re a pawn in a corporate marketing scheme. (Don’t think about it too much. Just sit there and get pretty!)

Dropping A Single To Up Your Profile

Shruti Haasan has come up with a song for Women’s Day called “My Day in the Sun.” It wasn’t released by the time this article went live, so we haven’t been able to listen to the song yet. But the title makes us doubtful. Let’s hope it’s not the musical equivalent of painting your nails.

Keeping Stereotypes Alive And Well

Vodafone, to show how much it values its female customers, is offering them a month of free alerts (spam?) on fashion, cooking, diet tips, and jokes — the four things all women care about most! We see at least one big joke in this — too bad the company isn’t in on it.

Insulting Us With Spurious Offers

Tata Housing and SBI are partnering to offer a special rate for women buying homes today. Sounds cool, right? Helping women to become homeowners is a great effort! But not so fast… that discounted interest rate they’re offering is five-hundredths of a percent lower than the normal interest rate. A partnership that puts the “increment” in incremental change… and presumes ladies won’t read the fine print.

Keeping Men Out Of The Conversation

Prime Minister Modi has called for a session of Parliament wherein only women be allowed to speak. Well-intentioned? Sure. But this assumes that 1) women MPs will only speak on women’s issues, and 2) that men can’t be concerned with gender issues, which has dismal implications for fixing the very real and very serious problems women face in our country. (Like say, that pesky marital rape law? The decriminalization of prostitution? There are plenty to choose from.)

The gesture feels hollow: “It’s cool, guys. We’ll spend the next 364 days talking over them. Let the ladies have their say on their special day.” These women are badass MPs helping lead and change a man’s world. They’ll speak when they have something to say on the issues of their choice — just like their male counterparts.

But it’s not all bad…

Look, every day is Women’s Day in our office. If some people can only muster that attitude one day in a year, so be it — but they’d better make it count, like these folks:

Caring For Women Cancer Patients

Mumbai’s Jaslok Hospital is supporting the sisterhood by inviting healthy women to share their hair with women who have lost theirs. The NGO Hair Aid will be on hand to collect donated hair and turn it into wigs for cancer patients.

Fighting Gender Stereotypes

Kareena Kapoor Khan and Arjun Kapoor are ultimately just promoting their new movie. But their video on gender expectations is refreshingly thoughtful and worth a view.

Supporting Women In Tech

The Tech in Asia conference, to be held in Bangalore, has set aside 200 free passes for women coders and entrepreneurs. We can talk until we run out of breath about the need to include more women in STEM fields; actions like these actually do it!

Funding Girl Power

India’s first all-women ultimate frisbee team is raising money to attend the world championship in London. Their crowdfunding campaign is set to launch today.


Written By The Swaddle Team


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