BIC South Africa has tried to save face and apologized after trying to empower the ladies by telling them think like men. Instead of, you know, using their hormone-ravaged, weaker girl brains.
“The message reads like a twisted spoof of a Dove commercial, or a 1960s tampon ad,” New York Magazine criticized.
While the message was obviously well-intentioned, the culture into which it was poorly broadcast is especially sensitive these days to any words that can be construed as sexist, racists, homophobic, or otherwise. But the spirit of BIC’s Facebook post was truly a bit insulting.
According to the Associated Press, BIC posted the message (making the situation even worse) in celebration of the 59th anniversary of an anti-Apartheid march led by women. And they used the hashtag #HappyWomensDay, referring to the public holiday that recognizes the event.
Splashed next to the face of a beautiful female model, the post read: “Look like a girl, Act like a lady, Think like a man, Work like a boss.”
To be fair to BIC, which has since apologized a couple of times, the post could be interpreted as a celebration of how a woman can embrace both her femininity and strength. Or, it could be interpreted as an edict on how she should behave.
BIC evidently apologized a couple of times. The first time the company apologized, the statement was deleted; they attempted to explain their original intention.
“We… apologize to all our fans who took offense to our recent Women’s Day Post. We can assure you that we meant it in the most empowering way possible and in no way derogatory towards women. We took the quote from a ‘Women in Business’ blog site. The blog site explains the quote and what its intentions were when it was written. BIC believes in celebrating women and the powerful contribution women make to our society.”
Then BIC apologized in a simpler, more direct way.
“This post should never have gone out. The feedback you have given us will help us ensure that something like this will never happen again, and we appreciate that.”
BIC has ticked off feminists before, adhering to the “blue is for boys, pink is for girls” stereotype by releasing a “for her” pink pen in 2012, Reuters noted.
They apologized for that flub as well.
The ill-advised ad also inspired some funny memes and reactions on Twitter.
[Photo Courtesy Bruno Vincent/Getty Images]