Suits Vs Lingerie
There was recently a story in the news about what was on display in a Marks and Spencer shop window. On one side, it had mens suits with the caption “Must have outfits to impress”. On the other, it was women’s lingerie with a different caption; “Must have fancy little knickers”.
Needless to say, with the current state of the world where everyone seems to be offended by everything, this made feminists a little cross! And Twitter responded, as you can see from the Twitter ‘moment’ below.
What made feminists angry, according to the video in the above moment (available in the full version on Twitter), was the juxtaposition of the men in suits vs the women in lingerie. As if to say that this is representative of what men and women need to do in society to be successful. Even though M&S made no reference to ‘success’.
I got in to a discussion with a guy on Twitter. I listen to his podcast occasionally and we engage with each other on Twitter. He’s an intelligent guy and I respect his views. We disagreed on this one, as he also thought that the message was morally wrong.
Think for yourself
My opinion on the matter is that, no matter your socio-economic position, there is one right that can’t be taken away from you. Your freedom of thought. It is my belief that we all have a responsibility to be able to think for ourselves, which means we each, individually, should be able to decide what the message is.
It is also my belief that what we are seeing here, is a demonstration of how lazy modern parenting is becoming as we seem to rely more on society to raise the next generation. That’s obviously a very sweeping statement. I don’t believe ALL parents are lazy. But generally speaking I believe parenting has become lazier. I don’t know how I’d qualify that, it’s just a feeling I get as these types of news stories become more prevalent.
I’d be interested to know how many women walked past that window and thought nothing of it, until this story broke in the news.
What are the facts?
I decided to do some digging of my own to find out what could have possibly been the reason behind the choices made by M&S in their Christmas marketing efforts. I found the M&S annual report. On page 7 (PDF page 9) it states “M&S retains market-leading positions in core categories such as lingerie, denim, business shirts, suits and Back to School”. So it seems to me that their brand message was right on point. Granted, this doesn’t differentiate between mens and womens suits or business shirts. So I went a little further.
Another interesting fact I found was on the statistics website, Statista. At the time that I saw the chart, it was free. I wish I’d downloaded it as it’s now only available to premium Statista members. Before the premium advert drops in, you get a brief opportunity to see the size of the bars in the chart. There’s quite a big difference between the first and second bar! From left to right they represent;
- Mens suits
- Women’s clothing
- Children’s clothing
This further reinforces the choices made by M&S with the limited space available in their shop window.
What do you think?
Should we be doing more to teach our kids morals?
Who even gets to decide the difference between right and wrong?
Do those who were angered by M&S have a point?
As I’ve always said, I’m open to debate and would love to hear your views but will not tolerate abuse.