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Ew! August 6, 2005

Posted by Winter in sexism, WTF.
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Over at Feministing they’ve been running a very funny and icky most disturbing product poll, which has inspired me to nominate a couple of items here.

How about these “sexy” talking dartboards? Apparently they make great gifts for Valentine’s Day. Hmmm.

The sexy woman says the following when you hit her “targets”

“Ooh, that hit the spot
Bullseye
Ouch, that hurt
Did’nt feel a thing big boy
Try the other one”

The tagline on the box reads “Hit the target & I squeal with delight”

Object : the campaign against the use of sexist images in advertising and the media, have already mounted a challenge to retailers selling this product, successfully getting their complaint upheld by Advertising and Trading Standards. They argue that it is at best insensitive and, at worst, irresponsible to sell this “toy” in a society with such widespread and deadly domestic violence.

But, equally nasty and, I would argue, sexist, is the “talking man” dartboard.

“Hit the right spot!

Talking Dartboard-hit the target & I moan with delight!
Easy tiger! I might need them!
Ouch! that hurt!

Ladies! Why don’t you get your own back? Take out your frustrations by hitting him right where it hurts!!! ”

Ugh! I particularly don’t like the intimation that women should “hit” men in order to relieve their “frustrations.”

Of course, lots of people would tell me that these crude products are just a bit of fun or that they are “ironic.” The question I would ask is, why does “irony” now seem to so frequently manifest itself in relation to sexist images and products? In my view, these nasty items are pustulous scabs symptomatic of all that’s bad in the way we think about relations between the sexes in our society. Don’t buy something like this for your partner on Valentine’s Day! Get them something nice for goodness sake.

Oh, and don’t think these dartboards are relegated to dodgy online stores, they have been stocked by “reputable” retailers such as Burtons, River Island and The Gadget Shop.

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