By Steve Dellar   |  09-26-2018   News
Photo credit: Distracted Boyfriend Meme

The Swedish Advertisement Watchdog, a state organization which reports back to the EU, has ruled that the infamous ‘Distracted Boyfriend Meme’ is sexist. Expectations are that it will therefore probably soon become forbidden to use on social media in the 28 member states in accordance with new internet regulations.

The only way you could have escaped the infamous ‘distracted boyfriend meme’ in 2018 is if you would have been living on another planet this year.

The source image, taken by photographer Antonio Guillem back in 2015 under the description "disloyal man with his girlfriend looking at another girl" first became famous when used to make the distinction between ‘all music’, ‘pop music’ and ‘phil collins’ on a 2017 Facebook page by ‘Düşmanlarına Verilen Müthiş Cevaplar.’

A Swedish internet provider called Bahnhof had used the meme to try and attract new personnel to its operations center in Stockholm in April of this year.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="de" dir="ltr">Klar können <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Memes?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Memes</a> sexistisch sein … auch wenn sie populär sind. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/distractedboyfriend?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#distractedboyfriend</a><br><br>Für alle, die nur ‘Bahnhof’ verstehen, hier zum nachlesen: <a href="https://t.co/jQS68nUQt0">https://t.co/jQS68nUQt0</a> <br>h/t <a href="https://twitter.com/fiete_stegers?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@fiete_stegers</a></p>&mdash; Tilman [tuːwʌntuː] 🔍 (@twone2) <a href="https://twitter.com/twone2/status/1044874313038528517?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 26, 2018</a></blockquote>

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As foreseeable, their ad labelled the boyfriend “You”, the girlfriend “Your current workplace”, and the second woman “Bahnhof.”

It, however, attracted many complaints in response. The Swedish ad ombudsman, RO, thus gathered that “the advertisement objectifies women.”

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">That pose is straight out of the distracted boyfriend meme <a href="https://t.co/0qnEU5EcBv">pic.twitter.com/0qnEU5EcBv</a></p>&mdash; Skippy Vinyls (@SkippyVinyls) <a href="https://twitter.com/SkippyVinyls/status/1043137533637537792?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 21, 2018</a></blockquote>

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“It presents women as interchangeable items and suggests only their appearance is interesting … It also shows degrading stereotypical gender roles of both men and women and gives the impression men can change female partners as they change jobs.”

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="sv" dir="ltr">Så hanterade Bahnhof kritiken om sexism efter att ha postat en jobbannons med &quot;distracted boyfriend&quot;-memen<a href="https://t.co/xhtzB9VXBZ">https://t.co/xhtzB9VXBZ</a> <a href="https://t.co/1jd2wfOm6Q">pic.twitter.com/1jd2wfOm6Q</a></p>&mdash; Resumé (@tidningenresume) <a href="https://twitter.com/tidningenresume/status/982181697146896384?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 6, 2018</a></blockquote>

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In the end, the original advertisement drew nearly 1,000 comments, many from women who complained it was sexist.

One commenter, Miss Susanne Lahti Hagbard, claimed: “1. You really don’t want to attract women to your company. 2. You really don’t want to attract sensible guys either.”

Commenter Miss Sofie Sundåker meanwhile claimed that: “It doesn’t matter if it’s a popular meme. If you do not see how this picture is sexist whatever words are on the people, you are clearly not a workplace for any woman who wants to be taken seriously in her work.”

The company tried to defend itself by stating that it had been trying “to illustrate a situation that shows Bahnhof is an attractive employer, and that people who have a slightly duller workplace might be interested in us. This was the situation illustrated in this meme. Anyone familiar with the internet and meme culture knows how this meme is used and interpreted. Gender is usually irrelevant in the context.”

“We explained meme culture to the ombudsman, but it chose to interpret the post differently.”

Source:

https://news.sky.com/story/distracted-boyfriend-meme-objectifies-women-and-is-sexist-says-swedish-watchdog-11509125

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Anonymous No. 38010 1537972907

That's OK, US Americans will keep it alive!

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