The Snapdeal ad borrowed a scene from Aishwarya Rai film ‘Jazbaa’ to make a sexist joke about women shopping excessively.

My wife filed higher IT returns than I did Actor Rahul slams Snapdeal ad wife Chinmayi cheersFacebook/Chinmayi Sripadaa
Flix Social media Wednesday, August 16, 2017 - 12:32

We've all got those ha-ha jokes on family WhatsApp groups about women and shopping. While some of us grit our teeth and ignore these, others enthusiastically forward the jokes, believing that they are "harmless fun". But is benign sexism really as innocent? Or do they contribute to a culture of gender stereotyping?

On Tuesday, online shopping site Snapdeal posted a sexist ad borrowing a shot from the Aishwarya Rai film Jazbaa. The visual showed a panicked Aishwarya running, and the accompanying text read, "Running to the door before your husband finds out how much online shopping you did."

Slamming the ad, actor Rahul Ravindran – who is married to singer Chinmayi – tweeted, "My wife filed higher returns than I did last year and pays for her own online or otherwise shopping. She ain't gonna run anywhere." The actor included the hashtag 'Sexist' with the tweet.

When one Twitter user defended the ad, claiming that Rahul was reading too much into it, the actor went on to elaborate why such advertising was harmful.

In a series of tweets, Rahul pointed out that "such seemingly harmless jokes keep reinforcing unhealthy stereotypes and make sure women are largely thought of in such terms." 

He noted that men also spend unwisely on shopping but that they're not made the butt of jokes like women are.

He also pointed out the irony of the ad featuring Aishwarya Rai, who is "one of the highest earners in the entertainment industry."

Rahul's views resonated with many Twitter users, not least his wife Chinmayi, who said, "This is the kinda man one should be with, ladies. I hope you (and your parents) choose well. Happy Independence Day."

After the negative publicity, Snapdeal deleted the ad from their Twitter page.

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