Eating German sausages has now become a controversial pastime courtesy of local supermarket chain Edeka who have gone on to label what sausages a man can eat and what sausages a woman can eat.
In a move thought to aspire to be more marketing savvy, the food chain has come out with a campaign where it goes on to describe men’s sausages as ‘hearty, strongly spiced,’ whilst similarly treating female sausages as ‘lean,’ and half the size of sausages marketed towards men and naturally double the price.
The male sausages go on to feature an alluringly clad woman – in front of a flaming background – while female shoppers are being drawn by a topless gentleman with excellent muscle tone in front of a serene, cloudy background.
Yes very yummy…
That said some in the media have taken offense to the new campaign, questioning the assertion that Edeka seems to reinforce gender stereo types of how men and women are supposed to behave.
Taking exception is feminist journalist and political scientist Antje Schrupp who went on to wonder if the campaign implied that “men eat a lot and heartily, while women mainly want to be thin… Which is a not so subtle way of saying women are there to please, while men are allowed to enjoy.”
Went on to reflect Schrupp: “Of course you can react to it as if it’s just a joke, and presumably most sausage-buyers will do that. But your choice of name and accompanying advertising is still the expression and promotion of a – in the best case – thoughtless normative sexism, which gives each gender a ‘right’ role to play, with a built-in hierarchy.”
“And that affects the perceptions of people, even in small, seemingly trivial, playful contexts, and stands stubbornly in the way of gender equality.”
“I found the whole thing really quite unbearable, and I showed it to my partner, and she got really angry.”
“So I said to myself, if these sausage-sexists make my partner so angry, I can’t just let it go! I wanted to at least tell them my opinion.”
“I think it’s important to talk about everyday sexism and its consequences in as level-headed a way as possible if you want to raise sensibilities to it in broader society,” she added.
“Otherwise the criticism isn’t taken seriously.”
“It’s a general problem. I’ve seen women’s and men’s mustard as well. Often for children, of course.”
Since Schrupps thoughts became known, two different Edeka representatives have gone on to respond to journalist Susanne Enz’s rebuke of the new campaign, but interestingly refused to address her central point: one would only “what he understood of her letter,” – the question of why the ladies sausages were more expensive, (because they contain “particularly lean meat, high-quality vegetables” all packed in an “especially delicate skin”).
The other said the matter had been referred to “the responsible regional official.”
Because you can always count on society telling you how you ought to act or behave in a man’s world.