Is This Billboard Sexist or Good-Natured Fun?
A group of students from Siena College protested in front of a billboard in Newtonville, New York, saying the sign is sexist and promotes gender stereotypes.
The advertisement on the billboard, from Teakwood Builders, Inc., features a luxury kitchen with the text, "Your wife wants me."
Siena student Delaney Rivers said in an e-mail to News10.com:
[The billboard] implies that men are the primary financial supporters of women and that women are materialistic and portrayed as having no other value outside of the kitchen. This is especially egregious towards students at our institution as many of us are working towards financial independence in hopes to have successful careers and equality in our relationships.
The feminist protesters held up signs with slogans like, "I can buy my own kitchen," "Women left the kitchen decades ago," and "Men can make their own sandwiches."
Jim Sasco, president of Teakwood Builders, issued a response to the protesters:
Thank you for the message regarding the report on our billboard in Newtonville. A vast majority of Teakwood's clients are women. Frequently they are the decision makers about major expenditures. This billboard - and the entire "Your wife wants me" campaign is good-natured, tongue in cheek fun meant to appeal to women who have a sense of humor, a sense of history and healthy self-esteem.
We applaud the students involved in the protest for their excitement about their cause.
And we thank them for drawing attention to the gorgeous Teakwood kitchen on the billboard.
I don't have any statistics to back this up, but I'm guessing that there is some correlation between those three things -- a sense of humor, a sense of history, and a healthy self-esteem. The strongest women I know -- those with the highest self-esteem -- generally also have a well-developed sense of humor.
There's a lesson in there somewhere for the "concern trolling" crowd.