Media is a big part of our lives. Whatever is depicted on television and the internet is viewed by the entire public. This means that there is a need to evaluate what is being communicated through media: a major part of this is ad monitoring.

Television ads are popping up almost constantly; if you have the TV on chances are you’ll look at least ten different ads over the course of an hour, maybe more. Because we see ads all the time, we have started to look at them in a merely cursory way.

However, if you begin to study the messages underlying many of these advertisements, you will find a reoccurring theme of sexism which in this day and age, is absolutely ill-fitting for today’s versatile female (and male) mindsets:

1) Where’s the Teamwork?

It is well past time to do away with the generic Basmati cooking oil ad. There’s nothing wrong with it on the surface; it just shows a woman who is also, by default, a wife as well as a mother (why is she never single?), making delicious things to eat in the kitchen. But where is the husband? Why does he only show up to (unendearingly) tease his wife while she cooks and then waltzes away like he has no obligation to help out?

These ads not only tend to restrict gender roles to very specific capacities but also portray the woman as being valued not for herself as a person but for the functions she can perform for the family.


2) Why Do Sports Ads Feature Only Boys?

Ever noticed how ads like the ones for Milo and Mountain Dew are almost never centered on women and girls engaging in daring, sporty activities?


Why is this still, for the most part, an exclusive boys’ club? Women play soccer. Women climb mountains. Why are ad-makers still choosing to represent only half of society?

3) Why are Fathers Never Worried About Dirt and Dust?

Can we please do away with adverts showing mothers down on their hands and knees, obsessively hunting a speck of dirt in case it causes the children to get sick? Is this what ad-makers think women are choosing to do with their lives?


Who has the time to care anymore? Very few mothers are idle enough to go around hunting for the perfect disinfectant and then vigorously scrubbing the floors with it. It’s a satisfactory enough achievement if women get through the day with all their actual jobs done, which often include going to work, something these ads don’t factor all of this in at all.

4) Ever Wondered How To Completely Cross the Line?

There have been times advertisements have tossed all appearances aside and decided to show just how obscene they can get with their sexism.

It doesn’t matter if you didn’t “mean it that way”, because this demonstrates and reinforces the derogatory way women are often confined into specific roles. It is not funny, or clever.

5) Why Is Insurance Needed For Only The Son’s Education?

Here’s another instance of how Pakistani adverts indirectly push us all into their own little sexist boxes: by displaying how you should secure insurance to ensure your son gets a good education and your daughter marries well.


Even in this day and age, these ads are endorsing the fact that all women really require out of life is a good marriage, concepts such as self-sufficiency be damned!

6) Do You Really Think the Average Woman Can Afford Frivolity?

No, it is not okay how women are shown to be constantly fretting over their clothes and skin color; what’s more, the desired end result is almost always the admiring gazes of men as they walk to the restaurant after spending hours getting dolled up.

Where is the real, raw struggle regular women have to face every day? Why are they still being represented as mostly useless, sexed-up receptacles of male appreciation with nothing much of substance to partake in?

7) Ever Considered It’s Not Just the Woman’s Job?

It is ridiculously sexist how tea brand advertisements tend to show a young woman going around serving tea in the drawing room while her future in-laws are visiting in order to impress them. Why is only she being forced into the subordinate position of having to gain approval while everyone else just looks on?



It is absolutely not just the woman’s prerogative to inspire togetherness and closeness or to wait on a bunch of strangers hand and foot trying to make them like her.

It may not seem like such a big deal to some of us. But it matters in the end because the message most of these adverts send out places women in a position of subordination or helplessness. It narrows down the list of roles a woman is expected to fulfill and confines her to them. The very fact that we accept this as commonplace is proof of the fact that such values have already been ingrained in us, perhaps partly through the viewing of such media.


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