Winners of the annual Sexist Piggie Awards (Sexistické prasátečko in Czech), an event that compiles the worst examples of sexism in advertising, were announced earlier this month.
The awards are organized by the non-profit group Nesehnutí, an umbrella organization for a number of smaller NGOs devoted to social and ecological change which includes the women’s rights group Ženská práva.
Each year a shortlist of contenders is compiled from the worst examples of stereotyping, sexist language, and objectifcation sent in by the public. An overall winner is decided by online voting; a jury-selected winner is also chosen.
Among the usual line-up of scantily-clad women hawking political parties, fishing supplies, and beer, this year voters chose as the most offensive ad this baffling billboard from a Moravian wine bar.
The jury, however, aimed its criticisms at state institutions.
Public offender number one? The Municipal Police of Prague for sharing a photo of a lingerie-clad woman posing with a squad car on its Facebook profile earlier this year.
The photo went viral and was subsequently deleted; the police defended the post saying they were simply making an effort to offer more “lighthearted content” on their social media channels.
Jury member Lenka Vochocová writes of the photo on the Sexist Piggie site:
“If the objective is to promote recruitment to the city police, the advertising chosen by the situation excludes heterosexual women (or women in general) who may find it difficult to identify the situation (other than the position of the object offered for sex). I choose [this advertisement] on the grounds that it is striking for me in the flood of ads with a similar strategy, who the advertiser is – I would expect the police to set standards and promote respectful access to all members of the company.”
Second place jury selection was a job advertisement from the Czech Post, which depicts a woman focused on job security while the pictured man is more concerned with career advancement.
Juror Marina Urbanikova: “I find it particularly dangerous because it is seemingly harmless — unlike most of the other nominated ads, it does not contain pornographic elements, it does not work with nudity or lascivious bias. Its sexism is characterized by markedly different career aspirations for men and women…the ad contributes to the reproduction of gender stereotypes, which are already deeply rooted in Czech society, in addition to the fact that the Czech Republic is among the countries with the largest gender pay gap.”
This year was the tenth and final outing for the awards. Eva Bartáková of Nesehnutí says that the event has fulfilled its main purpose, which was to ignite debate about Czech sexism.
“People began to notice sexism in the ads and around them. That’s why we feel it’s time to move on. The Sexist Piggies have pointed to a negative phenomenon in our society. Now we want to focus on positive things, especially the creation of educational programs for young people,” she said.
To read more about the awards and to see the other nominated ads, take a look at this year’s photo gallery of nominees.