Is This Domino’s Pizza Ad Transphobic or Just Stupid?

Every time a TV spot is criticized for being chauvinistic or homophobic, the ad men have the same canned response: “It’s a joke! Haven’t you got a sense of humor?”. Well, these days it seems trans people are the butt of the joke, from New Zealand tampons to the first aid course the company made me take this week, to this recent Israeli ad for Domino’s Pizza:
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axY172psTe0&showinfo=0
In the ad, Israeli singer and comedian Maor Cohen talks about being pampered by his mom in the winter time. The camera zooms out just as a big masculine arm slaps Cohen, and we see a male actor playing the role of the mom whose pampering apparently involves delivering pizzas to her son. Now, you don’t need to hone your Hebrew skills to pick up on the pointy boobs, the crotch grab and the general macho quality of the mom character. Simply put, there doesn’t seem to be any plausible explanation as to why a cisman was cast to play the mom – except for the obvious one: “Whoosh, that’s the joke…” – and a very transphobic one, in my opinion.

P.S.
How can a first aid course make fun of trans people, you ask? Well, one needs to try very hard, as the EMT that taught the course proved: When he talked about snake bites and how you should never cut the bitten organ to extract the venom, the instructor held up a piece of paper which read “Do not cut” and had a photo of Israeli singer Dana International on it. Get it? Do not cut. Yeah, I know…

P.S.2.
Israeli telecom provider 012 Smile know how to create an ad without insulting trans people (or their friends). Read all about it here.

Management Would Like a Word With You

[singlepic id=319 w=240 h=310 float=right]A sex shop just for women is a great idea, and Sisters, a Tel-Aviv based store, seems to have the right attitude: a fresh, clean, healthy approach to a safe and fulfilling sex life. Women might feel uncomfortable entering an adult video store, but a well-lit, female staffed establishment is bound to be a great success.
That said, stumbling upon their website today I was somewhat surprised to see this novelty item sold in the men’s section. Titled Boobie basketball for the office, its Hebrew description reads: “No more dead hours at work! A new game arrived at Sisters to rescue you from office desolation […] A funny gift for the office, the study or for a bachelor party”.

[singlepic id=320 w=200 h=150 float=left]Sure, novelty items can be hilarious, maybe even this one (not much of a basketball player myself) – it’s just that connecting this item to a workplace environment puzzled me, as I am pretty sure this might be a sexual harassment case waiting to happen. As far as I can tell from the photo of the item, the manufacturer uses no office-related wording on the package, which made me assume this is a case of creative freedom by the Israeli store. I expect better from a female-run business, as I am certain that sexing up the office environment is something corporate would not approve.

Update: As of February 2, 2013 this item is no longer sold on sister.co.il

UPS: Oy is Just Yo Spelled Backwards

Update: The error discussed here was fixed 4 days after the post was published.

Lemme ask you this: If a corporate graphic designer posts new homepage graphics, forgetting that Hebrew is spelled from right to left, not left to right, how long would it take before someone notices?
[singlepic id=316 w=525 h=350 float=center]
sthgisni wen naiG << Gain new insights ysae edam secivres UPS << UPS services made easy UPS Solutions tuo kcehC << Check out UPS Solutions Aside: Executives concentrating on a project by Joshua Hodge Photography (iStockPhoto.com, GettyImages.com) – Selected keywords: Asian Ethnicity, Cheerful, Caucasian, Multi-Ethnic Group, Laptop, Friendship, Cooperation, Team, Teamwork, Pointing, White Collar Worker, Mixed Race Person, Office Worker, Smiling, Unity, Using Laptop.

Israeli Bank Hapoalim Wants Me to Get Married Already

Signing out of my online account at my bank, I was just shown this ad boasting a package of benefits for the bride and groom. Now my bank knows my age, and knows I’m single – so I guess the Jewish urges took over and they just figured it’s about time they asked: “Aren’t you going to get married? I’m not getting any younger”
[singlepic id=312 w=525 h=525 float=center]

Just FYI, the advertised package includes:
– A gift of 360 Israeli Shekels
– A loan for the wedding ceremony
– A wedding timed deposit
– VIP wedding checks depositing
– Waiver on all service charges
– Attractive mortgage terms

HuffPo’s Half-Asses Photo of Some Jews

A disturbing new study finds that studies are disturbing – Ellen DeGeneres

[singlepic id=288 w=321 h=310 float=right]OMG! Look how Jews in Israel have to line up to get a potful of drinking water from a rusty ol’ barrel in this Huffington Post article. That’s horrible… and also not true, as any Jew who takes a glimpse at this photo will tell you: It looks like people making their kitchenware Kosher for Passover. But how is the HuffPo staff supposed to know that? Hmm… Let’s see if the caption of this Agence France-Presse photo is any help:

An Israeli man immerses cooking pots into boiling water to make them kosher for the Jewish festival of Pessah (Passover) in Bnei Brak near Tel Aviv, on April 18, 2011. Religious Jews throughout the world celebrate the eight-day Passover holiday, which begins on April 18, 2011, to commemorate the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt some 3,500 years ago. Due to the haste with which the Jews left Egypt, the bread they had prepared for the journey did not have time to rise. To commemorate their ancestors’ plight, the religious avoid eating leavened food products throughout Passover.. AFP PHOTO / JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Hmm… Seems like a CliffsNotes version of Passover for Dummies to me…

Pornification Series: Trinny and Susannah

TV style gurus Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine are launching tomorrow an Israeli version of What Not To Wear. Admittedly, I am anxiously waiting to see how the two will brilliantly make over the natives in an inevitable collision course between The Holy Land and Britannia. I was less than happy, nevertheless, to find out the name of the television series will be ‘Trinny and Susannah do Israel‘ (‘Trinny ve Susannah osot et Israel‘).
That’s right, Channel 10’s executives went with the Debbie Does Dallas reference, ‘coz even independent women who have jobs are nothing more than whores, a couple of dressed-up porn stars on the tube.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wuFMQnU6z4

Part 3: Viral Videos Do Not Happen – They Are Caused

If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand times: It’s not a flashmob if you hire people to do it, and it’s not viral if you hire a PR company to publicize it. Long story short, for some reason PR companies think I am interested in blogging about their “Fresh Thinking & Flawless Execution” flashmobs. I am not. And so as I have done in the past, I choose to publish the email that was sent to me – and not the video, in an attempt at shedding some light on the war over mindshare.

[singlepic id=282 w=525 h=350 float=center]

From: Rebecca Janoff <[redacted]@hs-pr.com>
To: Shahar Golan
Subject: Wolf Invasion Flash Mob – Last Night in Meatpacking!
Date: Friday, Feb 18, 2011 4:08 pm
 
Hi Shahar,
 
Just wanted to make sure you heard about the WOLF INVASION FLASH MOB that infiltrated the NYC meatpacking district last night, to launch the newest vodka from the Bacardi USA portfolio: ERISTOFF!
Details are below and include a link to both photos and footage. Please let me know if there is anything else you need.
 
Thanks!
Rebecca
 
***PHOTOS AND VIDEO FOOTAGE AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD***
 
ERISTOFF VODKA LAUNCHES IN UNITED STATES WITH NEW YORK CITY FLASH MOB
Packs of Sexy She-Wolves Infiltrated NYC’s Meatpacking District amid Fashion Week Party Prowlers
 
WHAT: A pack of taxis converged on the intersection of 9th Avenue and West 13th Street in NYC’s Meatpacking District filled with “wolves” howling to the moon last night to celebrate the US launch of ERISTOFF – Vodka from the Land of the Wolf. Hundreds of spectators gathered on the streets to catch the scene, which erupted in a full scale flash mob to songs like She Wolf and Hungry like the Wolf. One of Europe’s most popular spirit brands, ERISTOFF is now available throughout the United States. The NYC festivities took place near midnight in anticipation of today’s full moon.
WHO: Bacardi U.S.A. and ERISTOFF Vodka, Europe’s most popular spirit brand from the “Land of the Wolf”
WHEN: Thursday, February 17, 2011 Approaching Midnight
WHERE: Meatpacking District, New York City, 9th Avenue at West 13th Street
 
PRESS
 
CONTACT: Chris Walters, 917-[redacted], [redacted]@hs-pr.com
Rebecca Janoff, 917-[redacted], [redacted]@hs-pr.com
 
MORE: Images and video of the spectacle are available here: http://www.newsinfusion.com/events/eristoffvodka
 
About ERISTOFF(r) Vodka
Made from 100 percent pure grain, ERISTOFF(r) is triple distilled and charcoal filtered using the original recipe created in 1806 by noble Prince Eristoff of present day Georgia. Its iconic logo of the wolf howling at a crescent moon has become of symbol of the brand’s Georgian heritage and quality. ERISTOFF(r) is available in three varieties: ERISTOFF(r) Original (80 proof), ERISTOFF(r) Red (40 proof) named for its bright red color and sweet taste of sloe berries, and ERISTOFF Black (40 proof) named for its dark, bold color and taste of wild berries. ERISTOFF is available in a full range of sizes: 1.75 liter (SRP $23.99), 1.0 liter (SRP $16.99), 750 ml (SRP $13.99), 350 ml (SRP $9.99), 200 ml (SRP $5.99) and 50 ml (SRP $1.49).
www.ERISTOFF.com
 
Rebecca Janoff
Senior Account Executive, Lifestyle & Travel
H A R R I S O N & S H R I F T M AN
P. 917.[redacted] | F. 917.[redacted] | C. 609.[redacted]
141 WEST 36TH STREET | 12th FLOOR | NY 10018

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Harrison-Shriftman/18955601441

http://www.hs-pr.com/

http://twitter.com/hspr

Fresh Thinking & Flawless Execution
 
________________________________
This email is intended only for the person or entity to which it is addressed and may contain information that is privileged, confidential or otherwise protected from disclosure. Dissemination, distribution or copying of this e-mail or the information herein by anyone other than the intended recipient, or an employee or agent responsible for delivering the message to the intended recipient, is prohibited. If you have received this e-mail in error, please immediately notify us by calling the Help Desk at (917) [redacted].

Fashion Faux Pas by Israel’s Channel 10 News Reporter

Channel 10 News’ reporter Shelly Tapiero (left) interviews Rinat Abergil (right) on the morning of her husband’s extradition in order to face criminal charges in the US. Notice how similarly dressed are the interviewer and the interviewee:
[singlepic id=279 w=448 h=336 float=center]
I heard about crime reporters getting too familiar with the criminals they cover – but this is getting ridiculous.

Government Sponsored Sexism by the Israeli Institute for Occupational Safety and Hygiene

In various workplaces around Israel, including mine, one may find the following poster depicting a woman demonstrating the safe way to manually lift items. These kind of workplace safety posters, issued by Israel’s Institute for Occupational Safety and Hygiene, can be found in most Israeli production plants and warehouses, and are supposed to eliminate work-related injuries.

[singlepic id=278 w=283 h=400 float=right]Now let’s properly examine this image and try to determine whether it is sexist:
A young blond woman, wearing a pale blue sleeveless summer dress and flat white shoes, bends down in order to lift a rather large yellow box. The model’s attire seems totally out of place; Not only does it look unprofessional, it doesn’t seem to comply with safety regulations which require clothes that cover most of the body and steel-capped boots to protect the feet. Moreover, choosing a woman as the exemplary worker seems odd, as the vast majority of factory workers who lift heavy boxes are men. To top it all, the phrase ‘Proper Lifting’ (Hebrew: Harama Nehona) appears in the upper-right corner of the poster. In Hebrew, the word ‘lifting’ may be used as slang to describe sexual intercourse.

All and all, I think it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to assume that in all the production floors in which these posters hang for oh so many years, not once had a similarly dressed woman tried to lift such an object; And so, the only logical conclusion I can come up with for using this model in such a poster is good ol’ fashioned ‘sex sells’ chauvinism which claims that women sell cars and women sell men’s perfume, so women can ‘sell’ safety.

The good news?
In preparing this blog post, I tried to order this poster from the Israeli Institute for Occupational Safety, only to find out that while it does appear in the online catalog, it is no longer in stock and there are no plans to print additional posters.
I guess we can call that progress; Tiny, minuscule progress towards gender equality.