I have a real issue with inaccurately simplified messages.
I’m gonna have a lot more to write about this when I get around to doing it properly, but the ANZ ad about boys and girls getting different pocket money annoyed me. If I had a job- or even knew of one- where women in the same position get paid less I would get the point, but I am struggling to think of an example. I accept there are a range of inequalities throughout the world and some are- almost unbelievably- still based on gender, but there are very few jobs existing now where you are paid differently according to your gender. So I find the ad a little disingenuous and patronising?
Admittedly there are a whole range of more subtle forms of inequality within Australian workplaces based on age, race, socioeconomic status and gender to name just a few. But this type of simplistic campaign does nothing to allow for discussion of these types of issues. By coming out with a cherry-picked interpretation of a set of statistics and not recognising those statistics are a product of a broader combination of factors, this campaign will be unlikely to succeed in generating widespread support because many thinking people will stop and think, “Hang on, men and women are paid the same in my workplace and every other one I can think of. What is this ad actually referring to?”
As in most debates, unjustified exaggeration and deductive leaps strengthen your opponents and this example is no exception. It has the effect of further entrenching and giving platforms for men’s rights groups to trumpet their counter message that men are actually the oppressed by political correctness within modern society (while this bizarre twist of logic doesn’t stand up well to a rational argument, when you don’t start with a reasoned and justified premise- and the equal pay argument usually doesn’t- it is harder to fall back to a rational argument afterwards). As a result however well-intentioned the message about equal pay is, I don’t believe it is helpful in making further progress towards real equality.