By Jeoffrey Mukubi
According to Business Insider SA, South Africa’s Advertising Regulatory Board (ARB) has banned an advertisement for the local homebrewed Windhoek Draught beer, on the basis that it embeds toxic masculinity in suggesting that “real men drink real beer”.
The ad features Gerard Butler, a famous Irish actor, described in the regulator’s decision as “a macho looking movie star”, opposing with a bar patron who asks for a slice of lime with his Windhoek Draught.
ARB released a statement saying “The reality is that it is exactly the unspoken nature of the communication that makes it particularly dangerous – the gender stereotype portrayed as so normal that it does not even require explanation,” said the ARB.
Some people quickly took to the comment section to give their opinions. @mfundodlmm wrote “There was a lady who launched a compliant saying this is discriminating against women who like to have their beverage with lime. lol the guy on the add wanted his beer with lime. So that the real man tag line has got to do with gender dominance lol. I don’t get it some genders ay,”
And @sk_bliss commented “I thought I’ve seen it all but now this…so unnecessary if u ask me. There’s really nothing toxic about this advert. Some ppl just like to over-analize things,”
It took issue with both “the entrenchment of the role of men as having to behave in a certain way” and “the entrenchment of male behavior that is bullying, and what has come to be labelled as ‘toxic masculinity’.
The decision cites a clause in the ARB’s code of advertising practice that bans “gender stereotyping or negative gender portrayal” unless it is “reasonable and justifiable in an open and democratic society based on human dignity, equality and freedom”.