Everyday Misogyny: What’s wrong with Air New Zealand’s Swimsuit Safety Video?

Update: I’ve been getting my complain on! For my early correspondence with Air New Zealand and the Advertising Standards Authority, click through to this update, and for Air New Zealand’s flabbergasting response to my ASA complaint, head here.

I wrote most of this post a few days ago on a plane. I was flying home from a meeting that included tackling the marginalisation of women preachers in New Zealand. It was quite a day.

Judith Collins MP will tell you she wasn’t offended by Air New Zealand’s newest safety video, featuring bikini-clad models instead of flight attendants telling passengers what to do in an emergency.

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16 comments on “Everyday Misogyny: What’s wrong with Air New Zealand’s Swimsuit Safety Video?”

  1. AndyM Reply

    So except for guys who have a problem with lust, AirNZ have managed to alienate pretty much everyone, while distracting anyone who watches the video from the core safety issues of the video.

    • not a wild hera Reply

      Yeah, I think there’s a fine line between engaging your audience so they actually watch the video and distracting them so they don’t take in any message about safety!

  2. Penny Reply

    I too, am horrified by Air NZ’s choice. They have always been a favourite and I’ve always been happy to promote them to friends and family overseas…. though I’m less keen now. Thank you for your carefully considered blog. I just thought you may wish to look at the advertising appearing beneath your words. In particular ‘Women Only: New tip how to lose a massive amount’ accompanied by a picture of sports bra top and abs. A similar advert appears beneath that – two of four on the page. I’m not suggesting it’s your fault – only that the issue pervades all media – and that’s sad.

    • not a wild hera Reply

      Oh dear! WordPress has the right occasionally to put ads at the bottom of posts, but they rotate, I think, and I don’t actually see them (they only show for people who aren’t logged-in WP users). That’s not the first time that it’s been eye-rollingly unapposite… Guess I really need to upgrade to an ad-free version!

      Thanks for your kind words and careful reading!

  3. carolgreenie Reply

    Thank you for a great read – articulates all the reasons I’m not at all happy about this video. I was also trying to think of an appropriate protest response that could be performed if I had the misfortune to be required to watch this, which would also not get me thrown off the flight.

  4. Andy Reply

    Over here in australia the whole concept of “misogyny” has been undermined by its use by Julia Gillard. In the thick of a debate last year she accused Tony Abbott of it. The supreme irony was that the context of the debate was Ms Gillard defending the speaker of misconduct (namely very offensive and graphic and completely inappropriate descriptors of women), while the man she called out as a misogynist was just holding her to the same level of scrutiny of her performance as a prime minister as would be expected of any man.

    • Andy Reply

      It’s a pity, as there are areas of public life where women do get a rougher ride than men, and that’s not on, but Ms Gillard used it as a way of deflecting attetion away from herself.

      • not a wild hera Reply

        Andy, I think I have to disagree with you there, while acknowledging that as a resident of Australia you have a fuller picture of things.

        I follow Australian news and politics, and I saw the famous Gillard speech. The specific examples she cited – whatever her own track record or personal virtue – were clear examples of misogyny. Standing in front of signs that say ‘ditch the witch’ and ‘a man’s bitch’? That is gender-based vitriol, even if it’s being done to score political points (like the Air New Zealand ad is being sexist, not because they want to hate women, but because they want to make money).

        Here’s a quote from an article at the time: (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/oct/09/julia-gillard-tackle-sexism)

        Gillard went on to list a series of sexist and misogynistic remarks made by Abbott himself – from questioning whether it’s a bad thing that men have more power than women to explaining a new carbon pricing scheme with the words “what the housewives of Australia need to understand as they do the ironing …”.

        Truly and honestly, that is misogyny. I’m not defending Gillard or saying anything about her at all, except that she accurately describes misogyny in this speech.

  5. Tracey Reply

    Because, apparently, Sports Illustrated 50th swimsuit issue is VERY important to A LOT of New Zealanders…

    I am hopeful that by the time I fly Air NZ with my family again, they will not be playing this video any more.

  6. Pingback: Everyday Misogyny: Sexism in Paradise Video Update | Sacraparental

  7. Kaz Reply

    Great read and I googled ‘I hate Air NZ latest safety video’ to find you,. I am a professional woman working for a Government organisation and travel most weeks and I swear I get angrier and angrer each time I have to sit through this god awful video! Especially as I travel a lot with my male colleagues and even they give me pitying looks. I have also managed to catch the eye of several of the female crew while its play and shake my head, the very carefully smile and nod in response. Its just horrible!

  8. Pingback: Everyday Misogyny: What Air New Zealand Doesn’t Understand | Sacraparental

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