Thursday, July 28, 2011

Real Women of Philadelphia (of Canada)

What makes a "real" woman? Cooking for her family, of course!

At least according to this promotion from Kraft:

Well, okay. It's pretty traditional niche marketing aimed at women: a recipe contest. No different from Pillsbury bake-offs from days gone by, but now socialized on Web 2.0.

The part that makes me uncomfortable is the "Real Women" tag. Real Women of Canada is a social conservative group who have, for many years, positioned themselves as reactionaries to feminism. They believe women should be stay-at-home mothers if at all possible, and the oppose publicly funded childcare. They are also anti-union, anti-human-rights-commissions (?), anti-choice, anti-divorce and anti- same-sex marriage. (As well as wanting softcore "porn" — meaning any "explicit sexual material" — totally banned.)

This is hardly the kind of apolitical, nicey-nice brand association a big wheel like Kraft would want to muck about with. But there it is. Probably an unfortunate accident, when they adapted the "Real Housewives" reality show theme.

On the other hand, though, "Real Women of Canada" have been around since the '80s. I remember them from the time when more and more women were entering the workforce. How could they miss that, when going through the legal and Google hoops copywriters and client legal departments go through to secure a trademark?

RWoC didn't have any issues stealing the U.S. Girl Scouts logo, though...

Maybe they're trying to take back the "real women" tag, but I doubt it. I think it's just lazy research and an unfortunate coincidence between a contest the reinforces women's exclusive role in the kitchen and an organization that wants to keep them there.

That said, the hosts seem like nice non-crazy people:

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