Fighting the war on women is proving more difficult than many combatants realized. The president discovered this after he remarked on Thursday that the California attorney general was attractive and was bombarded with charges of sexism by the liberal media. Now a billboard that supposedly “celebrates remarkable women” has brought a new barrage of criticism to a Canadian university.
The Halifax Chronicle Herald reports that the billboard, pair for by Mount Saint Vincent University, is intended to raise awareness of — and funds for — a “Women’s Wall of Honor” to be erected on the school’s campus in 2014. For a donation of $1,200, honorees’ names will be included in the wall and their stories will be shared on an associated website.
So far, so good. But instead of including images of the honorees on the billboard, the larger-than-life display carries a photograph of three dudes. The same photo appears at the campaign website, identifying the men as prominent local figures who donated to the initiative. But the irony deepens when you notice a second photograph on the same web page of three women who also made cash generous gifts. It would have made far better sense to include their picture on the billboard, if for no other reason that they were women.
The article notes that the “campaign has confused some commuters,” but the tone of the lone comment featured suggests vexed would have been a more appropriated verb.
‘I see their billboard on Barrington every morning on the way to #HFX and I always think ‘what? why would they do that?’ Kathryn Walsh (@Kathryn821) tweeted Tuesday afternoon.
A spokesman for the university, Ben Boudreau, said that featuring the male donors was not meant to be controversial or jarring — which sounds short-sighted. A quote from Boudreau confirms that he hasn’t given the whole “war on women” issue much thought:
I don’t know that we were really shooting for juxtaposition there, to be honest with you. It was just about reaching a different audience.
This sounds like a backhanded way of saying that the billboard was meant to appeal to Haligonians with deep pockets, i.e., men.
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