Feminists Take Action Against Sexist Billboards

Feminists Take Action Against Sexist Billboards

A group of masked feminist campaigners in Paris is taking direct action in protest against sexist advertising. Brigade Antisexiste is an anonymous collective of activists who meet regularly in order to graffiti and undermine billboards and other printed adverts that are considered demeaning.

"Have you ever been annoyed by the sexist posters that cover the walls of buses, trams, subways and shop fronts?" their Facebook group information asks. "Have you ever wanted to take out your marker and register your protest?"

Upon encountering an advert that you find demeaning to your gender, the group encourages you to deface it using a sticker, photograph it, and share it using the hashtag #sexiste. Stickers are available to buy through their Facebook page.

The group has been meeting in Paris every week for the last 18 months, defacing billboards and other adverts across the city. As they walk through the streets, they discuss each instance of sexism, debating its influence on society's perception of women and its presence in public space. As one participant notes, “We have a debate, everyone gives their opinions, which you may or may not agree with, and we’re able to move forward and fight sexism at all levels.” 

With its white text on a red background, the text is slightly reminiscent of Shepard Fairey's OBEY graffiti, and the professional quality of the stickers themselves give the critique of advertising a bit more weight than hand-scrawled graffiti. Once branded with the sticker, it often takes a moment to realize that the advert has been defaced, playing with the viewer's understanding of what is real and what is not, tactics used in brandalism (to which Paris is no stranger) and subvertising

Since it was founded in 2016, the organization has spread to 27 cities, some outside of France. The campaign has already been seen to have had an effect through the Council of Paris's ban on sexist and discriminatory adverts, a step already taken by authorities in London and Geneva. 

[via Vice]

Lead image composited by the author using creative commons image and Photoshop imitation of 'sexiste' sticker.

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Anonymous's picture

The short answer is never. They will always find something to cry about. Seriously, I have found that if you give them an inch they will just keep asking for more. This article is a big yawn to me.

William Howell's picture

Hey, this article isn’t about the sexiest billboards, at all, not at all!

William Howell's picture

I went back and read the article. And the photo of the vandals, there isn’t one looker in the bunch. Except for, maybe, the chick in the second row, second from the left, but I couldn’t tell, because she has a bag over her face.

user-156929's picture

Whatever you do; whatever position you have; own it. Take off the masks or hide at home.

Can you say hypocrisy? They prove it with this picture: https://www.facebook.com/BrigadeAntiSexiste/photos/a.1704154983177705.10...

They put a SEXISTE sticker over the magazine cover showing a half-naked woman, but leave the magazine cover with the half-naked man untouched. Why is one sexist and the other one not? And how are they defining "sexist"? The group doesn't really explain the real reason behind their actions, or why they appear to be strictly targeting photos of women. Furthermore, some of the photos posted are simply ads with women in them (ad for Guess jeans, nothing provocative whatsoever). Is the group saying ad agencies should no longer employ female models? Males only? Isn't that extremely sexist? Do they even understand what the hell their message is?

Angela White is HOT!.......Damn Femi-nazis!

`Do they even understand what the hell their message is ?` NO. I think they are bunch of ignorant people. If they know what they are doing , they don`t even do such a pointless action in the first place. Being feminist in these days = do something about naked women ?

Christos Dikos's picture

Progressives protesting other Progressives being progressive.

Anonymous's picture

You are so right! Good call

Denys Polishchuk's picture

They don't have any..

Michael Holst's picture

Posting stickers might get this movement some exposure but it lacks context. How do they feel about sexuality? One could debate that they're "slut shaming" which is an antifeminist tactic to which I'm inclined to ask what is the point?

I'm considered Liberal so on a political spectrum so maybe I missed the memo?

Spy Black's picture

I just came here for all the ignorant commentary.

user-156929's picture

Yeah. It seems like there's ignorant commentary everywhere you go. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

William Howell's picture

Hey what did you think of my comment?
I tried to make my comment as insensitive as possible, while maintaining classy wit.

Spy Black's picture

Yep, that's the wittiest ignorance I've read today. I still got plenty of popcorn tho...

Looking at the number of Instagram likes, the campaign is tremendously popular...

Ben Perrin's picture

Excuse my male ignorance but what about any of those photos is sexist? Cause this just looks like a case of jealousy to me.

Robert Nurse's picture

I hope this comment isn't insensitive. But, aren't there two sides to this coin? There are the people taking the pictures and the people being photographed.

It appears that if someone in this feminist group disagrees with something that gives them the right to destroy the image? Really? You now have the right to destroy because you don't like something? Does anyone stop to realize this forces you to think in a certain manner and of course it is impossible for everyone to think exactly the same. Now there's a winning attitude if I ever saw one.

Sandro Loos's picture

SJW's will always be offended by something. Just stop giving them a plattform. Another example i read might be a bit older already but with the same message: "Fat activist" is offended by ballet event advertising with "skinny" people in (if i remember correctly canadian?) subways.

Its going to be difficult to advertise lingerie if you can't photograph it

I pray for your lord emperor send you to the moon or on march.
Be more concerned about by guy who take is guns and kill more than 10 terrorists in my country or just stop believe yours medias.
I never see one of the stickers and I living in Paris.

Daniel Jones's picture

"It" is sexist? What, exactly, is sexist? The photo itself? The product? The model? The photographer? The company? The women who buy the product?

Daniel Jones's picture

I think they gave up. There is no activity since July...

Joe Healey's picture

I would argue that the true 'feminists' are the models in the photos. Strong, independent and successful in their chosen careers.

Stas Aleksandersson's picture

Who gives a shit?

They are probably so ugly they need scarves over her faces and because of it they are so nervous, so they need to destroy something...

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