Sexist posters in Croatia removed after public outcry

Sexist posters claiming that drinking alcohol makes women have sex with strangers have been removed from trams in the Croatian capital of Zagreb. The decision is the result of public criticism.

Lidija Pisker
Lidija Pisker NewsMavens, Balkans
Sexist posters in Croatia removed after public outcry - NewsMavens
Tram, PixaBay

Why this story matters:

According to the posters, alcohol only affects men's bodily functions, while in women it affects behavior -- making them promiscuous, undignified and irrational and forgetting any criteria about who they wish to have sex with. As Croatian gender equality ombudswoman Višnja Ljubičić concluded:

"Such a sex-based portrayal of women is offensive and degrading and not in keeping with the principles of equality of women and men or with national and international documents that define sexism and sexual stereotypes as one of the serious obstacles to achieving full gender equality," according to Ljubičić.

Ljubičić recommended removing the posters due to their sexist messages and degradation of women. They have been taken down, which shows that constructive public criticism can have an effect.

Details from the story:

  • The controversial anti-alcohol campaign included posters designed by Croatian high school students, which have been put up in trams in Zagreb. It provoked heated public reactions and social media debates.
  • Posters said that alcohol leads women to "reckless sexual intercourse with strangers, disorders in menstrual cycles and pregnancies. Through the placenta, alcohol also enters the blood of a child which can cause physical disabilities and mental retardation, or the so-called fetal alcohol syndrome." For men, it was said that alcohol "increases sexual desire, but diminishes sexual power and erection, resulting in loss of self-confidence. Long-term action of alcohol damages sexual glands, resulting in sexual immobility and infertility."
  • The posters were made by the CEDAR Association (Centar za edukaciju, savjetovanje i osobni razvoj) and co-financed by the City of Zagreb.
  • After the storm of negative reactions, CEDAR has apologized for the content of the posters and replaced them with new ones.

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