Sexist toy promotes misogyny in Croatia

A paddle promoted as a gift toy -- with instructions to use it for disciplining women -- is stirring up controversy in Croatia, causing one chain store to take it off the shelf.

Lidija Pisker
Lidija Pisker NewsMavens, Southern Europe
Sexist toy promotes misogyny in Croatia - NewsMavens
Poster, 1943. Wikicommons

Why this story matters:

"If she's just laying down like a log - hit her once. If she refuses to give a kiss to a gentleman - three times. If she has a headache again - keep hitting her until it begins to hurt."

This is part of the "manual" for a toy made for men with "disobedient" female partners.

Besides the disgusting sexist humor that promotes violence, what strikes me the most is the "Germany" argument -- that the toy has been sold in Germany without causing outrage.

The people in the Balkans like to use Germany as a moral justification whenever possible. "There's no time for drinking coffee in Germany" is one of them, suggesting that having no time for social life is an ultimate goal young unemployed people should wish for. 

So if Germans think the toy is funny, should we all laugh? Just because Germans didn't react to it, should Croats be embarrassed because they did? 

I'd like to know where in Germany, if at all, this product is sold, and if the "manual" is properly translated into German.

women's issues,stop violence

Details from the story:

  • The toy's inventor, Zdravko Petrinec, has said the toy is one of many similar gifts he has created over the last two decades with no problems. He said he successfully sells the same products in Germany.
  • Petrinec described the negative reactions to his "funny products" in Croatia as disappointing.  
  • The "Offertissima" chain store stopped selling the toy following complaints from customers. 
  • Petrinec has also invented husband-hitting toys and objects for "domestication of men". 
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