'Sexist' brain ad hits raw nerve with feminists

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 October, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 27 October, 1999, 12:00am

An advert that portrays women as shopaholics who rely on their husbands for money has been branded sexist by an academic and a women's group.

The advert, for provident fund provider Bank Consortium Trust Company, is displayed in MTR stations and newspapers. It depicts a 'cross-section' of the brains of a woman and a man.

The woman's brain is said to be preoccupied with, in descending order, shopping, family, love, desserts and fashion.

Men's obsessions are women, career, investments, cars and politics.

A Chinese University academic in the Department of Education, Administration and Policy, associate professor Choi Po-king, said: 'It's disgusting.

'When I brought it up with my students they all laughed, but probably only because they knew I was being critical. This just reinforces gender stereotypes.

'The shopping segment in the female brain is interesting. It portrays women as consumers who use up their husbands' money.' A Bank Consortium Trust spokeswoman insisted most women were preoccupied with shopping.

'I'm a woman and I'm only interested in shopping. It's normal practice that the man will put in money for the mandatory provident fund,' she said.

Dr Choi's concerns at the advert's message were echoed by a feminist group.

'I found it reinforced sex stereotyping not only for women but for men,' said a spokeswoman from the Hong Kong Women Worker's Association.