Unapologetic progressive. Fearless activist. Plucky liberal.

Offensive diamond ads

Seen on a billboard on I-80: “Buy a diamond. That’ll shut her up.”

It’s hard to express how much this grates on me. It wasn’t for a company that I had heard of, but it makes me not want to buy a diamond—ever. The idea that a woman needs to be “shut up” and that a diamond is just the thing to do it is incredibly sexist. Apparently there are similar ads for diamond jewelers that say “Maker her speechless. For a change.” Again it relies on a tired stereotype of women as motormouths who don’t know when to be quiet.

Jewelers just aren’t very creative when it comes to making up new ads. I saw this on a billboard a week after I saw the first one: “She’s lying. She does want a bigger diamond.” Not only is this offensive to women, implying they don’t know their own minds, like the other ad, it also puts men in the position of being the purchasers. As if women don’t buy diamonds? I bought a substanial amount of jewelry for Christmas presents this season. But the jewelers who advertise in such a sexist way can rest assured I won’t be giving them business anytime soon.

I found the website for the jeweler who thinks women lie about wanting a bigger diamond, and I e-mailed them about how offensive I find it. I’ll let you know if I get a response.

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Comments on: "Offensive diamond ads" (7)

  1. I completely agree with you. Some men are just disgusting. I saw this extremely offensive “joke” about why men buy diamonds to women, where there were words like “so you can f***k her” and “this earrings are for b**w j**. I was so angry I cannot even describe it.

    • I know what you mean. Even though it’s 2011, advertisers think the best way to make their point is be degrading to women. We can fight back by letting them know it’s not acceptable and refusing to buy their products. Thanks for the comment.

      • Hello,
        I found this post because a coworker and I were trying to remember the exact wording for the billboard you are referring to. We saw it on a work trip that took us through Chicago, I pointed it out to him and we both sat in disgusted silence for the next couple minutes with a mix of shame and anger. On behalf of men, I want to apologize but also let you know that we do not all feel this way.

      • What I should have also said in my post is that those ads are insulting to men as well as women, so you don’t need to apologize. The people who need to do that are the ones behind the billboards. But thank you for letting me know men are offended by them as well. That gives me hope for the future. :)

  2. I drive by the “buy her a diamond, that’ll shut her up” billboard pretty often. The first time I saw it my jaw hit the floor and I thought, “Well, that’ll be down within a week.” I can’t believe that stupid thing is still up.

    Besides being offensive in a bunch of ways, it’s also just so stupid and old-fashioned and, like you said, unoriginal. I mean, they spent all this money on a billboard and that’s the best they can do? Offend women, men, and of course, potential customers? Nice job.

    Thanks for blogging about it, though. I’m glad that when I googled the billboard today some comments from outraged drivers came up! It’s good to know some people dislike that sign as much as I do. :)

    • The company might take it down if enough people complain about it. I went by the billboard so fast I didn’t have a chance to see whose it was, but I’ll keep my eye out for it next time.

      Thanks for commenting. As you say, I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who has seen it and been offended. I think their ad people need lessons in creativity.

  3. […] wrote a few months ago about some billboards for diamonds that were incredibly sexist, and I’ve been heartened by all of the comments I’ve gotten from people who feel the […]

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