You might have seen some posts from a company called Solasta Finance floating about recently, or maybe you’ve seen some posts about them. I certainly posted a fair few comments on Twitter.
On the surface, Solasta Finance is a Scottish Finance company that is marketing a “Women’s Initiative” – a competitive internship for women in a bid to increase the number of women working in high positions in the business world. So far, everything is sounding great, right? A company that is stating loudly and proudly that they want more women in the workforce.
Unfortunately, the way this Initiative was marketed was something I like to call bullshit feminism. Almost every post revolved around competing and comparing against men, instead of focusing on how incredible women are, and that wasn’t the worst of it.
What really flared up my anger were their posts that told women to “stop moaning about sexism on Twitter and get on with your career” and, even worse, “stop banging on about the pay gap“. They also claimed that “the glass ceiling only exists if you put it there“, and that to achieve “equal opportunities” women have to “act like a man“.
Like I said before, it’s bullshit feminism. It claims to empower women but what it’s actually doing is blaming them for circumstances that they have been forced into, suggests that they are allowing themselves to be victims of society, and essentially tells them that it is their fault equality doesn’t exist. It implies that women who do campaign against the pay gap or fight for equal opportunities in the workplace are weak, and that they’re simply not dedicated to building their career. So, like I said, it’s bullshit.
I decided to write this post because one of the tweets I made about Solasta Finance and their marketing strategy got over 100 likes, and I feel like there are a few things I need to clear up.
Soon after I posted my tweets calling out Solasta Finance for their sexism and ignorance, I was informed that the whole thing – the website and all of the social media accounts – are actually a form of marketing for the upcoming BBC3 show Clique. The show will revolve around an “elite clique of alpha girls” at a university. I was also informed that it will star Louise Brealey, a self-proclaimed feminist.
Here’s my problem: it doesn’t matter that it’s not real, it’s still irresponsible.
At first, my friend and I were convinced that it was a fake account or some sort of parody, but not one part of any of the social accounts hinted toward it being marketing for a TV show, and that’s dangerous.
It’s dangerous because there are sexist people who believe what “Solasta Finance” are saying. They believe that women are creating their own problems. They believe that it is a woman’s problems, not society’s problem, to fix the issue of gender inequality. As a result, the Solasta Finance accounts are validating and perpetuating those views.
If the accounts were clearly created to be a parody then it wouldn’t be so bad, but it took people linking me to an article for me to realise that it wasn’t genuine, and I like to believe that I’m not stupid.
This isn’t to say that when the show itself is aired, it will be anti-women. I’m sure, especially with someone like Louise Brealey, who I’m a fan of, involved, it will offer an insightful commentary on the world of women in business. However, the marketing for it does not.
I think that the people who linked me to articles and tweeted to let me know that it was only for a TV show were expecting me to back down, and I think they believed that it invalidated my opinions and statements because it wasn’t actually real. While I’m grateful to them for letting me know that it wasn’t a real account, I think my point still stands.
Ultimately, I know there are bigger problems in the world of feminism that the marketing for a TV show, and I understand the concept behind the marketing for Clique. It got me talking about it, didn’t it?
But still, it’s irresponsible. When Brexit happened, hate crime rose because the racists of England believed that their views had been validated and they were in the right. In the same way, the people who see this kind of rhetoric being spread and agree with it are going to feel that they too are in the right.
I will be tuning into Clique when it airs in the hopes that it doesn’t follow the same rhetoric as its marketing, and I hope that they follow through. Until then, what do you think of the choice to play into sexism and ignorance to market themselves?