Haiti Relief Advertisement: Women and Children First

Haiti Relief Advertisement

In this thirty-second advertisement for a Haitii Relief fund, nearly all of the victims we see are women and children. All of the people who appear to be rescuers are young men.

I tried to go through the ad frame by frame to get an accurate count of the people portrayed. We see:

A man lifting an injured child
An injured child
Two men lifting an injured elderly man
An injured child
A man carrying a baby
A woman clasping an injured child
An injured child
An injured woman and injured child
A crying woman

Plenty of men were impacted by the Haiti disaster, but you'd never know it to look at this advertisement; the only male victim we see is elderly. This overrepresentation of women and children in roles of victimhood is nothing new (see this article for an in-depth analysis of this phenomenon); the second-class status of women and children is routinely exploited for effect in advertisements aimed at garnering sympathy. This ad is well-intentioned, but linking femininity with victimhood is damaging to both men and women.

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