A Malaysian ad agency created this advertisement for Borders Bookstore. The illustration features a woman who is married over six times. The caption reads ‘It’s time you learned to cook. Choose from more than 5000 cooking titles’. The combination of the caption and image suggest that her marriages failed because she could not cook. This ad perpetuates gender stereotypes and assumes that women ubiquitously play the homemaker role. Borders quickly disavowed their association with the agency. The Malaysian produced ad corroborates a pervasively Malaysian instantiated normative expectation. This expectation conflicts with Borders, a multi-national company, because they have a divergent standpoint on gender, and exemplifies – as Christine Delphy and bell hooks contend – that gender constructs and experiences are regionally different, culturally varied and relative.
bell hooks, “Sisterhood: Political Solidarity between Women” (1986)
Christine Delphy, “Rethinking Sex and Gender” (1993)