Panties? I object, my Lord

Dear Sadika Fakir, Chair of the Advertising Regulatory Board,

On behalf of all decent, clean-living South Africans, I want to thank you for the position you and your board took against the shocking photograph used to promote that satanic Sex Expo in Pretoria.

Even though your favourite position is one of censure, I feared the godless deviants might have got away with it this time. And they may well have were it not for the vigilance of a certain Mrs Celeste Govender who lodged an objection against the advert.

Did you know Celeste is from the Latin caelestis, meaning “heavenly”? Of course you did. Your Instagram bio says, “God First & Following His Purpose.” Your job is to protect us from everything that doesn’t fill us with the Holy Spirit. And I’m not talking Glenfiddich, here.

It’s a good thing the board isn’t run by one of those dangerous free-thinking pagans.

The organisers of Sex Expo had the audacity to display an advert showing the legs of a woman with, according to one local paper, “her lacy panties being pulled down”. Bare legs are bad enough. But lacy panties? Obviously, the first thing I did was seek out this filthy advert.

After wading through reams of pornography freely available on this devil’s tool they call the internet, I finally found it and came to the conclusion that the strumpet was, in fact, pulling her lacy panties up, and not, as Mrs Govender imagined, down.

This changes nothing. The trollop was either preparing to engage in a carnal act or had just done the deed. Either way, this was not an image any civilised person would want in their head.

Panties are not meant to be visualised in this vulgar context. Their place is in the lingerie section of Woolworths, an area men are not encouraged to visit.

I suspect Mrs Govender also has an area her husband is not encouraged to visit, and she should be applauded for this. Men are animals. Show a man a picture of anything, a tree or even a bicycle, and he will begin clawing at himself.

After closely inspecting the photo, I had to lock myself in the house and swallow the key for fear that I would take to the streets hysterical with lust, drooling and mounting whatever crossed my path.

In her complaint, Mrs Govender said the advert was inappropriate. Yes, certainly inappropriate in a campaign against, say, the use of fossil fuels. But it does seem fairly appropriate for an exhibition that sells items considerably ruder than panties and features a man who paints portraits with his willy. Look, I’m sure Mr Pricasso is a very nice person, but I wouldn’t want my daughter going to him for art classes.

Mrs Govender also said the photo was unacceptable for children. I couldn’t agree more. When I was little, I looked up the skirt of my sister’s Barbie doll and for a long time I was under the impression girls had a smooth piece of plastic between their legs. The truth certainly came as a surprise the night I lost my virginity at the respectable age of 42.

Children might have seen this photo and asked, “Mummy, why does that lady have her broekies around her knees?” The obvious answer would be, “She’s about to have a poo, darling.” Kids will believe anything. But that doesn’t make it right.

In your response, you said you understand Mrs Govender’s concern “regarding harmful gender stereotypes”. Absolutely. The implication that only women wear panties or have gorgeous legs is sexist and discriminatory.

You said the advert depicted the model “as a sexual commodity that has no face or body, rather than a multilayered human being”. You’re right. Legs are all very well, but we deserve to see her smoky eyes, pouting lips, curriculum vitae and psychiatric report to prove that she is, in fact, multilayered. Or, indeed, human.

You said while “there is no portrayal of sexual body parts”, the advert “suggests that the main purpose of the lingerie is to be removed”. Outrageous! Any law-abiding person knows that the main purpose of lingerie is to keep a woman’s giblets comfortably encased while they go about their day cleaning the home and preparing the evening meal for their husband. Only then, with the curtains drawn and the lights out, may they be legitimately removed.

In your ruling, you said “the woman is portrayed in a way that objectifies and demeans her and depicts her as a sexual object and not as a fully formed human being”. Have you considered that it might not even be a she? With the current craze of gender transitioning, it could just as likely be a man with very nice legs.

And let us not even speak of the fact that South Africa is awash in fully formed human beings who think nothing of raping and pillaging before breakfast on a Monday morning.

You, madam, have lost my vote. This is not Iran or Saudi Arabia. Take your members in hand.

5 thoughts on “Panties? I object, my Lord

  1. Julia says:

    Funny thing is I thought hey were two tooth picks and a bit of dental floss. Most confusing.

  2. John Gnodde says:

    Brilliant Ben,
    Mrs Govender seems to have too much time on her hands, and I bet she hasn’t even cleaned the house and prepared a delicious evening meal.

  3. Michaela Clayton says:

    Good one Ben!!

    1. Ben Trovato says:

      Hey Michaela! Thanks x

  4. Jacci Babich says:

    Sock it to them Ben! It harks back to the old verkrampte days. And remember one of the old advertisements for stockings? The lovely long legs displaying them were very much admired with men slavering to know who said legs belonged to. Eventually it was revealed they were male, (well shaved) and from Oz nogal. It is indeed a somewhat insane world when no one makes a fuss of providing us with presidential candidates, already exposed by Zondo, as undesirable crooks, with jail sentences hanging over their heads and books written about them exposing their criminal lifestyles, while kicking up a ruckus over a pair of pretty legs and pink panties to advertise a Sex Expo? Perhaps Mrs Govender would allow a pair of Victorian pantaloons instead?


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