by Gurneet Tatla

This is a continuation of a blog I have written previously.  For this blog, I took a look into specific Lynx products and analyzed the description of these products on this link.  Lynx is a masculine grooming brand that targets men between the ages of 17 and 29.   Just like media, text can also dehumanize women and make them feel like objects rather than human beings. This is exactly what I observed with the Lynx deodorant descriptions.

Let’s take a look at some of these descriptions:

  • Lynx full control anti- perspirant roll-on: “Don’t worry about premature perspiration. Keep things under control with lynx dry full control antiperspirant deodorant roll-on. Roll it on to help fight wetness and odour.”

My interpretation is if you keep in check with your sense of smell and odour, you’ll be able to keep things under control with women.  Control is a key word here because it’s a word that allows men to have power over women.  Control and power are key concepts that are at the root of partner abuse.  For example, if a woman tries to equalize her authority with her husband in a household, her husband may view it as her trying to overpower him.

  • Lynx twist antiperspirant roll-on: “If you don’t want to lose a girl, don’t let her fall into boredom. Get new lynx twist- the fragrance that changes.  Lynx Dry helps fights wetness and odour and makes you smell good.”

This product description degrades women because it assumes that all women like change and are hard to maintain.  It’s almost a threat because if the man does not keep the girl on her toes, she will most likely leave him. Also, it is up to a man to keep or lose a woman as his property.  This isn’t a fair statement to have for all women.

  • Lynx Instinct Antiperspirant roll-on: “Get your instincts in tune and get in the hunt and smell good with Lynx Instinct antiperspirant deodorant roll-on.  Lynx Dry helps fights wetness and odour and makes you smell good.”

Men need to keep their instincts in tune because women are a tough chase according to this ad.  The men are hunters and the women are the prey or in other words, the men are the perpetrators and the women are the victims. (One day the prey will get blindsided and have no idea what hit them in the case of rape and violence.  I was very disturbed by this message.)

  • Lynx Dark Temptation Anti-perspirant roll-on: “Indulge your fantasies with the seductive and magnetic scent of Lynx Dark Temptation. Lynx Dry roll-on helps you smell good whenever you use it- and intensive research has taught us that women like men who smell good.

By using the words “seductive” and “magnetic”, women are portrayed as objects that can easily be charmed and seduced by men.  Not only is this ad sexist but it is also racist by using the term “dark.”

  • Sharp Focus Anti- perspirant Roll-on: “Get focused with the stimulating mint fragrance and stay focused on her with new Lynx Sharp Focus 24 hour anti-perspirant. Use Lynx Dry Sharp Focus roll-on under your arms for protection against perspiration and odour.  Lynx Dry roll-on helps you smell good whenever you use it- and intensive research taught us that women like men who smell good.”

This ad is promoting the fact that men need to stay focused 24 hours a day in order to get satisfaction from a woman.  By staying focused for 24 hours a man can use his charm to win a woman over.

The ads that I looked at use fear, simple solution and expert tactics to grab men’s attention and allow them to think that it’s okay to sexually exploit women and objectify women’s images.  These ads suggest that men should own, control and capture women and that women are prey, victims and objects.

My opinion is probably shared by many other women and I think that it’s time somebody acknowledged this problem as it is very serious.  Sexism is not to be tolerated and advertisements that use sexism as a way to sell products should be banned.

Gurneet Tatla is participating in Violence, Media Representations and Families a media literacy program joint initiative between Kwantlen Polytechnic University Sociology Department, First Voices and Battered Women’s Support Services.