Feminists accuse Marks & Spencer of sexism over their Christmas window

Photograph from @FiLia_charity

Photograph from @FiLia_charity

Marks and Spencer has been found at the centre of controversy after placing two mannequins in their festive-themed window: one was targeted at their female customers, wearing lingerie, alongside another targeted at their male customers, wearing a suit.

FiLia, who run the largest annual feminist conference in the UK, made a tweet about the window display, highlighting that the “fancy little knickers” advertised for women were demeaning and sexist in nature:

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Shopper Fran Bailey was the first to post a photo on the Facebook group Feminist Friends Nottingham, with the comment:

“Ok, M&S Nottingham, have we really not learned anything in the last 35 years? Or am I alone in finding this, their major window display, completely vomit inducing?”

Despite these strong words — the “fancy little knickers” advertised were only one part of the usual dazzling Marks and Spencer Christmas campaign. Other scenes painted a different picture and ethos, featuring model David Gandy in their advert wearing washing-up gloves.

Many responded on Twitter, highlighting that women enjoy wearing lingerie and purchase their favourite underwear for their own self, going against the concern of the feminist conference group and other feminist shoppers online. FiLia and Bailey maintained that they found this particular window to be “grotesque” as it highlighted differences between how men and women are targeted differently through marketing.

The window has remained in Nottingham High Street regardless of the criticism.

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