Picspam: this is a fucking PR nightmare.


Did no one in the WTA realise that having Caroline Wozniacki pose in shorts next to a faceless woman under a black burqa would produce images that sit uncomfortably with the Western eye?

 

 

I’m not going to get on my high horse and talk about the rights of women and what not. Mainly because I think we in the West can be incredibly hypocritical when it comes to “our” rights and “their” traditions. 

It may well be that the woman in this picture is perfectly comfortable and content. But this isn’t about that. It’s about being completely PR-clueless and thinking that people are going to look at these pictures and say to themselves “oh look, two women innocently making handycraft. How lovely.

 

 

You could be really thick and find nothing wrong with this picture. Or I would be ultra-sensitive.

But someone in the WTA needs to realise that there are more sensitive people than me out there who wouldn’t give a damn about cultural relativity when confronted by such a stark visual contrast. And this is not the way to market an event to them.

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13 responses to “Picspam: this is a fucking PR nightmare.”

  1. Dippy says :

    Such a glaring contrast maximum coverage and over exposure. The pics is horribly taken.

  2. Mia says :

    You said it — PR failure of epic proportions. It actually brought to the fore once more how, in some parts of the world — even in this day and age — women’s lib takes on an all too different hue. Reminds me as well of the Shahar Peer episode. Sad.

  3. evie says :

    Caro is being pretty disrespectful to their culture. At least she could have worn pants.

  4. pban says :

    Iwouldn’t know about Doha but we see this stark contrast in India everyday. Generally most westerners keep their legs covered in Muslim countries so this a glaring error by WTA but then the girls will not be playing in burquas either.The fact is that it doesn’t affect sensibilities of these countries if it is not someone from their community,you should see the reactions then. As for female emancipation, it is a relative term …..the concept differs in every country and if you live in a country like mine it differs from individual to individual. So don’t worry Doots the woman behind the veil is probably quite liberated,she is on a photograph and is working isn’t she and she is definitely not envious of the fact that Caroline can wear shorts.

    • dootsiez says :

      hey pban, I totally agree that the woman is probably as happy and independent as she could be. My point is that from a PR standpoint, this is just the wrong sort of image that the WTA should be sending out. Far too insensitive to local customs on the one hand, slightly uneasy for the Western audience on the other. I expected them to know better, especially when as big a tournament as the YEC is held in Doha.

  5. pban says :

    What Ifind amusing Doots is the fact that a lot of westerners presume to identify with the eastern traditions by just spending 2 hours with a burqua clad lady.The WTA too seems to have the overtly simplistic view of the whole issue, I mean what are they marketing here. I live in a cosmopolitan society in the truest sense, where the old merges with the new. Burqua clad girls go to college with girls in jeans, so it is not really a very big deal.The important issue here is that they are going to college, Ithink we with all our preconceived notions of liberalisation sometimes are unwilling to accept ideas which are different.

  6. Dani London says :

    believe it or not some women wear the niqab ’cause they want to….

  7. pban says :

    The question is PRfor what? What are we promoting here…tennis or the handicrafts of Doha? Whichever way you look at it(and I am still not sure about how many will look at this photograph,like Dippy so aptly pointed out it was pretty awful) the concept was juvenile and somewhat immature.

  8. nilhenwen says :

    I honestly don’t see the problem.
    Call me closed minded and thick if you will but I think cultures and traditions should merge and respect each other. The contrast in the pictures shows an attempt at two different cultures coming together peacefully. At least an effort is being made.

    • dootsiez says :

      People have different perceptions. I can see that some people will have no problems with this, but there’ll be a lot of people out there whose first reaction is one of unease.

  9. pban says :

    But doots that is the case with every issue on this planet, you are always going to ruffle a few feathers. My issue is with the amateurish attempt at PR,not the sight of a burqua clad woman beside a woman in shorts. If people find the picture disturbing ,then hello which world are you living in? People need to broaden their horizons ,sometimes we so called enlightened ones are more unwilling to accept something different .

  10. Lama says :

    I’m a Muslim, and no one force anyone to wear a niqab or burqua, it’s a personal choice and a religious belief

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