An Accrington author has slammed a top city hotel for using ‘sexist’ advertising hoarding.
Jeanette Winterson, 55, who teaches new writing at the University of Manchester, hit out at Malmaison on Piccadilly after it used images of scantily-clad female construction workers.
The hoarding, which also features beefy male models, is covering up construction work taking place at the hotel.
Winterson, who regularly stays at the hotel, claims the photographs contribute to the issue of girls and women being bombarded with negative and conflicting messages about sexuality and gender roles.
In an article written for The Guardian, an outraged Winterson said Manchester has 25 Nobel prize winners and is the cornerstone of the Industrial Revolution so should be the place to encourage women into traditionally male-dominated professions.
She said: “Plenty of women on business stay at the Mal.
“To get to their hotel room at the end of a long day they must take in, or blank out, the message that women at work are really soft-porn babes.”
Winterson continues: “Suppose you are a girl who wants to go into the manual trades?
“Does the image of a skinny model in a strapless frock, pouting with a spanner, do anything for your self-confidence and ambition?
“There is a photo of a man in a hard hat round the corner at the Mal. He’s all muscle and sweat.
“He’s a hunk, sure, but the visual message he offers is not confusing to men. He’s about power and prowess, muscle and machismo.
“The hard-hat babes send out a message that aligns with male fantasy not female reality.
And that’s a problem.”
Winterson claims the adverts contribute to the debate on equal pay, rape and domestic violence, anorexia self-harm, and prostitution.
The author said when discussing the adverts with other hotel customers, many treated it as a joke.
She added: “The joke is that as Britain falls down the equality ladder behind Rwanda and Nicaragua, and Victoria Beckham is named entrepreneur of the year for dressing us all in size zero – some great clothes, but the same skinny models, the same skinny message – the nearest most women will get to being on the board is a strapless dress and a hard hat outside Malmaison.”