This Women’s Day, like every other, corporates have come up with advertisements to cater to the occasion but one by Flipkart is now going viral for all the wrong reasons. The faux pas made by Flipkart, whether coincidental or not, struck social media users as misogynistic. A promotional message sent out to customers by Flipkart on March 7, on the eve of International Women’s Day, reads, “Dear Customer, This Women’s Day, let’s celebrate You. Get Kitchen Appliances from Rs. 299 (sic).” While cooking or kitchen-related tasks are not gendered in themselves, the misogynistic association suggesting women “belong in the kitchen” is a secret to no one. This was the reason that Flipkart’s message got flak on Twitter.
The incident calls to mind a similar incident that happened on Women’s Day last year. Burger King landed in a soup for a tweet that intended to promote a scholarship for female chefs on International Women’s Day. A social media campaign aimed to empower women and promote the culinary scholarship instead faced backlash when their initial tweet came off as ‘sexist’ even though they meant otherwise. The original tweet by Burger King, which was later deleted, read “Women belong in the kitchen”. Before further posts were added, social media users interpreted the tweet as ‘tone-deaf’, especially as it was Women’s Day.