A recent backlash on a fast food restaurant’s advertisement sparked conversations on how the Philippines still has “a lot more to do” when it comes to portraying women in media.
The advertisement at issue was published by Subway Philippines, a multinational fast food franchise that specializes in sandwiches. In the now-deleted ad, social media personality Kimpoy Feliciano played the role of a “confused loverboy” who then vaguely compared three women to different sandwich options: the “biggest,” “tastiest,” and “meatiest.”
“We would like to remind Subway that women are not pieces of meat. It is deeply offensive, triggering, and insensitive,” said Gabriela Women’s partylist on Wednesday, Feb. 1.
The “sexist and misogynistic” undertone of the advertisement also earned the criticism of the public.
Twitter user @ricci_richy said the ad “reeks machismo,” questioning why it was necessary to use women to compare different sandwich options.
Another user @MikKismet said “I am not a woman and I am not a sandwich either, but why does it feel like ‘women as pieces of meat’ undertone?”
Following this incident, Gabriela Women’s Partylist called on companies to “do better and be more sensitive” in representing women, especially when many continue to experience various forms of sexual and violence abuse. Data from the Philippine National Police (PNP) showed that more than 12,000 cases of violence against women were reported in 2021.