Ryanair is still Plane Sexist

Labour Party

Thanks to Ryanair I seem to have achieved some notoriety.

I appear in a report in today’s Telegraph which appears to congratulate Ryanair on producing its fourth charity calendar.  The Telegraph headline “Ryanair cabin crew strip off for charity calendar” says it all. Well maybe not quite all as every singe one of the cabin crew who strip off are female.

I am quoted as saying at this time of year in 2008 that the calendar “sexualises” the airline industry and that Ryanair was maing a desperate bid for profits.”

I very much think this is the case.  You may like to read the blog I wrote two years ago which now appears to be recycled by the Telegraph 

Plane Sexist

Posted on November 21, 2008 by maryhoneyballmep

Just a year on from its Britney Spears style ad of a scantily clad school girl was formally reprimanded, Ryanair has again done the dirty in a desperate bid for profits and pimped out its “sexiest” airline stewards in a “bare all” calendar.

You might like to read my Guardian Comment is Free article on Ryanair’s advertising, or vote in the poll on the left.

The sexy calendar features Ryanair’s staff posing in skimpy bikinis wielding hoses and sprawling across aircrafts. But worse still the links I received in a promotional email took me to a YouTube soft porn-style video of Ryanair staff being stroked by greased-up men and scintillating camera close-ups. I received this depressing advert in a spam email, with no age limit, to titillate its customers to “click on the video link to bare all”. Be warned!

On a serious note, these women have no access to trade union representation. Ryanair does not recognise any worker organisation and accordingly no trade union has been able to establish itself in Ryanair to defend cabin crew. Even though some of these women could be happy to take part, who do they turn to if they’re not?

4 thoughts on “Ryanair is still Plane Sexist

  1. Mary,

    Funny how socialism & a sense of humour seem to be mutually exclusive. What’s your next focus? Page 3 of the Sun?

    2 points;

    # How can Ryanair be making a desperate bid for profits with a charity calendar? £400k raised so far for good causes.
    # Why do the cabin crew need Union protection from being asked to take their clothes off? I expect a simple “no thanks” would do it. You can spot the ones happy to take part – they’ll be smiling.


  2. “Even though some of these women could be happy to take part, who do they turn to if they’re not? ”

    Actually that says it all… or almost

    Not only is it a potential imposition on the staff, but also on the []possibly less profitable] customers.

    But if there are circumstances where baring much/all is acceptable, why the gender asymmetry?

  3. Don’t worry Mary. 1) You don’t need to fly Ryan Air, your expenses will allow you much greater comfort. 2) Also no one will be asking you to strip off for charity. 3) I am sick of you guys meddling and shaping your ideal society. It’s not mine

  4. I think the two sexist comments above tell us everything we need to know about feelings towards women today in our society.

    “Have a sense of humour.” The easiest and most well-used put-down for bigots who want to oppress and continue to objectify women. I’m quite sure Mary has a sense of humour; but why should she use it when the issues here (objectification, sexualisation and undermining of her gender) are so very unfunny?

    As for the ‘why don’t they just say no thanks?’, Martin is right. There is no recourse if they are not happy to take their clothes off, but worse than that, there is an obligation for the women to do so because (a) their company is asking them to and (b) our society (and in particular, our media) puts this pressure upon them with its perpetual stream of semi-nakedness and the implication that women HAVE to strip off to be noticed or worthy. Page 3 is the obvious example, but you only have to look at the way UK sportswomen are portrayed in newspapers (in their underwear, if at all – not simply doing the sport they are good at) to see this oppression in action.

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