Trustco Ad: The Voices

The Trustco Advert saga brought so many voices out to speak.
Not all were positive.
Here is a collection of some of the voices.

Martha Mukaiwa: In case you’re on the sidelines wondering what’s wrong with it: Women are “broads” . A sexist, objectifying and derogatory term for a woman. We look better in board photos. Calling attention to our appearance and our appeal in the context of the male gaze in the age of #MeToo and the global move towards ending sexual harassment in the workplace and beyond. We should be able to stand our ground against the best men. Patronising, connoting some level of accepted and thriving gender weighted intimidation inherent in the workplace. And then “#Yes of course of men are also welcome to apply” thus rendering all of the above just the usual sexist, misogynistic and careless language preceding disgraceful behaviour not even in the context of some misguided move towards equality. As for the use of Annie Leibovitz’s incredible image of Caitlyn Jenner. Transphobic at worst and reductive at the same. Jenner’s former and probably continued struggle with her gender identity minimised to “doing anything” rather than a difficult fight for truth, her life and legitimacy as a human being and a woman with the right to choose and pursue her happiness. Just disgusting, tone deaf, oblivious and disgraceful. Get serious, Trustco Group Holdings. Whoever dreamt this up is clearly not living on this planet or they are severely deaf to the efforts being made against the violence of sexism, transphobia or simply walking out your door as a woman. Open your eyes, apologise, retract, look around and do much (and I mean MUCH) better.

Sister Namibia: It seems our voice has been silent in the matter of the Trustco advert.
But it has not been, we have been so shocked we didn’t know what to say.
So here goes.
The term “Broad”:
• A word for a woman. Less respectable than “lady” but much more respectable than “bitch”.
• A term originated in the 1930’s meaning woman; derived from the fact that the most defining characteristic of all females are their hips, which are proportionately wider than hips of their male counterparts.
• Usually offensive, a term used for to refer to a woman. A promiscuous woman.
• Often men who felt threatened by strong-willed and successful women would call them broads in a derogatory sense.
The board is a strategic head of an organization, it develops and guides policy. And if on that level there is such disdain and disrespect for women, it speaks of a rotten institutional culture.
Example trickles down from leadership to the workforce, and it is an absolute shame to see such behaviour tolerated in an institute such as Trustco.
This explicitly reveals sexualisation of women, harassment and a complete disregard for their intellect and leadership capabilities.
It is greatly upsetting that we still have to keep saying that women are more than their figures and their breasts, that they are capable of being leaders. It is also upsetting that we have very few women considered for strategic leadership and managerial positions.
Until we have a balanced representation in leadership, this are battles we still have to fight.
If there were enough women on that board, this behaviour would never have been tolerated in the first place.
So we hope Trustco gives more than an apology (which was not an apology at all mind you), but increases women representation on the board.
Sister Namibia is in support of all the voices who stood up against this ad.
We strongly reiterate your cries.
Let us as a sisterhood fight against and uproot every misogynistic ideology and practice against women.

Blu H Mathews: That is because you wish to look at it in that light. The transgender in the picture lived for years in self imprisonment due to fear of what society and family members may say. Trustco using her image could mean that they are calling out all women who think less of themselves, women who feel because they do not have an education will never be in a good position at work. Women that deem themselves as nobodies due to their circumstances. You focusing on the negative says a lot about you. Hence you aren’t really able to assist people that come to your offices for assistance most especially women. For an establishment such as yourselves to stoop so low to bully a company just because they decided to go a little extra on their creativity says a lot about you and the entire organization. Learn to see a little positive for goodness’ sake. I remain supportive of Trustco
Uaaruka Happyforever Kandjii: Blu H Mathews, finally someone that saw the ad in the way I saw it…. I didn’t see anything wrong with it and took it positively and thought it was actually funny and creative! Yes they used a transgender woman but people should just take a chill pill and see the bigger picture.

Lizette Feris: I’m sorry that you ladies see nothing wrong with the ad. I guess it is the effects of living in a patriarchal society, and Namibia is definetly one where women should know their place. I wish that you too like Caitlin Jenner break free of the prisons you live in. Stay woke sisters, and you only have to work hard and be passionate to get a seat.
Don’t worry we don’t judge you, we want to emancipated you.

Jholerina Angel-Khoetage Timbo: It may seem like a nice ad to you ladies .but ask me who is the transgender woman living in this country with all the challenges of transitioning , stigma and discrimination that I face daily as me how I feel. This ad is a misinterpretation of what we are as a community .We do not transition into who we are because we want a seat at Truscos table for power.we transition to align ourselves more in how we see ourselves. This ad is misleading to me as a transgender person and a slap in my face as our lives seems to objectified to promote Transphobia by saying we are man and would do anything to get a seat. Transition has never been about a seat but about self and self love and being true to yourself.if i am transitioning only to get a seat it is a selfish and degrading notion for me as a transgender person in Namibia that constantly faces such bigotry and trans misogyny on a day to day basis. I am utterly disgusted and disappointed in Trustco.
Also as part of the community that is negatively impacted by this you can’t imagine to start to tell me how I should feel.As a transgender woman this is I walk down the street and now the Trustco slogan or tag line is used again. They do anything to get a seat oh shame. So you can’t take away my agency and bodily atonomy and tell me how I should feel about this trans degrading add. Trustco must put money where thier mouths are and used that money to promote engagement and not incite stigma and discrimination without recourse of how this will impact and effect me .who is a visible transgender woman out and about.faced with so much prejudice and insults. This ad is adding salt to my daily injuries

Alexis Zakarra: Everything about this ad is wrong, The message it is sending to the Namibian people about, first, how they should treat women, inclusive of trans women, and secondly, the language used and the surprisingly overt misogany and bigotry. The missing element in all of it, is who was responsible for the creation, approval and dissemination of the content, all men. The way those responsible for this distasteful ad responded afterwards. It says a lot about how patriarchy at its core is a tool used to undermine and subjugate women and those who don’t have a voice. As funny as it is, there lies truth in humour and jokes, but it doesn’t make it right. If you see nothing wrong with this as a women, than I challenge you to explore how you have and are internalizing patriarchy, that has numbed you in detecting your own oppression. Look past the funny and see the ad for what it really is within the bigger picture. A tool used to oppress; not in total isolation but as part of myriad ways in which women, trans women included, are trivialized and oppressed by those with power and means. And I won’t get into how a message like this can play out in actuality within the everyday context for women, trans women and those directly affected by this irresponsible ad.

Tuya Amakali: I don’t understand why people are saying it’s funny and we should see the humour in it. Why is it okay to make fun of someone because they are different, what makes trustco and everyone in agreement with this add think that Jenner transitioned for any reason other that is not internal and emotional. It’s not an easy thing making such a decision and it’s not an easy thing living such a life. How can it be funny and okay to make fun of other people’s struggles including the struggles that women face on a daily basis. When we walk down the street and men touch us inappropriately without our consent, is that okay? Is it funny to you as a victim of it because the men that do it are laughing? When you work in a men dominated environment and they laugh at every idea you bring because you belong in the kitchen even when your ideas are good, is that funny to you? As a member of the trustco board, if they constantly look at you and address you as merely a woman that looks good in board pictures, will that be funny to you? What kind of men are on that board and why do they see it fit to categorise and objectify women in that manner? I for one don’t think it’s funny, I personally think it’s insulting. We are all entitled to our opinions though

Manuel Oghlian: They really should stop watching The Wolf of Wall Street…

Monica Geingos: This is wrong on many levels and quite frankly, unacceptable. What scares me more than the crass and casual disrespect, the overt sexism, the transphobia and innuendos, what scares me the most is @qvr_ calling it “brilliant”. Don’t trivialise how this ad makes people feel.

Gordon Joseph: I don’t understand how no one in the production process saw how trashy and offensive and disgusting the advert is… makes make one question/wonder just how much diversity there is at that company…

Compiled by
Elsarien Katiti