A feminist Nike ad has managed to tick off a lot of people with bad opinions about women.
The ad, which is good, opens with a woman running in a hijab and a Nike-branded tunic. Another woman in a hijab stares daggers at her. Then, a hijab-wearing woman skateboards past frame. A man is clearly pissed about her rebellion.
"What will they say about you?" a woman's voice narrates in the Saudi dialect. "Maybe they'll say you exceeded all expectations."
Nike filmed the ad in the more run-down suburbs of Dubai. It's meant to reflect both the judgement faced by average women trying to lead an active lifestyle as well as some of its stars. After all, they both have to run on the same streets.
"Convincing my father was the toughest part...if you want something bad enough you stick to it, and you can get it done," Mourad tells Reuters.
You get the idea. The ad features young Middle Eastern women doing things like boxing, swimming, running parkour, and essentially living normal active lives. Naturally, the ad elicits some strong opinions.
Before we tell you what they are, take a look yourself.
Pretty empowering stuff. And the online reaction has indeed been mostly positive. Here's a brief sampling.
We expected to find a deluge of negative or hateful comments. Those were refreshingly absent from the online discourse around this advertisement. Does that mean something good for humanity? Probably, but let's not fall head over heels. After all, this is a company that's selling a product. It's nice that they're advancing a feminist message, but it's not like they're suddenly going to make men and women equal worldwide. Saudi Arabia, for example, still forbids physical education in girls' schools.
But the ad is a good start, to say the least.