“Given the choice between a woman and a cigar, I will always choose the cigar.” – Groucho Marx

My friend Jean encountered this ad for JR Cigar at the bus stop the other day. She was offended, as every woman should be. This quote perpetuates the idea that men should think of women as dispensable possessions. That they are only “real men” if they don’t need/respect the women in their lives. In what could be seen as a challenge to their masculinity and independence, the ad practically shouts “Fellows! How many of you are man enough to say the same?”

This isn’t the only sexist thing that Marx ever said in relation to cigars (in another famous quote, a woman who told him that she had eleven children was given the response “Lady, I love my cigar, but I take it out of my mouth once in a while”) – but the fact that JR Cigar thought it was an appropriate quote to use in a public advertisement is just plain gross (not to mention very misogynistic).

I checked out JR Cigar’s Facebook page, and was unsurprised to find numerous pictures of “hot chicks” and celebrity women smoking cigars in sports cars, images that elicited hundreds of creepy and sexist comments from their middle-aged male patrons. I can only image how JR’s female customers feel about all this.

JR Cigar, I know you’re trying to run a business, but be more careful about what how you advertise.  A true man respects women and doesn’t treat them like second class citizens. And he can still enjoy a good cigar if he so pleases.

Oh, and follow Jean on Twitter: @jxchung. While you’re at it, follow me too: @duckyfem (so far my following is abysmal, but I only started my account last week…I know, I know – so late for the Twit party).