Burgers With a Side Order of Misogyny and Microaggressions

dontunderstand

I was having dinner with my mother and my son at Applebee’s tonight. They always keep their televisions on sports channels, which I tend to half watch. Most of the time I see nothing worthy of pondering. Tonight, however, I was left with the bad taste of sexist microaggressions in my mouth.

Carl’s Junior ads have become increasingly sexist. The ad I viewed tonight was pretty well softcore pornography. It was shown on a station such as ESPN during prime time hours.

There are those who would ask me what the big deal is. The ad was suggestive, but the women weren’t actually naked.

The big deal has nothing to do with the degree of nudity involved. In the first place, it is offensive to have women put on display as sex objects in order to sell projects.

One might argue that while this may be true, there’s nothing we can do about it. Sex sells,and there are bigger problems in the world.

It is true that there are problems which are more directly violent and life-threatening. Also, the argument that “sex sells” in cases such as this really translates to misogyny sells. If they were truly promoting their product using “sex sells” as a guide for creating their advertisement, then both men and women wearing scanty clothing and behaving in a sexualized manner would appear in the ad.

Since men never appear in ads such as this one wearing skimpy clothes and behaving in a sexualized manner, the phrase “sex sells” is, in fact, bullshit. Misogyny sells, and its target audience is dudebros.

One might argue that it is mostly men who watch the sports channels, ergo, airing advertisements of this nature does no harm. It may be primarily men who view sports channels. However, advertising of this nature is not without harm.

In the setting I was in, a family restaurant, there will be young children. Little girls viewing advertisements such as this one are learning that this is how women are supposed to look and behave. They are learning that if they do not look like the sexy women in the advertisements they are not “real women.” They are learning that they need to behave in a submissive and sexy fashion in order for men to find them attractive.

Little boys are learning that women are supposed to behave in an overtly sexual manner to please men. They are learning that women are objects used to sell products. They are learning that women are things rather than people.

As well, the idea that sports are only “for the boys” is a harmful one. It creates a notion that women who enjoy sports, either as observers or as participants, don’t matter. Women, if they appear at all, are supposed to be eye candy. They are not to be taken seriously.

Some may say, well, that’s just the way it is. You can’t fight the tide.

Actually, you can. The advertisers want money. Don’t give them what they want. Don’t buy products from any company that uses misogyny to sell said products.

I’m of the opinion that if you can’t sell your product without using the “sex sells” excuse, your product must not be able to stand on its own merit. I don’t want it.

It actually is possible for women to be portrayed as sexy without demeaning them. Compare the problematic Carl’s Junior ad with one of my favorite music videos.

You can find the Carl’s Junior ad here. I am not embedding the ad as I do not want to increase their hits. I’ve used a Do Not Link URL.

Here is the music video.

 Can the women portrayed in the video be perceived as sexy or appealing? Absolutely, but they are also not there only as “eye candy” for the male gaze. They are part of a story. Their presence may be representative of an idea, but they are autonomous beings. One may find them pleasing, but they are not there solely to be pleasing. 

The men in the video can also be perceived as appealing and sexy.

This is the difference between media that has sexual appeal and media that appeals to sexist ideals in order to sell a product.

I don’t expect honesty from advertisers. However, if they were to be honest, they would have to admit that “sex” is not what they’re selling. They’re selling misogyny, using sexed-up, submissive women as objects to promote their products. It’s an outmoded idea that sends a terrible message. Consumers need to stop buying it.

~The Real Cie~

Same Shit Different Day

Initially, I was interested in what this guy had to say. Then he proved himself to be nothing but another boring, fatphobic asshole who believes that “comedy” means encouraging the sheep to laugh at your mean-spirited jokes about people you don’t even know. Gee, that’s never been done. Next!

~Spectra~

Deconstructing Pac Man Feat. Goldie Everything Real

This is my reaction to hearing the above song and viewing the video for the first time.

The song has a good sound. Perhaps it’s not conventionally acceptable for an old fart like me to like a new hip-hop tune like this one, but I really don’t care about conventions. The song has a slow, smooth groove blending with edgy lyrics.
Unfortunately, the subject matter is, overall, uninspiring. I am all about people expressing solidarity. Never did care for the “pro-gangsta” vibe in some hip-hop tunes, although I do understand the reason behind it. Actually, the reason isn’t even so much the fact that the artists are expressing what it’s like to live in the ghetto or projects. This was originally the case. Then, record companies took over and exploited and glamorized gang culture.
I’m not going to delve deeper into this factor as there are others who can explain it far better than I can. I’m an outsider looking in. I’ve never been involved in either gang culture or the recording industry.
I always think its a positive thing when artists of different racial backgrounds come together on a project.
One of the dancers in the video is a larger woman. This isn’t something that one sees very often.
Not all of the women in the video are scantily dressed.
However…
There is at least one mostly naked model with extremely large, silicone enhanced breasts. I don’t know if she’s a current porn star, as I don’t keep up with “who’s who” in pornography. The general vibe I get is the “we can get with porn stars” idea. So don’t care, Fellows. Treating women like props has been done and overdone.
There are scenes where the band members are sitting with fully clothed women on a bed and not behaving in a sexual fashion with said women. It’s a “hanging with our homegirls” vibe, and I like that well enough. What I don’t care for is the fact that, as with so many videos, the women are props rather than partners.
If you like this sort of music, you’ll likely enjoy the song. Overall, everything that’s been done in the video has been done before. It’s a trite, tired way of treating women. Yeah, you’re in a band, you can get tail. And just like every young dude before you, you see the need to brag about it. Same old story. Moving on.
A word to the wise: avoid the comments on this one; they’re odious. I’m sure this surprises no-one, given that it’s You Tube.
~DJ Ellie~
 
Cross-posted to:

From the WTF Files: American Apparel’s Hairy Manikins

aa manikin with pubes

Here is the original post from AlterNet.

I find the hairless trend on real women to be creepy. I’m pretty old-school on this. Adults are supposed to have hair “down there.” Of course, in the long run, what other people do with their pubes is really none of anyone else’s business. It’s one of those “gads, I can’t believe I’m discussing this” topics.
I despise American Apparel, and even if I were young, thin, and hip enough to wear their clothes, I would sooner wear a garbage bag. This whole thing is a ploy for attention, of course. Putting pubes on manikins is ludicrous.

“The company also recently stirred a bit of genuinely interesting controversy with a T-shirt collaboration with artist Petra Collins. The shirt featured a line drawing of a woman’s menstruating vagina, which made some people feel very mad and uncomfortable.”

It’s a bit odd that a depiction of a menstruating vagina would make anyone angry, although there are people who tend to rave like lunatics about menstruation. However, I can’t imagine myself wearing a shirt with a even a line drawing of a menstruating vagina…or any other vagina or penis for that matter. I may not know art, but I know what I don’t want on my shirt!

Here is one of those farm-fresh ideas that I don’t see happening any time soon. What if American Apparel used models of all races and in all ranges of body types? Of course THAT will never happen. But their manikins now have pubes, so they are EDGY, by golly!

~Cie~