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creepy douchebaggery misogyny rape jokes rapey sexual harassment

Rape jokes: Not a good way to advertise vodka. Also, a non-apology is not a good way to apologize for using a rape joke to advertise vodka.

No thanks, Belvedere vodka. I think I’ll be going with pretty much ANY OTHER BRAND than you the next time I purchase vodka.

After a flurry of complaints online, Belvedere offered this “apology.”

Yeah, pretty sure “sorry if you were offended” does not count as a real apology. Neither does this: Belvedere Vodka, I’m sorry you’re so fucking clueless.

 

 

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Maya
Maya
8 years ago

@pujeemuhs

WHUT? LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLROFL!!!!!

No.

Canaduck
Canaduck
8 years ago

Jesus fucking Christ, Antz, what planet do you live on?

Ozy is right, by the way, if you have an issue with how offensive this ad is–regardless of why–just write to the company. It takes less than 20 seconds to go from googling the brand name to clicking the “contact” option to shooting them an email. I assume you’d rather sit back and complain, though, since that’s pretty much all that MRAs are good at.

katz
8 years ago

I’ve got a question for older Manboobzers: Has advertising always been this bad? I feel like it’s getting worse, at least in the short term.

cloudiah
8 years ago
Maya
Maya
8 years ago

I’m not an “older Manboobzer”, but I will answer anyway:

I can’t say about advertising, but I do know pop culture representation of the sexes is more and more extreme. The claim that we live in a culture that promotes genderlessness is absurd.

Holly Pervocracy
8 years ago

I am quite a young Manboobzer, but: It seems to me like this whole pseudo-retro, half-satirical hypermasculinity thing has gotten a lot bigger in recent years. The whole thing where men go in their Man Cave to drink “It’s not for women” soda and eat “Manbulance” beef jerky and practice their Man Skills before washing off with an Axe Detailer. It seems to have really crept up the last couple years.

There’s sort of a wink in it, like “it’s not for women, ha ha, like we’d really say that”… and sort of not, because yeah, you did actually say that.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

Do I count as older? I’m nearly 40. Holly is correct – there’s been more and more of this kind of retro sexism with a bro twist over the last 5 years or so. Back in the 80s I don’t recall seeing anything like this, at least not in a mainstream context.

pujeemuhs
pujeemuhs
8 years ago

What Holly said.
I was around for the 1970s and 80s and there was about the same level of gender binarism, but it didn’t have this level of anxiety to it. There was bad rape-oriented pseudohumor like the trope about the caveman with the club dragging the cavewoman by the hair, but the word “rape” just in itself wasn’t a punchline like it is now.

Polliwog
Polliwog
8 years ago

I’ve got a question for older Manboobzers: Has advertising always been this bad? I feel like it’s getting worse, at least in the short term.

I’m not “older” (or at least I hope I’m not yet!), but I did watch a lot of commercials from the 70s for a class a few years back, and they were simultaneously horrifying and reassuring – horrifying in that ads from the 70s were frequently so overt in their sexism that they were truly painful to watch, and reassuring in that however bad many ads today are, most of them don’t come right out and explicitly declare that women are all morons who are only good for sex and cleaning your house, so we’ve at least made some progress. That said, none of the ones I watched were just hideous rape “jokes.” So this ad may have them beat on the seriously-not-cool front, which is pretty fucking sad considering that we’re talking about commercials containing entirely serious lines like, “It’s so simple even your wife can use it!”

I feel like ads have gotten somewhat worse in general in the last five years or so, but I admit that might just be that I’ve been watching more TV, or because I’ve forgotten the terrible ones from ten years ago by now. I do think there’s been something of an uptick in commercials that appear to be aimed squarely at the “bro” market – between Hardee’s, Axe, that Dr. Pepper nonsense, and basically every beer ad ever, I get the impression that a fair number of marketing teams think the ideal consumer is male, roughly 19, obsessed with boobies, and dumb as a brick.

Polliwog
Polliwog
8 years ago

Heh, and apparently I am both (a) a slow typist and (b) not just imagining things, since two people already beat me to the “it does seem like there’s been a lot of ads for bros in the last few years” point while I was posting.

pujeemuhs
pujeemuhs
8 years ago

@CAssandraSays – I love Mad Men but too many of its fans are morons with no critical thinking skills. I’m sure that show’s not the only thing to blame, but it has really shed light on how stupid and shallow people are.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

Actually I’m pretty sure that this trend predated Mad Men by several years. Also, I think the difference between the ads from the 70s that the new ones are playing off of and the current ones is malice – there’s a lot more anger and coded desire to do harm to women in the new ads, whereas the older ones were more patronising.

pujeemuhs
pujeemuhs
8 years ago

Yeah the Bridgestone tire ads are a good example of that. Violence toward women used for humor.

Holly Pervocracy
8 years ago

Also, I think the difference between the ads from the 70s that the new ones are playing off of and the current ones is malice – there’s a lot more anger and coded desire to do harm to women in the new ads, whereas the older ones were more patronising.

Yeah, this. The theme of the recent bro-ads is more like “carve out and protect your man-space” and “take women down a notch” as opposed to “you already have a man-space, I’m sure” and “women are already down a notch.”

pujeemuhs
pujeemuhs
8 years ago

As far as the trend over the last five years or if it’s longer, it’s hard to tell what you mean because all the backlashes sort of meld together. But it does seem like since every dudebro’s started aspiring to be a middle aged misogynist racist alcoholic nymphomaniacal narcissistic Master of the Universe I’ve seen a lot more fedoras and jokes that were unfunny 50-100 years ago.

abeegoesbuzz
abeegoesbuzz
8 years ago

Not to be too much of an old farty fuddy duddy, but it may be less that ads patently endorsing rape and DV started being created only a few years ago and more that the internet has brought these ads to everyone’s attention. Now it’s not just a localized community that gets to gaze upon the abject horror of an ablist rape joke or a joke about DV — it’s everyone.

Bostonian
8 years ago

I remember being 40! Yes, ads recently have gotten a bit backlashier (I know that is not a word) but the vintage ads were gross in their own, special way.

Advertisers have always traded gross stereotypes and rarely broke that mould.

nomadrover
nomadrover
8 years ago

(Big lurker/reader, rare commenter here)

Regarding good vodkas: Grey Goose is pretty much on par w/ Belvedere, as is Ketel One.

Hangar One and Level are good too.

There’s also Rain which makes organic vodka from white corn.

Ciroc is quite nice (it’s French and made from grapes).

Also, if you are lucky enough to live by a West Coast Trader Joe’s, their Black Sea vodka is pretty much amazing. (and yes, full disclosure, I DO work for TJ’s…at least until Sunday…)

Hope that helps.

BTW, didn’t comment on the ad because I don’t feel like vomiting right now…='(

bloodquartz
bloodquartz
8 years ago

Seriously. And we keep saying ‘what rape culture?’ ~_~ I mean, when I first heard just the slogan I thought -ok, a slighty unexperienced lover?- hell, do the female of that and that could be amusing! but then there was the image and I wanted to throw up.
We don’t get this brand over here and if we ever do – i’m sure as hell not buyin it! ‘i’m sorry you’re offended’ or no – i’m sorry, but NO. Means No btw.

indifferentsky
8 years ago

erghghghghgh Antz, you’re a troll, plain and simple. Hope you’re not laughing at the mere fact people respond to you, because the responses are good for educating the mras too scared and knowingly full of crap to post here.

Of course AntZ, one of the shitty shitty things about adverts is what they say about “oh men will be persuaded by this ad LOL they love to buy into the frat boy rapist image”

Yes, absolutely, that is very disturbing. However, there is a VICTIM in this picture, and they obviously don’t get disturbed about rape, rape victims, or imagery. In this case that is MORE disturbing to anyone not broken.

The reason I see your trolling so clearly here, is there’s no way you’re that thick that you can’t say this is both against men and women. And for people arguing here against AntZ who, just because AntZ said it won’t give an inch on the misandry, that’s silly and wrong headed. How would you like a company to market to your gender based on their opinion that you love and engage in, and find funny… abuse. If this ad was geared toward mothers abusing their children, we could see how insulting that was, maybe a child with a black eye, and a mom taking a swig and similar slogan. You might say OH did an MRA make this ad?

So yes, this is absolutely a very serious direct insult to men. But again, that the entire subject is RAPE HA!, and the picture is so graphic, that is going to be the priority in discussion. I was triggered by this ad, for me it was only because I had just finished watching Iron Jawed Angels mere seconds before I saw it, and that movie already had me emotionally raw. Otherwise, I would not have had a real trigger.

———————————-
HORRIBLY OFFENSIVE APOLOGY: I skimmed through the comments to see if anyone mentioned this, but…. and I’m really really angry right now. The apology talked about encouraging responsible drinking. LIKE THAT WAS THE ISSUE. Not that they portrayed rape as a joke, not that they showed a terrified woman, which means the ad execs knew exactly what the fuck this entailed, it’s not like out of sight out of mind… or innuendo. Yes, date rape might involve, “irresponsible drinking” including someone trying to render another person unconscious. But to call that not drinking responsibly? That’s a criminal assault! This is rape. This is not about drinking responsibly or “hey now we don’t advocate getting others drunk” I mean that’s not even the point. In the ad the woman was very very upset. She is terrified.

The only thing that saved me on this ad was to focus on the man. There’s something unrealistic about that, and so I just looked mostly there when examining the ad.

Also AntZ, you just proved how little you think of women, and abuse and rape, so… I for one am not going to let this go. You’ve proven your own heart here (and that you’re likely a troll).

indifferentsky
8 years ago

Damn, I made it sound like I saw comments toward AntZ that were not giving an inch on misandry. I did not, I skimmed over comments, and that was supposed to be some conditional phrase. If someone is doing that… If.

indifferentsky
8 years ago

David, if you have time, can you post another entry quickly? Even one on kittehs like you sometimes do? No pressure, just a request.

seranvali
8 years ago

What a bunch of arseholes! I hope they go bankrupt.

Falconer
Falconer
8 years ago

That collection of disgusting vintage ads did not seem to have this one from Pitney Bowes entitled “Is it always illegal to kill a woman?”

The image is a painted picture. A man in a brown suit, white shirt and yellow tie with green circles on it is caught in an exasperated expression, elbows in, hands palm-up, fingers of his left hand splayed, fingers of his right hand together. The object of his exasperation, a woman with a green skirt and coat combo with a white shirt, crosses her hands, turns her head up and away from him, and closes her eyes in a stubborn expression.

The ad copy begins: “For six months I bend the ears of the home office to get a postage meter. I win … Then the only good, fast, dependable, honest-to-Gregg stenographer I got, this redhead Morrissey — balks at a postage meter!

“I have no mechanical aptitude. Machines mix me up, kind of,” she says. As if we asked her to fly a P-80. I almost blow my top.”

Long story short, he cajoles her into trying the meter for two weeks with a promise to dispense with it if she doesn’t like it. Then he finds that she’s tied a pink bow around the handle. She says it’s a wonderful machine and she gets the mail out so early that she can get to the ladies’ room before the gossip starts.

The whole thing looks like it’s from the Fifties or maybe the Sixties. Somehow it doesn’t look like the Seventies to me.

I see that and I think, goddammit Pitney Bowes, I have to use one of your meters practically every day and now I’m going to be reminded of your crap ad frequently!

Moewicus
Moewicus
8 years ago

Only Antsy could look at something like this and think the most important theme is misandry and that those concerned about the misogyny it represents are bigots.

Honestly, he cannot be anything but a Poe. This is too dense. Black Hole dense.

It would be like seeing an ad denigrating the intelligence of african-americans and calling it racist towards white people. And then decrying people complaining about racism against POC as bigots.

The ad is indeed ugly and atrocious, but one thing it is not is misandrous. Two guys making jokes about raping women to each other aren’t misandrists, they’re a) misogynists and b)being awful. Two white people making jokes about black people to each other aren’t racist against whites, they’re a) racist against blacks b) being awful.

All of this leaves me with one nagging question: what other world did Antsy find a portal to when he shoved his head up his own arse (leaving his fingers free to type about what he sees, naturally)?

My money would be on Narnia, but then again I’ve read The Magician’s Nephew, so really there’s no knowing.

Ithiliana
8 years ago

Ooh, ads changing over time! I’m in my 50s, and also as a TA in the early 90s was in on the “let’s have students analyze ad and other pop culture elements for their comp classes.” Plus, I’m just sort of interested in analyzing ads and always have been

I mostly agree with what people say above–the ads were always sexist, but not as overtly rapist, ‘edgy’ (i.e. rape hipsterism), or “dudebro.” But they were also much more racist (to the extent of never showing anybody who wasn’t white) and classist (middle-class) as well as sexist. I think the alcohol ads were always among the worst (although I still remember one hilarious one–Budweiser I think–that had an elegant woman sitting in a chair talking about how, yes, women can drink beer too, and then when her husband calls from offscreen ordering her to get a beer, she yells back at him to get it himself–I found it hilarious–when I could drink I alway preferred beer though it tends to be coded more macho, i.e. girls drink wine or wine coolers–but the protest was so overwhelming they yanked it.. Have to put a plug in for any ad featuring the Budweiser Clydesdales! Lovely animals.

While I agree that there is ths sub-set of edgy, rapist, hipster/dudebro crap, I would also argue that there are companies (product sellers and marketing) who have done a bit more to get it–there are ads on television (I don’t read any of the magazines) that are pretty nifty and NOT sexist. (Slightly better range of representation on African Americans these days, in the shows I watch). And of course, what ads we see depend on the shows we watch!

Some examples of ads we actually like: the Geico gecko. Will watch that Gecko any time, and actually went GEICO when we got pissed at our other company. The insurance company (insurance ads are quite nifty these days), not sure which (eSurance?): with the woman tech doing the computer sales and the man doing the in person sales, and their little conflict (we have become fans of the actor who played the woman and love seeing her on other ads). Flo at Progressive (didn’t some MRA dude use Flo as proof women dominate insurance). The cute dorky Nationwide guy who sings the little song with customers (some men, some women).

Generally, car companies who realize that women buy cars, and don’t have ad campaigns about cars that are mobile penises. (we love the ad, toyota, perhaps, with the guy who goes from the little kid wanting speed to a dad with baby in carrier wanting safety).

A lot of ads show what I consider to be more average looking people, and a whole range of them as well (I’m thinking of Staples tech guy helping out lots of different people). (As opposed to the stupid ad where the tech support is presented as people that can be bought along with the computer and the obnoxious teenage male picks the sexy girl, shudder). The one where the student carry the tech support person around like backpacks, also kinda weird.

The two categories of ads that didn’t used to exist which I think should be banned: lawyers advertising, and also ads for medicines.

We also approve of any ad with cats…………………..*snicker*

Falconer
Falconer
8 years ago

and also ads for medicines.

I’m always irritated when they don’t tell you what the damn chemical is for.

OFFA MAH LAWN grumble grumble

Ithiliana
8 years ago

@Falconer: What we find horrifyingly hiliarous is they give you pretty pics, lots of promises of what the DRUG will do (depressants really iffy here), and then reel off (thank goodness they’re forced to do this by omg gov’t regulation) a whole list of ghastly side effects that people may experience in really fast, low-affect tone, and it’s just……………HOLYCRAP!

And the ones that say “if you are experiencing this go to your doctor and tell them to give you OUR DRUG”

Bostonian
8 years ago

Hey Falconer! That’s my line! Ya Whippersnapper!

Ithiliana
8 years ago

Oh, and as TWO John Hodgeman and PC fans, we loved the Apple commercials with John Hodgeman as PC and um that other guy (whom we loved in Galaxy Quest) as PC, even though we’d never in a million years buy an Apple!

Snowy
Snowy
8 years ago

Justin Long? Ithiliana I like your taste in movies Galaxy Quest was awesome!

Ithiliana
8 years ago

@Snowy: Thank you! Ditto! GQ is completely totally awesome (and Justin was just one of the awesomeness–we really like him but not most of the film he’s been in).

I’m giving a virtual lecture for an SF course in Germany about fandom this summer–and chose GQ as the “text” to illustrate what fandom is! (I think it’s all supposed to be public–when it goes up, I’ll drop a link in the forums)

ALSO: Alan Rickman is HOT!

Falconer
Falconer
8 years ago

Oh lawd why did I ever go to Yes But What Does Zataproximetacine DO???!

There goes lunchtime!

Falconer
Falconer
8 years ago

ALSO: Alan Rickman is HOT!

Snape is supposed to be unpleasant-looking. I think his hair is supposed to be greasy and unkempt.

But I watch the movies and I say YES Professor Snape do it again CRITICIZE ME HARDER.

Ithiliana
8 years ago

@Falconer: Oh, yes Rickman’s Snape is totally hot (and has a large and very enthusiastic following online). But even in the books (and I’m not a huge fan of the books though I like some of what she does very much), I find Snape one of the more fascinating characters………..mmmmmmmmmmmm, Snape!

Falconer
Falconer
8 years ago

@Ithiliana: I think it was a pretty bold decision of Rowling’s to have James Potter be absolutely horrid to Snape for Lilly’s benefit.

Whether it was a good decision to try and show kids that their parents may not necessarily have been little angels, that’s another discussion.

Although I still wish Snape had washed his hair more often.

Shaenon
8 years ago

I knew Justin Long in college. He’s the sweetest, funniest guy and it’s great to see how well he’s done for himself. Also, yes, “Galaxy Quest” is an awesome movie.

KathleenB
KathleenB
8 years ago

I really do adore Alan Rickman. His voice for Marvin in the Hitchhiker’s movie was so perfectly dead on.

elusis
8 years ago

Hangar One vodka: I personally know a number of the employees, and can say with some confidence that they would never engage in rape-y advertising. Also their vodkas are awesome, and the infused ones are totally not made with Dow Essence of Lemon #436.

Here is the ultimate in man-vertising:

http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/v/sxtRGEVsSOc?version=3&hl=en_US&rel=0

Screw “bronies,” screw “murses” and “mannies” and “manties” and mantiehose and all the other “TOTALLY NOT FOR CHICKS OR FAGS, MAN!” branding.

elusis
8 years ago

The Sociological Images blog has only one article tagged “rape” which I find surprising. There are more tagged “gender-violence” but I’m not sure if there’s a way to search multiple tags (so “advertising” and “gender-violence”) to see what turns up.

BigMomma
BigMomma
8 years ago

Alan Rickman is HOT in anything…he stole the show in Robin Hood as a sexy bad sheriff, he was fabulous as a ghost in Truly Madly Deeply and of course Galaxy Quest…ah Galaxy Quest…i brayed with laughter all the way through that movie

kristinmh
kristinmh
8 years ago

All vodka tastes the same to me – like alcohol. I thought that was the point of vodka, that it had basically no taste and didn’t give you booze breath. I’ll stick to Alberta Pure or Russian Prince, I think. Much cheaper, no rape ads.

(Seriously, what demographic was Belvedere going for? The 6% of men who will admit to committing date rape?)

BigMomma
BigMomma
8 years ago

hey Kristinmh

how’s it going?

mythago
8 years ago

Guessing they were going for hip and edgy. Too bad. I buy a fuck ton of vodka, and it won’t be theirs. Ever.

Ithiliana
8 years ago

@BigMomma: “Cancel Christmas!”. OMG, yes, the Sheriff! I have been a Robin Hood fan my entire life, but that film, I was a total Sheriff fangirl! HOT HOT HOT HOT, and OMG! (Of course it didn’t help that Robin was played by um that totally forgettable actor, and American as well, right?).

*happy sigh*

TMD is somewhat frustrating for me because I cannot stand the female protagonist, but yes, Rickman was great.

*happys igh* We may have to watch GQ sometime this spring for renewed fun and lolz.

Shadow
Shadow
8 years ago

I couldn’t stand Prince of Thieves, Costner almost ruined Robin Hood for me!! However, I am always happy to endulge in the wonderful camp that is The Adventures of Robin Hood

Lady Zombie
Lady Zombie
8 years ago

Alan Rickman could read the phone book and I’d get turned on. For realz, yo. My favorite movie of his was Dogma.

Bethany: What’s he like?
Metatron: God? Lonely. But funny. He’s got a great sense of humor. Take sex for example. There’s nothing funnier than the ridiculous faces you people make mid-coitus.
Bethany: Sex is a joke in heaven?
Metatron: The way I understand it, it’s mostly a joke down here, too.

Snape was always my favorite character too. Although Alan Rickman was much older than Snape, he pulled it off.

“Turn to page three hundred and ninety fffffour.”

Ooooo, yes sir!

Kendra, the bionic mommy
Kendra, the bionic mommy
8 years ago

Smirnoff and Skyy are good vodkas that are available at most liquor stores. Don’t buy Aristocrat vodka, though, because it tastes like hairspray. None of them have rape joke ads, either, as far as I know.