Vegan Butterfly sent me a link to this detestable White Castle ad a few months ago. I meant to blog about it straight away, but naturally procrastinated. The video has since made its way ’round the interwebs; see, for example, I Blame the Patriarchy and Suicide Food.
No matter. ‘Tis never too late to deconstruct some Grade A kyriarchical Homer shit. Let’s get started, shall we?
In case you can’t view the video, here’s a breakdown.
Cue the scene: a bevy of skeevy, college age, white dudes sits in a smoky, dimly lit dive, hooting and clamoring expectantly. Onstage, a pig (!?) appears. Our “pig” is clearly a human decked out, head-to-hoof, in a cheap plush pig outfit. But let’s forget about that for a moment. This is one sexy stripper pig. She – we assume the pig is a she, since men are rarely reduced to sex objects – bursts into a sultry dance, thrusting her ass towards the audience, hips grinding to and fro. The camera pans around to two guys – and an animated White Castle paper bag (!?) – sitting at the front table. Miss Piggy shimmies herself onto a strategically placed chair, opening a creepy ole can of Flashdance on our asses. Still dancing, she thrusts a leg into the air, then back down to the floor.
Suddenly, a flirtatious female voice over:
“Introducing tempting pulled pork…”
Here, Piggy reaches for a chain, dangling down from the ceiling – and gives a good yank. Barbecue sauce rains from the sky, covering Piggy (whose back is predictably arched at this point) and splashing the audience, which doesn’t seem to mind a bit.
“…in barbecue sauce.”
The audience cheers! Piggy twirls and dances in triumph!
Cut to shots of murdered, dismembered, processed and cooked pig, i.e., “meat.”
“Shredded pork in a come-hither barbecue sauce. Sweet. Saucy. Oh so naughty. White Castle – what you crave.”
The ad ends with a fadeout of the aforementioned white dudes – sitting with a now grease stained White Castle bag – licking barbecue sauce off of themselves and enjoying the “entertainment.” Happy ending, anyone?
Where to start, where to start?
It’s hard to know how I should classify this one: Sexy Meat or Consuming Women – or both? Is the “stripper” really an honest-to-goodness pig, or are the White Castle dudes, overcome with hunger-lust, just imagining her as such? If the latter is true, what might readings of this ad suggest vis-à-vis sexualized violence against women?
Let’s say that Miss Piggy is really a piggy. Given this scenario, how will Piggy’s Flashdance end: with her murder, dismemberment and consumption? Again, what does the intermingling of sex and death say about human attitudes towards non-human animals – and women, particularly sex workers?
What is evident is that Miss Piggy seems to enjoy performing for the male gaze – even if that gaze is murderous (hence the Suicide Food angle). Miss Piggy doesn’t mind being exploited – positively loves it, in fact – or so White Caste would have you believe. This despite the certainty that her dance, like those of her brothers and sisters, will culminate in violence. Namely, being pulled apart and shredded through a meat grinder, if you’re to believe the voice over.
A fact that shouldn’t bother the viewer/consumer, since Miss Piggy – whether she’s a non-human pig or a human sex worker – is an object fit for grinding.
Tagged: animals animal rights animal welfare video you tube video blogging white castle pig stripper sex worker shredded pork pork pulled pork intersectionality intersections parallel oppressions animals and women meat sex violence death suicide food misogyny speciesism