In which Burger King whips out its Manwich.

August 2nd, 2009 11:09 am by Kelly Garbato

This ad for Burger King’s new (?) BK “Super Seven Incher” sandwich has been making the rounds – and, as usual, I’m way late to the party – but I simply have to blog it anyhow. It’s about as close as you can get to pornography without necessitating a little black bar for safe viewing.

BK Super Seven Incher

The ad depicts a woman – or her disembodied head, rather – in side profile. Her mouth, outlined in bright, fire engine red lipstick, is opened wide, ready to fellate gobble devour eat consume a massive sandwich. The “Super Seven Incher” consists of a “beef patty” garnished with onions, cheese, steak sauce – and what looks to be a heaping serving of mayonnaise. (Unless that’s the steak sauce? But isn’t steak sauce brown? WTF do I know, I’m a vegan!) As other bloggers have pointed out, the mayo resembles male ejaculate; doubly so when considered in context.

Phallic/blow job imagery abounds: the woman looks as though she could be kneeling, and the sandwich is coming straight at her, directly perpendicular to her head. Though no one appears to be holding the sandwich, it floats in the air nonetheless. (As if standing erect – like, um, a penis!) Clearly, she’s not feeding herself, but is being fed – force-fed, possibly, judging from the look on her face. Her expression is so vacant that she kind of resembles a RealDoll.

The “fine print,” courtesy of Mother Jones: “Fill your desire for something long, juicy and flame-grilled with the NEW BK SUPER SEVEN INCHER. Yearn for more after you taste the mind-blowing burger that comes with a single beef patty, topped with American cheese, crispy onions and the A1 Thick and Hearty Steak Sauce.”

Desire. Yearn. Long. Juicy. Mind-blowing. Nope, nothing sexual there.

Typically speaking, in ads wherein sex is equated with “meat” (and thus violence and death), women are depicted as the “meat,” and men the consumers. Upon first glance, this BK ad seems to break with tradition – the “meat” here is a stand-in for a penis, so technically the man is the “meat,” and the woman, the consumer.

However, I think there’s an important difference between the two scenarios: when women are likened to “meat” (or, likewise, when “meat” is sexualized), it’s to turn them into objects for male consumption. In this vein, (the consumption of) “meat” is oftentimes associated with masculinity – and the “meat”-as-penis theme seems a natural extension of this meme. After all, what’s more masculine than the male sex organ? Even though the man in this ad sports the “meat,” he’s not objectified, nor does he exist for someone else’s gaze; that’s his partner’s role. Rather than being a consumable object, the (implied) man in this ad is aggressive and powerful, on the receiving end of a (non-consensual?) blow job. He may be the “meat,” but she’s still the (sex) object.

I’ve been keeping track of commentary on the image since I uploaded it to Flickr in June. So far, the photo’s description reads,

Via Daily Kos by way of Unscrewing The Inscrutable; h/t, Mary Martin.

See also: Mother Jones; Sociological Images; Shakesville; Bitch; Bust; Pam’s House Blend; ECHIDNE OF THE SNAKES

In particular, I direct you to Pam’s House Blend, where Pam encourages you to send BK your feedback. However, I hope you’ll blast BK for their speciesism as well as their misogyny.

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3 Responses to “In which Burger King whips out its Manwich.”

  1. Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, No. 13: Boobs, bacon & bigotry. » V for Vegan: easyVegan.info Says:

    […] which Burger King tries to one-up its previous misogynist campaigns (can I interest anyone in a blog job burger?) by covering a naked woman in the dismembered corpses and fried secretions of tortured and […]

  2. Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, No. 7: Meat, Love & Objectification » V for Vegan: easyVegan.info Says:

    […] on second thought, no gag; that’s probably the womanly reaction the meat-eating manly men at Esquire are hoping […]

  3. Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, No. 6: PETA, PMS & Michael Pollan » V for Vegan: easyVegan.info Says:

    […] In which the milk of an (s)exploited mother acts as a stand-in for semen; at commercial’s climax (pun most definitely intended), said semen is “accidentally” spurted all over the face of a unsuspecting woman. About as classy as it is original! […]

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