Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, No. 13: Boobs, bacon & bigotry.

Friday, December 18th, 2009

Burger King's Singing in the Shower 03

Mary Elizabeth Williams @ Salon: Will shower for sausages; She’ll “shake her bits” to whet your appetite

In 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 murdered animals and making her wiggle her (and the animals’) bits in service of the male gaze. Cue: “morning spank routine.” Barf, gargle, repeat.

Tracy Clark-Flory @ Salon: Berlusconi is a boob; The prime minister sells sex for political gain, but many Italians aren’t buying it

While dissecting Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi’s entrepreneurial endeavors – which largely involve selling women’s sexuality on his television stations – Clark-Flory mentions this gem of a tv stunt:

[T]he popular video “Il Corpo delle Donne,” which translates as “The Body of Women,” compiles some of the most shameless moments of T’n’A from Berlusconi’s stations and state television. The most egregious example: A woman is shown suspended from the ceiling in skimpy underwear next to a literal piece of meat clad in a matching pair of panties; it’s awfully reminiscent of that infamous meat-grinder Hustler cover.

After 20 minutes spent perusing boob/burger pimp BK’s website, I’m kind of glad I don’t have a video clip to illustrate this piece. Oy.

Stephanie @ Animal Rights: Breaking Unjust Laws: Clarence Darrow and Inherit the Wind and (especially) Breaking Unjust Laws: AETA, Fugitive Slave Acts, and Oppression Connections

Using the 1960 film Inherit the Wind as a jumping-off point, Stephanie briefly discusses a few similarities between the animal rights and U.S. anti-slavery movements. Or rather, similarities in how each movement was (is) countered by corporate powers, with no small amount of help from the government. (Hint: the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 is to abolitionism as _____ is to the animal liberation movement?)

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In which Burger King whips out its Manwich.

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009

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.

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Whopper Virgins, SNL Style

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

While searching the internets for the latest “meat-as-sex” Burger King commercial (BK’s Burger Shots, natch), I stumbled upon this SNL parody of BK’s “Whopper Virgins” series. I’m fairly certain that SNL is poking fun at BK for devising such an absurd and culturally insensitive campaign, but with varying levels of success.
 


 
Take, for example, the man who tried to run away with the Whoppers: “This food could feed my village for a month!” Here, Western excess as exemplified by Burger King is the butt of the joke, as opposed to the impoverished villager himself.

Other “subjects” seem puzzled; they’ve never seen a burger before, so they’re unsure what to do with it. The “Whopper as a hat” bit is deliberately over the top, but in trying to poke fun at BK’s idiotic PR stunt, SNL also mocks (unintentionally?) “those silly foreigners.” Or perhaps SNL means to imply that the BK “researchers” are the stooges, seemingly for expecting such behavior from the uncivilized heathens to begin with?

I only wish SNL had aimed their axe at the root of the problem, namely, the conflating of “meat” with sex, and “meat”-eating with masculinity.

Your thoughts?

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Give me virginity or give me death!

Friday, December 19th, 2008

Burger King’s latest ad campaign – Whopper Virgins – is a convoluted mess of racism, sexism, speciesism and colonialism, all crammed into a a series of 15-to-30-second ads.

To wit:

Let’s dissect, shall we?

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PETA, HSUS on Burger King’s "Historic" Animal Welfare Changes

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

Personally, I’m not all that impressed by BK’s promises (purchasing 2% cage-free eggs ASAP, and then doubling that to 4% by 2008?; wtf, are you kidding me?!), but FYI….

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Ingrid Newkirk – newsmanager [at] peta.org
Date: Mar 28, 2007 7:55 AM
Subject: Victory! Burger King Adopts New Industry-Leading Animal Welfare Policies

I have some very exciting news to share with you. In 2001, when PETA halted its “Murder King” campaign (after Burger King adopted some animal welfare standards), Burger King agreed to continue behind-the-scenes discussions with PETA about ways to further reduce the horrific abuse of animals in factory farms and slaughterhouses. Now, after nearly six years of negotiations with PETA, those discussions have resulted in Burger King’s agreeing to enact a new industry-leading animal welfare plan to improve conditions for the animals used and killed for its products.

According to its news plan, Burger King will:

* Immediately begin purchasing 10 percent of its pig flesh from suppliers that do not use cruel gestation crates—metal enclosures that confine mother pigs and are so restrictive that the animals cannot even stretch a limb or take a step—and double that amount by the end of 2007.

* Immediately begin purchasing 2 percent of its eggs from hens who are not confined to tiny wire battery cages and more than double that amount by the end of 2007.

* Issue a statement to its egg suppliers that it will give purchasing preference to those that do not use battery cages.

* Issue a statement to its chicken-flesh suppliers that it will give purchasing preference to those that use or switch to “controlled-atmosphere killing” (CAK), the least cruel method of poultry slaughter in existence.

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