Tuesday, May 16, 2006

You Poke It, You Own It?

Perhaps it's a tenuous connection, but I think we can squeeze this into the women's health blog based on the "you poke it" double entendre and what it suggests about women's sexual autonomy. I saw a new Miller Lite commercial during 24 last night. It featured several men sitting around a table, discussing whether it's appropriate to carry beer bottles to the table from the bar by putting your fingers inside the bottle. The men come to a consensus that this is a gross practice, and concoct a "Man Law" of "You poke it, you own it." This elicits an enthusiastic response, and the men repeat the catchphrase multiple times. I agree with Pandagon - the whole premise is a setup to let the characters cheerfully proclaim that "You poke it, you own it." The entire point seems to be to suggest the same rule in application to women. Disgusting. I almost prefer the old T&A beer commercials. In those, a beautiful woman was something you might obtain if you drank the right manly beer, who was objectified from afar in most cases. Now comes Miller Lite with the declaration that if you stick something in it, it's yours. Apparently, it's supposed to be funny. Ugh.

Click "Talk To Us" at the bottom of this page to send Miller Lite your reaction. You can also call their Consumer Response Center at 1-800-MILLER 6. If you'd like to avoid SABMiller brands, here is the complete list.

Update: You can watch the Man Laws commercials online


Blogger Kat Coble said...

I'm sorry, but that's just a little too caveman for my taste.

EVERYONE knows what they really mean with the "you poke it, you own it" slogan.

9:58 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

I agree completely.

10:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

cry me a river feminist

10:03 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Wow, that's a thoroughly insightful comment, anonymous. Thank you for so elegantly explaining why this is a non-issue and why "feminist" is an insult. Snark is welcome, but you should 1) be able to back it up intellectually 2) be willing to claim it.

7:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with what anonymous said. "cry me a river" come on is it really a surprise that this commercial is on the air? Listen sex sells and always will so instead of getting mad about this fact of life embrace it and be happy to be the object (a woman) of every mans desire. unless you are a bunch of fat ugly women i guess if that were the matter you need something to be unhappy about

11:52 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

If you all keep this up, I'm going to have to turn off anonymous comments, which I don't want to do. Please have the courtesy to own up to your remarks.

That said, I don't think anyone is "crying" over this commercial. It is in fact a relatively small issue, compared to a lot of other things, like the 44% of women reporting having been abused, for example. Why, exactly, should women be expected to "embrace" being the object of a man's desire? Why should we define ourselves by whether men are looking at us at all, or whether you think we're "fat" or "ugly?" Can you imagine, for one second, how widespread commercial messages like "You poke it, you own it" contribute to the abuse mentioned above?

12:05 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

By the way, just because something isn't a "surprise" doesn't make it right.

12:07 PM  
Blogger Travis09 said...

This is Travis A.K.A. the second anonymous,i really didn't think so much offence would be taken to this commercial or my comments but come on now your trying to say that 44% of women are abused because of beer commercials, no 44% of women are abused for much more sadistic reasons other than funny beer comercials. Maybee the number of father figures, or lack of, is a more sensable thing to try and relate abused women to. Or maybee these men who are abusing women are men who were abused by women at an earlier age. second Men rule this planet this is a fact you are just going to have to accept its been this way since the creation and is going to stay this way forever. Sorry for that bit of information however with that said i would like to also say "i'm pro-choice and if everybody else felt the same way maybe we wouldn't have all these extra people out there to get abused" i'm not even going to mention my thoughts on the way i feel illeagal immigration has greatly affected your 44%!!!!!

12:50 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Thank you for complying with my request to not be anonymous. If you read carefully, I did not say that 44% of women are abused because of beer commercials, because that would be ludicrous (hey, we agree on something!). What I'm suggesting is that messages such as "you poke it, you own it" promote an idea of women as property to be sexually (and otherwise) controlled, and that's the same kind of attitude you see in abusers. The original point of bringing up the abuse research was to agree with you that there are bigger issues facing women than beer commercials, even if said beer commercial is particularly disgusting.

Not sure where you're going with the illegal immigration remark. The study in question that provided the 44% number overwhelmingly surveyed white, educated, middle/upper middle class women. I haven't looked into whether abuse is more prevalent in cultures with high rates of illegal immigration, but that's another point for another post.

I appreciate that you may not have been trying to be offensive, but I'm sure you can imagine that "men rule the world" might not be well-received by women. Likewise, women aren't necessarily willing to accept the "been this way since the creation" argument - if we were, we likely wouldn't have voting rights, property ownership rights, employment, or birth control.

1:01 PM  
Blogger Travis09 said...

if we were, we likely wouldn't have voting rights, property ownership rights, employment, or birth control.

hey i'm not old enough to remember when women couldn't vote,own property, or be employed. i also haven't met to many that were not on some form of contraception, with that said i can't fatham any body ever having the idea that a women are for cooking and cleaning. i guess i come from a generation that accepts people as that, people.(gays, people of color, women,ect.) and i also can't fatham a guy claiming ownership of a women just cause he slept with her. so i guess i agree with you in that matter.

what got me to post a blog in the first place is the fact that i was looking for the miller lite commercial online and somehow i got redirected here to the hate men colum of womens health, cause lets call it what it really is a colum for hating men. men made the commercial men made this stupid computer hell man made women (even gave up one sacred rib to do so).

basically you're stating that women are week and can't stand up for themselves, BS,i am the only guy at my job and i know what women reallly say and think. i hear it all day long as a matter of fact they all know i've typed this and agree with almost every word i've said

1:40 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

"lets call it what it really is a colum for hating men." - Wait, what? I was totally with you until then. I don't hate men. In fact, I'm married to one, and many of my closest friends are men. This is not a "hate men" column. It's a blog about women's health. Because I don't hate men. I don't "hate" the people that made the commercial, I'm just calling them out on making an obnoxious ad. There's a difference between thinking something promotes a screwy message and hating people. Got it?

I'm also absolutely not "stating that women are week[sic] and can't stand up for themselves," because I also know that to be contrary to the truth. In fact, I gave some historical examples of women standing up for themselves that you also support. Maybe some women are less inclined to stand up for themselves. Maybe the women you work with agree with you. That doesn't put us in "all women" territory, however.

2:03 PM  
Blogger Exador said...

I was unable to view that commercial. Scanning through the descriptions, none seemed to fit.

Was there a reference to a woman?
If not, you're taking this jump a bit far.

Almost like you have a chip, and you're looking for things to be offended by.

3:00 PM  
Blogger Exador said...

Oh yeah, one more thing:

The overall theme of this marketing strategy seems to be to show a satirically macho-caveman atmosphere. Note the other laws about asking directions, wearing this or that color, etc.

For good or bad.

3:03 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Unfortunately I couldn't link directly to the specific commercial. You have to click the Videos button, and it's the one that says "You Poke It" on mouseover. It doesn't explicitly say, "You Poke a Woman, You Own Her," hence my description of it as double entendre. Such is the nature of advertising. You do make a good point about the nature of the commercials, although I haven't seen them all. Is it satire? Or is it rah-rah "caveman" (Kat's word) with a wink and a nod? I don't know. I'm just saying I don't like it.

I don't look for things to be offended by. They find me. :) But seriously, 95% of this blog has nothing to do with things I find offensive. I harp on something one time, and the menfolk come out of the woodwork to tell me what I should accept and how I have a chip on my shoulder. Sheesh.

3:17 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

The company's stated strategy with the commercials, according to a piece in the NYTimes, was:
"'to move beyond that stereotype of men as sophomoric' or as 'the lowest common denominator.'

'We’re trying to position it as a smarter, more intelligent light beer,' he said."

"He" being Miller Brewing's VP for Marketing. Uh, good job with that. Seems that they're specifically not trying to be "satirically macho-caveman."

3:43 PM  
Blogger Exador said...

'to move beyond that stereotype of men as sophomoric' or as 'the lowest common denominator.'

Well, he's obviously lying. They're using Burt Reynolds, for god's sake.

7:18 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Richard said...

It was joke, jeez. I wish I had seen it, it sounds funny. You don't see guys coming on the internet crying everytime a commercial portrays men as stupid and uninterested in important issues. It's a joke, learn to laugh.

7:51 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Dr. Richard,
1) Nobody's "crying." However, we are doing a steady business in people telling me (and presumably other women who don't find the ad to be a very funny "joke") what we should think is humorous.
2) The ad has nothing to do with portraying anyone as stupid or uninterested in important issues. What it does is make the double entrendre that is intended to be funny because it suggests that if you penetrate it, it/she is yours.
3) I get that it's supposed to be funny. The entire point, if you read the post, is that I found this particular execution of "funny" distasteful.

Why is it so important to all of you for women to accept that it's funny and let it go, and why is it so difficult to acknowledge the second message that basically makes the entire joke in the first place? Is "you poke it, you own it?" actually that funny if have no awareness of the double entendre?

8:16 PM  
Blogger Exador said...

I really don't think you gals were the target demographic; therefore, it wasn't intended for YOU to find it funny.

Dr Richard's point (if I may) was not that THIS commercial was portraying anyone as stupid or uninterested in important issues, it was that TV commercials and sitcoms almost universally portray men as dull-witted, sports-obsessed troglodytes. So it goes all around.

While this IS Womens' health news, it appears hypocritical that you appear to have NO problem with this universal negative stereotype because the victim lacks a cooter.

6:21 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

"it appears hypocritical that you appear to have NO problem with this universal negative stereotype because the victim lacks a cooter."

You really can't infer this from the post, because I simply haven't talked about it. If I said, "Commercials shouldn't degrade women, but it's cool if they degrade men," that would be hypocritical. However, you can no more tell how I feel about the treatment of men in commercials from my discussion here than you can tell how I feel about global warming, gun control, or home schooling. Because it's not the point at issue, and I haven't addressed it at this time.

"So it goes all around" is not really an adequate defense of anything. It's a way of dismissing things that may be equally screwy without actually addressing the appropriateness of the initial offense. It's a slightly longer version of "So what?" rather than a legitimate counterpoint, unless you are fine with anything that can be done to someone else also being done to you.

"it wasn't intended for YOU to find it funny." And I didn't. Wasn't that the whole point of this post?

8:14 AM  
Blogger Exador said...

Great Hera, did we get off topic.

How about we return to the idea that, by saying, "If you poke it, you own it", is an insinuation that they are talking about a woman?

My feeling is that it could be. Then again, it might not be. There are plenty of holes in the world that are NOT vaginas, something the feminist coven seems to forget.
Without a more direct reference to a woman (having one walk through the commercial would have been enough) I think you are overreacting to be all offended by this.

9:29 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

We'll have to agree to disagree on: 1) whether the commercial makes any marketing or comedic sense if the unmentioned hole that makes the joke is, say, a donut hole or the eye of a needle instead of a vagina; 2) whether it's up to anyone but me to decide how I react to things.

9:42 AM  
Blogger Robyn Banks said...

I wonder why it is that none of these guys can't discuss the topic without disparaging feminism. Hey Exador, referring to us as a "coven" isn't winning you any points. And Travis, insisting that men abuse women because women have abused them is a pretty cheap cop-out. I mean, women getting beaten by men is ALSO women's fault??? Are you even listening to yourself??

Obviously your own sexism is so deeply rooted and reinforced that you couldn't possibly recognize it for what it is.

9:55 AM  
Blogger Robyn Banks said...

"none of these guys CAN"... sheesh.

9:56 AM  
Blogger Exador said...

Obviously your own sexism is so deeply rooted and reinforced that you couldn't possibly recognize it for what it is.

Golly, I'm a wife-beater and I never knew! I'm also a racist, even though I can't tell!

I can discuss any topic. Disparaging feminism is just a fun bonus.

The marketing strategy only makes "sense" if it sells more beer. Now that's where the balance is: Increase in sales due to those who like your ad and think it's funny vs loss in sales due to those that would have bought your product, but are offended and will refuse to buy and will write letters, causing bad publicity, etc.
Of course it's up to you as to how you react to things, but if you're going to post your disapointment on a blog, with a link to write letters to the company and a comment section, you're going to receive feedback from others.

1:51 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

"Disparaging feminism is just a fun bonus." - It's that kind of statement that makes Robyn assume that you're sexist. See the Rules of Engagement post, wherein one of the rules is "this is not a place for you to purge whatever issues you have with women or feminists."

"if you're going to post your disapointment on a blog, with a link to write letters to the company and a comment section, you're going to receive feedback from others."
Well, duh. Seriously. Remind me where I said "I expect no feedback." Did I turn the comments off? No. I just don't have to agree with the feedback that is received, particularly if it is of the kind that simply attacks the messenger rather than dissecting the message.

2:13 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

PS - Golly, I'm a humorless, over-reacting man-hater with a chip on my shoulder, who doesn't know how blogs work, and never knew!

That shoe you're looking for... you'll find it on the other foot.

2:22 PM  
Blogger Exador said...

Oh, come on, Rachel.

2) whether it's up to anyone but me to decide how I react to things.

You posted that because people wrote in that they felt that you were overreacting to the commercial; expressing feedback to your post.
Now, I'll grant you, that cry my a river feminist is not the most articulated retort, but you get the opinion of the writer.
And the posts after that were not snide. The authors were debating that they felt it was not offensive.

I never said you were humorless.

2:30 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

In all fairness, I know you specifically did not say I was humorless. My point was that the commenters tended not to focus on whether the commercial was indeed offensive, but on whether I had the appropriate ability to laugh and whether I reacted in a suitable manner to the ad. I noticed that you likewise didn't appreciate it when Robyn made assumptions about you and your viewpoints based on your reaction, which is something we should be able to relate to about one another at this particular juncture.

3:01 PM  
Blogger Exador said...

See, Rachel! we have found common ground already!

3:23 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Took us long enough... :)

3:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I poke it... I own it.

8:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Debates like this make me laugh. Both sides are making excellent points, but then adding a little jab to their comment that offends people and ends up making it harder to persuade them.

Anyway, I got here the same way Travis did. I was actually looking for the commercial so that I could make a funny post about it in a separate forum, and when I searched for it, I ended up here. I saw the commercial over this past weekend while I was hanging out with about a dozen other guys. Now, mind you we weren't in the clearest thinking mindset at the time, but we talked about that commercial for about ten minutes and never made the sexual connection. We were to caught up on it being acceptable to drink out of the same container as another guy, but not drink out of a container that another guy stuck his finger in. (I know not everyone would drink out of the same container as others, but my friends and I gladly pass around a bottle of fine liquor all the time.)

As far as taking offense to the commercial, I've always tried to laugh off anything I can. I feel that if everyone took jokes about themselves lightly then society would be a lot more fun. I have no problem when people make jokes about me or any of my downfalls. I realize that many people are not like that, but I think that this is a situation where that mentality might be appropriate.

If "you poke it" and then "you own it." Does that suggest that if you make the conscious decision to have intercourse with a woman that you better be prepared to own up to the responsibilities of starting a relationship with that woman? Therefore encouraging monogamy and discouraging promiscuous sex? I mean, the men in the commercial are not encouraging each other to “poke” the beers so that they can then own them. Rather, they are upset that someone would “poke” the beer and are then forcing them to take it.

11:43 AM  
Anonymous shelia said...

Its just a commercial...no more and no less. People make it to be whatever they wish. Tragically people are beaten and raped every day for selfish, horrible motives that have absolutely nothing to do with a beer commercial.

Regarding the notion the commerical assumes ownership of women? As women, we do not have to assume anything. We are in charge of our own selves.

Lighten up...even I thought the commericial was humourous.

1:03 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Here's the thing - I already said that I think there are more serious issues facing women. That doesn't preclude anyone from taking issue with this commercial. That's like saying that because you weren't killed in a car accident, you shouldn't worry about a broken wrist. Yes, there are levels of importance, but that doesn't necessitate that folks ignore the minor annoyances. Of course, women don't have to assume they are owned if they're poked at the commercial's request. As others have already pointed out, the commercial is not really aimed at women. As a woman, I didn't find it funny (although, again, it's not the most important issue I think about). What has been most interesting to me are the commands to "lighten up" that have more to do with indicating how I should react rather than forming a well-thought out response to the content of the ad itself, but if you read the comments you know that already.

2:51 PM  
Anonymous shelia said...

I find your choice of words interesting..."command". I'm not commanding you to do anything. Its a suggestion.

4:54 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Grammatically, "lighten up" is a command, the same as "sit down," "stand up," etc. It's a statement on what you think another person should do, but that is really not the point of the post.

6:10 PM  
Anonymous shelia said...

Actually, I think it is part of the post if you are implying the commercial shouldn't be aired because you are offended by it.

You are the one that thought my use of the word "lighten up" was interesting by commanding you to react a certain way.

6:25 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Hmm, not so much. What I'm stating is that I didn't particularly find the commercial funny, and that the double entendre was somewhat offensive. However, I'm all for freedom of speech, which is why 1) Miller has the absolute right to air the ad; 2) I have every right to voice my opinion about it; 3) others who may not like it are also welcome to "vote with their dollars" or contact Miller with their reactions. If you actually read this comment thread, you'll note the pattern of those who disagree with me (such as yourself), and presumably others who dislike the ad, making statements such as "you hate men," "lighten up," and generally indicating that people who don't like the ad should just get over it. Which is your right to say, but I don't have to agree with it. I'm still waiting for someone to take me up on the question of why it's so important to ignore the ad and "learn to laugh," rather than explaining why, exactly, the ad doesn't intend to make a rather suggestive/offensive double entendre. I'd be interesting in knowing what exactly you intended by "lighten up," if it wasn't to be dismissive of a particular point of view.

11:26 PM  
Anonymous Josh said...

I posted the last anonymous comment, which was rather overlooked apparently.

Here is a reason that it might be logical to consider "lightening up."

If you think that this commercial is too offensive, then you would prefer that it not be aired right? This is an assumption that I am making and you can correct me if I’m wrong. I would assume that you know they have the right to air it, but if it were YOUR decision, they would not.

If we didn’t air commercials and shows that might offend someone, we wouldn’t have Saturday Night Live, the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, the Chapelle Show, the Simpsons, Southpark, and basically the majority of comedy. Now, although these shows say offensive things about gender, race, religion, etc. people still like to watch them. I like to think that most people that watch these shows understand that the issues that are being joked about can actually be serious problems, but they learn to laugh about the little flaws, or ironies, or whatever. I think this type of comedy actually raises awareness about a lot of issues, because they are at least being discussed and not pushed under the table.

If you have ever laughed at a racist joke, or a joke about religion, or a joke about politics, that someone on the receiving end of may not find funny, the circle has come back around and now others are laughing at what you don’t find funny. You don’t have to like the commercial, but might I suggest that you consider being passive about it for society’s sake?

7:57 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

I actually meant to respond and thank you for your civil comment last night, but the allure of sleep after a day in the dry desert heat was too inviting. I agree with you about trying to laugh things off. I very much appreciate your providing a rationale for laughing things off. 'Tis true - if we couldn't laugh off anything, we'd be pretty angry a lot of the time, maybe to the point of being ineffective about the big things. I also got a kick out of your twist on the commercial.

You're right, of course, that in my heart of hearts I would prefer not to see that commercial again. However, I strongly support freedom of expression and speech rights, and have probably enjoyed a chuckle as a result of something that someone else would find offensive (such as everything in your example list, most of which I find hilarious). I'm not a person who sees something offensive, then wants the government to yank it off the air, for example. In the same way that if you don't like a political representative, you may not vote for him or her, I simply adovocate that if people have concerns about something, they voice them to the originator or cease buying the product if they so choose. It's a bit of a free market protest. :)

"I think this type of comedy actually raises awareness about a lot of issues, because they are at least being discussed and not pushed under the table." - I completely agree with you here. I don't necessarily agree with your comment to remain passive about it for society's sake, because I'm not sure how refraining from commenting would have served society. Unless it discourages the airing of anything controversial, in which case I see your point. However, I would suggest that a possibly sexist beer commercial and The Daily Show or Dave Chappelle are a different kind of controversial - those intentionally raise issues, while the beer commercial raised issues inadvertently, and so warrant a different kind of response.

In any case, I very much appreciated your civil and reasoned tone. You get the award for best participant in this thread. :)

9:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was offended by the commercial, but not as much as I was by a Mitchum Man commercial that I saw on ESPN last week.

The Mitchum commercial shows video of a naked woman sitting on a bed facing away from the camera (only her back and the back of her head are visible) with a man facing her taking photos of her. The voice-over then proclaims "If you've ever convinced her those photos are for your 'personal collection,' you're a Mitchum Man!"

Now, I agree that the Miller Lite commercial is ambiguous, and that while many people see an anti-woman subtext, it is possible it's not there. However, the same can absolutely not be said for the Mitchum Man commercial. They are blatantly aligning their product with men who lie to and exploit their sexual partners! I don't think the commercial is posted at www.mitchumman.com, but I haven't looked thoroughly. And PS - they are owned by REVLON!

9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was offended by the commercial, but not as much as I was by a Mitchum Man commercial that I saw on ESPN last week.

The Mitchum commercial shows video of a naked woman sitting on a bed facing away from the camera (only her back and the back of her head are visible) with a man facing her taking photos of her. The voice-over then proclaims "If you've ever convinced her those photos are for your 'personal collection,' you're a Mitchum Man!"

Now, I agree that the Miller Lite commercial is ambiguous, and that while many people see an anti-woman subtext, it is possible it's not there. However, the same can absolutely not be said for the Mitchum Man commercial. They are blatantly aligning their product with men who lie to and exploit their sexual partners! I don't think the commercial is posted at www.mitchumman.com, but I haven't looked thoroughly. And PS - they are owned by REVLON!

9:59 AM  
Blogger Josh said...

Yes, the explanation of the commercial that I offered in my first post was obviously farfetched. It was my subtle way of saying that we shouldn’t read into things too much, although that’s probably not even the case in this situation.

The reasons that I posted in the first place were not really related to the commercial, but were related more to the reaction to the commercial. What I hate to see is people overreacting about issues and putting lots of their time into complaining about things when they could have spent that time in much more productive ways. That just stresses everyone out. I now don’t think that this is an overreaction, though. If you would have started picketing and marching against SABMiller, that may have been overkill, but I guess starting a thread where people that dislike the commercial can voice their opinions is a very reasonable response. You actually didn’t even encourage others to say something about it, you simply stated your opinion, and gave people the opportunity to join you, which I really respect.

I also see the difference between shows that are obviously making jokes about issues in society and a commercial that makes an innuendo. I still think they could often be addressed the same way, but they are different.

The last thing that I want to say is that I still don’t really get the commercial. They can’t truly be suggesting ownership of a woman can they? Do you think they may mean that she is off limits to friends? If they are suggesting ownership of a woman, then I think the humor arises from seeing a bunch of guys acting like cavemen. These commercials actually do that in many ways. The way the guys talk make them sound dumb. The way one guy said, “How else would you get the beer to the table?” and scratched his head made him look dumb. If you look at the site that you posted a link to where you can watch the movies, you see that it is celebrating all of the things that make a man a “Man’s Man” many of which are flaws of men, and things that many men try to avoid. I laugh more because I’m seeing guys intentionally reinforcing their ignorance and I think most people laugh for the same reason.

10:18 AM  
Anonymous shelia said...

I'm sorry Rachel, but I speak my mind, I don't beat around the bush or mince words. I'm sure I've offended lots of people out there but I'd rather speak my mind and be honest.

12:08 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

I'm certain that's one thing we can agree on.

josh - thanks again

anonymous - haven't seen that Mitchum Man commercial yet, but thanks for pointing me to it.

12:18 PM  
Anonymous Rob said...

Exhausting, to say the least! Suffice it to say that not everyone views the commercial with the double entendre that you allude to. I had not even thought about this angle until you mentioned it. I was just surfing-by as I was trying to Google who all the people around the table were (many seemed famous and from different facets of life but I had not seen the Man Laws site at that point in time). Ever think that you might be over-analyzing this?

I find the commercial funny on the level that many people don't like "double-dippers" (those who double-dip a chip in salsa or a mozzarela stick in the marinara). I'm sure there are other salient arguments to be made for alternative interpretations of the commercial.

Suffice it to say that I had many a laugh around the original "Weiner Dog Nationals" commercial Miller put out a dozen years or more ago and did not interpret it as an affront to my male organ's size or my sexual performance.

11:14 PM  
Anonymous Jiggy said...

The phrase, though obviously sexually suggestive, is not to be taken literal in the sense that you own the female (as a slave, or even equal), but in the sense that you have marked your territory to your fellow peers (friends).

It's kind of like a dog pissing on a tree and "marking his territory". Hence, why we (my friends and i) use the phrase "piss piss" in reference of "tapping" or claming dibs on a girl.

Now naturally, just because you call it first doesn't mean if you fail at getting her number, or whate have you, the others can't -- you're simply saying you want to try first. ...Even if you go on and on trying day after day to make your move... although ULTIMATELY the girl has a mind of her own and will make her own decision.

...The commercial is directed towards Men. This is clear. If you're a woman and you find it offensive -- sorry; to each their own. If you thinks it leads to abuse I think you're wrong because your background and how you're brought up (both by family & peers) is how you'll end up as a person -- abusive, or not.

...Hey is there a blog where men find womanly-commercials offensive, or abusive?

There's a nickle's worth of my two cents. Thanks.

10:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe everyone should just relax a bit. It's just a dumb beer commercial for dumb guys who drink beer. Guys know they are dumb and as a woman, I love that. I don't want them acting smart around me, I'm the smart one and I'll keep it that way. Is there nothing else going on in our lives that we have to get upset by some ad that some dumb guy created? That's exactly what they wanted was a reaction. Don't give it to them. Let them have their stupid commercial. While the men are watching commercials, women are the ones holding the world together. I would rather the men stay distracted and out of the way. Wouldn't you? The world would be a better place if the men stayed clueless and the women were in charge of the important stuff. Problems arise when men start making decisions for us.

8:05 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

I did find this online list of "companies to avoid doing business with due to male bashing."

10:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this is all rediculous, why does everybody get offended by everything now a days. Have some confidence in yourself as a man or woman to stop bitching about a funny commercial. Those people on the "male activism site", those guys were offended because cause the themes of the lifetimes movies were constantly staging the males as villans. Come on everybody, have some self confidence in yourself and your gender to not let every little thing get to you. Dont take this so seriously and learn to laugh more and know whats actually important.

12:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My two cents. I'm a father of two girls ages 12 and 15, and we enjoy watching basketball together as a family. These repulsive ads have been running during the NBA playoffs as well.To have to be subjected to such vulgarity is an insult to myself, my wife and kids. Someone should do something about taking an otherwise wholesome telecast (especially compared to most of the stuff on the tube these days) and turning it into an embarrasing moment.

3:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good god. It's a commercial, get over yourselves.

7:53 PM  
Anonymous Brian said...

I was linked to this site from a forum I read on a regular basis. I watch '24' as well and saw this commercial. I didn't even consider what you beleive they are implying until you mentioned it. I think you may be just looking for a reason to complain. In my opinion this new ad campaign is great.

7:30 AM  
Blogger brooklyn said...

it seems to me after watching this ad is how disgusting it is for someone sticking their finger in someones food/beverage.

3:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Definitely agree with Rachel that there is a double entendre here that is undoubtedly sexual.

I absolutely disagree with the statement by one contributor that says "EVERYONE knows what they really mean with the...slogan".

Fact is that this statement can be interpreted in different ways by different people. While I agree that there definitely a meaning that speaks to having sex, Interpretation of the word "own" may be what makes all the difference.

I can see where interpretation of the word "own" to mean "posess" (together with the context of the still too common conception of male dominion and female subservience) would cause problems and indeed if I thought that this is what they meant, then I would be offended (as probably the only man on earth who has a mother and sisters)

My take however is that the hidden meaning is saying there are certain consequences to having sex with a woman. These consequences stem from the perception that most women are not into gratuitous one-time sexual encounters thus you are expected to enter into a relationship which implies, putting up with PMS, her not talking to you for days because you neglected to tell her that you would be coming in late, taking flak for the toilet seat being up and an endless list of "men from mars, women from venus" issues. In short it speaks (IMO) to the common perception of men being able to have a shag and walk away without emotional attachment, while women are seen as needing to have an emotional connection before entering into a sexual relationship. It says therefore that if you poke it don't expect to walk away just like that.

It is interesting to me that your reactions to the ad can only be formed by your experiences. Thus for example, Rachel is IMO wrong to say "as a woman, I am offended...", This can be interpreted to mean that she speaks for all women. Rather it is as an individual, with particular experiences and outlook that she is offended. I for example was at a loss to find offensive implications in the content, however I think that my failure to do so is rooted in my particular individual experience which makes it impossible for me to believe that men can literally "own i.e. posess" women in this day and age in the USA. My interpretation of the content therefore never allowed that to be an option.

Rachel's experiences (not necessarily personal) may however
make such an interpretation perfectly probable.


1:51 PM  

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