Burger King has really outdone themselves this time. The print advertisement for their new "Super Seven Incher" sandwich features an wide-eyed, blonde-haired, pale-skin, red lip-sticked, blushing woman with her mouth open, about to have Burger King's Super Seven Incher put in her mouth. The text below? "It'll Blow Your Mind Away". Apparently subtlety is lost on them. And perhaps that's for the best. Countless ads verge on being this explicit, but are masked in "subtlety" which allows the silence of critique.
This ad could be used as an incredibly powerful teaching tool when discussing gender equality with people convinced that women's oppression is "over". It's become increasingly clear, from the assassination of Dr. George Tiller (the women's healthcare provider in Wichita, Kansas), to the rampage at the U.S. Holocaust Museum, to the murder of a nine year-old Latina girl and her father by Minutemen terrorists, to the recent post-election surge in gun purchases, that the seeds of a very strong far-right-wing revival are underway. In its sights: gains made around women's rights, rights and services for oppressed people, especially people of color and working people, and consciousness shifts around LGBT rights.
While at the root of this revival is certainly the actual far-right-wing organizations and talking heads (the Minutemen, Fox News, Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Pat Robertson, fascist and neo-nazi organizations), these organizations/individuals are only allowed to operate in an atmosphere where the objectification of human beings is increasingly pushed to its limits (i.e. "It'll Blow Your Mind").
The fight against conservative and patriarchal shifts in culture and consciousness should be at the forefront of our work. Through political remixes, and video blogging, and sharp cultural critique, progressives should take dig in for a long, hard fight for our lives and dignity.
As we've seen in recent days, hypersexualization and misogyny, open bigotry and white supremacy, and the likes, are having effects not just on the psyche of our nation, but also resulting in outright terrorism and violence.
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