Have you seen this ad?

Did you laugh when you saw this? Do you know why/why not?

A man I know says it’s funny, it makes fun of men’s breast-fetish. A young woman I know says it’s an insult to women. And I agree with both. It is funny because we are taught to denigrate and make fun of women’s bodies.

But that doesn’t make it right. The ad uses a woman’s body and a comparison to alcohol as the object of the joke. Gosh-golly, that’s objectification. The objectification of women. So, when this was published in an apparently progressive newsmagazine, The Prairie Dog, I made my objection known:

I find a bad taste in my mouth over the advertisement for alcohol that
features a three-breasted woman.  While it may seem funny to some, it is
nothing more than objectifying a woman's body in order to sell a
product.  Surely, the Dog has come further than that!

I certainly didn’t expect this in return:

Hi B_, thanks for the letter. There's a difference between an ad
having sexual content and an ad being sexist and I'm not all convinced that
this ad crosses that line. A lot of people (male and female) would find it
funny. In my opinion it's lame and tacky, but that's hardly a reason to take
the extraordinary step of censoring a paid ad.
The dog has not come so far that it can afford to turn down paid
advertising. We are not millionaires, neither are we doing this on a
non-profit, publicly-funded or volunteer basis. Advertising pays the bills,
the writers, the salaries.

What a joke! So, now it’s an extraordinary step to stop the proliferation of advertising that objectifies women in a progressive newsmagazine! It seems it is on the back of women’s progress that ad sales are made.

Email your comments/concerns to the Prairie Dog.

Updated to add this followup post.

Updated 21Jun06 to add another followup.

Advertisements

104 thoughts on “Have you seen this ad?

  1. As is obvious from my comments–lifted from a personal e-mail and reprinted without my consent in the above post–I’ve correspondended with the blog’s author on this subject. I’d like to add a few points for readers of this blog.

    First, a little context: the advertisement in question appeared in virtually every alt-weekly (the category of publication prairie dog belongs to) in Canada. As such, it would indeed be extraordinary for our publication to censor it.

    The ad is the first in a series of three parody ads (the equally-absurd future installments depict a wacky shirtless man with a beer belly and a squirrel with enormous testicles.) I have no doubt that some people find this campaign distasteful but I also have no doubt many people (particularly twenty-somethings, both male and female) regard the ads as hilarious.

    Details of the campaign are online at betterthanbeer.com.

    I find the blogger’s self-righteous tone on this topic offensive in the extreme. There’s certainly nothing wrong with disliking an advertisement (or sharing one’s dislike), but this blogger goes much further than that. She states that the ad’s “objectification of women” is somehow rolling back “women’s progress” and thereby insinuates that our “progressive” publication is hurting the cause of equal rights. What utter, one-sided crap.

    For starters, I would argue (and did) that the ad is a parody of bikini model-filled beer ads and their fetishization of breasts rather than an example of such. It is most definitely NOT erotic; I’d catagorize it as “weird and kind of creepy”.

    For my troubles I was informed that my opinion was invalid, perhaps because I am male.

    It is worth pointing out that even were this a conventional, “sexist” ad, it would not be illegal to print it. And thank goodness for that. Advertisements, good, bad, ugly and sexual, contribute to our culture. Though commercial, ads are a popular medium (as can be noted by the success of the Regina Public Library Film Theatre’s annual Cannes Advertising Festival).

    Should ads be criticised? Absolutely. But let’s keep the discourse respectful.

    As I stated in my original response to this blogger (excerpted above), prairie dog magazine is able to publish because of advertising revenue. This is not a “joke”, as the blogger cavalierly puts it, this is our business model. Articles in prairie dog–like those condemming the proposed closing of Regina libraries , or blasting extreme right-wing politicians for cutting social programs, or arguing against the nuclear industry, etc. etc–are all made possible by advertising revenue, including the revenue from ads with three-breasted women. If we start censoring ads willy-nilly to appease delicate sensitivities–which I’m against on principle in any event–we’re not going to stay in business very long.

    Perhaps the reason this blogger has me so peeved is that her attitude seems typical of an especially distasteful Saskatchewan quality. Our province has a reputation for being a hung-up and overly-conservative place. We make national news for banning strip clubs and arresting aerobics instructors, and the rest of the Canada laughs at us. Meanwhile, we continue to lose our young people to larger, more cosmopolitan cities like Calgary and Toronto, cities where ads like the one in question appear without generating any controversy whasoever. I believe Saskatchewan cannot afford to continue with the simple-minded, sanctimonious prissyness evident in this blogger’s post. I certainly won’t allow it to pass unchallenged. And neither will prairie dog while it’s under my stewardship.

    On a side note, it was pointed out to me that the same issue of prairie dog containing the ad this blogger complains about also features an ad with a shirtless, muscular fireman holding a hose. I have recieved no complaints from this blogger about that ad, arguably a far more “sexist” image than a farcical depiction of a three-breasted woman.

    Double standard? Looks like it to me.

    Stephen Whitworth
    Managing Editor, prairie dog magazine
    feedback@prairiedogmag.com

  2. I consider this “gentlemen’s” answer to be self-serving, sanctimonious and money motivated. I suggest that it’s unlikely that he and his publication have any credence with those that are possessed of credibility or sobriety.

  3. If by money-motivated, you mean “Steve would like his publication to keep publishing”, I’ll agree with that. As for sanctimonious, look in the mirror, jackass: you’re the one who termed my opinion “self-serving” and described our readers as drunks.

    (Are prairie dog readers drunks? Are they all scoundrels without credibility? Let’s have a poll! Any other prairie dog readers care to weigh in?)

    By the way, what’s up with all the pseudonyms? Insert taunting “brawk brawk brawk” chicken-sounds here.

    People wonder why no one likes the political left…

    Stephen Whitworth
    Managing Editor, prairie dog magazine

  4. Sexism is not about objectification per se. Fireman are hardly an historically oppressed group. Women have been and continue to be. The concept of equality is about the abuse of power, which in our society, is the abuse by white males which women suffer. Sexuality is the issue re: North America and Saskatchewan v. Europe, not objectification nor those who do not like it in the context of the white male uptight society we live in. The ad is titilating, obviously and literally:-)Is it being used to sell a product. Obviously. Any young boy seeing this ad sees a stereotypically attractive woman with “tits”, one more than usual. The point is that is what is being shown to advertise beer. Does this mean that showing more than two breasts makes it less objectification?. Give me a break. The rationale conceptually would permit an add with tons of breats and suggests that young boys would not “see” them? Is it uptight to give an opinion which says this!!!!! The over – reaction to the relatively polite initial criticism speaks volumes and is disconcerting. Simply stated: would this ad be okay if a union used it? Or the government? to sell socially progressive ideas?….You know the answer! Mistakes are part of life. One can choose to learn, or …..?

  5. Over-reaction to a “relatively polite initial comment”? Which “comment” was that, Larry? Was that the condescending remark about how my business hasn’t “come farther” because we ran an ad that a politically-correct puritan disliked? Or the comment where I was told I don’t see “inherent sexism” because I’m male? Or the implication in snide “ironic” quotes that I am not a gentleman? Or the crack that I’m sanctimonious? Or that I’m money-motivated?

    Polite, my ass.

    Pardon me if I don’t judge this ad by the moral standards of union and govermnet ads, both of which are notoriously poorly-designed and ineffective.

    Running this ad was not a mistake. Running ads is how prairie dog makes the money that allows us to publish. I am not going to apologise for that. If anything I am owed an apology for all the sneering, posturing and judgemental cracks I’ve received. (No apology needed from those who politely differ, of course.)

    For there to be this much outrage over an ad that’s appeared in every major centre in Canada makes me really wonder why the hell I stick my neck out, issue after issue, for the political left. We regularly take hits on our local advertsing because of our perceived politics (and because we run John Conway’s excellent column, in particular). If you nitwits had any perspective, you’d realize that the more ads prairie dog runs, the stronger we’ll be and the more comprehensive our reporting will be.

    You should be happy that we receive national advertising. It’s not easy getting it you know. For some reason ad buyers in Toronto have got the idea that Saskatchewan is an out-of-touch, puritanical, backwards little shithole with its head stuck up the ass of the 1940s.

    I’ll say it again. This kind of reaction is EXACTLY why so many otherwise reasonable people hate unions, distrust the left and vote for neolibral politicians. They’re scared the left is going to constantly condemn them for having incorrect opinions. Like, say, not being offended by the three-boob-lady.

    THAT’S the lesson to be learned from this little dialogue.

    Of course the biggest irony here is that “money-motivated” Steve Whitworth, supporter of libraries, health care, kyoto, social programs, you name it–likely earns less than anyone else posting on this blog.

    (I have got to start writing like this in the paper, instead of obscure poetry blogs. Someone please nag me.)

    Stephen Whitworth
    Managing Editor of prairie dog and courageous defender of tacky ads with three-boobed ladies.

  6. The response to this ad proves that while some men may call themselves progressive, they really don’t understand the term.

    Mr. Whitworth seems to think progressive has something to do with us all freeing our titties.

    It might interest you Mr. Whitworth to know that I don’t come from “an out-of-touch, puritanical, backwards little shithole with its head stuck up the ass of the 1940s.” I come from just outside Toronto and I can assure you that this ad is no less offensive here.

    Would you feel comfortable pasting your mother’s, sister’s or daughter’s face on this picture?

  7. I found the ad disgusting. It isn’t just an ugly portrait of how men think of women. In fact, it has little to do with gender. I’ve noticed that people are now freely using the word “retarded.” Much as I love The Daily Show, I did find Jason Jones’ extended and appalling imitation of a person with cerebral palsy really insulting, as truly funny as the rest of the piece is. Everyone is a target now. What’s next, an ad with children with conjoined heads? Those are good for a laugh.
    The personal insults from the editor are par for the course, which is why I no longer read blogs unless invited to. I am from Toronto, if it helps. I am occasionally accused of making tasteless jokes and have a high threshold for them.
    But I do wonder. Remember how women discovered in the Sixties that they were treated just as badly by the “liberated” men as they were by the guys they left behind in the burbs?
    The editor’s response is evidence of that.
    Anyway, cheers,
    Heather

  8. I have to admit amusement to all this. I don’t think I have seen the ad with the three breasted woman. If I did I never noticed the third breast. I have been seeing the man with the bear gut on bus shelters and did not get what it was promoting. I find both ads to be similarily gross. I see no objectification and no promotional value. I even looked up the web site and still did not get it. These ads could sell me nothing but I defend the promoter’s right to use them. I see no reason for all the fuss. Some people get their knickers in a knot over the silliest of things. If people were to put this much effort into things that really mattered we would all be living in a better world.

  9. I found the advertisement appalling and confusing…what’s it selling? breast implants? Breasts that dispense a product like beer, but better? what? weird. But mostly, I found Steven Whitworth’s response to the initial complaint pretty over-the-top defensive. Dare I say “shrill”? sure. I understand the need to place paid advertisements in struggling weeklies. I get that satire is often misunderstood, and I am not above the odd knee-jerk reaction to it. Sometimes I don’t get it, for sure, and may perceive it as a threat. And when people question or confront me about a mistake sometimes i get all defensive, too. Especially when i’m overworked, and feeling lonesome or overwhelmed. Maybe that’s what’s going on with Steve. It’s difficult to write to deadline, and produce a paper every week, and to hold opinions that are contrary to those of the state.
    But Steve, the people who don’t like that ad are not your enemy. We’re worried about the portrayal of women in the media. We’re worried about what such portrayals say about women, and about men and about our places and attendant power in society. Maybe you don’t have any say about what advertisements go into your paper, but I think you do. I think that you agree with that portrayal (and the others, which I have not yet seen, but sound just as creepy and offensive). So, that’s fine. Argue that, then. Why resort to argument ad hominem? You’re not winning my support by resorting to vitriol.
    A small aside–I’m from Saskatchewan, and have lived in Vancouver for many years. I’m proud of the political history of Saskatchewan, and I’m pretty relieved that your province has taken the courageous stance of banning strip clubs…I don’t know, but I hope that means the women who would be employed at those places have options for work that is interesting, well-paid, and meaningful in place of what they would do at a strip club.
    all the best,
    Erin

  10. The fact that this ad makes women a figure of fun and then puts the publisher in the position of resorting to name-calling and stereotypes says it all. In my opinion, it is not only derogatory of women, but of the readers of the publication – it’s not even funny! (what would have been funny would have been to put a beer-gutted man in a swimsuit! – this would have been a way to make fun of the beer culture in a clever way). Saying firemen are sexually objectified doesn’t answer the fact that sex and violence are typically directed towards women, seem to go together and typically women come off damaged. Firemen do not have that vulnerability. Let’s not ignore the broader context, shall we?
    While you apparently need advertising revenue, what if someone came to you with an ad that was racist? Okay with you? Or an ad that pictured the burning of the flag? (or whatever floats your boat?). The point is that we all have to draw lines in our daily lives, decide if there are things that we should do or things that we shouldn’t do (according to the dictates of our own conscience). If this ad doesn’t bother you, it indicates to me that you are unfamiliar with these issues at their most viceral level. Can I suggest you spend time in a womens shelter or volunteer for a rape crisis line and maybe you can understand why the disrespect in making women figures of fun can translate into violence against women. I really hope you never have to understand this in a viceral way, as a lot of women do. Of course, then you would understand what we are talking about.

  11. Okay – nice try on the gender parity re squirrel with big balls and women with three breasts – don’t think it cuts it at all. The animal squirrel (objectified insofar as it is not human and humans kill squirrels or feed them as they see fit) and the animal female (particularly with three breasts) objectified insofar as the female is not human exp. with three breasts) are linked as sexual objects – three breasts, big testicles – and so yes I would say that the female is once again used to sell while the female is denigrated. As to the big bellied male – he is human – if a poor excuse of one.

    I went to the web-site and sorry editor of Prairie Dog, the three breasted ad is not irony at all. Indeed they have the better than beer girls – pictures are there – who are drapped on young men drinking, or there is the brief video of a woman jumping up and down – actually the video is of her breasts.

    There is an extended comment on how to help a buddy get rid of a girlfriend they hate, and another about an old woman in a hair salon (usually one see hot women in these places states the writer of the piece) who appears alien – she is not human.

    So, I would say in light of the context, in light of our cultural (Euro-western in general) abjection of the female and therefore women – this ad goes beyond bad taste to continue to promote a culture hostile to women. If the Prairie Dog has no objection to making its money this way – then fine. It will be up to its subscribers to determine what they want to do.

    Darlene Juschka

  12. The next person who accuses me of “name calling” can shove a turnip up their ass. My original comments were reasonable. The response I’ve recieved has been consistantly hostile, arrogant and condescending. I’m more than happy to sink to this level as it’s more fun to write that way.

    Please keep in perspective:

    1.) I do not like this ad nor do I find it funny (although I’m enjoying watching the effect it has on pious blowhards).
    2.) Lots of people (girls too) don’t share the collective horror at this ad. To call it “inherently sexist” is to overplay the criticism and to polarize debate. It also dimishes the value of criticism towards ads (and other things) that ARE destructively sexist.
    3.) I work at a small, employee-owned magazine and we do not have the luxury of wantonly refusing advertising revenue. You may believe me or you may conclude I’m a liar. If you choose to conclude the latter I’ve got a turnip for you.

    Because I’m defending an ad that politically-correct thought-police find offensive I’ve now been told I should spend time working in a rape crisis centre to gain perspective. To compare the questionable humour of this ad to the violence of rape is mind-boggling. Get some perspective.

    Heather: Read everything I’ve written. I didn’t lob the first insult. But I’m an atheist,we’re not obliged to turn the other cheek. (Don’t you work for newspapers? Don’t they run ads you find questionable? Do you quit in protest?) Also, you might want to contact Alice Klein at NOW–her paper also ran that ad. I’m sure she could speak to the neccessity of running debatedly distasteful advertsing far more eloquently than I am able to.

    Debra: If my sister (or my mom) accepted a paid job modelling for an ad like this I’d frame it. That would be hilarious. Also, glad to hear Saskatchewan is no more repressed than Toronto.

    Sabrina: an upcoming ad in the series does indeed make fun of a beer-gutted man.

    Our bodies–fat, thin, firm, flabby, scarred, young, old, wobbly, male, female–are ridiculous things. I think it’s generally healthy to make fun of them. That, to me, is what the ad is doing (in a juvenile, crass and banal manner). If people choose to be injured by it that’s their perogative. I’m not apologising for running the ad in my “progressive” newsmagazine and I resent the insinuation that I’m sexist or somehow unenlightened because I disagree with the pseudo-feminist orthodoxy of this blog.

    So there.

    Stephen Whitworth
    Managing Editor, prairie dog magazine for Men

  13. Darlene: We’re a free pick-up alt. We don’t have subscribers. And yeah, I agree, the betterthanbeer web site is loutish. Also, what do you do for a living? I presume someone with such impeccable values leads an ethically stainless life?

  14. Pretty ripe stuff B_.

    Folks, you need to give consideration to why B_ stands where she does on these issues.

    She makes a living by applying for grants. Her money comes directly from our pockets – she's likely never had to spend 5 seconds being responsible for the livlihood of anyone other than herself and her spawn. It's a different story in the real world – and sometimes (perceived)righteousness is not priority one.

    B_ is, as pointed out, a symptom of the left's illegitimacy. She opens her mouth and spews anger like nobody I've ever heard. I'm not sure why she feels the need to be so antagonistic. I see no reason to respect a word she says.

    Women need a voice that isn't a bad charicature of women. B_itz – pack it in. Get a day job. Leave activism to reasonable people.

  15. When members of a group that is a target of violence (women, Jews, Muslims, other racialized people, gays and lesbians, etc.) are saying advertising depictions of persons in their group are offensive and connected to attitudes that breed disrespect and violence, publishers need to listen.

    A family member of mine runs a small magazine which turns down ads inconsistent with the magazine’s editorial approach of genuineness and respect – in the end this has furthered its growth and prosperity.

  16. I went to the website too, Darlene, partly because I still couldn’t figure out what the ad was supposed to be selling. (Briefly I wondered whether it might be a misguided campaign for breastfeeding.)

    Bacardi. Aha. Those wonderful people who helped to bring you the Helms-Burton Act. An extract from an Amazon.com review of Bacardi: The Hidden War, by Hernando Calvo Ospina:

    “Bacardi has had dealings with the CIA and the extreme right-wing National Cuban-American Foundation (CANF) as well as links with both political and violent attempts to overthrow the Cuban government …

    “Bacardi has sought to use US laws to put a stranglehold on Cuban trade. This includes sponsoring the Helms-Burton Act that tightens the 40-year blockade. The author comments that “the text is so severe and over-arching that doubtless not even the laws and treaties imposed on African colonies by the European powers have contained such a degree of arrogance and lack of respect for a sovereign nation.”

    “Bacardi lawyers were also heavily involved in writing the new trade laws that mean Cuban brands are no longer recognized in the US. Havana Club rum’s French partner Pernod-Ricard (the major competitor to Bacardi) has convinced the European Union that such moves are an infringement of fair-trading laws.”

    But we all have to make money, right? Right.

  17. After reading this dialogue I would just like to mention that newspapers, magazines, television, and radio do have the ability to make choices when placing ads within their mediums. You can choose to include, you can choose to reject it. While I realize these mediums usually rely in advertising to help pay their costs, I think we would do well to remember that you do not have to choose to include everything that is offered to you in order to fulfill your bottom line. In fact, if we have a look at Adbusters, we can see that you can function WITHOUT ads at all, and still manage to produce a great read that offers leftist viewpoints, and contains advocay issues.

  18. Why does a three-breasted woman with the slogan “better than beer” offend? Here’s why…
    1.) it is generally assumed by readers that the ads within the covers are somewhat endorsed by the cover. Knowing this, people are offended because they do not want the journalism they associate with to be represented by offensive images.
    2.) Images communicate more than words. The fact that the purpose of the image is to be considered humourous reinforces the assumption that there is only one unified “norm” for women’s bodies. Take a look at Matuschka’s photos on breast cancer. By showing images that state that a three breasted woman is funny, absurd..etc…we are not that far away from insulting women who have had mastectomies.
    3.) Society is already heavily sedated by an overdose of the patriarchal fantasy world that over sexualises women and identifies them as purely “ready for it”. “Better than beer” informs readers that there is a correlation between a man’s choice to drink beer, and to “have a woman”. The problem with this is that the idea that women are for sale or are available to be “consumed” is indeed sexist and does perpetuate woman as object.

    It is interesting that your reflections on individual comments attack the person and not the comment. The persons commenting here are not asking that you admit you are sexist or that you enjoy the ad. They are asking that you acknowledge the offensiveness and the not so hidden meanings communicated by this image. At the very least, if you are not able to find alternate funding, you could validate what we are saying. you refer to the idea that “Lots of people (girls too) don’t share the collective horror at this ad”. This is 2006, the term “people” refers to all people (there is no need to clarify inclusion of women). Also, unless you are going to use youth as an example, “girls” is not appropriate to refer to the general female population. Finally, these women you refer to may not share the “horror of this ad” because like the rest of us, their systems of thought have been socialized by a patriarchal set of ideologies that. These women are not in opposition to those who are horrified, they have merely not been informed and are not aware of what systems and symbols are at play. I believe you work at a small magazine and do not have the luxury of refusing, however, most of us do not change the world by indulging in luxuries, we change it by indulging in choice.

    Megan
    Morrison

  19. I saw the ad and I agree it has no place in the 21st century when so many womyn are continuing to suffer the effects of patriarchy – obviously Mr. What’s-his-name, didn’t ask womyn who are concerned about the portrayal of womyn any opinions before going ahead with it. What’s even worse, is that a womyn agreed to have her picture alongside the ad. We need to help womyn stop disrespecting themselves, when we accomplish that, perhaps the men who care about them will “get it”. Mr. What’s-his-name just doesn’t get it, he’d make money off his mom’s back if he could, and frame the Almighty Buck. So clever is he. He’s not alone though, there’s a crapper full of men with their own brand of justification……if we listen to their justifications long enough, we adopt their mindset and accept to objectify even sell parts or the whole of our bodies. His model did just that. Once there are no more womyn willing to pose, Mr. What’s-his-name will “get it”, maybe.

  20. Reading the response from men on the so-called left reminds me of why I, along with millions of other women around the world, said "goodbye to all that" and along with Robin Morgan and B_ we joined the Women's Liberation Movement.

    The bullying tactics expressed here by these boy/men are a clear indication that some Canadian males have simply not grown up but are still living in the 1950s. That they, along with their great role model, Stephen Whitworth, go to instant weeny wilt when women refuse to "mother" them unconditionally and congratulate them on their "humour" rather than confront them with their sexism having assumed that they are adults, is pathetic, to put it politely.

    Thank you B_, for bringing this "humour" to our attention. I will make sure that I don't pick up another copy of this "free" publication and will no longer buy Bacardi.

  21. I do not understand all the fuss about keeping Prarie Dog in business.
    Let it die. I have never read it or seen it. But it has a horrible name.
    A magazine should have a nice name. Saskatchewan Loony Left Magazine
    would be quite nice. I have seen Sakatchewan from the air as we flew
    from Toronto to Edmonton in 1968. I did not know when Saskatchewan
    was underneath but we had to go over it. I liked the song Runnin Back
    To Saskatoon that I heard on CKWX Vancouver before it went Christian.
    Good luck with your battle. You seem to having fun. The ad is yeuky.
    Cheers, cyquick.wordpress.com

  22. I dunno, I think the ad is pretty funny. It’s saying “Hey, those other beers just have scantily-clad two-boobed chicks. Ours is so good, our chicks have three boobs!” or something along those lines.

    It’s a disturbing picture, yes, but I think people who take this so seriously might want to calm down a bit and go looking for a more suitable target, like the targets of this parody, who connect alcohol (and other substances) with sex and objectification in the first place.

    I mean, come on, three boobs! It’s like those pictures where the eyes, nose, and mouth are doubled that make your eyes water with the implied motion, only with boobs. They’re just boobs, guys.

  23. Pingback: Politics’n'Poetry » A lesson in blogging

  24. Well, this has certainly been a lesson in blogging for me! Never did I ever expect such vitriol, such personal attacks, and such incredible support from the progressive community. I don’t think I need to say much more than what’s already been said.

    But I should point out, for the record, that I am a poet, publisher, and community educator who has received one Saskatchewan Arts Board Individual Assistance grant of $4,000 for my first manuscript. Really milking the system, aren’t I?

    Truth be told, I’m a freelance writer and educator, who has a resume that is long and varied, so nice try, Phil.

  25. And here’s the last word from Whitworth:

    Turns out a woman managed this advertising campaign. Presumably a well-paid, intelligent and highly-trained media professional.

    Thoughts?

  26. What did I think of the ad?

    Disturbing? YES! Offensive? YES! I felt no humour/amusement in looking at this ad – merely disgust.

    The response from the editor was completely inappropriate in my opinion.

    I certainly hope that the editors will use better judgement in the future.

  27. When Whitmore comments on the fact that some women are not offended by the ad, as if that is a point I am extremely frustrated. I can assure you that not only are some women offended, disgusted and frustrated by this ad, but that also some men are as well. As we exist within a culture where the objectification and denigration of women’s bodies is not only accepted, but promoted many women have internalized this attitude towards their bodies. This does not mean this objectification and denigration is therefore acceptable, but there attitude has been created by ads and other forms of media with messages such as the ads discussed.

    By running this ad, you are reinforcing these attitudes towards women’s bodies. Maybe you will benefit financially from running this advertisement, but you may also drive advertisers away who recognize the negative message within this advertisement.

  28. As a picture speaks a thousand words, it is very difficult to be brief responding to this ad, I will, however, make an attempt.

    First and foremost, and easiest to define, the words: betterthanbeer.com. Not difficult to comprehend. The dot-com merely a code that tells the reader that there is a website: possibly, though not necessarily, commercial in nature.
    The slogan “betterthanbeer” is not difficult either. “better than” tells me that two or more products / items are being compared and judged. Where one is “better than”, then another has been judged “worse than”.
    Okay.
    I think comparisons are a valid way to sell a product, if I can show my product is better than yours, then hopefully you will buy mine. No fair comparing apples to fish, the two sides of the comparison should be, well, comparable, right?

    Beer is a manufactured (brewed) product. It is sold for the purpose of satisfying the physical sensation we call thirst. The purpose of beer is to satisfy the thirst of the moment.

    All right. So the text of the ad indicates that the picture in which the slogan is embedded somehow illustrates a product that is more good than a manufactured thirst-quencher.
    Presumably this needs to be stated, because only a few rare things can possibly be Better than Beer.

    Fine. So in this visual, a womn with three breasts is better than beer. Pretty clear, really.

    The message I receive is that a customer would be willing to forego a beer (manufactured to satisfy a physical need in the client) in order to spend time with these three breasts, (manufactured to satisfy a physical need in the client).

    As I read it, the implication would be that a womn with two breasts is not better than beer, in fact, she has now been labeled less desirable than beer; not better — worse — than a manufactured product which satisfies a physical sensation.
    Hmm.
    Not really a message I would want my sons and daughters to carry into life.

    I have not visited the website to which some of these posts refer, however I have to confess that in all of my life, talking with a stepson and a son-in-law, and several brothers- in-law, and a nephew and innumerable men friends, this is the first time I have ever had the opportunity to know that men in our society have an obsession with squirrel testicles. It is amazing how out of touch a womn in Nova Scotia can be

  29. My interpretation of the message of this ad is really simple: The more breasts a woman has, the better she is (perhaps even better than beer).

    If this ad in some way makes fun of stereotypical beer commercials (as many have said), I didn’t pick up on it. I’d love to see ads trashing the ridiculous and damaging use of women in beer commercials and would cheer ’em on, laughing all the way. I didn’t see that here – I just saw a message telling me that women would be better if they had more breasts. The messages in that are pretty clear.

    Maybe that’s not what was intended but it sure seems obvious to me that that’s what the ad says – as such, for me, it’s obviously reinforcing some ideas that have served to cause serious harm/death to so many of the women around me and myself. Thus, yeah, I gotta go with “offensive”.

  30. Yes, we must keep the memory of the thousands upon thousands of women through the ages that have lost their lives in Third-Breast Experiments!

  31. Cheesus Chrust, i haven’t seen this much misdirected anger in quite a while.
    Here’s an idea, instead of raging about one questionably sexist ad, work towards reinforcing positive roles of women on a local level. Censorship is bunk. If you want change, that’s not the way to do it.

  32. I visited betterthanbeer.

    And upon further review, I am appalled that Prairie Dog would run this ad.

    This horrifying portrayal of men is more than insulting! Bacardi is implying that we (penis owners) are two dimensional (sex and violence) dipshits that can’t have a coherent thought without cupping our packages to see how we feel about things.

    Ridiculous. The unfortunate thing is that this type of advertising…created by an evil woman no doubt…..feeds the belief that men are knuckle dragging mouth breathers anxiously awaiting their next hard on and hoping there’s a babe nearby to abuse with it so that they can boastfully proclaim to their buddies what a conquering hero they are.

    That’s just crap. Dammit, I bought flowers for a woman once!!!!

    (Guys…they love flowers! Get ’em some flowers, and I guarantee you some action!)

  33. And here’s the last word from Whitworth:

    Turns out a woman managed this advertising campaign. Presumably a well-paid, intelligent and highly-trained media professional.

    Thoughts?

    Comment by Stephen Whitworth — June 19, 2006 @ 9:22 pm

    ———–

    Well that makes the whole thing acceptable then. Come on! People do all kinds of things for money… including publish offensive ads in supposedly progressive magazines. Oh, and I’m from Montreal, so it’s not just a prairie thing.

  34. I love WordPress! It gives me access to soooo much information.

    Like the fact that “Mr. Arnason” is commenting through mail.planetsmag.com. Planet S is the Prairie Dog’s sister newsmag. Both tend to be good newsmagazines — sharing relevant content — except that they lack feminist content and have an obviously bad advertising policy.

    Nice try at the tune-change though, “Mr. Arnason.” Until the flowers line you almost had me fooled.

  35. Arnson, whoever he is, doesn’t work in the editorial department because we editors know that “hard-on” needs a hyphen.

    Stephen Whitworth, Managing Editor, who’s really not going to post anymore because he has a paper to put out today.

  36. I don’t like the ad because … it is so mentally disruptive. It objectifies women to a huge degree, yeah, but what is the statement that it makes about the beer? That you’ll be attracted to Chernobol victims?

  37. Oh crap. Busted!!!

    I've been here (Planet S) for 4 years…selling adverts.

    I couldn't stand to see somebody who works as hard and passionately as Steve take all the daggers, especially after his effort to be polite in his initial response to your concern B_.

    When you accused Steve of not understanding because "he's a man", you exposed yourself as a bigot. Thus, I will forever think of you as one.

    Just another mouthy angry bigot.

  38. Phil Arnason declared, “I couldn’t stand to see somebody who works as hard and passionately as Steve take all the daggers, especially after his effort to be polite in his initial response to your concern B_.”

    … and you thought you would step in and make yourself a target by posting something even more sophomoric?

    Would it be better if she said he didn’t understand because he’s an insensitive boor? Like you?

  39. It doesn’t matter if the ad campaign was organized by a woman or that some women don’t find the ad offensive. To think that it does matter would be equivalent to assuming that men are the only people who are capable of having sexist attitudes. That is simply not true. I know many women who perpetuate sexist attitudes and who don’t adopt a feminist analysis. The issue here is that people, regardless of gender, are upset over an ad that exploits women’s bodies. By the way, editor, someone mentioned earlier that we are not your enemies and it’s true (or at least, it was true). I have always been a supporter of prairie dog, but I am absolutely offended by the way you are talking to your readers on this blog. I have little respect left for you and your paper.

  40. Redbud hit the truth that I was agonising to identify deep down. Neat! I certainly already deliberately avoid products whose ads I hate, cyquick.wordpress.com again.

  41. “It doesn’t matter if the ad campaign was organized by a woman or that some women don’t find the ad offensive.”

    Sarah’s seems to be the dominant opinion. If people disagree that the ad is inherently sexist, their opinions don’t matter.

    That’s the opinion of a bully.

    I’m not overly concerned over losing the respect people like Sarah, who conveniently zero-in on my entertainingly beligerant huffing and puffing while ignoring the insults I’ve been slapped with.

    Actually, I suspect most people haven’t even read most of my posts.

  42. And no, the issue is NOT that people are upset over an ad. That perspective gets a sympathetic hearing from me. (Read my original response to B.)

    The issue here is that some people who are upset over this ad (their right), are insisting that their opinions are the only correct opinions. That’s bossy and I don’t like it.

    As for all my alleged rudeness, when a blogger posts my private e-mail response to her concerns on her blog , without my consent, and then dismisses my response, publically, as “a joke”, that person is, in my opinion, behaving like a complete jackass. Do you people really think it’s unfair that my tone has occasionally drifted into jack-assical territory in response?

    Well, it isn’t.

  43. Well, then Stephen. I guess everyone has your permission to tell all the racist, sexist, bigoted jokes they want, as long as they find them funny.

    I mean, hell, as long as SOMEONE finds them funny, they’re cool, right? If someone is hurt by them, whatever.

  44. People don’t need my permission, Gigi. Telling jokes is usually legal. Even offensive jokes. That doesn’t automatically make those jokes “cool”, any more than the tacky three-breasted women ad is “cool” just because some people like it. But it is a legal ad, that’s appeared in publications across Canada, and I offered a reasonable defence for our running of it that was met with self-righteous-posturing. I’m not going to apologise for running it (which is not even my call, by the way).

    Perhaps, PERHAPS, I should be a little more gracious and sympathtic to the fact that this ad makes some people, not unreasonably, break out in spots. Tell you what. I’ll be more understanding if people dial back the posturing.

  45. Stephen, you have taken my comment out of context. I wasn’t saying that their opinions don’t matter; I was saying that the fact that they are women is irrelevant. I do believe that you were inviting us to comment on the gender of the person who organized the campaign when you wrote: “Turns out a woman managed this advertising campaign…Thoughts?” You have mentioned several times that some women you’ve talked to don’t find the ad offensive, and my point is that it doesn’t matter what gender they are. Women are not a homogeneous category so of course not all women are going to agree. Just as some men are opposed to the ad and some aren’t.

  46. Stephen, you should really quit while you are ahead, oh wait, that never happened, lol.

    Seriously though, just shut up!, you have dug yourself into a hole and even with a shovel, I don’t think you can get yourself out of it. Just admit you were wrong and move on. Let’s end this thing, instead of slinging mud back and forth. It really makes you look unbecoming. Do you not have an image to uphold, cause the one I’m seeing is frayed.

    I have always liked the dog but after reading your comments, I am thinking otherwise.

    You keep saying this is your last post, but you keep talking. What kind of ass does that anyway?

  47. All right, Sarah. I’ll concede that there was an element of “cheap shot” in my use of your quote. Had B. not originally characterized my position as “a joke” and suggested my business was built “on the backs of women’s progess” I would likely be acting less like a dick. (Though several of my posts have been reasonable, don’t you think?) There have been some other wildly nasty and heavy-handed shots taken at me, too. Scroll back up to the beginning and have a look.

    If anyone cares it doesn’t bug me at all that people hate this ad. It also doesn’t bug me when a case is made that this ad is sexist. If images in advertising weren’t challenged it would be a horrible, horrible world.

    I would like it if posters could grudgingly acknowledge that there is a legitimate argument to be made that the ad is not inherently sexist. When I look at it (something I’ve done far too much of now) I see an absurd image that’s a parody of sexuality rather than an advertisement that inherently attacks and degrades women.

    I DO see how a viewer could use this ad to fuel his/her misogyny. The degree to which the ad’s creators are viewed as accountable for the mysogynist’s response to this ad probably shapes his/her support/opposition for this ad.

    For me, generally speaking, I think misogynists, not advertisers, are the ones who need to answer for their attitudes.

    I hope I’m making some small degree of sense here.

    Finally, and at the risk of unitentionally insulting peple, I think a lot of feminists over, let’s arbitrarily say 35, have been through too much shit to see this ad as anything other than sexist. One can’t really blame them for that.

  48. I’d like to revise my last post to “only jerks write ‘LOL'”.

    Don’t worry Lee, that doesn’t mean I don’t think you’re an asshole.

  49. B_, does this asstoque actually describe himself as progressive anywhere, or did someone else erroneously decide that he is?

  50. Pingback: chartreuse (BETA) » Blog Archive » The Better Than Beer Morning Remix

  51. This is an obvious case of the objectification of women. This ad communicates effectively that a two breasted woman is not as desirable a consumable as beer (i.e. not betterthanbeer) whereas a three breasted woman would be. It’s an obvious expression of the derogation of women at the same time. I recognize this declaration as a tool of masculinist indoctrination (the kind of male bonding that about declaring male superiority) and further, it’s not the first time I’ve encountered it. This is the kind of thing men actually say out loud; it is not new. I’ve never encountered it expressed this way visually before though. I don’t believe for a minute that men are so fooled by mysogyny that they can’t see through themselves on this one. Linda

  52. Thanks for the link, Nerdy_grrl. I’d not thought of that route but I’ll go there, and I’ll include it in my update post later today. The ad ran in the last two issues of the Dog, so that’d be May 25 and June 8.

  53. Pingback: Politics’n'Poetry » Action: On Boobs, Booze & Boycotts

  54. Counterintuitive as it may seem, we are not, in fact, taught to denigrate women’s bodies. We are taught to desire and valorize them. What is surprising about this ad is the fact that a women is constructed as a figure of fun at all. The reality is that it is men and men’s bodies that are the accepted fodder for ridicule. In particular, male genitalia are considered ugly/pathetic/pathological. Castration, and proxy/symbollic castration are a central trait of pop-cultural humor. Has anyone seen ‘Something About Mary’? The first ten minutes are taken up by the ridicule of the lead character’s castration, as his testicles, torn by his fly, are paraded in front of his girlfriend, his girlfriend’s family, and their neighbours. This, we accept unthinkingly, is entertainment. Let us imagine the consequences if a film depicted hilarity and public ridicule of a woman’s mutilated outer labia. It is a standard tenet of slapstick to hit a man in the genitals, and laugh. Has anyone seen the recent advert in cinemas with John Cleese, asking where the funniest place to hit a man with ball is? Need I even mention the triumphalism with which Wayne Bobbit’s castration was met? Could there ever, in any circumstances, be a justification for slicing off a woman’s breasts or clitoris? Shockingly, it seems, I need also to point out that we are at war, and that there is a federal law that requires only men to be sent to the front line. Of the 2,600 plus soldiers who have died, and the 20,000 plus who have been catastrophically injured, 96% are men. When it is reported, this gendered injustice is rendered invisible, it becomes “our men and women dying in Iraq.” Three times as many journalists have died in Iraq as female US soldiers. To ignore this uneven burden of pain and death is an outrage. But this is a direct consequence of the fact that we consider men and men’s bodies less valuable and more expendable than women’s bodies. In short, the journalistic equation that says 100 Indian lives equals 1 American life applies to men and women. Roughly speaking, if we say men and women are dying equally in Iraq, 45 male deaths equals one female death. Further to the argument, had the photographs from Abu Ghraib depicted women being sexually tortured, or tortured at all for that matter, the Bush administration would have been torn from power. As it was, we accepted, and in Guantanamo, continue to accept the brutality to men as a matter of course. For all those who are riled with rightiouseness at an image of a woman with three breasts, take 30 seconds to thank your vaginas that you won’t be conscripted.

  55. Stephen Whitless,

    Your comments are what I would expect from a person who cannot take constructive criticism. Oh, and you are still talking, LOL.

  56. I’m not really going to comment on the ethics or morality of this ad. The only thing that you can say is that it did what it was suppose too. It created a buzz, promoted the brand and got interest where normally it wouldn’t.

    On the ad, well it reminds me of Total Recall.

  57. Damn, publishers in Saskatchewan seem to be able to get away with an astounding lack of professionalism.

    In two decades in magazine publishing in the San Francisco Bay Area, I’ve met one or two people on the publishing end that would represent their publication in public in this fashion. I lost track of one, mercifully. The other’s working in commercial real estate now.

    Hope you like Saskatchewan, Stephen. First thing I do when someone applies for a job with me is I Google them. If I find an exchange like this, they don’t get an interview.

  58. I have been thinking about this, and I’ve concluded that maybe I was wrong.
    Maybe men are feeling the urban problem with impaired sperm motility at an unconscious, visceral level.
    Maybe they yearn to pass their genes to as many offspring as possible.
    Perhaps a womn who can nurse triplets is a better evolutionary choice in these times
    Just a thought

  59. The ad clearly objectifies women, as such, it is inherently sexist. That isn’t debatable. That it is absurd or a parody of sexuality doesn’t make it less objectifying or less degrading. Objectifying men isn’t okay either. I wish men would start objecting to it but it isn’t my battle.

    Advertisers that promote misogyny should be opposed. Your comment on strip clubs tells me you don’t “get it”. You seem to think it’s fine to objectify women as long as it’s being done appreciatively.

    You can call your publication “progressive” but that doesn’t make it so. It is what you publish that defines it’s nature.

  60. has any one but me noticed that most ads make fun of men? is there a blog somewhere i can go to to whine about how men are treated badly, are made to look stupid, undiciplined, simple, weak and whiny? how about the fact that i get women making sexist remarks about me, based on the stereotype of the stupid man? if i behaved to women the way it is acceptable for them, evidently, to behave toward me, i would have women with placards pacing in front of my house. maybe we could do a little walking in the other’s shoes and do a LOT of lightening up.

  61. I have never seen a woman with three breasts. Why is it? Has the third one developed by disease or by birth?

  62. [quote]I find the blogger’s self-righteous tone on this topic offensive in the extreme. There’s certainly nothing wrong with disliking an advertisement (or sharing one’s dislike), but this blogger goes much further than that. She states that the ad’s “objectification of women” is somehow rolling back “women’s progress” and thereby insinuates that our “progressive” publication is hurting the cause of equal rights. What utter, one-sided crap.[/quote]

    While I dislike the ad in terms of it being sexually suggestive, I agree with the editor’s remarks about the author of this blog. Feminists think only women can talk about feminism and then its not even most women as the women’s movement is so far behind what women actually want out of life.

  63. I’ve rethought this ad and I have decided it’s much worse than I originally thought. I thought it was objectifying women, turning women into an object/consumable that could be compared, put on a scale with beer and rum. But there is a much more sinister meaning implied and that is that women are less than a thing. Both meanings of course are used by mysogynists who systematically abuse and violate and threaten women using words and using their fists and using weapons and ultimately in too many cases also taking our lives and these two meanings BOTH permeate our culture on an unconscious level. Perhaps they are equally destructive and degrading and in any event they are frequently just variations in an abuser’s maltreatment. Mysogynists are well known for calling the women they degrade “things” and they also call us “zeroes” (meaning less than a thing) when they are needing to get full impact, i.e. that power boost mysogynists get from degrading women. It is remarkable how ignorant people are of the facts of mysogyny although it is also true that the most blatant truths are well kept secrets when they involve inequalities. If you are luck enough that you haven’t encountered mysogyny up close even to hear about it, please don’t spend your time trying to pretend it doesnt’ exist to those who know it intimately. That’s really just throwing your weight behind the domination and abuse of women just out of stubborn bullheadness or a refusal to learn or take instruction. People who refuse to see just like those who refuse to learn when they are offered an opportunity to do both are part of what is helping to keep the inequalities in place.

  64. After reading the comments and your responses, the choice you have made is your right. The consequences are also your responsibility, on behalf of the publication you work for.That does concern me. I read and will continue to read and support Prairie Dog. This dialogue is awesome as it reaffirms that people continue to struggle towards understanding all aspects of what sexism is and why it is unacceptable. Some thoughts:
    1. When one steps into the realm of being in the public eye to state a view, the response of others are not personal. The “step” is an invitation to comment on what you stand for. Our style and choices of words are irrelevant.We are not all professional writers. We are simply readers. We may make mistakes.
    2. The forrest can be hidden by the trees. One can choose to step back and make an effort to understand the essence rather just the form.It is obvious that many find the ad offensive, from many aspects, sexism being one.Why does that not matter to you?
    3.It is also apparent that many who are activists have a consistent view on this matter. Please do not denigrate what we do to improve the quality of life in this world for all, particularly women by making fun of us using labels that those who we all ackowledge as sexists use to denigrate our work. The white male corporate elite use silly labels to dismiss us and what we stand for. Why do you use that tactic.
    4. Isn’t it useful for a public advocacy organization to simply say to the audience ( readers in this case), thank you for your comments….and act as if you hear them!
    5. Am curious? What is your point? To convince us that what we see and feel as sexist are not feelings that we are permitted to have? Yikes!!!!!!!

    One might view our feelings and comments as an attempt to improve the value of such a project as your magazine for our collective benefit? Who knows? Perhaps if you need financial help, ask for it from the asepcts of society you seek to support as opposed to being at the mercy of others. I do know that it is possible!

  65. Pingback: Sex(ism) in the (Queen) City (& more) « Politics’n'Poetry

  66. Well a sow has even more tits than that.
    How about putting one in a red sweater and watching all the little pigs squeal at the excitement of it..
    As for the prohibition of women in the military front line.
    First of all chaps, do your own dirty work, and second , the thought of seeing menstrual blood is more unerving to men in the war industry than blood spouting from your buddy’s juglar. Who needs to be reminded about life when there is mass murder to be committed.

    Steph Lovatt

  67. I have to say that I had a completely different rection to the ad than most commenters here (and indeed the blogger). I see lots of comments here complaining about the ad being an objectification of women; my first impression was that it was rather a satire of that objectification. That could be considered to be making fun of a) breast or sex-centric advertising, or b) breast-obsessed men, but I didn’t take it as making fun of breasts or women. Are we gone so far that satire is no longer possible? Or am I reading too much sophistication into the ad?

  68. if you cumcatchers waste this much breath on whiny hysterical bitching in bed, you can guarantee you’ll never get a chance to experience the liberating completion i have to offer.

  69. I agree with Tom–the ad is satire. It’s making fun of men and beer ads. Tacky, tasteless, but not anything to get up in arms about. In any case, I’m sure the Prarie Dog and betterthanbeer.com are thanking you silently for the additional coverage–I would never have heard of either one if I hadn’t been directed here from feministing.com.

  70. Sure this ad may be offensive to some…but everything in the world is going to offend one person or another…it doesn’t mean its pushing back women’s rights. It simply means we’re human. To remove that element of humanity would be to turn society into a walking mass of drones where noone has a single shred of identity. Its controversy that allows us to grow and understand each other. It doesn’t matter if the opinion is wrong or right. Both are needed. The world would be a very boring place if people didn’t have different views on things.

    And the mentioning of the gender of some of the people who were not offended by the ad IS important. It shows that not all women share your views…the same can be said on your side that not all men enjoyed the ad. It is completely relevant because it again emphasizes the unique importance of controversy. We live in a world where freedom is supposed to rein..and that includes freedom of speech. Whether the opinion is embraced or repelled. If we removed every single thing that offended every single person we would be left with nothing. There would be no music on the radio…no news…no books…nothing.

    I agree completely that women shouldn’t be treated as objects and abused…but that doesn’t mean remove someone elses freedoms to voice what they think in the process. There are two sides to every situation and to completely block out one is to persecute people of your opposite opinion. Which in in opposition to what you stand for which is equality of all people no matter what gender, race, age, or opinion.

    What doesn’t matter here, isn’t anything that has yet been stated…its the meaning of the advertisment in question. The ad can take on a million different meanings by a million different people, and to hinder any one of those meanings is to hinder freedom.

    The world is full of an infinite number of opinions with an infinite number of variations on those opinions…we as society need to learn to atleast appreciate that fact even if we don’t agree with any of them.

  71. We’ll start with the fact that censorship, for any reason, is always wrong. Joybuzzard is built on that premise. I know several people with the ad clipped and posted on their fridge or in their workshops/rehearsal spaces. All but one is female. You know North American feminism has become obsolete when they start the cheap self righteous emotionalist act over stupid trivialities, so why don’t you move to the middle east where you still have a real cause.
    The fact is, we are all just objects, male and female, if feminists want to stop men from seeing women that way, then what they are proposing is a fundamental change to human culture that is no different than that proposed by their allies in the forced assimilationist (breaking down solitudes…) and drug prohibitionist movements. They all come out of the same universities and their views are fundamentally wrong. Despite the pseudo-lefty premise of “progressiveness”, they are backed by the corporate nexus because the real intent is to dehumanize our species so we’ll all be good, cooperative little human resource units. Censorship is necessary to make the changes appear natural and unopposed, the right wing social reformers know most people don’t want their kind of world, so they can’t state their intent straight out. Instead, they pretend that they represent a majority somehow and use accusations and thinly veiled threats to keep the majority silent. This is why prohibitionists try to stop legalization groups from buying advertising, and assimilationists try to censor the portrayal of genuine culture in favour of American style melting pot “we’re all the same” idiocy. This is why the right wing pseudo-feminist puts on the offended act against human sexuality. It’s too human for them.

  72. The male obsession with mammary glands proves what women have always known.
    That men are big babies squalling for comfort.
    Go suck on a beer bottle
    Male ownership of women’s breasts end at weaning…tough titty boys.

    Steph Lovatt

  73. * months and the comments have still not stopped. No advertising agency could ever dream up this much publicity. The company that paid for the production of this ad received about a thousand times the value they paid for.

  74. 8 months and the comments have still not stopped. No advertising agency could ever dream up this much publicity. The company that paid for the production of this ad received about a thousand times the value they paid for.

  75. Dear god its the woman of my dreams, where can i meet her?

    $1000 reward hell make it $5000 if you could introduce me to a 3 breasted woman like that!

  76. It’s been a long time since the original posting, but I’ll add my 2¢ anyway.

    A point that seems to have been missed is how degrading this add is to MEN. It implies that a man, upon viewing such a sight, will suffer a severe drop in blood pressure above the shoulders as the vital fluid collects elsewhere and, while under this regretable condition, will mistakenly associate boobs with beer, heading straight for the nearest store to buy his portion. It doesn’t help that there is more than a kernel of truth to this implication.

    Men like boobs. Men like beer. Get used to it. It’s been this way for thousands of years. (Prior to the invention of beer, men had only boobs to like. A regretable situation in those ancient times, to be sure.)

    To the detractors of Mr. Whitworth, you are not in touch with the reality stated above. You will be mistaken so long as that remains the case.

    To Mr. Whitworth himself, I am not so familiar with the political situation in Canada, but I assume that it is not so different there than it is here in the States. Where I come from, we on the Right do not eat our own so wantonly. Perhaps this is a wake up call to you, or an invitation to step across the aisle. It may be a wise move. After all, people so hate the Left . . .

  77. The person who wrote this article, as well as anyone who agrees with her, needs to check their sanity. You may try using a dipstick to do so, it’ll probably give you a more accurate reading than your wristwatch.

  78. Not to beat a dead horse, but let me get this straight. The people who support politicsnpoetry’s stance on this ad are supposed to be feminist? As in Gloria Steinman, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sarah Grimke, etc? What a complete farce. The only thing you thing you girls have in common with women like that are your genitals.
    This is what you waste your time with? A fucking bicardi advertisement? Thank you for trivializing the sacrifices of all of our sisters who have suffered, bled and even died for our rights.

  79. I love the way some of you have argued against this blog. Particularly #76 (Oops! Sorry if I degraded you by reducing your eloquently expressed thoughts with a mere number. I’m pretty sure you’ll understand, but no doubt, this pre-emptive strike is necessary to keep the wanton name-callers off my back, Kris.) But in 15 months and 87 posts, a couple of points haven’t been addressed.

    1) We all love it when people find an excuse to use number-bulleting in their posts, so I thought I’d do it here.

    2) I also like when people say “first of all” or its inbred cousin “first and foremost” when they make only one point or when they are twenty-eighth to weigh in.

    3) Oddly enough, the people trying to guise themselves as supporting women often don’t even spell “women” correctly. Let’s have some respect, shall we? This occurs far too often to be simple typos.

    4) This ad has nothing implied in it. It says nothing about the image. It only presents the image. The only thing added to the picture is the website that the company which released it wants to promote. That is: betterthanbeer.com and promote it it does. Thusly, it is a successful ad. (Congrats to the woman who came up with this idea, by the way!)

    Now, all you blowhards that Steve was referring to somehow think that the ad said that three breasts–or a woman with three breasts–is better than beer. Or rated. Or objectified. Or that a two-breasted woman is inferior to beer. It says none of those things. You get these impressions because you are looking for something to be offended by so that you can visit websites and post all about your misplaced rage here. This ad doesn’t make a single comment about the woman, the breasts, or that woodwork wall in the background. It simply presents an eye-catching image to … catch your eye. So that you see the website address.

    If the website were called evergreen.com, it would be a picture of a lady with three breasts and the letters evergreen.com in the corner. Would you then say that it is making a comment that having three breasts is supposed to somehow insinuate that women aren’t typically evergreen because they only have two breasts on average?

    You found sexism there because you wanted to find sexism there. Some people find humour there because they wanted to find humour there. And others found something disgusting there because they wanted to. So if what is in you is hatred, or laughter, or even ugliness, well that is all well and fine. Just keep it there. Spewing it out here or anywhere else for that matter isn’t going to make others agree with you because they will see what they want to see. You only want to hear from others that rally to your banner so that you feel justified in your thoughts that they are the right ones. It doesn’t ask that you be offended, grossed out, humoured, turned-on, elated, deflated, bored, or anything else so long as you noticed.

    5) Specific to Debra (who made the comment that Steve must think women’s progress must have something to do with women freeing their “titties”) and the others who equated the ad to porn, I wonder if you walk around covered up like a Muslim. The lady in this ad is wearing an acceptable top. Her breasts are not swinging freely. There is really nothing sexually suggestive here. It is a picture of a woman.

    I suppose your implication is that women should not be allowed in ads because they have breasts? Am I close? For that matter, I should move that we not allow men in ads, as well, for they have genetalia and, covered or not, that may be sexually suggestive. Do any of you really think you have a leg to stand on here?

    6) “Misongyny” is “hatred of women” and I’m pretty sure that no-one that likes this ad could be accused of hating women. However, those that speak out against it can certainly be said to be speaking out against this one … because that’s all it is: a picture of a woman.

    7) Now, let’s take another, fresh look at this ad, please. No judgements. What do you see? Scroll up and have another look and get back to me. I’ll wait.

    Here is a lady, cleavage notwithstanding, that would be considered very attractive: picturesque; she has a nice smile; pretty hair; good teeth; clean complexion. She could easily be a model on these qualities. The kind that all advetisers want featured in their ads. Revlon won’t get too far putting horribly scarred models in their ads. The elephant man isn’t going to get a job promoting Coke.

    Okay, so now let’s take into account that the pretty lady has three breasts. Should she be shunned? Unallowed to work as a model? Denied rights because of what is in all actuality a birth defect? What if a boy were born with no legs? Should he not be allowed to be on TV? How about a man with a lazy eye that wants to be a newsbroadcaster. Should he not get the job because some people would find his eye disturbing? If she were black should she not be allowed in the same schools as the “rest of us”? Should this woman have cerebral palsey perhaps we should deny her further opportunities?

    In this case, she has more breasts than usual. I suppose it is okay to say she shouldn’t be allowed to be a model, right? Despite the fact that this may well have been her life-long dream even before she hit puberty and developed those three breasts. No sir! She should be banned.

    The wonderful souls at betterthanbeer.com who took a chance on a nice lady that was perfectly qualified to be a model had the courage to place her in their ad despite knowing that some people would find her appearance distasteful. Shame on you, “B_” … if that -is- your real name. Betterthanbeer.com is certainly better than you.

    And shame on all of you so-called feminists who rallied to her clucking. Why don’t you go take a long, hard look in the mirror and see if you can find the human being within you the way this woman, who you consider to be tearing apart the women’s movement, hopefully does depsite her “inhuman” appearance, which she has, no doubt, been ridiculed for most of her life and yet has the courage and pride to find her smile. And while you’re at it, why don’t you go kick Tiny Tim in the leg?

    8) While reading this thread in its entirity, I was terribly dismayed by the fact that the nay-sayers that disapprove of this ad do so entirely because of the woman’s mammory glands. Isn’t it interesting that not a single word has been made about anything else (her eyes, for instance) and you have all managed to reduce her entire being to her breasts? It is you who have objectified the lady; it is you who have discarded her worth. It is said that the things we critique most about others is that which we inwardly dislike about ourselves.

    So stop giving feminism a bad image and learn to appreciate this one. Accept her for who she is and what she does. Point of fact: She isn’t posing here unwillingly, is she? The way I figure it, taking away her rights, censoring ads of women based on their appearance, or limiting her options to work was never feminism. You are what you hate most–a fascist. This is what Steve was saying.

    In closing, hats off to you, Steve, for taking a stand against it. That kind of integrity should take the Prarie Dog far. There is nothing wrong with the ad. You have been target of many deplorable and uncalled for statements and I think you handled yourself well. Maybe not with finesse, but they are not the element that deserves finesse because they neither have it nor understand it. You had the right of it all along and you knew it.

  80. So this is what you do when you are revealed as a supremicist and fascist, ‘eh? Resort to name-calling? Wow, and I thought you were above that, considering how you and yours rounded on Steve for doing the same thing … except he was justified for he was being personally attacked and unfairly so.

    I’m sorry for anyone that doesn’t fit your ideals of “normal” in this world that have to put up with policlubs like this. And stop hiding behind righteous causes like feminism, because as K. Lee points out in entry #87: “This is what you waste your time with? A fucking bicardi advertisement? Thank you for trivializing the sacrifices of all of our sisters who have suffered, bled and even died for our rights.” You are no feminist. Perhaps you should be called a feminazi. That way, anyone born with a birth defect can be sent to a concentration camp and you’ll never have to see them in another advetisement again, thus bringing about your perfect world for you, you horrible excuse for a human being.

  81. I have never been to Canada but have always considered the Canadians I have met to be a million miles from the stereotypical Leonard Coenesque throwbacks joked about by the British. Perhaps I was wrong.

  82. I must say Mr. Whitworth it seems like alot of commotion over nothing. I personally think this photo is great, in fact it is now the new desktop background photo on my computer. I have made the mistake of showing the pic to my wife and she is disgusted as well, I told her I wished she had three boobs and she called me a perv. but you know what perv or not I love the photo, not sure why it pisses women off so bad nor do I really care, I think it was not intended to piss women off but more to attract men to the add. Should men get bent out of shape over a tampon ad or a douche ad, I think not. Keep up the good work prarie dog.

  83. this is some f*cked up. the prairie dog’s not as interesting or informative as it used to be, but I imagine it does the best it can with what it has to work with.

  84. I feel that she really has 3 breasts, (not as uncommon as one might think) or the maker of it was a master. I enlarged it 400% and looked very close. The cleavage is not identical. There is a mole on her left breast. I duplicated one side of the cleavage and mirrored it and it is not even close to looking like the other side. It would be cheaper to get a 3 breasted woman then to photoshop this!

    Search “3 breasted woman” you will find a old black and white picture of a 3 breasted woman in a side show. Also 3 cup bra’s can be purchased, not just as jokes.

    As far as offending. Beer adds always go for sex so do auto, motorcycle and sports adds. It is they way it is and it works! Do not condemn the add just the people that it sells to, most men!

    I would not want 3 breasts. You would have to get nearly all your clothes custom made including bra’s, it would be expensive. But then it might be fun!

  85. On one other thing. There are men with more than 2 nipples and women with 4 or more breasts. According to a medical site I saw the record is 12 breasts. Most extra nipples do not form breasts and are usually removed at birth or later. So keep an open mind.

  86. i lament the immature @ssholedness of stephen whitworth. sounds like baby needs his fat diaper changed. reactionary, pigheaded, pseudo-visionary, baby needs a new line of work.

  87. This is absolutely hilarious. You wonder why Australians think North Americans are such a joke??? Read the unbelievable righteous indignation over what is a clever ad – not every ones cup of tea but hardly on the level of rape????
    We think it amazing that it is possible to show 43 people being dismembered piece by piece in the interest of saving the ‘free’ but when Janet Jackson shows that she has a nipple (shock, horror even I have them), then the entire way of life in the US completely stops. (Of course you could shoot the SOB’s with a legal submachine gun – that would fix ’em.)
    Keep up the responses – I will check in – was just looking for a photo to send to a friend who has breast cancer and a really good attitude to make her laugh!)
    Stop being so anal and enjoy life – and just don’t buy the product if you don’t like it.

    PS After watching Rat Race can’t get a mental image of what a magazine called Prairie Dog might actually be about…

  88. I have read this blog with great fascination and enjoyment. As a relatively abstract image, with very little context to any company I am gob smacked that it has caused such a furore. It reminds me of so many greetings cards that push the boundaries of good taste and what is deemed acceptable as an image for a greetings card. Of course the card that you would pick for a distant relative that you don’t really know would be the picturesque watercolour scene of the boats in the harbour. You’d send it of to them and they might be grateful of the thought, and the message that you had lovingly written inside might touch them in someway, but the card would merge into the background. Now what if you’d picked up the card that had the picture of the three-breasted woman on the front? It would certainly be memorable, then when you met them at a family function, a wedding, say, and you introduce yourself they say, “Oh yeah, you sent me that card… (you sexist pig!/it was hilarious!)*” delete as appropriate. Either way you have made a connection good or bad, which says something about who you are. You have given a person you don’t know an idea of whether or not you would be good friends or not. You have advertised yourself. That is what this company and the magazine has done. And that is all. I would suggest that if you find this image offensive then stop looking at it. This is democracy. If the magazine or indeed the company this ad is advertising FORCED the entire world to look at this picture ALL THE TIME, then yes that would be out of line, and reason to ban it.

  89. Hi All,

    Well I have just had the best laugh in a long time. This blog is so funny, Stephen Whitworth, you have my deepest sypathies, I bet you didn’t see this coming and really wish you hadn’t responded initially. You have to laugh. I think the direction that the people who are offended by this image are going is the wrong direction. They should be trying to ban every image of a woman where her body is used to advertise any product or service that men find stimulating. As the reasons they have given for being offended by this image can be used for all other images of women with only two breasts. All this picture does is take the blatantly obvious fact that men are attracted to women’s breasts, isn’t that the whole point, procreation of the species etc, but men equally are attracted to beer so what could be better than beer, “A beautiful woman with three breasts. The advert wasn’t meant to offend and is only humour. I have to admit that since the complaint was made the advertisement had gone global and millions of people have seen it, it has been across facebook everywhere all made possible by this blog.

    Tom King
    British Isles
    United Kingdom

  90. Hi All,

    To add to my message above, I’d like to say that we have all been offended by this advertisement, I feel offended that I was led to believe that women with three breasts existed until I came across this blog and I have been deeply saddened to find that it was a trick! It reminds me of the day I found out that Father Christmas didn’t exist. O Well we can only hope that with gene evolution it may be possible one day.

    Tony King
    British Isles
    United Kingdom

  91. Um, men like breasts. It doesn’t mean we ONLY like breasts, or that don’t otherwise respect your full depth as a person. I, for one, also like brains. And personality. I know many women whom I have a great deal of personal admiration for.

    But, also, I like breasts, in and of themselves. It doesn’t demean the person whose breasts they are, because my liking breasts is in addition to whatever else there is to like about that person, NOT in place of it. If admire a woman’s breasts, it doesn’t mean that I believe they are the ONLY thing worth admiring about her, much as you for some reason insist on pretending it does. So it is not demeaning to women to acknowledge that breasts are attractive to men.

    Try as you might, men are always going to be attracted to female breasts. You’re never going to find a way to change that. I think women’s progress, like that of the human race as a whole, is impeded by denying human sexuality. Wishing for a gender-neutral, lust-free society that simply will never exist so long as we are human and have an evolution-bred longing for each other’s bodies is not going to advance anything for anybody, because it’s fundamentally misguided and unhealthy.

    I don’t believe females are inferior to males in any way, nor should they be denied anything males are not denied, nor should they be held in any less respect than males. But sexuality exists, and will for as long as the human race survives, and acknowledging it is healthier than trying to deny or suppress it. It’s normal, and it doesn’t invalidate or overshadow the million other facets of a person to recognize that. If you were to learn to accept that, you might see how your attitude towards this ad is far more hurtful to society than the ad itself.

    Now, if you’re complaining that this ad is only targeting people who find female breasts attractive (straight males, primarily, plus a small number of others) you’d be correct. This ad’s target demographic is straight males of a certain age and inclination. Marketers target demographics. Always. That’s another thing you’re not going to change. If women drank more Bacardi than men, I bet the image would have been a man with two bulges in his shorts. And, I bet, very few men would feel angry about the “objectification”.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s