Budweiser = Rape Culture…Again

Some of my best friends, who I see multiple times a week, live just south of me along a main road here in Austin.  I drive down it every single time I go to their house.  And for weeks now, my eyes and sensibility have been stung by Budweiser’s new designated driver ad on a big old billboard (this is really similar to the one I see, except mine is a blond woman):

The image is of a pretty woman, who is shown from the shoulders up, smiling and looking at the viewer.  To her left it says, “wanna go home with ME tonight? i’m the designated driver”.  Except that “ME” is HUGE.  It’s the biggest word, followed by “tonight?”  The other parts of the message are difficult to read, especially when driving 45mph at night. 

Basically all you can make out is a pretty woman smiling at you and the words “ME tonight?”.  Nice.

The whole point of the message – make sure when you drink, have a designated driver – is completely lost.  Instead, all you get is Budweiser = sexually available lady (“Do you want me tonight?  Drink some Budweiser!”).

On their website, I plucked these images:

So, there are two dudes on the website. I would love to hear from someone if you see a billboard with a dude on it (this blogger did see the man version of the ad and was still creeped out by the campaign).

These billboards appear simply to sell a sexually available woman and Budweiser together.  Not that I expect more from Budweiser:

But that doesn’t mean I don’t absolutely hate having to drive by such a disgusting ad that makes me think of all the poor women who are sexually assaulted after visiting the bar and meeting an asshole who thinks she is sexually willing simply because she is drinking and at a bar (and I’m not the only one who thinks this about these ads).  Thanks, Budweiser, for reminding us of that.  You and the rape culture you promote sucks.

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4 thoughts on “Budweiser = Rape Culture…Again

  1. Pingback: Rape in the Peace Corps « Speaker's Corner

  2. I stumbled across your website when looking for statistics on sexual assault within the Peace Corps. What I found instead was a histrionic, sexist assault on various perceived “persecutors” using out-of-context information and skewed statistics. It’s people like you that make me averse to self-described “feminists.” (And before you accuse me of being some big, scary male chauvinist trying to oppress you with my penis, I’m a woman.) I’m all in favor of human rights and sexual equality, but you’re fucking insane. OMG, Budweiser is trying to encourage their main demographic (young, heterosexual males) to make responsible drinking decisions? RAPE RAPE RAPE! RAPE CULTURE OH NOES! I bet if these ads had prominently featured young men with the same text, you would claim Budweiser was capitalizing on the idea of using alcohol to make young women more pliant, or “blaming victims.” Basically, men or male-oriented media can’t win.
    Also, do I really have to point out the logical inconsistency in your last paragraph? “…a disgusting ad that makes me think of all the poor women who are sexually assaulted after visiting the bar and meeting an asshole who thinks she is sexually willing simply because she is drinking and at a bar…” These ads are for DESIGNATED DRIVERS. AKA sober women. If they imply anything, it’s that sober women might take advantage of drunken men, although really I think that’s an entirely twisted portrayal of the content as well. Still, I see how that’s not nearly reactionary and hyperbolic enough for your sensationalist blogging. I really hope you gain some perspective eventually. There are enough real problems in the world, violence against women among them, without having to manufacture some to feel victimized.

  3. I don’t know what you mean by “men or male-oriented media”. Media that sexually exploits and offers up images and text of women who appear to be available and willing? No, with me, that will never “win.”

    And if these ads were actually about designated driving, don’t you think that message would be readable? Would be big – that you wouldn’t have to squint to see it? Couldn’t the message behind these ads be accomplished without the image of a beautiful woman and the words “ME tonight?” taking up the most space? What exactly is the point of that image and those words? Do you actually expect me to believe that there is some altruistic, benevolent message being sent out into the world by a company that has no problem ever sexually exploiting women’s bodies in order to sell beer?

    Men should be just as upset about crap like this. As if they are not responsible enough to drink or locate a designated driver unless Budweiser waves a pretty girl in their faces.

    I don’t know why exactly you are so angry about this. I don’t feel “victimized” – I never used that word. That’s a word that people like to put in the mouth’s of feminists who are simply pointing out the mundane, subtle, and yet harmful ways that rape culture permeates most corners of our society.

    Finally, I’m not sure what perspective you would like me to gain in the future. As the mother to a young boy, I plan on maintaining this perspective and teaching him that despite whatever fucked up beer commercial/ad he sees that implies that women are ready, willing, and available to service him (either as his designated driver or his sexual partner), that the most important thing in a sexual relationship is consent (“yes means yes”, not “no means no”). I also don’t want him to grow up believing that being a man means you can’t control your impulses or that you don’t know how to make rational decisions. I don’t think that’s a bad perspective to have.

    So, no. I’m not kidding you.

  4. Pingback: Budweiser speakers | Cherytower

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