Like millions of basketball fans, I watched ABC’s coverage of game 4 of the Golden State Warriors/San Antonio Spurs NBA semifinals Sunday, enjoying the athletic prowess of these hardwood warriors. Being Mother’s Day, my mind had fresh memories of spending time with my own mom (and brother), who had just left for their flight back to Chicago. It was good times, as I love my mom and haven’t had the chance to spend Mother’s Day with her in several years.
So it was a pro-positive female role model day across America. And then this commercial aired:
Seems like a fun commercial for Beats Pill, yeah? Cool tune, impressive photography, models and singer that are easy on the eyes–all necessary for promoting your latest product. But what were they selling? The Beats Pill, the latest music-listening device in Beats Electronics LLC’s empire of high-cost, bass heavy products? Sure. But judging by how they reduced the models to literal props, they’re also trafficking in good ol’ misogyny.
I mean LOOK at one of the last images of the commercial. LOOK!
She is a literal object for the product, the human sushi platter of this skeevy party of a commercial. (I’m not surprised that Dr. Dre, Beats Electronics co-founder, would be associated with this mess considering his history.)
If it’s not obvious, I’m offended by the commercial and the creative folks involved. And it’ll be just as obvious to know that there will be defenders of the ad spot as well as the messaging. These white knights of anti-feminism will probably lay waste to detractors with some variation of the party line “You’re looking to be offended.”
Well, here’s a message for those disbelievers: FUCK ALL OF Y’ALL.
- If you think people can pick and choose their emotions, that is nonsense. Can you control when something makes you mad? Are you able to dictate when you feel happy? If so, your AI programming is pretty good. But people aren’t robots, nor are they sociopaths. People being offended is a little something called EMPATHY–something that good-hearted people have.
- Here’s another thing: why do you care if someone is offended by something not concerning you? What makes it your business that an autonomous human being feels and expresses emotions that differ from yours. And if these thoughts and words do not conflict with how you live your daily life, your high horse is taking up space by butting it into places where it doesn’t need to be. (Give it a chance to relax and feed it some carrots.)
- And finally, why SHOULDN’T someone be offended if people are not treated as something other than an equal? I know this flies in the face of my previous point, but we’re all citizens of this society, and I am comforted by the fact that people fought for my civil rights. I try to return the favor by not being a dick to others, and this includes not being a racist, sexist or ageist dickbag. When I do speak out against a collective group, rest assured it’s because they’re trying to hold back the rights of others.
I looked at Beats by Dre’s Twitter account (@beatsbydre) right after the commercial aired, and this was among their tweets in honor of Mother’s Day:
— Beats By Dre (@beatsbydre) May 12, 2013
My apologies to no one for being offended by their casual nonchalance.