MK Feminist

Throat-punching the patriarchy since 2011

Belvedere Vodka: The New Date-Rape Drug

I have often heard — usually from Men’s Rights Activists and anti-feminists on the Internet — that we western feminists have it so good that we need to make shit up to get offended about.  The “actually-oppressed women in Afghanistan and Iraq” are often invoked in debates as a strategy to silence feminists in the ‘west’.  The person invoking this ‘argument’ usually doesn’t care about the status of women in these other countries but rather, is using them as a debating tactic to prove how great things are here in North America.  While this entire idea is complete bullshit, that’s not what I’m here today to talk about.  While there is a need for global feminism, there are definitely still HUGE problems right here in our own backyard.  If you think rape culture is a myth the feminists made up, think again.

This tweet from Belvedere Vodka has been popping up all over the Internet today.  Many fans on their Facebook page defended the ad, citing humorlessness as the reason anyone would be offended by it.  Indeed, anyone who identifies as feminist is likely used to being told they have no sense or humor, and/or that they’re over-sensitive, and/or that they can’t take a joke.  The list goes on and on and varies depending on the subject at hand.  So, I should be used to it.  But this latest gem really has me scratching my head.

The woman in the ad is visibly frightened and trying to get up.  The man is physically restraining her and laughing while doing so.  The juxtaposition of their expressions is, frankly, horrifying.  The text implies that some women, like the one pictured, don’t “go down” smoothly, but you can still force them if you keep a positive attitude and a bottle of Belvedere close at hand!  Rape culture is so deeply embedded and accepted that people can look at an ad like this one and defend it as a joke.  How is it funny??  At all?  There’s not even a grey area.  They purposefully depicted a frightened woman trying to escape from a man pulling her towards him.  It can’t even be defended with the typical BS about her leading him on or playing hard to get.

And yet.

Belvedere issued an “apology” along the lines of “we’re sorry you were offended and didn’t get our funny joke.”  They then go on to state that they remain advocates of “safe and responsible drinking.”  Cause that was the problem.  Not that they were advocating rape.  Nope.  Just irresponsible drinking.

They have since taken down the original tweet and because their non-apology doesn’t even specify what it’s in reference to, they really haven’t taken responsibility for any of this.  This merits angry letters and a Belvedere boycott.  Feministe was kind enough to provide us all with their contact information, so write away, y’all!


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