And that’s when people try to explain why the offensive ad isn’t offensive, or worse, why people who are offended shouldn’t be.
First off, if something offends someone, it offends them. You have no right to explain to me what should or should not offend me. And just because something isn’t offensive to you doesn’t mean it can’t be offensive to me or anyone else.
Secondly, okay, here is the ad:
But that’s where my applause ends. Drastically and unceremoniously.
1. “We’re way too quick to cry slut-shaming, racism, sexism, fattism, etc., in advertising, even when there are clearly the best of intentions at play.” Not to be a conspiracy theorist, but that’s exactly what they want us to think! If activists and non-dominant populations don’t stand up when they’re being shamed, belittled, ridiculed, othered, marginalized, made fun of, dehumanized, etc., then who will? If these things aren’t rallied against, advertising companies will never learn, and we will let shaming, belittling, ridiculing, other-ing, marginalizing, making fun of, and dehumanizing such populations be a normal part of daily life in our society. By being silent, we’d be providing tacit approval.
2. I also just think that implying that that woman’s vagina is a place to which people can check in is incredibly objectifying. You check into fast food places, not into women unless you’re viewing that woman solely as a sex object.
3. And even if they’re not directly suggesting that a high-ish number of sexual partners increases ones chance of contracting HIV/AIDS, it definitely plays into that stereotype. The company should be aware of those implications.