Offensive advertising

I write regarding both the Sept. 4 and 11 issues of the Gauntlet, specifically about the "University of Whiskey" ad on pages 19 and 18 of those respective issues.

The link between sex and alcohol has been made in many forms of advertising and many media. However, the button in this ad puts it beyond the grey area usually occupied by sexually objectifying ads. It says, "Get me drunk and then see what happens." This suggests a dangerous message: "Women, once they’re drunk, will, and should, put out. All men have to do to get some action is buy a woman a few drinks. If they’re too cheap to do that, hey, just buy one and slip her some Rohypnol."

This laughs at the issue of choice. Everyone has made some dumb choices while drunk. However, this ad says that drunk women relinquish not only their ability but their right to choose, and that this should be exploited by men, who are stereotyped as potential (hetero-) sexual predators. Ads like this promote the idea that, no matter what a woman’s brain is doing or mouth is saying, her body is there for the taking.

Date rape is a serious problem. Lots of research deals with images of women in advertising as it relates to women’s actual self-image. Generally, it finds objectifying images of women (like this one, and other ads run in the Gauntlet) promote a lack of confidence, especially in young (high school and university age) women.

And what of guys, who are also impressionable? Do images like this lead them to feel entitled to sex with a girl whose drinks they bought? If so, no wonder there’s harassment, pressure to consent to sex, and an increasing instance of date rape. Is that okay with you?

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