Archive for the 'Sex & Sexuality' Category

Burst Your Bubble: BK Burger Shots

Burst Your Bubble, Gender, Pop Culture, Sex & Sexuality 15 Comments »

Burger Shots Commercial

Update:  I found the video!

In their years-long quest to piss off every female on the planet, Burger King has unveiled a new incredibly offensive advertisement for their burger shots–mini hamburgers that come in packs of two or six. 

Unfortunately, after an hour of internet research, I figured out that these burger shots are currently only available in select markets like Providence and Denver so not many people know about the burgers or the ads yet.  I cannot find a video clip anywhere, but if you visit this website you can see screen shots of the stupidity.  On a related note, as I was searching the web for “burger shots” I found out that the phrase is a derogatory term for photos of female genitalia and/or the act of punching a woman in the vaginal area.   Way to go, Burger King.  You might want to rethink the name before unveiling these globally. 

Anyway, here’s the lowdown on the ad:  Two average guys are sitting on a bench, one eating a large BK burger and one who cracks open a package of two small burger shots.  Immediately, a beautiful woman (with cleavage aplenty!) appears and starts cooing over the burgers.  As the camera pans back and forth between the man and woman, more women keep popping up until he’s surrounded by seven women who are very excited about his burgers.  At first, I thought the ad was poking fun at the played out scenario of women fawning over men with babies because one of the women exclaims “ooo! Look at the little burgers.”  But there’s a ton of sexual innuendo too that makes the ad even more creepy and stupid.  Besides the cleavage, many of the women are borderline moaning in this ad and some reach out to touch the guy’s lap.  Another woman says “I just wanna squeeze them” as the average Joe holds his pair of burgers proudly in the air.  As this ad plays over and over on TV, I’m beginning to think of this guy’s burger shots as little beefy testicles…shudder. 

 I will post a link to the video, if it ever makes it online.

Burst Your Bubble: Adult Entertainment Tax

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Represenative Joseph Almeida (D-Providence) has proposed a 25% tax on food, drinks, and admission fees for Rhode Island adult entertainment establishments. 

Besides raising funds to help plug the state’s growing fiscal gap, the bill would also set aside some of the tax revenue to prosecute child pornographers and to treat sex offenders.  While those are great causes that need more funding, I completely disagree with imposing such an exclusive tax on adult entertainment.  I also think that the bill makes an offensive and inaccurate correlation–that adult entertainment is somehow responsible for pedophilia and child pornography.  Understandably the ACLU argues that if the bill is passed, it will be deemed unconstitutional. 

To make matters worse, the Providence Journal reported on two moments of exteme immaturity on the part of the legislators.  First, there were giggles when “…House Finance Chairman Steven Costantino glanced at, blushed, and then said of the anatomically-explicit legislation: ‘There are parts [of this bill] I am afraid to read on television.’”  Are you ready for the explicit, scary words?  They include: genitals, the pubic region, a buttock, female breast, and (gasp!) areola.  These are the people we trust to run out state?  People who are embarassed to use anatomically correct words? 

Also, “…in one of the lighter moments during the hearing, Costantino asked Almeida if he had a sense of how much, if anything, the clubs were charging now as admission fees and Almeida shot back: ‘Why are you asking me? What are you trying to say?’”  Haha, it’s so funny when lawmakers insinuate that other lawmakers frequent strip clubs!  Ugh. 

After the hearing, it was decided to hold onto the bill for further study.  Please contact your local represenatives and tell them to reject this bill and/or grow up.

A leeeetle update:

Gender, Pop Culture, Sex & Sexuality, Writing 1 Comment »
  • This is Day Two of daily trips to a local coffeeshop to force myself to finish schoolwork and to write–so far, so good!  However, I find myself getting awfully distracted by the people watching.  Yesterday, I had the pleasure of sitting next to a man who (in the course of five minutes) blew his nose, ate a bagel with his mouth open, and adjusted his crotch a few times.  Tonight I’ve been blessed with I’m-here-to-purchase-nothing-and-talk-loudly-on-my-cellphone-man.  The good news is that nothing is more distracting than being at home with a flat screen tv, lots of great movies to watch over and over again, lots of not-so-great reality tv programming, pajamas, snacks, magazines, a bunny that wants constant attention, lint–you know, the important stuff. 
  • On a random note, remember my post about my exercise ball/desk chair and how I hoped to not suffer the same fate as Dwight from The Office?  Well I did!  I had some concerns about the ball because I noticed one weak spot in the plastic, but I eventually learned to ignore it.  One day I was sitting on the ball, reading some e-mails when BOOM! I was flat on my back on the hardwood floor with pieces of green plastic strewn about me.  At least my fall wasn’t the result of an angry co-worker or partner!
  • My current class (Sex, Gender and Literary Tradition) is totally kicking my ass.  I have read more literature and theory over the past seven weeks than most semesters as a whole and I have to say that studying literature is NOT my thing.  Most of the books have made me say “meh,” but I’ve enjoyed most of the theory.  I miss evaluating television and film and just plain theory in the context of everyday life. 
  • For the second year in a row, I will be attending WAM! and I couldn’t be more excited!  Some of the workshops that are of particular interest to me include: Blogging 101, Writing a Book Proposal that Sells, Stereotyping and Typecasting in Reality Television, What’s the Future of Indie Publishing?, and How to Get Heard: The Art of Strategic Communication with Editors. 
  • I thought that I completed the mother-of-all binges on Netflix’s “Watch Instantly” site last week because I watched the entire 4th season of The L Word (twelve episodes) over the course of four nights, but I was wrong!  Dan polished off the entire season in a little more than twelve hours yesterday, including a two hour break to play around on his computer.  I still can’t decide if I prefer to watch television shows over time, with the buildup of plot points and character development, or if I’m okay with consuming it all at once.  Either way, Jenny is one of the greatest psychopaths ever portrayed on television and I cannot wait for her (hopefully) untimely death.   
  • Speaking of The L Word, I read that Season Six will be the final season for the show and that the producers will be using audience feedback to tie up all of the loose ends within eight episodes.  I would like to see any or all of the following:  Jenny’s death (see above), realistic dialogue, more trans characters, more celebrity cameos, and more Alice.  Dan’s request?  More breasts, please!

Whaaaaaat?

Gender, Pop Culture, Sex & Sexuality 1 Comment »

I consider myself to be a very open and understanding person when it comes to sex and sexuality–if it makes you feel good, makes you happy, and doesn’t degrade or hurt anyone, go for it!  However, I’ve been noticing a trend lately that has me saying “whaaaaaat?”–the portrayal of children and sex in popular culture.   

I know that this is nothing new.  Short shorts and tight t-shrits with sexy sayings have become a mainstay in girls clothing departments everywhere.  Comapnies like Club Libby Lu promote make-up, manicures, and modeling to girls as young as 5.  Many people feel free to comment on the sexual appeal of underage celebrities (Britney Spears, the Olsen twins, even 15-year-old Miley Cyrus).  But this “subtle” connection between children and sex seems to increasing, becoming stronger. 

I recently watched the movie Good Luck Chuck (please don’t waste your time–the film deserves every Razzie it is nominated for!), which opens with kids playing a game of Spin the Bottle that leads to Seven Minutes in Heaven in the closet.  Chuck, the main character, spins himself into makeout time with a goth girl who tears off his shirt, scratches her black-painted nails down his chest, and rips off her own shirt to reveal a black leather training bra.  The actress who played the part, Sasha Pieterse, was only 10-11 years old at the time of the film’s production.  Despite the film’s other faults (extremely disgusting humor, for one), I was most bothered by this young girl and her “kinky” character. 

The film Smoking Aces, a shoot-em up mafia/casino action flick, includes a young boy with ADHD who gets an erection next to a criminal who is bathing in a tub.  Especially since this entire storyline and character bears no significance to the movie, why include it?

I know that many teenage relationships and pregnancies are the result of sex with men over the age of 18 (some well over the age of 18).  This failed ad campaign (below) is disturbing for two reasons–that there is such an issue with statutory rape that we need public service announcements to address the problem and that the ad designers thought that objectifying young girls as busty women was a good idea.

underagegirl2.jpg

I can’t help but ponder–did pop culture start potraying underage children as sexual beings first, or is pop culture just a reflection of a growing issue within our culture?

PUBLISHED! Feminist Review

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Check out my latest published work!

Review of Challenging Homophobia: Teaching about Sexual Diversity

Published! EDGE Providence

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Check out my latest published work!

Playtime in Providence: Not-Your-Average GLBT Hotspots 

Best of the Interwebs 2007

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Instead of droning on and on about my year in review and what I hope to accomplish in 2008, I thought I would instead highlight my favorite websites from the past year:

Offbeat Bride is a site tied to a book of the same name, written by Ariel Meadow Stallings. Both the book and site are must-reads for anyone who is planning a non-traditional wedding. Because of my studies, my entire belief system in regards to marriage has been turned upside down and it’s been refreshing to witness other couples mix things up a bit.

Electrolicious is the personal blog of the author listed above. I love reading her blog because she captivates me for too many reasons to count—she’s a freelance writer, pop culture guru, yoga-practicing vegetarian Seattleite photographer who has amazing fashion sense. What’s not to love?

Racialicious is the most comprehensive, intelligent website focused on race relations. Updated on a regular basis (yay!), posts often focus on race in popular culture. And I really appreciate the fact that a majority of the readers offer thought-provoking discussions in the comments section of each post.

Whedonesque. After five months of fairly regular television viewing, I have finally finished Buffy the Vampire Slayer and am one season away from the completion of Angel. Besides mourning the loss of major amounts of time (Buffy alone was 144 hours of programming!), the experience was completely positive. The creator, Joss Whedon, has renewed my belief that television can be a better medium than film—however, most of the current shows on TV are botching it big time. Whedonesque is a fan-created and maintained blog that Joss himself uses to update the world about new projects.

Buzzfeed is a quick and easy way to keep up with pop culture trends across all mediums, from the web and fashion to politics and architecture. If you’ve ever felt behind-the-times (is Chocolate Rain a new candy?), this site is for you.

FlowTV and Media Commons are my two favorite academic websites this year. Flow focuses solely on television, while Media Commons studies all facets of popular culture—but they both include cutting-edge theory on the media and the intersection of race, sexuality, gender, etc

Le Femme Plastique

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It’s bad enough that through the advent of plastic surgery, more people’s bodies and faces are starting to resemble mannequins instead of humans. Lately, I’ve noticed a new disturbing trend—duplicating girls and adult females in plastic form.

First, there are My Twinn dolls, a company that offers expensive plastic dolls that look exactly like the girls that own them. Each doll is completely customizable (from hair color and skin tone to freckles and disabilities) to match its human counterpart. The dolls start at $139, astronomically more than most plastic dolls, but the spending doesn’t stop there! My Twinn’s website also features endless options for matching doll/girl clothing and accessories. Matching pink chenille sweaters will set you back another $55. They also sell sets of earrings, watches, purses, sleeping bags, wheelchairs, casts, and crutches.

I’m sure that most people purchase products through My Twinn because it’s “SO CUTE!”, but I wonder how many parents shell out this kind of money so their child feels represented in toy form. For example, I’m sure there aren’t a slew of African American dolls in wheelchairs at your local Toys R’ Us. If that’s the case, then I feel a tremendous amount of sadness that parents need to find a niche market (that charges far too much money) so their child can have some sense of identity.

On a related (but even more disturbing) note, I recently learned about Real Dolls –sexually life-like plastic replicas of women that start at an astonishing rate of $6,500. Customers, who are predominantly male, can individualize everything about their Real Doll. Even breast size and pubic hair are negotiable. Check out the company’s website—there are some dolls that look so lifelike, I had to do a double take.

The dolls have biologically accurate orifices, so their primary use is for sexual pleasure. However, I learned about these dolls after watching a documentary about men who have relationships with their Real Dolls. The film shows men who spend their time shopping for new outfits and wigs for their dolls, bringing them out for a ride in the countryside, and rubbing their feet. I dare you to watch all the festivities.

I have a lot more to say about these dolls, but it may evolve into a paying article down the road.

Subvert the Dominant Paradigm!

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  • When you have a minute, please check out my latest piece of writing—my review of Jennifer Baumgardner’s Look Both Ways. I fell in love with her work during my sophomore year of college when I discovered Manifesta, the book that she co-wrote with Amy Richards, and this new book doesn’t disappoint either.
  • I am unnaturally obsessed with Girlyman’s new album, Joyful Sign. I highly recommend giving them a listen and I give the following songs two thumbs way up: Good Enough, Through to Sunrise, St. Peter’s Bones, Joyful Sign, and You Were the Lie.
  • Although I completely disagree with 90% of the content of Howard Stern’s radio show, I have to take a moment to applaud him for attempting to take down American Idol. Way to subvert the dominant paradigm, Howard! Maybe he’ll take it once step further and stop perpetuating the women as meat fallacy? I dislike American Idol with such a passion for so many reasons (the untalented contestants, the machinery of music making that favors pop music, the fact that the show could be whittled down to less than 30 minutes if Fox wasn’t such advertising revenue whore). Stern told his viewers to vote for Sanjaya Malakar, quite possibly one of the least talented people to ever make it past the first round. I really hope that Stern’s audience has more clout than the millions of teeny boppers that vote for the other contestants.

Where Has It Been Hiding?

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  • I think my desire to be a writer is back with a vengeance, which is great! I just wonder where it’s been hiding for the past 2+ years? I have all sorts of great new article ideas (which I will start with one at a time because of my crazy schedule) and I’m feeling that creative fire within—that overall “want to be a better person” rumble in my stomach.
  • I am currently sitting at Panera Bread, sipping a gigantic cup of hot chocolate and enjoying the free WiFi. Starbucks and Borders take note—I think it’s crappy that your establishments offer WiFi, but only by purchasing service through T-Mobile. I would gladly pay $5 per cup of coffee for the chance to get free WiFi within walking distance of my apartment. And Borders, I am a self-proclaimed magazine junkie who would probably walk away with at least $20 of magazines per visit. Instead, I’m sitting in a great business that offers tons of delicious food that I can’t eat.
  • I think we would all feel much less stress if we took some time to get emotional like little children do—this morning alone I have witnessed at least five kids who start with one long cry, take a gigantic breathe, and let out an even louder wail. It looks absolutely exhausting, but pretty emotionally satisfying. Do you think I’ll get fired if I try it at work tomorrow?
  • My class is still incredibly interesting, although I still loathe watching Grey’s Anatomy. I know several people who are die-hard fans of the show and it is really upsetting them that I hate it. Some insist that if I started watching it before it was a class assignment, that I would really enjoy it. I think not.
  • I have started a paper about Jack Bauer and after doing research all day yesterday, I’ve come to the conclusion that this will have to be a 25+ page final paper because there is just too much to say about him. Did you know that there is homoerotic fan fiction about Jack and Tony Almeida? There’s also some that stress a relationship between Jack and President David Palmer—kinky.
  • I am currently reading Jennifer Baumgardner’s newest book Look Both Ways: Bisexual Politics as a review for feministreview.org, an excellent site that offers reviews of all sorts of products from a feminist perspective. So far, I cannot put the book down. I started late last night, just to get a feel for the writing, and ended up reading the first 75 pages! And I haven’t even gotten to the chapter entitled “Bisexuality Now: The Ani Phenomenon.” I’ve admired Jennifer Baumgardner’s writing since I first read Manifesta many years ago. I’ll post the link to my review of the book once I finish.
  • I have also been reading a lot of Gluten Free Girl’s blog. The site is so visually appealing, Shauna’s writing is superbly interesting and exiting, and she makes all sorts of delicious food that I can eat! I am also insanely jealous that she is a professional writer by trade and that Le Creuset donated a ton of their cookery to her after reading her blog. If any corporations are reading this, I love Target, Crate and Barrel, Putumayo World Music, iTunes, artichoke hearts, and I think I spend roughly half of my salary at Whole Foods… thank you for any help you can offer!