Carl's Jr/Hardee's has a new commercial for its new patty melt burger, which is served on "flat buns." The commercial, which features a sexy female teacher dancing on her desk for the gratification of male students who serenade her "flat buns," has caused a ruckus among educators, who object to the sexual objectification of and general disrespect for the teacher in the advert:
Brad Haley, the executive VP for marketing for Hardee's, says the ad isn't meant to be taken literally and that it was designed to be funny. He also claims the premise is "really over the top." Which, if nothing else, suggests that Mr. Haley hasn't read a newspaper in the last decade that included one of about half a dozen different national stories about female teachers seducing their students (or any of the dozens of stories of male teachers seducing their students which never seem to get nearly the same amount of attention—gee), and reveals further that Mr. Haley never been a first-year female high school teacher standing in front of a class that includes young men sometimes only four years younger.
Wrestling for control of a classroom can be a difficult proposition for any teacher, even veteran teachers, male and female. Sometimes there are just classes that suck; Mama Shakes politely referred to them as her "problem classes," and Papa Shakes was slightly less charitable. But there are unique problems for young female teachers in a high school environment, particularly in school districts (of which there are far too many) where women teachers are not particularly respected or supported by the administration. A young woman who reports to a good ol' boy principal whose response to her being sexually harassed by her own male students is "Boys will be boys" is not remotely uncommon enough for Mr. Haley to claim the premise of this commercial is "really over the top."
And, beyond that, do teenage boys really need any more encouragement to consider every woman presented to them—including their teachers—an object for their sexual gratification? Honestly, the precise attitude underlying this crappy advert makes a detrimental difference to women's lives every fucking day, but who cares if we exploit it, as long as we sell a few hamburgers.
Fuck you, Mr. Haley. And your stupid burgers.
[Thanks to Kathy for the heads-up.]