Hysterical Bitchez

Under the headline "Method Pulls 'Shiny Suds' Ad After Sexism Complaints," and subhead "Vocal Minority Claims Droga5 Spot 'Condones Rape'," AdAge's Jack Neff discusses Method's Shiny Suds advert (my posts are here, here, and here), writing:
Little did attendees at the ANA or most commenters on YouTube and Twitter know, however, that the Shiny Suds were really about degrading women and promoting rape, at least in the opinion of commenters on one blog, Shakesville, which posted the video in its "Today in Rape Culture" section.

That elicited more than 100 angry comments from posters, many of whom said they would stop buying Method products and helped produce some of the hundreds of negative responses to the company's website MethodHome.com. Among the posts: "Making us fear chemical residue from cleaning products because it's tied into a rape threat is beyond sickening."

Of course, that's not the point Method was trying to make.
As has been discussed in this space many, many, many times (as recently as yesterday), intent is not at issue: This shit doesn't exist in a void—and playing into existent rape culture narratives without intending to doesn't mean those narratives aren't being reinforced all the same.

All of which is frankly beside the point, as it's disingenuous to suggest that Method did not intentionally equate chemical residue with sexual assault. That was, of course, the entire plot of the video. That their main "point" was generating support for the Household Product Labeling Act is irrelevant; the strategy they employed to try to make that point was by equating chemical residue with sexual assault.

One last quick note about Neff's post: It's interesting that raising a red flag about sexual assault imagery is described as "sexism complaints" and "degrading women." Sexism and rape apologia are certainly inextricably linked, but they are not synonymous. I advocate against the rape culture on behalf of all survivors, irrespective of gender—because sexual assault, by its very nature, is designed to degrade its victims, whoever they may be.

It's funny, ahem, how when I object to rape jokes/threats/imagery where the target is male, I'm never mistaken for a silly lady hysterically crying sexism.

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