Today in Rape Culture

[Trigger warning.]

In another objectionable new ad (the other was recently linked here), Orangina has borrowed a page from the Method playbook and used an animated character committing sexual harassment/assault as the centerpiece of the messaging:

[Transcript + commentary below.]
A white, balding, slightly chubby, middle-aged man in a brown suit looks fearful as we hear the sound of a whip cracking. The camera cuts to an animated character—half woman, half black panther, clad in a gold bikini, and cracking the whip. "Dance!" she demands. The man begins to dance. "In rhythm!" she scolds. He frantically moves his feet. She cracks the whip at him. "Strip!" He looks panicked and begins to take off his clothes. "Focus, baby," she says. "Focus!" She nears him and hisses. He looks terrified and takes off his shirt. She roars and cracks the whip. He whimpers in fright and takes off his belt, spanking himself with it. "That's my baby," she coos. She takes a drink of Orangina, then cracks the whip at him again. He's down to his underpants. "Go on, baby. Go on. Yeah, I like it." She approaches him again and purrs, stroking his chin. "Come on," she urges. He pleads with his face. She hisses and roars. He sobs and takes off his underpants. "Don't think." He whimpers and kicks his underpants away with his foot, covering his genitals with his hands. All he is wearing are his socks and shoes. "Keep going!" she growls. He trembles. The whip cracks again. Cut to a bottle of Orangina Red. Voiceover: Organgina Red—made with blood oranges. Perhaps a bit too bloody.
The selling point, thus, is that Orangina Red will turn you into a sexually aggressive monster. Awesome.

I have the same problems with Orangina's advert that I have with Method's: There's nothing—nothing—amusing, clever, or appropriate about equating a drink with sexual assault, thereby diminishing the gravity of the latter. That the leering, objectification, intimidation, bullying, and assault are perpetrated by an anthropomorphized cartoon does not minimize the effect watching a man being assaulted. The victim is a human being.

Making the victim male and perpetrator female doesn't make it any more acceptable, either. Men are victims of sexual assault, too—although, as in the vast majority of female-victim assaults, the perpetrator is almost always also male.

And before anyone gets it in their head to argue that this isn't a sexual assault, but instead a scene of a dominatrix and a consenting customer, I'll just note that the setting of the ad is a circus ring. She's literally treating him like a performing animal, and he appears to be utterly terrified. I am acquainted with someone who worked as a professional dominatrix for many years; men went to her to be punished, not petrified—and if someone had become visibly frightened of her, she would have stopped. Images of dominatrices thrilling in hurting scared, vulnerable men are images of sexual assault, not of anything a consent-insistent sex worker does.

Contact Orangina.

[Via AdFreak, to whom I'm not linking directly because the commentary unfortunately includes some fat hatred.]

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