gender: violence

Text: “The Hunt Is On.”

A fashion spread (note the “safari” colors”):

Other ads had the text: “Going in for the kill has never been so satisfying” and “Animal attraction is meant to be acted on.”

Text: “Her primal urges may be fulfilled, but he’s still hot on her trail.”

Text: “He spots his prey…”

Five-page ad for Dentyne:


INTRODUCTION:  Admit it, guys.  No matter where you are, you’re thinking about it.

It’s okay.  Ever since you were a cave dweller.  Hunting has come naturally.   But you won’t get anywhere with cave breath.

So aside from having a mouth that won’t scare her off, we’ve outlined some fundamental basics you’ll need to master when out on the hunt.

Let’s get started.  Happy hunting.

THE SPECIES:  First of all, you have to know what you’re hunting.  Here are some common species you may encounter on your expeditions.  Good luck.

THE CAREER GIRL:  The one in a power suit with a cell phone attached to her ear, tends to be icy and dismissive but can be melted.  Play your cards right and you will be a kept man.  Habitat: Gym, high-end shoe stores, assertiveness-training classes.

THE HOT GIRL: Hot and know it.  Will toy with you like a cat with a mouse (if she even notices you).  Tame this one and you can write your own guide.  Habitat: The market, the bus, living next door to your girlfriend.


THE EASY GIRL:  Appearances vary, but the same willing soul resides within.  A sure thing that can be a temporary boost to the ego.  Habitat:   Could be anywhere.  Good chance you’ll spot her at happy hour.

THE TEASE:  Easily mistaken for the easy girl, she’s anything but.  Habitat: Anywhere.

THE CHATTY GIRL:  You won’t recognize her until you say ‘Hi.’  Then it’s too late.  To escape, fake getting a phone call and say you’ll be ‘right back.’  Habitat: Almost anywhere except a library.

THE BOHEMIAN ROCKER GIRL: Odds are she’s no musician.  Just dresses like one.  Look interested when she talks about all the ‘projects’ she has going on while not being an administrative assistant.  Habitat: Used record stores, art museums, open mic night.



Look her in the eye, not the anatomy.

Practice chivaly.  Unless she’s a militant feminist, she’ll like it.

Compliment her outfit.  Lie if you have to.

Look interested when she talks about her cat.

If you get shot down, move on to one of her friends.

Pop in a piece of Dentyne before making any moves.


In the first five minutes, she mentions an ex.

She says she has to go home and take her ‘medication.’

She’s made plans for the two of you next weekend.

She knows every bartender by name.

She has an adam’s apple.



Money (it never hurts).

Your own place.  Living above mom and dad’s garage doesn’t count.

Perseverance, it’s tough out there.

Plenty of Dentyne gum.

These all remind me of an unfortunate Target billboard.

Thanks to my students who have brought these in over the years!

Lisa Wade, PhD is an Associate Professor at Tulane University. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture; a textbook about gender; and a forthcoming introductory text: Terrible Magnificent Sociology. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Norms of masculinity include prescriptions to pursue sex. Taught to expect women to resist, “real” men supposedly work around refusals instead of taking them at face value.

In light of this, some sociologists argue that rapists are not non-conformists (somehow deviant), but hyper-conformists. Rapist are men who take rules of masculinity to their logical conclusion.

When I discuss this in class, I show this Gucci ad:

The clean-cut, clear-headed, well-dressed, all-American young man looks calmly and confidently into the camera, while the woman looks as if she is drunk, or drugged, or both.  Barely able to stand, holding onto her shoes, her dress falling off… Has she just been raped or is the rape yet to occur?

And does the imagery in this ad suggest that a (potential) rape scenario is mainstream in America, un-remarkable, even fashionable?  If so, what does that say about the depth of our rape culture?

I’ve never been able to find a picture of it, but when I was in graduate school (not so long ago) and living in Madison, Wisconsin, there was an ad for Bacardi on the side of a city bus that said: “Bacardi, the Ultimate Wingman.”  A wingman is a friend who helps you get laid, so the not-so-subtle message of the ad was: “get’er drunk and she’ll do ya!”

Here are two ads that have, essentially, the same message (the first was given to me by my student, Bo; the second was found here).

This one could be interpreted as, “Drink Heineken so you won’t be nervous,” or, “Drink Heineken so you’ll get what you want without any trouble.”

In this ad for Bud Light, with the copy “Endless Opportunities,” the man and the viewer of the ad exchange a conspiratorial gaze, while the woman glances to the side or, perhaps, back at him.  Is the message, “If I’m drinking Bud Light, anything could happen,” or “If she’s drinking Bud Light, anything could happen”?

See also this ad for, ostensibly, a date rape drug.

An anonymous commenter pointed us to billboard below advertising Southern Comfort as a “liquid panty remover.”  Before we get our panties in a bunch, I should point out it’s a hoax (thanks, Vidya):

So this is a hoax.  It still trivializes trying to manipulate women by getting them drunk (at best) and date rape (at worst), but it could have been produced by any yahoo with a computer.  Yahoos with computers can do anything they like, I’d be more concerned if it was circulated by the company that markets Southern Comfort.

That said, in looking it up to discover it was a hoax, I discovered about a dozen recipes for mixed drinks called “Liquid Panty Remover.”  Here are some screen shots:

So I guess there was good news and bad news.

NEW! In this ad, sent in by HighJive of MultiCultClassics, the brandy is the “producer.”  The producer is the person who makes a film happen.  Thus the sexy scene that is about to ensue is attributed to the alcohol.  (Also notice the linking of the product with pornography.)


Also in sexualizing alcohol: “nice cans,” “she loves a cockatoo,” sexy robots (see here and here), “aged longer, tastes smoother,” and, um, this one.

Lisa Wade, PhD is an Associate Professor at Tulane University. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture; a textbook about gender; and a forthcoming introductory text: Terrible Magnificent Sociology. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Telefono Donna, a rape crisis hotline in Italy, designed a poster to raise awareness of rape in honor of November 25, the International Day to for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Some conservative politicians in Milan object to the Christ-like pose taken by the bare-breasted model in the poster. From the UK Telegraph:

“We’re calling for the poster to be withdrawn because an important day like this should not be debased by such a sexual provocation,” said councillor Carlo Fidanza, a member of the right-wing National Alliance party.

But the president of the Telefono Donna rape helpline, Stefania Bartochetti, said she was surprised by the controversy because the poster had raised no objections in other Italian cities.

“As a Catholic I can’t see anything offensive or blasphemous. We chose a strong image to encourage more rape victims to break their silence,” she said.

The poster poses the question: ‘Who Pays For Man’s Sins?’ and a caption which reads “Only four per cent of women who suffer sexual violence report their assailants.”

Left-leaning politicians said their opponents’ concerns were out of step with contemporary Italian society.

“If you applied these standards to Italian television, you’d have to get rid of 70 per cent of what the main channels broadcast,” said Pierfrancesco Majorino, of the Democratic Party.

Small reproduction of the poster, showing bare-breasted woman [NSFW], below the cut. more...

Burk brought my attention to the video game Battle Raper. I found a Battle Raper website, but it was all in Japanese, and I couldn’t find an English version, so I will provide you a short description from Wikipedia:

Battle Raper is a 3D fighting game in which the objective is to strip, grope, and sometimes actively rape the female characters, including a special move by the boss character and only male fighter where the female opponent is forced to perform fellatio as the camera zooms in. Like in most Hentai games, however, the penis is rendered invisible or transparent. There is also a feature in the game which allows the player to have sex with the female characters.

Here is a screenshot (found at Something Awful) of a female character crying because she is being forced to perform oral sex on the male character:

You can also damage your opponent by molesting their breasts or crotch. Once you win the game playing each of the different characters, you open a function where you can look at all the rape scenes. Here’s a shot of a female character’s face as she’s being raped:

Apparently in Battle Raper 2, they took out the rape function.

A simple description of this game will have to do, because I just can’t bring myself to write any commentary about it.

UPDATE: For the record, I’m not saying a) the Japanese are more sexist than other cultures, b) this game is (or isn’t) representative of video games in general or hentai games in particular, c) that video games lead to any particular behaviors or make people act violently, or d) that people shouldn’t be able to play these games in the privacy of their own homes.

It was sent to me as a possible post, I thought it was interesting, and I thought the discussion by some gamers I found on different websites was also fascinating: lots of people saying “Oh, I play violent stuff, but this was unacceptable even for me!” and saying how they put rape in a different category than any other type of violence, so these types of games are worse than “regular” violent video games. I thought of it as a case that might be useful for discussions of cultural representations of rape, and particularly how we often treat rape as a “special” type of crime that is somehow worse than any other type, possibly even murder. Why we do that, and what it means (particularly, how does it impact the stigmatizing of rape victims, who are often treated as though they are permanently broken and defiled?), are sociologically interesting questions.

NEW (Apr. ’10)! Dmitriy T.M., Beth W., Tom M., Abby D., and Jillian Y. all sent in another game with the same theme. The narrative for this one, called Rapelay, is as follows:

The player plays as a chikan (a perverted man who frequently fondles women) in crowded subway trains. A young woman named Aoi has the player arrested for molesting her. Afterwards, the player plans to exact revenge by molesting and raping her entire family (source).

This is the cover:

A still from the game:

Most media coverage won’t offer images, saying that they are too graphic to show.

The trivialization of domestic violence + Obama is going to destroy America + the stereotype of black men as violent.  Sigh.  Buy it here.

Thanks to Tim C. for the tip!

I saw this shirt online at a site advertised on YouTube. It also comes in “women’s cut” tees and spaghetti string tank tops. The story here is old…

Also see the last t-shirt in this post: “I like my women like my chicken, battered.”