Why Are Conservatives Defending Audi’s Rapey Super Bowl Ad?

Every Super Bowl brings some sexist ads. Is it being a “humorless feminist” to point that out?

Every Super Bowl brings with it a few commercials that cross the line into sexism and even outright misogyny. There was Dexter’s Dodge commercial a few years ago, as well as every Go Daddy ad ever. I’m not sure why some companies think it’s in their interest to potentially alienate the half of the money-spending population that doesn’t have a penis, but hey: Nobody’s asking me to run their Fortune 500 company either.

Still, this Audi commercial from Sunday’s game struck me as being particularly rapey:

Rapey? Sure. Here’s what we know about the kiss in this commercial, based entirely on the information given us onscreen:

• The young woman who receives the kiss chose to be at prom with someone else.

• Our “hero” forcibly turns her around and jams his mouth to hers almost before she can identify him, and certainly without any permission being sought or given. What’s more, this is a demonstration of his new, Audi-fueled power.

• He leaves prom without her—suggesting that she still chooses to be at prom with somebody else.

Does she smile? Sure. It’s a commercial. It’s supposed to be fun, for dudes at least. Just understand in real life, such behavior is more likely to get you prosecuted than to win you the heart of the prom queen.

Within minutes, conservative commentator Ben Domenech—with whom, full disclosure, I share some mutual friends—popped up on Twitter with this:

So I asked:

His response:

I guess I don’t get this. I’m not a conservative, but I don’t know why defending rapey TV commercials has to be thought a conservative value. Maybe it has something to do with National Review’s celebration of frat boys as natural free-market Republicans. Maybe they don’t understand (or care) that many women don’t find such behavior delightful, but kind of scary instead. (That would explain why so many Republican candidates have found themselves on the wrong side of rape remarks in the last year.)

Or maybe, as Domenech suggested in his Tweet, conservatives hate liberals so much they’d rather find humor in sexual battery than end up agreeing with the left about anything. But boy, it sure seems like conservatism can be better than that, can’t it?

Maybe I’m just—as another conservative friend suggested—a humorless feminist. I don’t think that’s quite true.  I’m not interested in ruining the fun, whether it’s the Super Bowl or light-hearted commercials accompanying the Super Bowl.

But if the fun conveys a bad idea, or comes at the expense of somebody who doesn’t deserve it, then it deserves to be critiqued. “Show your power by forcing a kiss upon an unsuspecting girl,” strikes me as a bad idea. I’m not anti-delight. I am anti-dudes-taking-unasked-for-liberties. And I’m pretty sure I’m right to be.

  • Greg

    Ahh, the hand wringing, perpetually offended crowd is at it again…GET A LIFE!!!

    • http://twitter.com/PourSumShugOnMe Shug Knight

      Easy for you to say, Greg. “Ahh, these feminists ruin all our fun, being a dude is so hard! Never mind the low likelihood that I’ll ever experience rape, domestic violence, being stalked or murdered by a partner – I don’t get to make the jokes I want :(”

      1 in 3 women are sexually assaulted in their lifetime.

      Check your privilege at the door, home slice. What’s more important – your ability to make jokes about women, that are super funny because you likely never have to worry aout being raped? Or not perpetuating a culture that leaves men such as you feeling entitled to womens’ bodies? I don’t think I want to know your answer to this question, so let’s just call it a rhetorical question.

      • David Davidson

        So with that logic lets never make humor again. If I joke about X, and something happens to X, then it was clearly the humors fault.

        • http://twitter.com/PourSumShugOnMe Shug Knight

          No, that is not what I am saying. It’s not “the humor’s fault”, it’s that it’s legitimately not funny to many of the people actually affected by the subject matter. There are also better ways to handle the subject matter that don’t trivialize acts of rape and victims. Wanda Sykes has some good material on rape, actually.

          I’m also trying to make the point that it’s a little rich for guys to complain about criticism for rape humor in light of the fact that people actually get raped, which is much more serious than being called out for offensive comments.

          • J.Oz

            You need help man…you should see some body…the glass is half full my friend

          • http://twitter.com/PourSumShugOnMe Shug Knight

            I’m personally doing great, thanks! Reality is kinda depressing sometimes, though, isn’t it? We should do our best to fix things.

          • http://www.facebook.com/rick.spung Rick Spung

            lol at shug the idiot

      • http://www.facebook.com/nicholas.m.lucy Nicholas Lucy

        “1 in 3 women THINK they get sexually assaulted in their lifetime.”

        Fixed that for you.

        • http://www.facebook.com/SamanthaAAdams Sam Adams

          You can’t be that much of an Asshole…

          • http://twitter.com/PourSumShugOnMe Shug Knight

            The troll can be reached under his bridge.

  • UnderINK

    I did find this commercial offensive for two large reasons: First, as you said, he kisses someone without their permission. This perpetuates the idea that women are things for men’s enjoyment and their consent in intimacy does not matter. Has anyone ever considered that she didn’t punch him or knock him down or say ‘no’ because she was in total shock?

    Second, the boyfriend has to walk up and punch him, like some protective overbearing father figure, because she apparently can’t handle herself or make her own decisions.

    • Al

      Duh, most girls would hide behind their boyfriend. Girls may have equal rights but you’re delusional if you think that classical gender roles have changed all that much.

    • David Davidson

      I am speechless…This has actually the most insane thing I have read. Either you are a feminist or have no sense of humor. Now that I think about it, those two options are one in the same.

    • http://twitter.com/max_loh Max Loh

      You are delusional. Also, you hate women subconsciously. I’ll demonstrate why in a second.

      The girl clearly enjoys the kiss. The macho guy is clearly jealous.

      I have no idea why you interpreted that as “the boyfriend has to walk up and punch him, like some protective overbearing father figure, because she apparently can’t handle herself or make her own decisions” That is YOUR OWN UNIQUE AND SEXIST INTERPRETATION. It is not the common man’s interpretation of this scene, which is that the girl enjoyed the kiss, and the macho guy was being an insecure pansy.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=748618844 Captaen Scairp

        That this is the common man’s interpretation is exactly the problem. It’s why rape and sexual assault are so prevalent.

        • http://twitter.com/PourSumShugOnMe Shug Knight

          Yeah I’m so glad we have all these men here to interpret womens’ thoughts for us. The mansplaining is infinitely helpful.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=748618844 Captaen Scairp

            Not sure if you meant me, but I was EXplaining.

            MANsplaining is an attempt to use one’s supposed superior understanding as a male to correct a female’s ostensibly gender-linked insufficient understanding of something.

            Now, had I made any assumption from the name (all I had to go on), it would have been that Max (to whom I was referring) was male, but it doesn’t matter because in fact gender was not involved in this.

          • http://twitter.com/PourSumShugOnMe Shug Knight

            No no, I didn’t mean to accuse YOU of mansplaining at all.

      • Nick

        Can you people pay a little more attention? She is obviously the prom queen and the “boyfriend” is the prom king. This ad plays to society’s accepted premise that men have to pursue women and women get to decide if they enjoy the company of said pursuer. Two alpha personalities in a relationship often does not work, that’s why they say opposites attract. Men have typically been the alpha (not always but more often than not) since the beginning of time. Men are typically stronger physically and were hunters while women are typically stronger psychologically and were gatherers and care providers. If this ad offends you, then so should evolution and the entire universe.

        Also, sex sells…always has. If you’ve ever taken a marketing class, you’d know that.

        • http://www.facebook.com/kelly.jennings.509 Kelly Jennings

          See, here’s some prime mansplaining.

          Thanks, Nick! Wow, girls are too stupid to know about MARKETING!

          You with your BIG STRONG MUSCLES!

          • Nick

            Wow Kelly. You couldn’t have missed the point by any more. My comment had nothing to do with belittling either gender like yours did. I’m simply stating facts and offering explanations of others’ actions based on those facts. It seems that you want there to be a bigger gender divide, maybe so you can get more visitors to your blog?

  • Random

    Rapey? WTF? What a horrible miscarriage of using the wrong word to describe your sorry misconceptions about men. Are you a unich?

    • MamaKass

      Eunuch

  • Rapist

    You are a complete moron.

  • Anonymous

    In response to the question Mr. Mathis posits beneath the article title; yes, it does indeed take a “humorless feminist” to point out a rapey Superbowl ad. I would also add the term “stick up his ass” to that list of qualifiers.

    I also appreciate how Mr. Mathis decided to cheapen the term rape, one of the most traumatizing things to happen to a human being, to describe a kiss. All in the name of article views and controversy.

  • WompWomp

    There are so many things wrong with this article in my opinion, no offense to the writer. First off the commercial is so very artistic. Secondly, it doesn’t show that he actually forces the girl to turn around. Thirdly, the girl’s reflexes cant be so horrible that she couldn’t have prevented the kiss if she absolutely wanted to do so. And lastly, everyone has their own opinion and saying that a person cant enjoy something or “cant see why someone would defend a commercial” based on a label is simply ridiculous.

    • MishyZ

      “She didn’t struggle so it wasn’t rape.” I actually agree the accusation of rape is too much. It was sexual assault. However, just because it doesn’t show her pushing him away (they wouldn’t show that in a commercial” it doesn’t mean what he did wasn’t sexual assault. The assault comes from the very idea that he is doing something with her body without asking for permission first. How she eventually reacted isn’t the issue. The end doesn’t justify the means.

      • WompWomp

        It was a commercial for the underdogs. It was more about courage and bravery.

        • erik28

          So underdogs are allowed to commit assault because it shows their bravery? How many underdogs can afford an Audi anyway?

    • teenygozer

      Look, I was grabbed and kissed when I was a pretty girl in high school, and it was creepy and nasty. It’s not fun to be minding your own business and have some random guy shove his tongue in your mouth. And you’re young and in shock, you don’t know what to do, you freeze. You DO NOT struggle or fight or push. In fact, girls are taught not to make a fuss… that’s part of rape culture. You are then embarrassed as hell. The guy who did it did it to look like a confident, big man in front of his friends… like the guy in the commercial. People who think it’s romantic and fun to get grabbed and have a kiss forced on one unawares are reading too many bodice-rippers and/or watching too many romcoms on TV or in the movies. Get real, think of what it actually is, not how cute it seems in a story situtation. The girl in the commercial was not a real girl and did not act as a real girl would act, she acted as the writer and director told her to act. It’s NOT REAL BEHAVIOR.

  • MishyZ

    I would like to point out that among the people I follow and talk to and my friends the reaction is more gender divided than politically divided.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=571634606 Joel Mathis

    To address a complaint raised here and elsewhere:

    I think I can defend “rapey.” In strictly legal terms, an unwanted and unwelcome kiss can be prosecuted as sexual battery. Is it rape? Nope. But it exists on the same legal continuum as rape—forcing sexual contact on another person comes in a variety of colors. And rather than diminish or dilute “rape,” I think it recognizes that there are transgressive behaviors short of rape that still A) are damaging and frightning and B) committed in much the same dark spirit without reaching that level.

    • http://essaressellwye.tumblr.com/ Hershele Ostropoler

      NVM, not worth saying

    • JofreyRice

      So you’re looking to define a cutesy-ironic term like “rapey” with a strict legal definition. Got it.

      Now that you brought this up, I’d like to lodge a formal complaint against the Skechers commercial for their depiction of the assault, battery and humiliation of an endangered species, the Cheetah.

      1. Pursuing a gazelle, the Cheetah in the commercial is pounced upon by what appear to be a 200 pound man, who is using the Skecher sneaker to catch up with the Cheetah. The man jumps on the Cheetah from behind, almost before he can identify him, and lands upon him in such a manner that would severely damage the cat’s spine, with possible fatal ramifications for it’s potential for future locomotion.

      2. After incapacitating the Cheetah, our “Hero” then ties up the majestic animal by it’s tail, and joins the gazelle in brazenly taunting the Cheetah. Although we aren’t shown it, off-camera (but in HD view in the viewer’s mind), the Cheetah’s cubs whine nervously because they know they’ll be no sustenance on the brutal Savannah tonight.

      Human beings have hunted the Cheetah to near the point of extinction. Why should we enjoy such a creepy scene of a human battering, maiming, and taunting one for a shoe company?

      Please raise this to the appropriate authorities, thanks!

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=748618844 Captaen Scairp

        Except that there is no pervasive culture of violence against cheetahs that’s being informed by the Superbowl. Google “false equivalence.”

        • JofreyRice

          Maybe not here, but the Masai in Namibia are thoughtlessly encroaching on the Cheetah’s habitat and opportunistically selling their skinned pelts. Humans are creating a pervasive culture of extermination from the biosphere of the ENTIRE EARTH, not just the subset of Super Bowl fans who live in the United States and get offended by car commercials. Stop being such a species-centric chauvinist! Google “tunnel vision”. Ok, now Google “Bill Paxton = Bill Pullman?”. OK, now google “World’s Tallest Man”. Ok, thanks, that’s it you can stop googling stuff.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=748618844 Captaen Scairp

            Can’t tell if you’re serious about these, or just trolling. But fine.

            a) The Maasai aren’t watching the Superbowl, so it’s irrelevant.

            b) Cheetahs aren’t going extinct because of a culture of people abusing them, they’re going extinct primarily because of loss of habitat, so, again, irrelevant.

            I’m not sure what your attraction to irrelevance is; that you’re just trolling would explain it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/rick.spung Rick Spung

      tell me, joel. are you for or against women in combat? case closed.

  • http://twitter.com/VernMorrison Vern Morrison

    Domenech is a serial plagiarist and an asshole. Of course he’d defend something like this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/amintypony Roxanne Bolton

    Worth mentioning that “women” and “doesn’t have a penis” are not synonymous. Otherwise, good article, apart from that bit of cissexism.

    • David Davidson

      Yes they are.

  • Al

    You might be gay

  • ravencomeslaughing

    Legal Definition of assault: The essential elements of assault consist of an act intended to cause an
    apprehension of harmful or offensive contact that causes apprehension
    of such contact in the victim. Having someone suddenly force an unwilling intimate contact upon you without your consent would cause apprehension and be offensive.

  • Rebecca Gallagher

    I just don’t agree here with what you’ve written. But I won’t personally slander you to say my point, either. Does she ask for the kiss? No. Does she push him away? No. She looks like she kisses him back even. He drives away alone because he got punched in the face. Typical behavior of the hyper male Prom King. The look on the girl’s face at the end says, ‘maybe I should change my way of thinking about guys.’ That’s how I see it. If there was a part two to this commercial it would be, girl dumps Prom King boyfriend and goes to Audi boy’s house and asks him out for coffee. I think you’re over thinking the whole thing.

    • J.Oz

      Rebecca…BRILLIANT! Thank you….

    • http://www.facebook.com/zwallace2 Zane Wallace

      Yes Rebecca, BRILLIANT!! Hell, for all we know these two shared a class together, had bonded, maybe even confessed feelings for each other, but she decided to go to prom with the jock for popularity reasons. We don’t know, so to say it is rapey is a little extreme. I am surprised no one is complaining that the way the prom queen was dressed objectifies women!

  • howdini

    “it’s a reminder of how liberals are generally humorless prudes”

    Right! Remember when the conservatives started the sexual revolution in the 60′s, that they’re still all supportive of? And when they started the desegregation/equal rights movement? And before that, when they fought so hard to get the 19th Amendment passed? Conservatives are responsible for every progressive improvement this nation has ever seen!

    • http://twitter.com/RFKA Rafael Kafka

      Tax and spend big government southern Liberals were against civil rights, moron! The merit belongs to Dr King, a Republican!

      • howdini

        They were southern Democrats, not liberals, and they quit and joined the Republican party because the national Democrats were too liberal for them.

        Dr. King was socialist to his very core. Read a book, you ignorant, blithering shithead.

        • http://www.facebook.com/rick.spung Rick Spung

          dr. king was a gun carrying republican. read a book, idiot.

          • howdini

            l know it’s difficult to not be a moron, because you were born that way, but at least pretend?

            http://www.politifact.com/tennessee/statements/2012/jan/23/charlotte-bergmann/another-republican-claims-martin-luther-king-jr-wa/

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=734862248 Dan Hydar

            Heh. You need to do something other than quickie google searches. The article asserts the **howler** that Blacks voted Republican until the 1960s. In fact, the New Deal era is when the shifted.

            Here’s at least *some* balance for you …. http://www.humanevents.com/2006/08/16/why-martin-luther-king-was-republican/

          • howdini

            “The article asserts the **howler** that Blacks voted Republican until the 1960s.”

            Hm! Maybe you were howling too much while reading the article, because nowhere in it does it make that statement.

          • Origami_Isopod

            LOL, “Human Events” as anything like a balanced source. Catholic version of Wing Nut Daily.

          • Origami_Isopod

            Two words: Southern Strategy.

            The Republicans of 2013 aren’t the Republicans of 1963.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=734862248 Dan Hydar

          “… They were southern Democrats, not liberals, ….”

          The racist Dems of which you speak were big-spenders. Read some freakin’ history, willya?

          • howdini

            But the commenter was railing against “Southern liberals.” Read some freakin’ comments correctly, willya?

      • howdini

        l’m sorry: l meant “moran,” not “shithead.”

      • http://twitter.com/PourSumShugOnMe Shug Knight

        What is with the whole contest to determine whose side MLK Jr. would be on now? Jesus. No one sounds good having this argument.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=734862248 Dan Hydar

      “Remember when the conservatives started the sexual revolution in the 60′s”

      Sooooo….. you have to go back 50 years for an example? That’s not at **all** telling.

      (eyeroll)

      • howdini

        Hahahahaha!!! The gits just keep on coming, don’t they? l don’t even know how to respond to this one, because it’s so utterly incoherent.

        • tbontb

          Basically you’re the reason brothers and sisters should never marry each other.

          • howdini

            You don’t have intelligence enough to even try to make an argument, so basically you’re an imbecile.

  • http://twitter.com/colinmlenton Colin Lenton

    I see your point based on how you viewed the commercial – but I don’t agree that he’s forcing himself on her. When she turns around, she clearly knows him and smiles, there is some space between them and she doesn’t pull away – she kisses him back. This was just a fun commercial about a confidence boost. Sexual assaults are a serious matter, and I don’t think this Audi commercial has earned its spot in that discussion.

  • David Davidson

    This is whats wrong with everything. There was a time where a kiss wasn’t rape even if she was not expecting it. A random kiss is generally bad form but they are obviously in high school (and she did smile) I guess that’s the internet. It gives the ability for some liberal nobody (Joel Mathis) to take a commercial for a car, A CAR, and twist in an alleged sexist element and involve politics. Is this behavior good? No. This was a light-hearted car commercial and was obviously intended to be depicted as a high schooler getting a kiss from the popular girl. Relax people.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=748618844 Captaen Scairp

      There was a time when it wasn’t rape as long as it was your wife, either. What’s your point?

  • http://twitter.com/pedengw Gerald Peden

    Said kisser got a shiner. You’re assuming it came at the hand of the male prom date of the girl he kissed. How do you know it wasn’t the girl who punched him?

    • J.Oz

      Hmmm…good point. It may keep me up tonight…

    • brian_x

      Well, the way the whole thing was framed, it’s kind of hard to draw a different conclusion.

  • http://www.facebook.com/christine.hajduk Christine Hajduk

    I’m not a feminist, and I’m not a delicate wilting flower. I actually enjoy watching Tosh, although sometimes he crosses the line, but I can handle a joke. That being said, I felt there was something wrong about the Audi commercial and the message it sends to young boys and men. Husband didn’t notice anything. Anyway my two cents.

    • Burn_the_Witch

      You say you enjoy watching Daniel Tosh, but this tame-by-comparison-to-ANYTHING-Tosh-has-ever-done commercial is wrong. How you can reconcile this in your mind must be truly interesting.

  • J.Oz

    Joel…DRAMA man. The Audi commercial is ART at its finest. Use your imagination dude. The hero and the maiden clearly know eachother well. My take is that they have been lab partners since kindergarten and they constantly discuss why she hooks-up with meat heads. The hero clearly has discussed the situation with M&D and is going stag because he only wants to go with the maiden. The Audi represents a meat head converter, if you will, which causes him to grow a pair and express his animal desire for the maiden directly and in public. The black eye represents his initiation, like a frat boy, into meat-headdom. But the jokes on you. It’s actually the beginning of a happily ever after thing with the maiden. It’s obvious…”lightened-up Francis”…

  • http://twitter.com/jpippert Julie Pippert

    Thank you — this expressed it perfectly.

  • Peri

    As a female, I actually really liked this commercial. I think a lot of women will like this commercial for the same reason they like 50 Shades of Gray-not because they want to be abused and taken advantage of, but because they like a man who is confident and knows what he wants. You guys a reading way too much into this thing.

    • http://www.facebook.com/misty.nuckolls Misty Nuckolls

      You meant “a man who is confident and TAKES what he wants,” and as a woman who understands that difference, I think it’s an important distinction.

    • http://twitter.com/PourSumShugOnMe Shug Knight

      I like MY man, who is confident and knows what he wants, but I would be fucking pissed if some random asshole came up and touched/grabbed/kissed me. Not here for your entertainment, bro.

  • Benjamin Harris

    I’m a guy, and I’m no paragon when it comes to treating women as equals. Hell, I’ve probably made half a dozen kitchen jokes in the past week. And even I found this commercial out of touch and moderately offensive for all the reasons listed above. You don’t have to be a feminist to find rape offensive, but apparently some people in this discussion believe so…

  • chelicera

    all audi’s ad agency had to do for the ad to not be “rapey” was allow a millisecond for her to see him, perceive the new virility he exudes since driving the Audi and flash him a come hither glance. that consent is all that was needed for this to not be “rapey”. i don’t think that would’ve made it un-funny to the guys who are claiming that feminists have no sense of humor, and then we all could’ve laughed together. props to Amanda Marcotte at RawStory for putting into words what i felt when i watched that ad.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=734862248 Dan Hydar

      Naw. The folks that are filling in the back-story with “rapeyness” would still do it. That’s the problem, there is a whole generation of people who have been trained to Find Offense Against Right-Thinking.

      • http://www.facebook.com/nina.perez.94695 Nina Perez

        or maybe the problem is that men touching women without permission just got labeled “brave”? does that make the guy on the subway who grabbed my ass without permission last week a hero too? i don’t like being touched in a sexual way without permission and this comerical doesn’t help the problem.

      • Origami_Isopod

        Pardon me if I don’t take a Knight of Columbus seriously when it comes to misogyny. Your church is one of the world’s oldest and most vehement promoters of woman-hatred.

    • Jerry

      Yup. They were so eager to portray the dude as a macho dick that they passed up the opportunity to make a way better ad.

    • http://www.facebook.com/mbalexander Matt Alexander

      Am I the only one who saw that there was a millisecond of her turning and recognizing him? Unless they just changed it, that’s what I saw in the above embedded video.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000266687773 Jim Wile

    The message I got from the ad is that driving an Audi makes you into an Ahole…..

    • thestein

      Which is consistent with my experiences with actual Audi drivers.

  • Jack

    Feminist are always quick to jump on a commercial, ad or any other portrayal of sexism, yet are completely silent of the majority of commercial which portray men as bumbling idiots who would be extinct if it weren’t for their female counterparts. Where is the uproar over the other 99% of commercials? When you are slammed as often and repeatedly as men are in commercial, then you have the right to say something. Until then, get back in the kitchen and make me a sandwich!

    • cal

      Because men are generally portrayed as bumbling idiots in the kitchen (where women reign supreme! [gag],) not in life in general. Those ads ARE demeaning, stupid and offensive, but it’s not on the same level as treating a woman, a girl really, as an object to be won by a guy who is driving a particular car. And at several TV forums I visit, the bumbling husband commercials are given much scorn.

      • Burn_the_Witch

        Clearly you don’t watch much TV then. Men are portrayed as bumbling irresponsible idiots in commercials and programming in all areas of life, not just the kitchen. The difference is that men (the author clearly not included) usually recognize this as fantasy and are able to keep fantasy from influencing their lives and shrug it off accordingly.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=748618844 Captaen Scairp

      Actually, most feminists I know do object to such stereotypes. In fact, they (we, really) usually object to ANY perpetuation of gender role stereotypes.

  • http://twitter.com/ggranello greg granello

    Humor module … deinstalled. Gender norming routine … abend. Femi-men alert.

  • madankerr

    I didn’t see the ad as ‘rapey’, instead it gave the clear impression that Audis are for immature fantasists who use material goods to compensate for personal shortcomings.

    Yes, it’s a humorless point of view, but I didn’t see any humor in this hackneyed replay of juvenile wishful thinking. I wonder how well the ad played with Audi owners? It must have tested well with them or they wouldn’t have run it.

    Ask yourself which of the characters suffered the greatest material damage? The girl who was kissed, the guy who got punched in the face, or the poor prom king who had to wear the ridiculous beauty queen costume? Answer: not the girl.

  • http://twitter.com/EricBliss Eric B

    Oh chill out theres nothing “rapey” about this commercial. I hate when people dig too deep to feel offended about something. It’s not like he bent her over the car and plowed her butt while she was screaming and fighting to get him off her.

  • http://twitter.com/RFKA Rafael Kafka

    Women don’t laugh after REAL rape, moron! She saw him and liked! She only stay because she was obviously afraid of her violent companion.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=748618844 Captaen Scairp

      I think you’re missing the point. Which is precisely that the ad IS perpetuating the the idea that if you make uninvited sexual contact with a woman, she will laugh, because, you know, that’s what they really want.

  • HenryRanger

    Have you ever seen any John Hughes films? I bet when Elliot kissed that pretty blond girl at school in the movie E.T. that was that wrong too? Was Marty McFly’s mother, when she put the moves on her own son, giving teenagers the wrong idea about sex? This kind of stuff says more about you Joel than it does about Audi or even our culture. It says more about you and your like who blame everything as being insensitive and unfair and guilt trip the rest of us for not caring. It’s exhausting, don’t you realize? The long list of stuff we’re not allowed to enjoy or appreciate because of who you think it hurts or offends.

    • HenryRanger

      also, ask a rape victim if they’re comfortable with the term “rapey”.

  • http://twitter.com/GusRinehart GusRinehart

    What if the genders were reverse? Young lady kisses and unsuspecting guy at prom. He kisses back. His female date decks the kisser. She drives off with a smile on her black eyed face.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=748618844 Captaen Scairp

      Except that there no existing culture of unwanted female sexual assault on males that is being informed by the Superbowl.

  • DavidHilbert

    “Rapey”? White knight some more.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=748618844 Captaen Scairp

      Seems that “White Knight” = “Not a Dick”. So, okay, I’ll take it.

      (Most people who know me would laugh at that. Dark knight, maybe. Jester antihero, more likely.)

  • http://twitter.com/max_loh Max Loh

    I am a liberal and I do not agree that your criticisms against this video are warranted. The video is fine. Don’t stereotype everyone who defends the commercial as a “conservative”. That’s what keeps the country so divided. We are all individuals.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rick.spung Rick Spung

    my god, you are an insufferable idiot.

    1) kissing is not intercourse.

    2) surprising someone is not forcing someone.

    3) the girl LIKED it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1016717466 Pablo Romero

    You guys really need to grow some common sense here.
    Enough
    with the whining already. No, the commercial wasn’t “rapey”, it was
    teenage kids acting on hormones and emotions and making stupid
    choices… in other words, teenagers being teenagers. Get over
    yourselves.

  • http://twitter.com/largebill68 William Keane

    I thought the commercial was stupid, but “rapey?” Really? An unwanted kiss is not on the same level as rape.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jon-Fye/1631887744 Jon Fye

    She didn’t push him away, and she smiled and kissed him back. Calling that ad “rapey” is quite the stretch there pal. Not sure what kind of mental gymnastics you had to perform to come to that crack pot conclusion, but i’m pretty sure logic and reason was not involved in your decision making process.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=734862248 Dan Hydar

    Anyone with 1/3 or more of a working brain “defends” the ad. Unfortunately, some folks have trained themselves to shut down just enough of their brain to not understand a basic fact : it’s just an ad.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=748618844 Captaen Scairp

      “Just an ad?” What do you think an ad is? It’s a tool specifically designed to sell, and an ad such as this does so by selling the the mindset it contains. Putting “It’s just a(n)” in front of something does not mitigate its harmfulness, it just attempts to deny it.

  • http://CoSy.com/ Bob Armstrong

    Yep . Humorless “feminist” . & you indirectly dis Danica Patrick , one of the hottest women of this generation .

  • http://AmericanElephant.wordpress.com/ American Elephant

    Funny, Conservatives/Republicans are FAR more likely to be married than liberals. #awkward

  • http://www.facebook.com/clemski Clem Mike Borkowski

    If we’re just making up random assumptions for the back story of the commercial mine would be… she was forced through peer pressure to go to the prom with the other guy and secretly told the hero of the story she wanted him. In fact the prom king was actually gay and his football buddies were starting to question his toughness. In this act she was set free from the ties of oppression to live her life with whom she wanted. This gave dozens of other students the courage to stand up and no longer give in to the pressures of teenage bullies. The prom king through punching the hero gained back the trust of his friends long enough to graduate and make it to Berkley where he quickly came out of the closet and lived a full and open life. It was a win win for everyone.

    See, its much better when you make up your own facts.

  • http://AmericanElephant.wordpress.com/ American Elephant

    Looking though your archives to find your outrage against Democrat Senator Bob Menendez for his REAL statutory rape of underage Dominican prostitutes…not finding ANY. But I did find a column about how the liberal media isnt really liberal, and another about how liberals are much more critical of their own….yeaaaaah, riiiiiiiiiiiiight.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1320164168 Mari H. Presedo

    You aren’t a humorless feminist. You can’t be. It’s simply a case of vagina envy. I’m a woman and I noticed many things that make this cute. He’s the principal’s Son. What kind of hell does he endure every day. She KISSES. Him BACK. It’s not simply an accepting, unresponsive submissive kiss. Her date- the hot jock, beats him up for it. And in my perfect world, the next school day, he is no longer the principal’s nerdy son and the girl engages him on conversation because she realizes that there was a man willing to risk it all for her. It’s NOTHING like the horrible godaddy commercial. ( my 11 year old grandson had a heyday with that one.) My question is why are there a bunch of men arguing about this to begin with?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1320164168 Mari H. Presedo

    @BenDomanech- there’s a woman’s Dodge commercial to counter the man’s commercial.

  • http://twitter.com/narjahanam mUhamMAD?

    These op-eds are boring, alienating and most importantly poorly thought out. If you want me to develop my case further I’ll do so but I’m sort of inclined to think “res ipsa loquitor” at this point.

  • Michael Matzat

    Calling a kiss rapey is about as wild as claiming that at the end of your school life you just could not have had any kind of relation to that girl because your a male looser nerd.

    The problem with these things is that people actively look for a reason to be upset, orchestrating a story in which he naturaly is rapist and she naturally would not know him or even be interested at all. Men are evil, women are inocent poor creatures.

    Compare this spot to the latest cola light ad here in germany.

    You see girls partying, going crazy, “no boundarys”, nothing holds you back, and with cola light you don´t even have to think about eating a fat pizza in the end if you want to. (that might be very chliche, but witch “light” product issent?)
    Among these moments of no boundaries you see them flashing random people in cars on the street. No one screams sexist towards women because they are on top enjoying… i don´t know about america because you guys are a bit more prude when it comes to sexualety, but i just found this post via german feminists on facebook being upset about this RAPE comercial… so what do you think how much debate or care there is about a comercial in which girls show there boobs to random people? Non. No one fears about traffic accidents, no one screams “thats rape of the people driving the car!!!” (i would like to see the same commercial with a man flashing his penis… or just his butt towards the cars – panic everywhere)… no one cares, and if anyone did he´ed be a looser for doing so. “u no like hot girl showing boobies?! You gay o wutt? They k00l. lulz.”

    Looking at this comercial you can see rape… orchestrate that story… or you could see a kid becoming a man, a lovestory that has been in the making for their entire school life, finally taking charge of what always was there when they were helping each other in Mathclass… it´s just as orchestrated in you mind, but a cool modern advertising fairytail.

  • des111168

    “Rapey”? Seriously? I bet you were beaten up a lot as a kid.

  • http://twitter.com/SlightlyTwysted Slightly Twysted

    Wow, that’s just a wild nightmare of rapey. Seriously? going stag to the prom in a nice car is a license to be a douche? I know the actress smiled, and looked pleased, but how do we know the black eye didn’t come from her? I’d have freaking decked him.

  • sally

    Girls gather up your girlfriends and let down your ego against men. Every once in a while it’s nice to swept off your feet.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sbbeavers Sarah Beavers

    Wow, really? I am a woman & I thought it was cute. Did it ever cross your minds that the reason he left her is because the guy that brought her chased him away? He had a black eye & of course if you go somewhere with someone it is expected ( even if the date is a bust) that you leave with them. If what he did was unwelcome she would have slapped him not smiled like the cat that ate the canary. Maybe she liked him all along but he never got up the nerve to ask her out. Stop twisting every little thing into something to protest over. Can’t you find something constructive to do with your time? I really have to wonder what Liberals use their minds for when I repeatedly see whining & b-tching about people defending freedom, making money or just making a silly commercial. Grow up please!

  • http://www.facebook.com/crow.seventhree Crow Seventhree

    It is anti-PC as they see it. So anything that is anti-PC they are automatically for. It isn’t that they are just stupid and don’t understand they are wilfully making the statement “Hey I am an ass!!”
    The odd part is the Jesus masturbation while doing it….

  • Salmantica

    As crass as AXE deodorant ads.

  • JWY

    In literary studies we call this gap-filling. The story within the advertisement actually offers you quite little in terms of back story or context. We call these “gaps”, that is, blank spots in the story. Many of history’s best stories offer well placed gaps. When we, the viewers, watch this story our minds fill the gaps with our own history, sensitivities, dreams, desires, etc. Essentially, we help to fill out the story unconsciously and that is why gaps are an effective form of story telling: the viewer adopts this story as their own, by filling in the info with their own mind, and essentially becomes not only the audience but also the author.

    This is why there is controversy over this advertisement, because people are filling in the gaps differently. Whereas some people fills in the gaps with their sensitivities over the dangers of bold acts, other people may fill in those gaps with their own childhood experience of being shy and always wanting to break out and kiss the cool girl (or guy). In effect, the commercial is able to tell a totally different story to different individuals. I assume that Audi was aiming to go for the more innocent version. So some people get offended because their version of the story is filled with warning signs; other people defend it because the criticism is calling into question the innocent story that their own mind gap-filled (a version that reflects their own selves and histories).

    So, the real question is, is Audi to blame for the back story you made in your own mind?

  • http://twitter.com/DTWings12 Ryan

    1) The young woman who receives the kiss chose to be at prom with someone else.

    We dont know that. She could have been there solo. She could have been forced to go by her abusive jock boyfriend. There is nothing that tells us for sure that she chose to be there with someone else. We simply dont know.

    2) Our “hero” forcibly turns her around and jams his mouth to hers almost before she can identify him, and certainly without any permission being sought or given. What’s more, this is a demonstration of his new, Audi-fueled power.

    How does he force her to turn around? He does touch her neck at the same time he kisses her. I think this is just because he was short and had to stand on his tip toes to reach her mouth. She turns around on her own though. How many people ask “can I kiss you” before they kiss someone? Is it rape everytime someone gets kissed without being asked permission first?

    • He leaves prom without her—suggesting that she still chooses to be at prom with somebody else.

    The camera does not show the passenger side. This again is an assumption that we just don’t know for sure. She could be in there. She could have been afraid that her abusive jock boyfriend would follow them and hurt them both.

    What does it say about us when we choose to assume the worst in other people?

  • awa

    > “And I’m pretty sure I’m right to be.”

    Right about what? Based on what? A 63 second commercial?
    What makes you think that you actually could know the real intention of the author(s)?
    Your skewed world view is showing, dude.

  • Shabnam

    My reading of the advert is a little different. What disturbed me about that advert was not the fact that he kissed the girl (the kiss did not look forced – it suggested they might have been having a secret relationship), but the fact that he got beaten up for it, presumably by the jocks. This means that women are being treated as property not as individuals who make there own decisions. The pretty prom queen `belongs’ to the jocks. That is what disturbed me the most – the possessiveness. I’ve always hated it when women are depicted as passive creatures to be treated as trophies.

    Possessive violent boyfriends are a much bigger problem for society than socially awkward non-threatening looking boys. However both are regarding the prom queen as a trophy, which is the underlying issue.

  • B W

    The prom queen knows the guy (it’s high school!) and probably knew he liked her.
    Most girls would be jealous if their girlfriend got kissed by an admirer – someone who had the balls to do something daring and kiss them – and on prom night, the most romantic night in high school!
    All this rape talk is going too far.

  • lcoye2002

    TEST: swap genders, cue silence(maybe even feminist applause). Get a grip, manginas.

  • teenygozer

    I’m confused. We have SNL, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, South Park… what brilliant, hilarious, edgy, intentionally funny show do the conservatives have? I think you have to have your sense of humor removed to become a conservative. Eg: Dennis Miller, hilarious liberal meets 9/11, completely loses any ability to be funny & becomes conservative in the same moment.

  • ganner918

    I just think conservatives are much more ok with power imbalances, social darwinism, etc. and dislike anything that checks someone’s ability to wield their power and privilege over others.

  • Ncfan_1

    I know this didn’t actually happen, but when I saw that commercial I liked to think that the girl was the one who punched him. Just that the moment she got over the shock and realized exactly what that jackass just did to her, and that she was probably going to spend the rest of the year being slut-shamed because of it, Big Burly Boyfriend was completely unnecessary; she punched his lights out instead.

  • JacobT

    It’s just a classic story of the little guy finally winning. The level of stupidity that you people are showing is unbelievable. I mean really you are looking way deeper into this than necessary. The comercial is just saying that a nice car gives you confidence. You people need to find better things to do than criticize an innocent commercial and turn it into something innapropriete; it’s your perverted minds that make the commercial seem bad.