Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Hornitos - Now With 100% More Rape!!!

Two weeks ago, I saw a very disturbing TV commercial, but afterwards I could not remember the name of the product the ad was plugging. I even searched vainly on Google and still had no success. Until last Wednesday, that is, when Ami Angelwings wrote about it here. It turns out the commercial is for Hornitos Tequila.

(Take a moment to view the commercial here before coming back.)

OK, welcome back. Anyone else as creeped out by this as I am (and Ami obviously is)?

Here's a brief synopsis of the commercial:

(SCENE: A woman named and a man are walking in an apartment. )

WOMAN (gently purring): "I don't know what's come over you tonight, Mike." (Goes off to get some drinking glasses.)

"Mike's" cell phone goes off and we see an exact twin of "Mike" calling from an airport. Their conversation is as follows:

AIRPORT TWIN: “Dave, did you tell April I wasn’t going to make it?”

APARTMENT TWIN aka DAVE aka THE FAKE MIKE: “I gotcha covered bro.”

AIRPORT TWIN aka THE REAL MIKE:  "I love you, man."

(April walks to Dave with clinking two tequila glasses and smiling seductively. The real Mike hears April's giggling from the other end and is really confused.)

VOICEOVER GUY: “Hornitos™ Premium Tequila: Purer than your intentions.”

Can you see the problem here? If not, let me sum it up: Dave is about to rape April in the commercial.

No, really! Reason it through: April invites Dave back to her apartment actually thinking he's Mike. She has no reasonable way to know he's actually Dave, and Dave shows no intention of disclosing his true identity. So if none of the facts above changes when April consents to sex, she's really consenting to have sex with Mike only; she does not consent to sex with Dave. Hence my referring to it as rape. April is not giving informed consent.

But apparently, not everyone sees it that way. Obviously, the people who wrote and greenlighted the ad didn't. In fairness, this type of rape is much less likely than other scenarios in the real world (although Ami was kind enough to link to a real-life case in her post).  But it still underscores the fact that many people, including the makers of the ad, are too ignorant about rape, even today. There are still too many people, both male and female, who actually respond to rape, even now, with victim-blaming statements like "She shouldn't have been walking in that neighborhood alone" or "She shouldn't have been wearing such a low-cut outfit". (My standard comeback to statements like these is "Yeah, where the fuck did she think she was, a CIVILIZED COUNTRY???" Feel free to use that in the future.)

By the way, "lack of informed consent" doesn't mean that it's rape if Mike and April had sex after either Mike or April lied about something other than their identity. Even if Mike lied that he was rich, April's consent is still sufficiently informed because she consented to sex with Mike, and he's still Mike. The same applies if April lied about being on the Pill.

If you are a comic fan, you may have viewed that commercial and had an attack of deja vu. You see, back in August of 2009, there was a controversy over an arc of Amazing Spider-Man where the Chameleon impersonated Peter Parker and presumably had sex with his landlady Michelle Gonzolez while posing as Peter. (The controversy was eventually defused by the revelation in a later issue that they had merely kissed and not had sex.) I even wrote about it here, noting how common the impersonation trope was even in modern fiction and with both female and male victims.

This ad, in the words of Yogi Berra, is deja vu all over again.

Make it stop!


At 1:46 PM , Blogger SallyP said...

Holy Crap! Seriously, somebody thought that this was a good idea? I can only hope, that once the camera disappears, he makes some comment that leads her to realize that he ISN'T Mike at all...and shoves that tequila glass right up his...nose.

At 6:44 PM , Blogger Ami Angelwings said...

Ty for posting about this too! It's so disgusting, and you're abs right also about all the "BUT PEOPLE LIE ABOUT SEX ALLLL THE TIMMMMMEEE" thing... but pretending to be somebody else is a whole different thing (and courts have considered it rape), and I'm glad you addressed that annoying thing ppl keep bringing up. -_-;; What I hate is how many ppl find this FUNNY. -_-;;; Apparently John Stamos said he once snuck out in the dark after a woman consented to sex w/ him and let another man in to rape her, and that was taken to be funny too -_-;;; It's just rly frightening to me how not serious this stuff is :(

At 7:37 AM , Blogger notintheface said...

Sally: Or maybe Mike puts two and two together and phones April's apartment to give her a heads-up. Then she goes Uma Thurman on Dave.

I saw this ad run again at the Comics Alliance site recently when I was reading Chris Sims and David Uzimeri's liveblog Smallville finale recap. I e-mailed Laura Hudson to let her know. I'm kind of ignorant of how these online ads are arranged, but I figured I'd tell her just in case.

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