Thursday, September 13, 2007

Women and . . . Patty Melts?

I don't watch TV much -- And since I don't watch much TV, I didn't know about Hardees & Carl's Jr.'s new ad until someone forwarded me a link to it yesterday. Thanks to that link, I won't be eating at Hardees again.

If you haven't seen the new Hardees ad for their patty melt burger, count yourself lucky. (If you've never eaten at Hardees, count yourself even luckier). If you have seen it, you probably know what I'm talking about. The ad shows a teacher dancing provacatively at the front of her class while her male students rap about her "flat buns." What does this have to do with patty melts? One of the signatures of patty melt sandwiches is that they come served on "flat buns." (Interestingly, when I did a search for patty melt images, I found images of the woman from the commercial but not of the sandwich itself . . .).

So, why do I take offense at this ad? First of all, it refuses to take the teacher seriously as a woman professional. Second, it gives the idea that every woman is fair game when it comes to men's fantasies. Third, it perpetuates an incredibly unhealthy teacher-student relationship. Fourth, it encourages us to look at women as ojbects -- in this case, food. And fifth, it shows teenage boys as being interested in just two things: sex and food.

The Tennessee Teachers Union is protesting the ad, along with other organizations. The Executive Vice President of Marketing for Hardees says that the ad isn't offensive because it's "meant to be funny." Here's the letter I sent:

Due to your "flat buns" commercial with its entirely offensive, inappropriate, and damaging portrayal of women and student-teacher interactions, you have lost me as a customer. Moreover, I am encouraging others to stop buying from your restaurants. I make long drives through my home state about once a month, and there are half a dozen Hardees on my route. I will never stop at one of them again.

If you'd like to write your own letter, you can click on the "contact us" button at this site. Or add your voice to the discussion by commenting here.


margaret said...

Thankfully I don't eat fast food at home anyway, but on road trips I will be sure to stay away from Hardees. That is such a demeaning commercial and I think that our society as a whole is past that. We've progressed in many ways and it's sad to see that Hardees is still living in the past.

Piglet said...

That is horrible! I'm so upset that Hardee's has an advertisment like that! I have never eaten there, and now I'm glad that I haven't.

Anonymous said...

Get a sense of humor!

Anonymous said...

I agree, i just saw it, what a STUPID commercial. it's way offensive to both girls and guys

Anonymous said...

That is horrible. It is so offending. I don't eat fast food but I will tell everyone I know that does.


Anonymous said...

You think this is bad? Have you seen this commercial?!

1 million times WORSE!!!!!!

Bonnie said...

Wow disgusting!! Do these ads appear in MN also?? I will try to include this as an "action alert" in our newsletter to be mailed out this coming Wed 9/19. Muchas gracias for listing Equality Quilt in your blogroll! I said I'd do before, but only today am I getting to putting yours up there. (I was off having fun in Duluth and will do a post on that visit soon - wish I'd had a little more time to track you-all down while there!) Love & kisses from Bonnie Watkins, MN Women's Consortium

Unschoolgirl said...

wow. uh, i've never heard of that fast food place but i'll make sure never to eat there!!!

Nobodie said...

Hey Girls! I also saw a commercial for this one Dairy Queen, which was entirley innapropriate:
There is this man that is shaking a cow's udder, with music in the background singing: "My milkshakes are better than yours! My milkshakes are better than yours!...." I was in complete shock. Don't you know what that means?! Disgusting!

Nobodie said...

More and more food companies are making more and more ads and commercials that portray women as sexual objects. This commercial that I saw didn't a have a woman in it, and a woman wasn't the object, but it was offensive in many different ways: There is this milk man that is shaking a cow's udder. [I know. Creeeppppyyy!] Next, there's this music in the background that is singing, "My milkshakes are better than yours!" over and over again! This rude, sexual humor in food commercials has GOT TO STOP.