There are really only two reasonable responses to the controversy surrounding your paper’s printing of The Burger Grind’s ad featuring “Juicy Lucy:” you could apologize to the community for a lack of good taste, or you could defend the ad as not overtly offensive. People might not agree with one or the other, but at least we could all respect such a stand.
But what you’ve chosen to do is not reasonable, respectful, or responsible. Your official editorial response to the controversy is to say that you have no connection to your advertising content, and to essentially step out of the way so you can egg on the crowd that’s gearing up to storm the Burger Grind, torches and pitchforks in hand.
I’ve never seen such a shameless example of throwing someone under the bus. The majority of your critics may be complaining of your lack of consideration towards women, but I’m more bothered by another failure of character.
Shame on you for being cowards.
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On the way to a class last week, I picked up a copy of The Rebel Yell, UNLV’s student newspaper. As I finished flipping through it, what I saw on the back cover made me cringe a bit, and I wondered if there would be any problems over it.
The back cover consisted entirely of an ad for a hamburger joint called The Burger Grind, and the ad featured a picture in the corner of a nude 1950′s-era Betty Page-esque model, kneeling and shown from behind, her body divided up by dotted lines and labeled with common kinds of cuts of meat–”tenderloin,” “rump,” etc.
Within days, I was getting mass emails that had been sent out to the entire staff, apparently, by people at the school’s Women’s Center who wanted to protest and boycott what they called an example of misogyny.
Now, it’s certainly their right to be offended and to make their voice heard, but I have to wonder if this is really an appropriate stand to take.
First of all, the picture, while tasteless and not nearly as clever as the advertiser seems to think, is hardly obscene or deeply offensive. The “joke” is that young men (such as those who might read the student paper and frequent a burger joint) might see a woman as “a piece of meat,” not unlike a cow. Yes, that’s rude and tacky, but in Las Vegas, it’s also pretty much par for the course. With all of the many kinds of exploitation of women going on here, why would someone choose this one as the one that crosses the line? When there are so many more serious violations of dignity out there, why make your stand here? What’s the goal–contrite apologies from any men involved in the ad and promises to sponsor day care facilities for the daughters of working moms?
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