My Heart Aches – ACHES! – For Men Who Act Like Douchebags

Yaaaaaaaaaaaawn. This is almost, but not quite, so weary-eyeroll-inducing that it’s not worth the effort of typing it all out. (And the “almost” caveat is due entirely to my gleeful anticipation of the snarky Shapeling comments to follow.)

So first, Salon’s Mary Elizabeth Williams writes this about an ad campaign to designed to get British dudes to eat breakfast at Burger King.

Now, I know you’ll all be thunderstruck to discover that the campaign is a comic and creative kersplat. (Something about how you visit a website and then you get to see a woman in a shower wiggle at you with eggs on her boobs, and then you want breakfast sausages, I don’t know.) Equally unsurprisingly, Williams’ send-up of the ad is vastly more entertaining and clever than the campaign itself.

I could go all blah blah blah offensive blah blah blah objectification of women blah blah blah nice nod to your voyeur pervs here, and in fact I will, but first, a reminder. We are all for sexy and witty and clever here. This, however, is not that. This is softcore to peddle hash browns…

Here’s what really sticks in our craw like soggy onion rings, though: A Burger King spokesman told Advertising Age yesterday, “Our research showed that breakfast is a male-centric audience for Burger King; it doesn’t resonate as well with women — we are targeting the people who are buying breakfast.” In other words, sod off, wenches. You are mere bits shakers in the King’s eyes, here to dance and sing with fried eggs on your boobs because we tell you to….We’re busy reaching out to the fan base who can associate our products with their morning spank routine.

Reading that was fun, right? “Sticks in our craw like soggy onion rings”? “Sod off, wenches”!? Yes! Delightful! And correct! And, probably, all that needs to be said on the matter.

Except here comes Dan Mitchell from Big Money, rolling in on the Mansplain Express.* See, he likes Williams’ Salon piece too. Likes it so much, in fact, that now he’s going to instruct the rest of us in what it really means. Which, it turns out, is not all that close to what Williams actually, um, said. Citing the Salon piece approvingly, he says:

Exactly right. The problem here isn’t really sexism, but stupidity…. [T]he campaign is at least equally offensive to men, and perhaps more so. It assumes, as usual, that men are idiots, that they’ll somehow be drawn to greasy, horrid breakfast foods by some vacuous wet girl dancing in a bathing suit on the Web.

If some buffoon is sitting in front of a computer, pants down around his ankles, directing a woman in a shower to do his bidding, which of the two parties should feel more humiliated and exploited? At least the woman, presumably, is being paid.

Oh God. Dan Mitchell, the internet tells me you are some kind of official smart person, an expert on economics. Here’s an econ word problem for you. Let’s say that a whole bunch of people are taught to behave foolishly and ignorantly toward you, Dan Mitchell. They learn this in school. They get mentored in it by others. They are instructed in it in their houses of worship. Everywhere people go, they see messages that amount to, “Hey, everyone! Whenever Dan Mitchell comes around or is the subject of conversation, let’s behave like immature, entitled, condescending, snickering, arrogant, leering assholes.”

And some people REALLY take the message to heart, and some people don’t, and some people are ambivalent, and some people don’t see what the big deal is or deny that such messages exist. Okay? Still with me?

Do you think, within that scenario, you could find — indeed, might like and/or need to find — a way to turn that to your economic advantage? (Even if that means that some stranger might pompously call you… oh, ‘vacuous’ say?) Me too.

Do you think that your doing so would mean that you’re responsible for turning some people into immature, entitled, condescending, snickering, arrogant, leering assholes? Me neither.

In this scenario, is it worth noting TO WHOM people are being taught to behave like jackasses? Or is it only pertinent THAT they’re being taught to behave jackasses, and are thus clearly oppressed by some jackassery-making machine? No, you go ahead and think hard about that one. We’ll wait.

I’d add more layers and more complexity, but I’m not convinced you’re ready for them. If you’re nice, the readers of Shapely Prose might bother to school you in the comments. I don’t know, though — their time doesn’t come cheap, and it’s possible that many of them are too busy earning millions a year not being oppressed.

*-Typing “Mansplain Express” caused me to envision a douchebags-on-roller-skates Andrew Lloyd Weber extravaganza. This is possibly the best idea I’ve ever had in my life.

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159 thoughts on “My Heart Aches – ACHES! – For Men Who Act Like Douchebags

  1. Ugh. I just wrote a LJ entry about sexism because of reading an article (this one) about how female veterans are being mistreated, and how this isn’t considered news by anyone.

    I also endeavored to explain feminism as a mathematical equation, since a lot of my friends on LJ are geeks of one flavor or another. Here is the excerpt:

    “Think of it in math terms. If men have Y and women have X, and to get Y you need to add Z to X, does that take anything away from Y? No, of course not. Y = X + Z. That’s called balancing the equation. Y isn’t affected at all, aside from now being part of a balanced equation rather than an unbalanced one. But people seem to think that to become equal, we instead must subtract from Y. Trust me, we don’t want the equation to balance with X. Well, some feminists may want men to suffer for the crime of their gender, but most of us intelligent ones don’t. We just want to get up to the same level, or perhaps find a good combination that doesn’t have any kind of gender divide. In that way, it’s more correct to say we’d rather multiply both X and Y by something to make them equal. Y x N = X x N, perhaps.”

    I dunno if that works, but I kind of thought it was clever.

  2. It works, until multiply both X and Y by something to make them equal. Y x N = X x N, . If X X x N.

    Unfortunately, it seems that people consider themselves to have lost something if they stop being on the wide end of >. I’m puzzling over how to get done with that, in the context of disability rights stuff and having been told that neurodiversity movement people are hideously selfish.

  3. I’m confused about this from an advertising point of view. The goal of Burger King’s commercial is to make more people buy breakfast at Burger King, yes? If their research shows that men buy their breakfast more than women, how is the next question not: What advertising would make women more likely to buy our breakfast products? Or, alternatively, if our breakfast products aren’t attractive to women purchasers, what products would be more attractive?

  4. Also, I love your “Mansplain Express” concept. I wonder what sort of costuming would indicate “douchebag.” It’s not as easy as lamé-and-rollerskates-for-trains was, but I’m sure we can come up with something.

  5. Someone should mansplain to this guy that if he’d just eliminated the words “at least equally” and “perhaps more” and replaced it with “also” his point would have been almost valid. Apparently Mr. Mitchell has so internalized the winner take all fundamentals of the patriarchy that he doesn’t know that something can be a little offensive to one person, really offensive to another, and both of them still get to be pissed off.

    You don’t have to WIN at being offended to get your “I’m hurt by the patriarchy” card. Everyone gets one at birth in our society.

  6. But A Sarah, can’t you SEE that it is the MENZ that are being EXPLOITED?

    I also liked the “Mansplain Express”. How about men costumed as douchebags on ice…we could call it the “Douche-capades”?!

  7. Bellacoker, fucking exactly what I was thinking. Why don’t they think our money means anything? Fuck burger king anyway, their stupid king commercials make me want to vomit, and the type of veggie burgers they decided to serve are the single worst kind that morningstar offers.

    The thing that’s really pissing me off about his comment is that he acts like it’s all ok because she’s getting paid. At least she’s getting paid so she should probably just be grateful, amiright. Not something more like, this poor struggling actor had to take this part because she’s young and needs the money and this is all that’s offered to women in that position. You can have a creepy relationship with a swifter, or you can fuck an egg mcmuffin in the shower.

    His “insulting” complaint is so superficial as well. Oh they hurt my man feelings by thinking I’d like this commercial.

    I mean there’s something to be said about how these ads create a culture that is toxic to women AND men. It tells women they’re only good to be fucked, and men that they’re only there to do the fucking, and raised in this society men who don’t fight those ideas and don’t have a good role model will respond extremely well to these ads. And women who haven’t had a good role model or some way of forcing the toxic shit away will laugh along and feel shitty about themselves because they don’t have delicious egg titties to turn on the men and make their mouths water. He doesn’t say it though, he’s just hurt and make some comment about someone jacking off on their computer while watching something degrading happen to a woman, as if that’s a funny comment and not what thousands of people are doing right at this second.

    He’s offended burger king underestimates him, I’m offended because some british man somewhere is jerking off to ad right this second and sees nothing wrong with it, probably thinking he’d like his girlfriend to pose for some similiar shots. I just pray that it’s not Andrew-Lee Potts.

  8. “If some buffoon is sitting in front of a computer, pants down around his ankles, directing a woman in a shower to do his bidding, which of the two parties should feel more humiliated and exploited? At least the woman, presumably, is being paid.”

    Unless the wanking dude has a gun to his head, he’s more than free to close his browser and get off to something less oppressive. The dude is choosing to watch a skeezy commercial, and unlike the dancing woman, probably doesn’t have a contract to uphold.

  9. I never heard of this commenter so he’s a nobody to me. And I haven’t eaten at Burger King since like 1999, so they aren’t losing me as a customer, unfortunately. But this definitely solidifies my low opinion of the company and its products. Seriously, if the food was any good, it wouldn’t need to be hanging off some woman’s tits for a person to want to eat it. What idiots. But who knows, it probably works on teenage boys.

  10. I don’t know, I think Mitchell’s main point is okay. I just think he’s right along with Mary Elizabeth Williams. This type of advertising is offensive to men. It is just also, and more …. dangerously(? having trouble finding the right word here), offensive to women. A Sarah, my impression of the Mitchell piece was that he mostly agreed with Williams and was trying to highlight another aspect of the ad’s offensive nature. (I also can’t get angry about his last paragraph, since I don’t accept that all women doing porn are being exploited.) I admit that this sentence – The problem here isn’t really sexism, but stupidity – does not cohere with Williams’ piece, but I think otherwise the two complement each other pretty well.

    I’m willing to give Mitchell so much rope here (which he may go on to use to hang himself, certainly) because my sense of his piece is that he really is making a good faith effort at understanding and supporting the feminist analysis, he just doesn’t really know what he’s doing. Along those lines, I didn’t get the sense that he’d disagree with anything A Sarah said, just that it’s not foremost in his mind on account of he’s a privileged dude who hasn’t really engaged this stuff before. That is, I didn’t think he was mansplaining. And I’m willing to give perspectives from which I get that sort of sense a lot of space to learn and grow. I’m probably being a little too armchair-shrink-of-perceptiveness here, but that’s my $0.02.

  11. …. I’m also just realizing that his last paragraph wasn’t referring to random porn but to the commercial itself. Missed that the first time around. ::facepalm::

  12. If their research shows that men buy their breakfast more than women, how is the next question not: What advertising would make women more likely to buy our breakfast products?

    OMG THIS. How did “we already get these people’s business, let’s go make sure we’re… still getting their business while completely ignoring those whose business we’re NOT getting, oh and in the process insult those other… people?” escape his notice (him, the econ-genius, him) as being one of the worst advertising ideas ever? (I’ll give you a hint, it begins with P. There are two possible answers.)

    His “insulting” complaint is so superficial as well. Oh they hurt my man feelings by thinking I’d like this commercial.

    Indeed, alibelle. The eternal blind spot just KILLS me. Somehow, he fails to notice that, if he identifies with the man in the advertisement, then it follows that women will also identify with the WOMAN in the advertisement.

    Boo fucking hoo, dude. Burger King thinks you’re stupid. Burger King doesn’t think a damn thing about me at all — except in a peripheral way, to provide YOU with wank fodder.

  13. I tend to think along the same lines as Dan there when I see irrelevant sexyladies in ads. Obviously it offends me, since I’m a feminist minded ladytype. But why doesn’t it offend men, too? Why aren’t men organizing letter writing campaigns, saying “what kind of sex starved losers do you think we are that we’d respond to this pandering schlock?” Why aren’t men annoyed at having sexual imagery sprung on them all the damn time? Why aren’t they skeptical of ad campaigns based on a sexualized non sequitur, instead of something relevant to the merits of the product?

    I think it’s telling that men don’t protest sexyladies-based advertisements, or complain much about them. Because even if men ought to feel humiliated and exploited by pseudo-pornographic advertising, evidently they don’t.

  14. Puffalo: I don’t think we can necessarily say they don’t feel humiliated and exploited. What I think we can say, drawing from the same evidence, is that however humiliated and exploited they feel isn’t enough to motivate them to action. Perhaps the other privileges of masculinity balance it out? Conversely, I’m a woman, and ads like this don’t make me feel remotely humiliated and exploited. They just piss me off. Pedantic, maybe, but I think it’s an important distinction.

  15. Puffalo,
    I think a lot of men really believe what they are constantly being told about themselves. “Men have a dick and a brain and only enough to run one at a time.”

    I’ve had more than a few men, when I told them that I thought they were better than drooling pathetically in the face of hot ladies, tell me that I am in fact wrong, and that they are helpless to resist their baser instincts.

    Just like a lot of women believe they are so emotional and not very competent, men believe that they are sex feinds who still need mommy to clean up after them. It is sad.

  16. I wonder what sort of costuming would indicate “douchebag.”

    I suggest a literal douche bag: that is, an old-fashioned red rubber water bottle, cut in half to form a hat with the opening uppermost, tube and irrigator attached and looped around the wearer’s neck and shoulder like a liripipe.

  17. “we already get these people’s business, let’s go make sure we’re… still getting their business while completely ignoring those whose business we’re NOT getting, oh and in the process insult those other… people?”
    I almost posted to agree with this, too, but then I thought back to the recent fracas over the Method “sexually harassing bubbles” ad, and I remembered that it was pitched to women because women supposedly buy cleaning products more than men do. I don’t know if I’m agreeing or disagreeing with the analysis, or just pointing out that this seems to be a common way the dudely advertising world wastes its time, and ours.

    Mary Sue, the popped collar is an excellent start.

  18. you visit a website and then you get to see a woman in a shower wiggle at you with eggs on her boobs

    Because soapy eggs are delicious!

    The problem here isn’t really sexism, but stupidity…. [T]he campaign is at least equally offensive to men, and perhaps more so.

    Wow, what does this say?
    Sexism isn’t stupid.
    Sexism isn’t offensive to humans, just women.
    Sexism is incredibly controversial, and pointing out that something is sexist brings up the whole “Is sexism actually BAD?” question, so if you can find some OTHER reason that it’s a problem you can avoid the whole sexism question.

  19. I’m willing to give Mitchell so much rope here (which he may go on to use to hang himself, certainly) because my sense of his piece is that he really is making a good faith effort at understanding and supporting the feminist analysis, he just doesn’t really know what he’s doing.

    I’m tired of handing out cookies, honestly, and I’m especially tired of being expected to hand them out for things that are on the Derailing for Dummies handout. “But this is so much more oppressive to straight men!” is not an argument made of win.

    The part about the campaign I find really unsettling is basically offering the woman up for a date (for breakfast at Burger King, natch) for some lucky dood. And, I mean, I kind of don’t have words for this, except onamatopoetic ones like ‘gggghhh’ and ‘uulch’ and ‘mmaahhh’.

    The campaign seems to:
    – invite men to watch a naked woman in a shower
    – encourage them to participate actively in the process (choosing what she’ll sing/wear)
    – promise her, and some free pancakes, to one of them
    – call the whole exercise a “date”

    So basically, it’s like a corporate subsidized stalker fantasy. Awesome.

  20. Anita: I hear you. Given that I was arguing from my personal sense of the article and its author, I don’t expect anyone to come along with me, as no one else is in my head.

    I agree with this: “But this is so much more oppressive to straight men!” is not an argument made of win. If you took out “so much” and replaced it with “also,” though, and removed the “but,” that’s a conversation I’m willing to have. Obviously, this is about what we’re personally willing to have patience with, and I’m not trying to convince you to share my willingness. Insert overused-but-still-sometimes-useful metaphor about spoons =\

  21. Yeah, I’m just not willing to give him the benefit of the doubt here. If he were trying to be pro-feminist, the best thing to do would be to let Williams’ piece stand and not rush in to diminish and mansplain. (Didja notice how he snottily indicated that she must be ignorant of Burger King’s looooong history of insulting and inane advertisements? Even though the opening to her post could easily be read otherwise? Harrumph.)

    Also — No. Men are not hurt by patriarchy worse than women are, and no, the problem is not generic “stupidity,” it’s encouraged bad behavior *against* *women.* Sure, it’s probably rotten to be lumped in with the people behaving badly simply by virtue of one’s gender — we’ve had a great post here on that recently that I’m trying to find and will link to when I do.

    But even there, it’s something that’s happening BY VIRTUE OF GENDER, which means that it’s not just generic “stupidity” — A FACT HE MANIFESTLY NOTICES WHEN IT’S HIS OWN MAN FEEFEES GETTING BUTTHURT, but dismisses when it’s some woman writing about sexism directed at women.

    Shinobi: Exactly.

    Ruth: Douche-capades! I love it!

    Douchehound expresssssss, answer me yes…

  22. A Sarah: I hear you. Re: your second paragraph, I agree with it. I just don’t have a problem labeling the combination of encouraging bad behavior against women through the infantilization of men as stupidity. Either way, that point (which I just made) is more an issue of semantics than anything else. Mostly I agree with you.

  23. *But even there, it’s something that’s happening BY VIRTUE OF GENDER, which means that it’s not just generic “stupidity”*
    Yes: calling it stupidity is a way of dismissing it. Many of us are willing to say, “Oh, that was stupid of me”. Many fewer, “Oh, that was sexist of me.” So, even if “stupid” is just a bigger category into which sexism fits, as sara l suggests, going for that bigger category wallpapers over the problem of the specific behavior of sexism. It waters it down, and takes away the important moment of naming something that so rarely, actually, gets named.
    (I teach at a school that prides itself on being so liberal and progressive, but I feel so far out on a limb when I speak about sexism, particularly around men and boys. How is that? We need to be able to name it, and not just water it down as stupidity. Nothing shocking about sitting in the faculty room and calling behavior stupid: something very powerful and shocking, often enough, about sitting in the faculty room and calling behavior sexist. Even if I’m just talking about some ad or tv show or whatever. It’s still radical.) Most of the time, when I label something as sexist, someone will say something like, “Well, it’s just stupid,” or even, “Well, at least it’s stupid”: in those conversations, it’s clear that the word stupid is not taken as going as far as the word sexist.

  24. Oh, sara l… well, thank you, first of all, and just so I don’t come across wrongly, I should say that my most recent comment wasn’t in response to your comments immediately preceding it.

  25. I love that breakfast has now become gendered! I guess all that messaging targeting women to consider rock salt and gravel glued to a popsicle stick breakfast has work! You rocked this, A Sarah!

  26. Hi, i’m a male! I see all you wominz are having a discussion, and I feel like it could use some masculine validation. Don’t worry ladies, I have a mancard, and I’m fully authorized by the Great Court of Man to restate your points so society will take them seriously! However, before I can do this, I must make the issues with this particular advertising campaign about me! Because you know, us men are so much more oppressed than you! The nerve of advertisers trying to woo us with nekked gurlz degrading themselves, thinking we’re some sort of sex crazed fools. At least the gurlz get paid for their shame and explotation. All we get is stiffies. Also, because the Great Court of Man doe not recognize sexism, I’m forced to call this ‘stupidity.’ Because, you know, it makes us men look dumb, and that’s so much more worse than the degredation and objectification of women. How are us men supposed to enjoy our priviledge if we look dumb?!

  27. From the article Kate linked:

    Women are also more likely to buy healthier items in the morning — like yogurt, parfaits and fresh fruit — than men

    Yes, because we are far too dainty to throw down on some biscuits and gravy.

  28. I don’t entirely get the “yogurt, parfaits, and fresh fruit” thing either — if I’m buying a fast food breakfast, my usual criteria have to do with a) can I eat this one-handed while I’m driving, and b) will it get crumbs/grease/etc on my clothes. (Which also rules out the biscuits and gravy, which is a shame.)

  29. But seriously. I really do enjoy this article. Thank you. Yes, it’s not SEXISM, heavens no, it’s STUPIDITY. Silly, gender-neutral, STUPIDITY, and here, let me explain it to you since I’m-smarter-than-you, smarter-than-Williams, and of course smarter than Burger King. (question: if the campaign actually works and helps promote sales, is BK still being “stupid”?)

    “But even there, it’s something that’s happening BY VIRTUE OF GENDER, which means that it’s not just generic “stupidity” — A FACT HE MANIFESTLY NOTICES WHEN IT’S HIS OWN MAN FEEFEES GETTING BUTTHURT, but dismisses when it’s some woman writing about sexism directed at women.”

    Yeah, THIS.

  30. Wait…. I thought “fried eggs” was code for saggy? Does that mean if I stop wearing these infernal underwires, I’ll become a sexual object and finally, finally, FINALLY validate my existence? There’s still HOPE! Thank you, O King of Burgers!

    I just hope I’m not scrambling the message.

  31. See also: the laydeez don’t eat the breakfast, they wearz it. if the laydeez EATS the breakfast, they’ll get teh FATZ!!!1

  32. For my morning repast, I like to dine on a light sprinkling of rose-water at the temples and perhaps the whiffs of angel farts.

    SNORT! I just died. The only thing that would have made that funnier, is if I’d been drinking as I read it. Wait, why in the hell am I not drinking?

  33. HERE’S the one I was thinking of:

    http://kateharding.net/2009/10/14/have-you-tried-not-being-so-sexy/

    FJ’s whole post is fantastic but for me the sampler-worthiest part is at the end:

    “You can decide what you want to do about it — but don’t think you can pick and choose which of patriarchy’s mandates apply to you. This is a package deal, my friend. If women’s worth is only in fuckability, then men are just dumb fuckers. We think better of men. Do you?”

  34. I find the pinkness of my monster to be threatening to my masculinity, but thanks anyway. I guess! >:{[

    Has anyone noticed a smiley face at the bottem left hand corner of every page? its adorable.

  35. Dude has hit upon one of my pet peeves: the unwillingness, for whatever reason, to take the next step in logical analysis. Yeah, of course, it’s stupid, but why? Whether it’s intellectual laziness or not wanting, because of privilege, to accept the answer, it invariably chaps my ass whenever it occurs because nothing can change unless we answer the whys. So yeah, not much to contribute besides a *headdesk* on that one.

    Regarding Douchecapades, however, I’m thinking My New Haircut: The Musical, ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JMOh-cul6M , if you haven’t seen the youtube. The audio is quite NSFW, and it will enrich your life greatly. :P) done Gilbert & Sullivan style, with numbers such as ‘Jagerbombs’ and ‘Not Now Chief, I’m In the Fucking Zone’, the former being a love song and the latter an upbeat number reminiscent of ‘Three Little Maids’.

  36. What the fuck is wrong with men? This is a rhetorical question.

    Anyway: if I were going to talk about the stupidity involved here, I would talk about the stupidity of doing research and discovering that you have an already-loyal market and an untapped market and then marketing to the people who already buy your product. My Wolf nose smells that particular pungent flavor of bullshit excuse employed by dudes to pretend there are actual, legitimate reasons for their continuing to indulge their own misogyny instead of using a little fucking logic once in a while.

  37. Miguel – that was a thing of beauty. I kind of want to frame that entire comment, it so perfectly encapsulated the Mansplaining Psychology.

    DRST
    (I’m back! *crickets*)

  38. I can’t get on board with “he’s not mansplaining, he’s just spouting off his own privileged bullshit view because he doesn’t know any better”. That is the definition of mansplaining, with the addition of tolerance for privileged dudes’ not knowing any better even though it’s their responsibility to learn better.

  39. Quote: Anyway: if I were going to talk about the stupidity involved here, I would talk about the stupidity of doing research and discovering that you have an already-loyal market and an untapped market and then marketing to the people who already buy your product.

    I always thought this was the “competition” thing. So the company wants to market a fast-food breakfast? Then they want to market it to people who ALREADY buy fast food breakfast, but from their competitors. This is easier – to convert someone from McD’s breakfast to BK breakfast – than it is to convert someone from fresh fruit and yoghurt to a BK breakfast. So marketing to your “core audience” does make sense, in a way.

    And why should they worry about pissing off those of us who have cereal for breakfast? We’re not going out for BK anyway, so they don’t care what we think. Of course, they *should* care because if *I’m* offended by some seriously sexist advertising I’m going to tell my hubby not to buy their breakfast either – and I have more influence over his choices than any advertising campaign!

  40. @slythwolf:

    I’ve been letting this percolate all day and the only thing I can come up with is perhaps they are punishing women for not buying their foods in the first place?

    Don’t like Burger King? Well, then, you suck, because BK is the best, man, and to prove it I’m going to threaten you with a phallus-like hamburger and make you dance in the shower for no apparent reason. Haha! Now I KNOW you don’t like Burger King, because that’s want I wanted all along . . .
    . . .
    . . .

    or something.

  41. I personally find it offensive and counterproductive that my Elvish Spearwomen (Elven Legacy) insist on fighting in bikinis. Call me patronizing, but I’d be able to deploy them a lot more aggressively/effectively if they’d just wear armor.

  42. The sad thing is that when men write articles like this I think they’re under the impression that they’re empathising with women. And yet they just can’t stop themselves from insisting that the women they’re faux-empathising with acknowledge how much worse things are for them. You know, because their lives aren’t 100% ideal at all times. I mean, some advertiser thinks they’re not an intellectual giant of Stephen Hawking stature – the horrors

    (Is bitter today)

  43. Lu: I wonder what sort of costuming would indicate “douchebag.”

    Marylou: I am not sure of the complete outfit, but popped collars are a MUST.

    Also, spray tan and bleached hair spiked with gel. (Yes, in my world “douchebag” most frequently correlates with white.)

  44. Ed Hardy or Abercrombie with spiked collars. Pink shirts balanced with liberal use of the word fag. One diamond earring on a white guy.

  45. i’m so sick of people responding to insulting things without bothering to look at the history behind them. okay, this guy might have a point if you take this at face value-it’s insulting and degrading to women, and maybe it’s a little degrading to men, too-but, um hai, what about SEXISM? like, overall, who has been more affected by sexism and objectification over the years, men or women?
    i’m not saying it should be turned into a case of OH WOE IS ME MY OPPRESHUNZ ARE WORSE THAN URS but i just think it’s ignoring a huge part of the mechanisms that motivate commercials like these to just go off of how you feel now. if you’re going to become part of the dialogue, at least acknowledge that you’ve looked into the history of the topics being discussed, you know?

  46. bellacoker permalink

    I’m confused about this from an advertising point of view. The goal of Burger King’s commercial is to make more people buy breakfast at Burger King, yes? If their research shows that men buy their breakfast more than women, how is the next question not: What advertising would make women more likely to buy our breakfast products? Or, alternatively, if our breakfast products aren’t attractive to women purchasers, what products would be more attractive?

    Market advertizing science has shown that women don’t eat breakfast out, and no power in heaven or on earth will drag them into a restaurant before 11am. Ergo latinus, women, damn their scaly hides, will never, never, never be a viable market for eggs and sausages so restaurants are left squabbling over who gets the men with our lucrative morning man hunger. Since eating breakfast out correlates directly to machismo (QED) the best strategy is obvs soft boiled porn.

  47. Um, yeah. “Allow me to legitimize your offense by telling you how it’s not as grievous as mine…” Empathy fail.

  48. Why aren’t men organizing letter writing campaigns, saying “what kind of sex starved losers do you think we are that we’d respond to this pandering schlock?” Why aren’t men annoyed at having sexual imagery sprung on them all the damn time? Why aren’t they skeptical of ad campaigns based on a sexualized non sequitur, instead of something relevant to the merits of the product?

    Hmm? I have better things to do than launch a writing campaign. So far as I can tell, this Mitchell guy seems more interested in correcting Williams than in complaining about the ad being offensive, and I would guess that he thinks that’s more fun than writing to Burger King.

    I kind of like sexual imagery, though, yeah. It gets old, and I don’t want it for breakfast.

    I think everyone is skeptical of ads that have nothing to do with the merits of the product, and of those that make claims about the product. These things are nevertheless effective, according to the people who do research about ads, which is why dogs keep trying to sell me beer and tacos and dancing bald blue-painted people sell computer bits. (Or whatever. Perhaps this is all very dated.) A professor of communications once informed me that the relevance of the ad did not matter and that an annoying one is nearly as good as a delightfully amusing one, because all you really want is to get people to remember the products name.

    (Actually, the small taco-selling dog was extraordinarily effective in that area for me, because the first time I saw such an ad the dog steps out onto a balcony and says, “Gorditas,” to a crowd of people below, who respond with lusty cheers. I misheard it and thought that the had dog said, “Lord Jesus,” and am unable to forget this mystifying experience.)

  49. BK definitely has an eye-rollingly ridiculous history of advertising, and not just for a.m. foods. (Sexist advertising: Not just for breakfast anymore!)

    One of the lessons I do with my seniors is a group analysis of the BK campaign set to “I am Woman”. (I can’t get video links where I am right now. . .they’re blocked under the heading “culture/education” and we wouldn’t want anyone delving into that kind of thing during school hours! If this is what’s linked above, sorry for the repeat.)

    Unfortunately, but as expected, all the kids all laugh the first time through the song, but with an extended period of time for them to think critically about it, I’m able to suck the joy right out of that baby, humorless feminist that I am.

    Seriously, though, we have quite a time with the passivity of the line “I’ll admit I’ve been fed quiche.”

    As for Mitchell, the men in *this* video are drawn to the food by a woman in a “sexy devil” outfit, and presumably they’re being paid to appear in the commercial. . .so this qualifies as equality then!

    Wha?

  50. I’m British and because of that I have a stout and ruddy-cheeked obligation to protect all sausage and egg related breakfast suggestions, however inappropriate. I do wear clothes while making breakfast, and this is usually the outfit of a Victorian dairy Maid. And a wee snifter of sherry for the chaps to enjoy whilst waiting in the morning dining room is only correct. My own Mr Paintmonkey is always served breakfast in this manner, and he dons a Fez and breeches for breakfast dining. Naturally I provide him with buttered crumpets served from my warmed buttocks, and have learnt Cornish sea-shanties to sing while he dines.
    After the glazed hams, sausages and eggs benedict, I serve piping hot tea and light triangles of toast with marmalade, these must be arranged to correctly replicate the pyramids at Giza, complete with the butter dish acting as Sphinx.

    Obviously this is our weekday breakfast arrangement, whereas at weekends we have more time and don’t dine quite so informally.

  51. I want to once again bring up that extremely BS-y line about breakfast “not resonating” with women. Of COURSE it doesn’t “resonate” with women, you goons! So much time and effort and money has been spent making sure that women know they must eat healthy at all times, that yogurt is the Official Food of Women, that indulging in a bacon-egg-splosion sandwich would be the END OF THE WORLD because it’ll make you FAT… is it no wonder that gaggles of ladies don’t line up in droves to have a greasy BK sandwich for breakfast?

    To delicately tread a toe over to the “whattabout the menz” side, has nearly as much effort been spent in male-directed advertising to make them worry about their food-related health? To discourage them from the non-stop taco-pizza-burger-sausage bonanza? If all the silliness and frothing about the Obesity Epidemic (booga booga) really WAS about health, then you’d think the messages would be a little less… mixed. In the name of marketing, neither gender is getting a truly healthy food-related message. Men! Gorge yourselves! Women! Restrict and withhold!

    …and the idea of eggs-on-boobs is just putting me off my breakfast today. Yerk.

  52. You guys, off topic, but I just burned all my sanity watchers points for the week reading about how fat women shouldn’t gain any weight in pregnancy and then the Jezebel comments, half of which were like, paraphrasing, “This study is ridiculous! We shouldn’t force women to not gain any weight. We should force them to only gain five pounds and eat nothing but fruits and vegetables. For their health!”

  53. Yes, because we are far too dainty to throw down on some biscuits and gravy.

    Clearly, these people have never met me. I make my own gravy from scratch.

  54. Bumcrumpets are indeed vile, but also the backbone of many english politicians. Most great british political figures will have at some time had their arse used as a toast rack, you mark my words.

  55. I’m sorry if I may have been slightly misleading about my breakfast preparations. The sad truth is its more like a chipped mug with coffee in it, served with a sneer.

    “Women are also more likely to buy healthier items in the morning — like yogurt, parfaits and fresh fruit — than men.”

    What IS a parfait?

  56. What IS a parfait?

    Isn’t it yogurt layered with other stuff? I’ve never tried one because all things yogurt hold no interest for me (I know, I’m a bad woman or whatever). I’m more of a breakfast sandwich girl.

  57. In advertising, you’re not necessarily trying to get to everyone. You choose your market and you become known for being the go-to product for this or that thing (see Apple, which doesn’t bother to try to convince businesses they should replace their PCs with Macs). Carl’s Jr. has had great success with their macho hungry man ads. Burger King, with its pseudo-surreal creepy “wake up with the King” ads is clearly trying to compete for Carl’s Jr’s 18-35 year old male audience. The CEO of BK has said so himself. And their sales are up – UP – by 10%. Before their stupid Wake Up with the King campaign, they were declining.

    So what to do? I don’t eat BK anyway, so my disgust is largely irrelevant. Neither does my husband (he preferred Carl’s Jr. and Burgerville up until he became a vegan last month). So apart from writing BK a disapproving letter (already done) and telling my like-minded, activist, vegetarian, non-BK eating friends about the new ad’s sexism, what can I do?

  58. Thanks for the Parfait info, LilahMorgan. It sounds like one of those measly waif breakfasts that you are supposed to eat in front of other people when all you really want to do is wrestle their breakfasts off them. I imagine you have to eat them around a poolside wearing a swimsuit and shades and laughing into the sunlight with your tiny blonde breakfasting friends. Probably while an Italian looking waiter hovers around you looked honed and masculine in stark contrast to your tiny parfait eating form. Yack.

  59. My bad, I just tried to verify the 10% increase in sales I stated, but I can’t find where I originally read it. What I found on the web today indicated it was up much more than that, but the 10% figure is wrong.

  60. OK, as usual I’m going to be Ms. Obvious here, but when a 14 year-old boy rapes a 12 year-old girl in a stairwell at school*, WHILE CLASSES ARE IN SESSION, doesn’t that point to the fact that exploitation of women is more hurtful to women and girls than to males? Yes, men are portrayed as idiots, but THEY AREN’T BEING RAPED BY WOMEN WITH EGGS ON THEIR BREASTS.

    (Please note that all my anger is directed toward Dan Mitchell and his ilk, not towards anyone here.)

    *This happened yesterday, at a middle school near the East Bay section of northern California.

  61. aleks:

    “Since eating breakfast out correlates directly to machismo”

    I thought you said eating breakfast out correlates directly to masochism, which is kind of correct in the BK universe, I guess.
    :)

  62. Alyssa – that just makes my heart ache. There was also a 15 year old girl who was gang raped last month in California. What is going ON with these young men? It makes me want to pack up my child and move her to a place with no men (except for her dad). It is frightening.

  63. I thought a parfait was something like ice cream, only you can make it without an actual ice cream machine. So in my book, that would be a dessert, not a breakfast food.

    Anyway, even though I like Whoppers, BK seems to be hell bent on convincing me not to buy them anymore.

  64. If some buffoon is sitting in front of a computer, pants down around his ankles, directing a woman in a shower to do his bidding, which of the two parties should feel more humiliated and exploited?

    Oh yeah. This. Hur-hur, men masturbate. They should feel humiliated that they can’t all demand a blow-job whenever they want one.

    (I am presuming that Mitchell didn’t mean that the man should feel humiliated that he is so lousy at using the internet that he can’t find a picture better than a Burger King ad. Or that he should feel humiliated by the parental-control site-blocker on his computer.)

  65. Copied’n’pasted from above: “If you’re nice, the readers of Shapely Prose might bother to school you in the comments. I don’t know, though — their time doesn’t come cheap, and it’s possible that many of them are too busy earning millions a year not being oppressed.”

    I don’t make millions (no matter how hard I wish), but being the first female carpenter the theater I work for has ever hired was definitely a highlight for me. I did, however, almost fall over when my boss asked me why I never wore makeup in the shop. Lessee, A) I didn’t feel like it, B)Eyeliner does not make the plywood cut any straighter, and C) Sawdust sticks to lipstick. For starters.

    Because it’s inevitable if it doesn’t exist already, I’d like Male Privilege Awareness Day to coincide on April 1st. Someone has to think about the menz and their delicate position at the top of the social heirarchy, and if I can think about it while doing as much snarking as possible so much for the better.

  66. how is the next question not: What advertising would make women more likely to buy our breakfast products?

    In advertising, you’re not necessarily trying to get to everyone.

    I’d be inclined to take this one step further- I think advertising elevates getting 18-34 dudes to buy their product as the highest goal there is. “Cool = male” really seems to permeate advertising, so naturally marketing BK to women would make guys no longer want to buy their product and then they wouldn’t be seen as the cool breakfast sandwich and the world would end. Marketing a product historically aimed at women to men is seen as savvy advertising (“manly” diet sodas like Pepsi Max come to mind) with the assumption that they won’t lose female customers this way, but no self-respecting MAN would possibly want to buy a sandwich for CHICKS, amirite? Like turtles, it’s patriarchy all the way down.

  67. @OneBonBonIsPoison: Marketing a product historically aimed at women to men is seen as savvy advertising (“manly” diet sodas like Pepsi Max come to mind) with the assumption that they won’t lose female customers this way, but no self-respecting MAN would possibly want to buy a sandwich for CHICKS, amirite? Like turtles, it’s patriarchy all the way down.

    Yep. Except that turtles are cute, and patriarchy not so much.

    I’m still mystified as to how Diet Pepsi is “for chicks” in the first place. Other than that diet stuff in general is marketed to women, it’s not as though the cans are pink or they come with coupons for maxi pads and bikini waxes.

    I also love your username. (This means we shouldn’t stop at just *one* bon-bon, right?)

  68. This is easier – to convert someone from McD’s breakfast to BK breakfast – than it is to convert someone from fresh fruit and yoghurt to a BK breakfast. So marketing to your “core audience” does make sense, in a way.

    Meh, I say. Has it occurred to them that they could sell fresh fruit and yogurt? As far as I know, McDonald’s already does.

    And is this you actually buying into the gender essentialist bullshit that is “girls like fruit and yogurt, boys like eggs and sausage”? Because I can tell you the reason I don’t eat Burger King eggs and sausage is their sexist advertising campaigns and not the eggs and sausage themselves. There are women who do like those foods. Lots of us. Advertising that explicitly alienates us makes sure we will go to the competitor.

  69. Parfait, according to Wikipedia: “The French term for parfait can refer to a frozen syrup made of sugar syrup, egg, and cream.”

    But also “Currently, the term ‘yogurt parfait’ is being popularized by specialty retailers in America, being a layered concoction of fruit, yogurt and granola or other cereal. It is eaten for breakfast or as a snack.”

    I think I’d like layers of granola, thick natural yoghurt, fruit, thick natural yoghurt, nuts, and more thick natural yoghurt, with a huge dollop of honey on top, but it might be nicer with cream rather than yoghurt. Especially if the fruit is raspberries.

  70. It is a complete source of Vitamins Fuck and You.

    I love you, snarkysmachine. I love you so, so very much. I just thought you should know.

    And I’m envious of your delicious, nutritious, righteous breakfast.

  71. Ok, I admit it: I LIKE yogurt and fruit in the morning. Those granola/yogurt/fruit parfaits they sell at McDonalds? YUMMMMMMMM.

    But, I don’t like them for girlydietomgIwishIcouldreallyeatsausagerightnow reasons. I just like yogurt. Sadly, I also like BK Wopper Jrs*, but won’t be eating them any more (the “burger shot” commercials led to a near-death in my weekly BK consumption; this one put the last nail in the coffin).

    *The regular Woppers are too big for me to finish, hence the preference for Wopper Jrs. But wait, I have a small appetite, eat yogurt and fruit for breakfast, and am still fat! I must be doing it wrong!

  72. But wait, I have a small appetite, eat yogurt and fruit for breakfast, and am still fat! I must be doing it wrong!

    Yes, assuming that by “it” you mean “being yourself.” You are doing that wrong. I can only assume you aren’t paying enough attention to advertisements.

  73. btw this whole thread is why I am praying to all the Powers That Be that I will never have to teach the advertising class again. I loathe the class and the industry which makes it hard to stand up there and care.

    I also miss yogurt like woah. Stupid lactose intolerance.

    DRST

  74. Woo, CakeWrecks! Though as Wrecks go, that one isn’t horrific. Very pretty handwriting, at least.

    And I’m another fan of the fruit/yogurt/granola parfait, especially the ones from Sheetz that have blackberries. Not as diet food, though, just as *yummy*. And I guess not for breakfast for me now either, since new meds mean no dairy products in the morning.

  75. DRST — have you tried making your own yogurt? It’s surprisingly easy, and if you incubate it long enough, there’s very little lactose in it. (Many lactose intolerant people actually can eat yogurt — people with an actual lactose or milk protein allergy, however, can’t.)

  76. Dear BK,

    I was watching a McDonald’s commercial where they showed three people doing ordinary things (one doing a crossword, one putting out the recycling, and one changing the copier paper) and rewarded them for their ordinariness with a McDonald’s breakfast sandwich.

    I haven’t eaten at McDonald’s in years and that commercial made me want a McD’s breakfast sandwich becasue the focus was on the food – not the gender of the watcher. In fact, tomorrow morning, I might just actually GO to Mcd’s to get a breakfast sandwich to spite you. And I don’t usually even eat breakfast.

    Suck it, BK.

  77. DRST–I’m pretty severely lactose intolerant, but some brands of yogurt have turned out okay. For me personally, Stonyfield Organic doesn’t cause pain, suffering, or other symptoms…which is good, for those rare times I’m on my 3rd round of antibiotics. :)

  78. I happen to love BOTH yogurt & fruit AND eggs/bacon/sausage/man food breakfasts – depending on my mood and what else I’ve eaten in the past few days.

    Something I’ve never liked? Burger King. I don’t like their food and I don’t like the scary-as-hell King Head sneaking up on people in commercials or naked-egg-shower ladies.

    Also, just because I need to vent, my own mother just told me to loose weight for my wedding. *sigh* And frankly, it just made me want a bacon cheeseburger and chili fries.

  79. This is slightly off topic, but I was reminded of an ad that my company had out for a while. It was for a dishwasher, and the copy was something along the lines of, “I’m so happy that he [the husband] loads the dishwasher that I’m still smiling when I re-load it [properly].” Apparently the dishwasher was so snazzy and easy to use that THE HUSBAND LOADED IT!!!111!!…but, of course, the woman had to come by later and fix it because men are intrinsically bad at housework. I commented to a colleague about how it was sexist, and she said, “not really, it’s just the way things are”. I hear that excuse all-the-friggin’-time about advertising bullshit–“yes, we know that we’re reinforcing stereotypes, but it’s just the way things are.” The corollary, of course being “it’s the way things have to be”, as if people’s choices and actions have no impact on “the way it is”, as if continuing to produce and use advertising like that isn’t complicity in or downright promotion of “the way it is”.

  80. Medea — I have a sort of compulsion to do funny voices, and when people say stuff like you mentioned, out come the shrill evilly-giggling mice from the Babe movie:

    “The way things are! Teeehehehehehee!”

    Followed by the duck:

    “The way things are stinks! I am not gonna be a gonner! I am GONE!”

  81. The problem is that if we do achieve a feminist revolution and woman take our place as equal members of society, men are going to lose something: their privilege. They’re going to lose their automatic edge in the job market, their feeling of intellectual superiority, their ability to act like unpaid domestic labor doesn’t exist and a hundred other small things that still add up to a more comfortable world for men.

    We should try for the feminist revolution anyway, of course. But although it’s true that PHMT, P still HWALM (hurts women a lot more) and men get some privileges in exchange for the disadvantages patriarchy gives them. Otherwise they wouldn’t be fighting to maintain it as the status quo.

  82. Crap, I just realized what a non sequitur that sounded like. I guess what I’m saying is it seems nice to try and explain feminism as something that everybody gains from and no one has to give anything up for it. But a lot of people do have to give something up when feminism has its way, for a value of “give something up” that equals “no longer enjoy unfair advantages”.

  83. DRD1812 and DRST:

    For me personally, Stonyfield Organic doesn’t cause pain, suffering, or other symptoms…which is good, for those rare times I’m on my 3rd round of antibiotics. :)

    Yes. This. Exactly. I still have no idea why this is true, but it is. If I try Dannon? Ho boy.

    (And by ‘severely lactose intolerant,’ I mean my gut can detect trace amounts of milk at 500 yards, not that I get severe symptoms. They’re pretty much always the same, whether I drink milk straight from the cow or have ice cream or whatnot.)

  84. For those who can only stomach Stonyfield Organic yogurt, what about Brown Cow? That’s similar, in the made out of real food kind of way.

  85. You know, I’m pretty sure, from the shape and size of the legs in tights, that the person inside of the Burger King head is actually a woman. Is that irony? My weak lady brain ‘sploded and I can’t tell…

  86. @ChloeMirelle – is it the creamy gravy with little bits of sausage in it? If so, is it hard to make? I’m ashamed to say I conform to the gender stereotype in terms of not eating breakfast much, though that’s more a reluctance to get out of bed than anything else (and a general dislike of eggs), but for homemade biscuits and gravy, if such wasn’t too hard to make, I might be willing to make the effort.

    Also, you know, if our mansplaining friend objects to the fact that advertisers use boobs to get men to buy things surely the people he should really be taking that up with isn’t the advertisers so much as the men who do indeed buy anything festooned with enough boobage? I mean advertisers may be evil but they’re not stupid. The reason they attach naked women to so many products is that it is in fact an effective marketing strategy when trying to sell things to men.

  87. @sythwolf “And is this you actually buying into the gender essentialist bullshit that is “girls like fruit and yogurt, boys like eggs and sausage”?”

    Not really – I usually have eggs for breakfast myself, but at home. I don’t eat out for b’fast much so *nothing* would convince me to have BK for breakfast. Possibly I picked a poor example, but it seemed to follow on from the previous discussion and provide a handy contrast. I’m not American so I have no idea what “parfait” is – but I don’t think I’d eat it.

    Actually my hubby and I always laugh when we go to restaurants because he always wants to try the funny little tasting plate appetizers, and I always just order the burger – the wait staff inevitably assume our plates go the other way around when the food arrives. (Incidentally, my hubby doesn’t eat eggs for b’fast at all – he has just a cup of coffee most days and he would *never* have BK for b’fast – or any other time.)

  88. I don’t wake up early enough to buy breakfast out. Perhaps they could reach more women who buy breakfast simply by serving it longer. Maybe it’s not a gender essentialist thing like a preference for fruit and yogurt, maybe women don’t buy breakfast out as much because they’re too goddamn busy. By the time you get the morning chores done and get on your way to work do you really have even a minute to stop for breakfast? And if you do, isn’t it more likely you’re going where the coffee is best?

    The fact that BK got a bump in sales after their ads was probably due in large part to raising awareness that BK even serves breakfast, and not due to them targeting men in any particular way. They could just as easily advertised in a gender neutral way and still have made more sales, without risking pissing off any particular customer group.

    On the subject of yogurt and lactose intolerance:
    I really wanted to like Stoneyfield Farms Organic yogurt, but I got their French vanilla flavor, and was disappointed to learn that they’d used real ingredients at every step except flavoring, where they went to imitation vanilla. Bleh no thanks, I’ll just give up on yogurt.

  89. By the time you get the morning chores done

    What are these “morning chores” you speak of? I mean, I know the word “morning” and the word “chores” but I’ve never seen them in that order. ; )

  90. Morning chores are those things you tell Jeeves to do.I ask him to make breakfast and if I don’t want it, he can have the Brandy himself.

  91. Here’s a thought: maybe women don’t buy fast-food breakfast because it’s too expensive. We make less money than men and have to* spend a greater proportion of it on pointless grooming shit.

    * Not strictly “have to”, obviously, but you know, in order to be considered “put together” or whatever. So we can get and keep our lower-paying-than-men’s jobs.

  92. So I have something to confess here on the gender topic, which is that breakfast sandwiches are somehow one of the few food shame issues I haven’t really been able to shake. I have one almost every morning (from Cosi, for DCers, Starbucks, or a local deli) because the egg and bread combo is perfect for me in the morning – fills me up, conveniently packaged, doesn’t force me to make breakfast at home when I’m groggy. But somehow it always feels to me like the epitome of a decadent, greasy thing that Good Women only eat occasionally and certainly not regularly. I’m actually kind of hung up about it, even though logically it is clearly the perfect breakfast for my body. Which I need! I usually wake up famished. And yet, I buy my sandwiches at two different Cosis so the employees won’t see me in there three times a week. It’s a problem.

  93. So yeah, that wasn’t really full of point, was it, except that (a) I see why maybe fewer women buy breakfast at Burger King, and (b) fuck you, Burger King, for reinforcing the idea that “this is for teh menz who need hearty real food.”

  94. Yogurt:

    I hate a lot of yogurt except white mountain bulgarian style yogurt, which is made in my hometown. Yogurt is really easy to make though, then you can flavor it yourself. You just get some plain yogurt in whatever fat percentage you like (whole milk makes the best yogurt though) then bring your milk to a boil, let it cool until it’s around 95-98 degrees (check on your wrist) then mix in a couple tb yogurt for each quart of milk. At this point, pour the milk-yogurt mixture into whatever you’re going to store it in (I use a big glass jar) and wrap it in a thick towel (warm from the dryer is good too) and leave it alone for 8-14 hours. Then unwrap it, give the yogurt a little shake, and you should see the milk is now all yogurty and thick. Pop it in the fridge and you’re all set.

  95. Was my recent comment including the response from BK UK erased or did it just not post for some reason?

    Unfortunately, I fit the stereotype of the woman who doesn’t eat fast food breakfasts except on occasion. Usually I’m at home, so I make my own breakfast. When I was in the working world, I’d eat at home or bring in my oatmeal or hard boiled egg. Maybe I’d grab a muffin from the office deli. Can’t envision myself going through a fast food drive thru for any of those things.

    I wonder how much of it has to do with what you have in your fridge or pantry at home? Before we married, my husband never had any breakfast food items in his house at all. If he had cereal (rare), he wouldn’t have milk, or vice versa. Certainly not yogurt. Nor even eggs, bacon, sausages, or other foods he loved but wouldn’t bother to cook up for himself.

    If the idea of eating meat for breakfast every morning doesn’t appeal to women (it certainly doesn’t appeal to me or my stomach), I’d think the solution would be to diversify. I certainly preferred a hot meal in the morning to a cold muffin. Offer some potato hashes or meatless breakfast scrambles. I think it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy to say, “women don’t buy fast food breakfasts often enough,” and then drive them away with sexist ads. It’s also very short sighted, as women ride in cars with men who are deciding where to eat for breakfast, and chauffeur their male children around, and have influence over what men in their lives eat.

    Oh well, I wouldn’t be mad if BK and McDonald’s went bankrupt!

  96. Thanks for the suggestions, guys, but I’m dubious that 1) I can find organic yogurt anywhere here (I live in the literal middle of nowhere – the nearest, crappy Kroger is a 25 minute drive) and b) that any dairy will be tolerated. I developed the intolerance gradually, first losing stuff like whipped cream and pudding, then ice cream, then yogurt and cheese. I’ve cut all traces of dairy out of my diet to the point that now when I eat something baked with butter I feel it.

    And unfortunately those tablets they sell that are supposed to enable you to eat diary actually make me feel worse. :\

    DRST

  97. DRST – if you really miss yogurt, I’d recommend Whole Soy. They make the best tasting soy yogurt I’ve ever had (and I’ve tried a lot of soy yogurts).

  98. Geez, my list of stuff I’m officially boycotting gets longer and longer. (Not that BK is likely to notice my boycott, since I never went there before, but still.) Superstores, restaurants, Blockbuster, most of Hollywood…

    I could use some cheering up. Other than locally-owned businesses, who are the corporate good guys? Who deserves my time and money? I like Costco’s policies on wages (including tethering CEO pay to average full-time employee salary) and benefits, although the free-sample-givers aren’t treated nearly as well, since they’re technically contract employees.

    Timberland is, from everything I’ve read, committed to ethical business practices and treating employees well. (Of course, that means their shoes end up being really expensive, but I’ve had a pair of their hiking boots for about six years now… it’s the Vimes Boot Theory of Economics in action, I guess.)

    Who are your favorites? What companies really try for things like nondiscrimination and fair pay but I just haven’t heard about it? I’m tired of just not giving my money to the Bad Guys. I want to support the Good Guys. I’m just having a hard time finding them.

  99. Somewhere along the way – probably when I stopped living at home – I came to believe breakfast was optional. I realize now it isn’t. It’s been difficult to retrain my brain (and stomach) to welcome the “fast” breaking with a big bowl of something, but I do my best.

    Oddly enough, I do love me some Special K with tons of strawberries and non-fat milk. I don’t like the taste of full fat milk (except in coffee). Also it kept the thieves at bay in college, since only the desperate wanted to mix it up with water/milk. They’d steal everything but my SpK, watermilk and canned corn beef hash.

  100. My mother loves fast food breakfasts. I think the only pancakes she’s had in years are the ones served by McDonald’s.

    paintmonkey asked:
    What IS a parfait?

    Around here, it’s any dessert made in layers with pudding or whipping cream, served in a tall glass of some sort (the kind in the picture is what you’re supposed to use, but I mostly use iced tea glasses because first, I have them anyhow, and second, they’re bigger):

    But, as has been mentioned, most people know them from the newer yogurt variety.

    Medea said
    the woman had to come by later and fix it because men are intrinsically bad at housework. I commented to a colleague about how it was sexist, and she said, “not really, it’s just the way things are”.

    That’s not the way it is in my family. My father, brother, husband, and both sons are all perfectly capable of loading the dishwasher properly. For pete’s sake, my dad came of age in the 1950’s, so what era are the advertisers (and your colleague) living in?

  101. I really love Burger King fries. And the Baconator. And I miss them.

    And I will continue to miss them until Burger King cuts it out with the sexist advertising. And they know this. Because I have emailed them about it.

  102. @Lilah Morgan – It is awfully reminscent of those Hungry Man commercials, or the ones in the UK for Yorkie bars, or a lot of food aimed at men with their supposedly “hearty” appetites. Which always makes me all…fuck you, assholes, I have a hearty appetite too. Still not buying a breakfast sandwich, cause I don’t like eggs in any form where you can taste them, but if I am awake early enough to eat breakfast then a dainty little parfait isn’t going to cut it. I’d be gnawing my own arm off by lunctime.

    When I worked near Chinatown I used to sometimes stop off and get congee with various kinds of meat on top for breakfast if I was up early enough. That was just about perfect, partly because of it’s hearty and very un-parfait-like qualities.

  103. When I worked near Chinatown I used to sometimes stop off and get congee with various kinds of meat on top for breakfast if I was up early enough. That was just about perfect, partly because of it’s hearty and very un-parfait-like qualities.

    Oh, God, that sounds delicious; I used to go to a congee place in the Bay Area and yes – that’s a perfect food stuff that will not leave me famished by 11am. Sometimes I don’t feel like/can’t stomach eggs (and that’s the other reason I like a breakfast sandwich; I can only handle eggs with bread – they sit weirdly in my stomach otherwise), and I’ve found that there are a couple of places like subway and starbucks where you can pick up an actual sandwich in the morning, though alas they are more expensive than the breakfast versions.

  104. Recently I’ve been eating a lot of MickeyDees breakfast sammiches. Roughly half the time, I wake up feeling queasy and greasy breakfast food is the only thing I can stomach for some reason. Seems counter intuitive in a way.

    Has anyone else experienced the glory that is McDonald’s Big Breakfast? Eggs, a sausage patty, a biscuit, a hash brown, 3 pancakes, and a coffee for 4 bucks.

  105. As a London-based SP accolyte (and it being after 2am and being kept awake by a very unusual, and loud, snowstorm) I am now gagging for the yummy American breakfasts aforetomentioned. This is despite the fact that I’m not quite sure what some of it is. So for overseas Shapelings everywhere, some breakfast-related questions for my American chums:

    1) what are biscuits in the context of breakfast?
    2a) what is gravy like, ditto?
    2b) what is hippie gravy like? Is it gravy with a THC sprinkle on it or summat? ;-)
    3) what is a breakfast scramble?
    4) what are home fries?

    Answers on a postcard, pretty please!

    I love love love a decent breakfast when I have the time/appetite to enjoy/cook/buy one. In fact, practically the first thing I do when I hit NYC is to go straight to Friend of a Farmer in Irving Place for American cooked breakfast goodness. With cornbread. Oh to have lovely cornbread for breakfast in London, *sigh*. And when I took my girlie chums to NYC, we ate so much breakfast in so many diners that we thought we’d would explode with pancakey bacony mapley syrupy goodness. So clearly, all sorts of laydees are fully capable and desirous of eating, what I like to term, lardy breakfasts.

    One thing I’ve noticed though in the UK, there *is* a real distinction between men and woman as to where your typical worker or person out and about buys their lard. In London, women tend not to buy breakfast at fast food places like BK, Subway and MaccyDs where they market them in this atypical “manly” way, but instead buy them from independent cafés or coffee/sandwich chains. Likewise, lardy sandwiches/savoury pastries/pastas at lunchtime. So, it’s not like women are not eating lard at all, we’re just eating much nicer, independent, fresher lard.

    What I can’t work out is this state of affairs came about. Is it disgusting sexist ads that makes women think that BK and such like are really only for teh menz? Or that women are just generally inculated by the MSM to believe that fast food is undesirable regardless of the marketing because of teh fatz? Or possibly, just possibly, because women are just much more likely to have innate good taste which knows the difference between fast-food processed lard and nice, fresh lard….?!

    Either way though, it strikes me that BK, through this horrific, sexist advertising is, in fact, actually doing women a favour by encouraging us to avoid their processed, transfatty, corn-syrupy, macho, corporate lard! And if it isn’t their intention, it sure as h*ll is the result in my case. And I say a hurrah to that!

  106. I went ahead and watched it. The resolution is so bad it’s hard to know what I’m supposed to think of her. Burger King – sexist but not sexy.

  107. Westendgirl:

    As a lover of breakfast food, but not much of a cooker, I’ll do my best to answer your questions. =)

    1) what are biscuits in the context of breakfast? Our biscuits are like savory scones. Similar texture, a bit salty, buttery, no sweetness. Textures can vary, though.

    2a) what is gravy like, ditto? It’s a sausage gravy and I think it’s flour-based (?) and has bits of sausage in it. It’s thick and creamy and delicious.

    2b) what is hippie gravy like? Is it gravy with a THC sprinkle on it or summat? ;-) Beats me!

    3) what is a breakfast scramble? It’s kind of an egg scramble with veggies and/or breakfast meats mixed in.

    4) what are home fries? Diced potatoes fried up, sometimes with onions or other things i.e. peppers, cheese.

    Breakfast is the very best thing I make and is the only time I do anything close to “cooking” though I usually make eggs, a meat, and my own variety of home fries. Biscuits will come from a can. If anyone has a good recipe for gravy I might try it some day.

  108. Many happy thanks Sarah B. The idea of sausagey gravy is just lush! *drool* Recipes, someone, please!
    If it hasn’t dropped so much snow overnight here that I can’t get up to my local shops (for London, read like more than 2 inches, lol), I am going to go straight to my local greasy spoon café for a full cooked brekkie. And guess what? I have to go past a BK and a MaccyD to get there. I shall refrain from sticking my tongue out them as I do so….. :-)

  109. My favorite breakfast food is a plain bagel with eggs, taylor ham, cheese, ketchup, salt and pepper. Its incredible. Either that, or a bagel with ham and russian dressing! I’m so New Jersey, but not in the icky Jersey Shore way.

  110. Oh I don’t know Sarah B, ours is more meaty, but yours is just thin crispy yumminess. I’m going to *dream* of bacon now. Please G-d, I don’t get snowed in, lol.

  111. Toasted bagel with cream cheese, bacon, and tomato. Yummy, filling, includes multiple food groups: the perfect breakfast.

    I do adore McDonald’s sausage biscuit. Spicy sausage & fluffy biscuit. mmmm, sausage biscuit. They make a good hash brown, too.
    I feel guilty buying from them.

    Sausage gravy:
    I start with one small sausage.
    Break it up small and cook over medium heat.
    When it’s almost done, add a tablespoon of butter.
    When the butter is melted and bubbly, add a tablespoon of flour.
    Stir that around with a fork until all the flour is all absorbed and browning and it’s bubbly again.
    Pour in about a quarter cup of chicken stock/broth.
    Pick up the pan, take a step back from the stove, and stir until smooth.
    Return to heat.
    Add another quarter cup of stock.
    Stir in and reduce heat.
    If it seems too thick, add more stock.
    Season to taste.
    Simmer a while – until it smells to good to put off any longer.
    Serve over biscuits or mashed potatoes.

  112. So I’m the only one who occasionally has a Full Irish Breakfast? Truly a glory to behold!

    On weekdays, if I’m awake in time for breakfast, I have cereal. Usually muesli.

    TRiG.

  113. Incidentally, McD has had some fairly decent breakfast ads of late. People (bright young things of both sexes) stumbling groggily around the place until they arrive at the McD’s, where they push the door the wrong way so a smiling and fully awake member of staff opens the door for them. They drink their coffee, eat something, and revive. It’s straightforward, understandable, non-sexist advertising (even if the people are a bit too much the “body beautiful”).

    In the meantime, there’s a Head & Shoulders ad, targeted at women, which I’m certain would make many people here spit, but I can’t find it online. I’ll describe it later.

    TRiG.

  114. 2b) what is hippie gravy like? Is it gravy with a THC sprinkle on it or summat? ;-) Beats me!

    It’s generally a veggie or vegan version of the sausage gravy. My usual breakfast place has herb gravy that is so yummy I forget it lacks sausage, but not so much I don’t order a side of it.

    When I use the adjective “hippie” in front of food it generally means vegetarian and/or vegan friendly.

  115. Sadly, I don’t know how to make biscuits properly. I bake not, neither do I spin.

    Maybe I should learn to bake next year.

  116. Can I put in a late vote for the awesomeness of “Mansplain Express” and a “Male Privilege Awareness Day”?

    Also, I never encountered biscuits and gravy for breakfast until I spent some time in Indiana, and now it always reminds me of there.

  117. No dairy and meat together. Alas. Which brings up: Why then cream cheese and lox?

    So maybe fish doesn’t count for kosher? I’ll have to ask my grandma.

  118. I guess there’s argument about it. In theory, it’s only the meat of a mammal that counts as ‘meat’ and must not be eaten with milk, and birds are, like fish, neutral. So, having consulted with one friend who keeps Kosher I find I can give my co-worker a chicken sandwich with cheese on it. And then find out that my co-worker is following a certain decree that says you treat chicken as ‘meat’ and that my friend is, in fact, odd about chicken. It’s pretty interesting.

  119. I’ve never heard of fish being considered meat or birds not as far as Kashrut goes. So your bagel can have lox and schmear but no turkey cheeseburger.

  120. Misogyny and eggs? YUM! Are they still serving now at 10:30?

    I’m kind of glad I hate Burger King good already, so this way, I’m not going to face any sort of dilemma having to avoid them for being stupid.

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