For the sake of my fragile mental health during quarantine, I’ve started exclusively reading Twitter through their Tweetdeck app, which allows me to customize my experience to my enjoyment. I can choose not to see retweets, for one thing, and Tweetdeck doesn’t push people’s ‘likes’ onto my feed. I only use it to network with artists I enjoy, and occasionally retweet the stray meme. My exposure to the woes of the cursed blue website is mercifully minimal. If you want to live like me, I strongly recommend this plan of action: log into Tweetdeck, uninstall the app from your phone, read Ed Zitron’s article on how to enjoy Twitter, and follow all your Twitter mutuals on non-Twitter sites.
It’s because of my strict no-Twitter-angst diet that I managed to miss out on the website’s latest stunningly atrocious fast food PR scandal until just today. So you guys are probably rolling your eyes – gee, look at this chump writing an article 3 days late! But my tardiness is because I take care of myself first, and you should too. If I were to expose myself to every horrible thing going on in the world right now, I would almost certainly instantly take 20d6 poison damage and die.
It’s for these reasons that I sincerely advise not reading this article unless you’re in a good enough place mentally and you really want to see my take on it. I don’t have anything to gain from stressing you out pointlessly, and neither do you, and also I really don’t want to be giving Burger King any more free advertising than they’re already getting right now.
If you feel like you have to know, you don’t. It’s not that funny and it’s absolutely not worth it. Here, I’ll sum it up for you: Burger King said a stupid out-of-context thing about women while they were trying to say something positive, and it was probably on purpose to stir up social media drama. There you go! Now go do something else. Go play some Wobbledogs or whatever the hell it is you like to do these days.
Oh no, you’re still reading? Okay, here’s the latest drama:
Wait, wait, wait. What the hell? They couldn’t have actually said that on International Women’s Day, right? Well, yes and no … there’s more to it.
If you’re thinking “give the unpaid intern a break”, I’m sorry to inform you that this was not just a misguided tweet. This was a misguided tweet based on a print ad.
That means it’s very likely dozens of people looked at this, and all of them thought “Hmm, that’s definitely going to sell our burgers!” How in the hell did this even fly? Did they not have any consultants or sensitivity readers? Well …
This is another step in a worrying trend of liberals ‘subverting’ misogyny for shock value – just look at, like, any piece of Hillary Clinton memorabilia. Rather than leaving hatred of women in the past, it’s used as an attention-getter and a conversation starter. Now it’s a bullet point you can have an opinion on, instead of an act of cruelty.
Unfortunately, shockvertising works, or else we wouldn’t be here talking about it. A corporation as big as this is going to know that a well-staged oopsie is great press, especially since Burger King already has a long history of edgy advertisements. Y’all remember the Subservient Chicken? Or hey, what about the blowjob ad, wherein the model was not informed her face would be juxtaposed next to a sandwich schlong?
I suppose this is the next logical step in the ‘sex sells’ mindset – corporate America has realized that even the discussion of misogyny sells in itself, whether outright or subversive. This kind of thinking is what has manifested into ‘choice feminism’, the idea that any choice a woman makes is inherently feminist. If that’s a little confusing to wrap your brain around, just think of the kind of person who defends scantily-clad fictional women with “They chose to dress that way!”
A lot of people seem to be surprised that Burger King would pull a stunt like this, and just as many people seem to sincerely believe that this was a genuine tone-deaf accident. I don’t have as much optimism.
It’s been what, only two months since the Grubhub Dance incident that they successfully managed to turn into a monetizable meme? How many of us had to endure Grubhub memes in our YouTube recommended for weeks? It’s been only a couple weeks since the concept of Oreo cookies made a tweet that literally just said “Trans people exist.” This is the state of modern advertising – outrage, outrage, outrage. Look at us, we’re all talking and thinking about it, because there isn’t anything else to do when we’re all in quarantine plugged into Twitter 24/7.
Or hey, who knows, maybe this is part of Burger King’s new retro aesthetic! It’s not just the fonts they’re bringing back to the 70s, but now the politics too.
Anyway, go try to purge this shit from your brain for your own sanity. Twitter sucks. If we could all agree to block every corporate account we see I think we could finally get a little closer to that ‘world peace’ thing I’ve heard so much about.