hornitos tequila: the official corporate face of gettin’ your rape on

by That Kind of Girl on May 9, 2011

So, since I wrote this (after midnight, expecting like fifteen people to read it), I’ve gotten input from some lawyerly dudes and realized that, okay, the situation described could not be legally charged as rape. Bandying about the word rape inaccurately? Not cool. I’ve never wanted to be the dude who does that. I apologize for being alarmist. That said, please do feel free to read all instances of the word “rape” in the [unedited but bracketed-notes-added] post as “acts of willfully misleading sexual predation to deceive a partner into sexual intercourse that she otherwise would not have given consent to, with no regard for the complicated psychological repercussions when your actions are inevitably discovered.” Holy hell is that phrase long. Maybe, for brevity, “morally repugnant shit you would not want done to your mother.”

Wow. So, watching Hulu this weekend, I was exposed no less than three times to what I can call without question the most sickening advertisement in recent memory. It’s a thirty-second spot for Hornitos tequila (a Sauza product) and runs under the title “Brotherly Love.” I fully encourage you to check it out here, if you don’t mind righteous feminist she-hulking so hard your armpit hair spontaneously grows two inches.

If you’re at work or too lazy to shave your ‘pits after, the premise: guy and girl sexytimes stroll into apartment; “I don’t know what’s come over you tonight, Mike,” she purrs before heading off to grab some Hornitos tequila. Dude’s phone rings to reveal his identical twin brother in the airport. “Dave, did you tell April I wasn’t going to make it?” — but Dave’s too busy watching April clink shotglasses and writhe in sexual foreshadowing to answer, so he hangs up as his cuckolded brother says, “I love you man.” And then Dave goes to rape it up all over town with the woman who’s giving consent to sleep with him under the impression he is her boyfriend.

Seriously, you guys, time travel was invented and no one thought to tell me?! ’cause I can see no plausible excuse that we could actually be in the year 2011 watching a national ad campaign laughing off informed consent like a punchline. Rape. That is motherfucking rape. [Okay, okay, so see note above. It's not rape. But when it spends the night at rape's house, it borrows rape's toothbrush.]

The only other explanation — and this is way less amusing than time travel — is that the jackoffs at Hornitos don’t understand what rape is. So, I wrote them a letter. If you too are disgusted by the idea of a company laughing off the idea of liquorin’ a girl up and then rapin’ her down, I highly encourage you to write a letter as well.

Dudes,

I just saw your “Brotherly Love” ad spot and found it delightful. It’s so rare to find advertising these days that has the balls to advocate rape! I’ve got a few small questions, though, before I go out and try this maneuver (and your fine product!) on my own:

1) Your commercial’s got me totally rarin’ to go out and get my rape on, but — total bummer — I have no identical twin! Any other ideas how I can liquor a dude up and violate his right to informed consent?

2) When you do liquor a lady up and then seduce her under a false identity and totally fake pretenses, when’s the Hornitos-approved time to reveal the fact that she hasn’t actually given consent to the sexual encounter? Afterwards, when you’re leaving her to clean up the sheets (and the shrapnel of her trust in men)? Or do you wanna do it mid-coitus for that angry-rape-victim bucking bronco effect? Woohoo! Ride ‘em, cowboy!

3) I always forget the official recipe for a Sauza Margarita. Is it two parts tequila to one part rohypnol? Or the other way around?

4) You did a great job with the :30 spot, but don’t be coy! I want to see more! How about the part when she realizes she’s been deceived by someone she trusted, just so he could have sex with her? Or the part where she blames herself for impairing her own judgment by clinking those glasses of (yummy, yummy) Hornitos tequila? Where’s the part where she’s so ashamed of “letting herself” be raped that she isn’t able to go seek help? Where’s the part where we all get out a dictionary and look up the meaning of informed consent?

5) After this ad, I suuuuper want to try your tequila, but I’m not a rapist. Am I still allowed to drink it?

6) Will drinking your product in fact give me the uncontrollable urge to run out and rape someone? (I hope so! You made it look like such zany hijinks!)

7) What kind of ass-backwards, misogynistic motherfucking Mad Men style ad agency are you using that this commercial could go through presumably months of development and be approved for a NATIONAL CAMPAIGN that makes a literal punchline out of the concept of informed consent?

8) Okay, fine, make rape seem casual. Make it seem fun. Make it seem like no big deal. You are creating the world that your sisters and daughters and nieces and granddaughters and and every other woman you will ever love will have to live in. This is a dangerous world to be a woman. This ad campaign shows that you’re committed to doing your part to keep it that way.

Hornitos Tequila: The Official Corporate Face of Gettin’ Your Rape On.

For my money, Hornitos is one of the best tequilas at its price point. Which is a shame, because obviously I will never buy anything in the Sauza family of products again, and obviously it’s my moral obligation to encourage anyone with a vagina or anyone who loves someone with a vagina to do the same.

Rape is not a joke. That your company endorses it bewilders and sickens me in equal measure.

Ugh,
Kat

All I want to do this week is run my stupid post about my Jeopardy! audition. Hey men of the world [who beat, rape and otherwise abuse women], can you please stop beating, raping and otherwise abusing women long enough to let me do that?! Thanks. [The rest of you, just carry on with whatever you're doing.]

[Also, for more even-keeled thoughts about the commercial, and fewer phrases like "get your rape on," a post.]

{ 1 trackback }

Hornitos Tequila: Using Rape to Sell You Their Liquor | a better world is probable
May 9, 2011 at 5:09 pm

{ 84 comments… read them below or add one }

Helen May 9, 2011 at 8:10 am

I don’t live in the U.S. so haven’t had the ‘pleasure’ (or the desire) of seeing it. Isn’t there some kind of organisation you can complain to about the advert? We have the ASA (advertising standards agency) here, and if consumers complain they have the power to pull n advert like that off the air immediately.

The scary thing is: the creative folks thought it up (probably while drunk.
They pitched it to their boss.
Who pitched it to the marketing folks at Hornitos/Sausa

And NOBODY thought to say ‘hang on, this seems offensive’????

I need to go on a rampage right now.

Reply

Amanda May 9, 2011 at 10:49 am

In the US, there is no comparable advertising standards agency — the first amendment would prohibit that. The FCC regulates broadcast media, but I think it’s up to the networks to determine if an ad will cause the FCC to fine them. (And generally, rape is not going to get the networks a fine; foul language would, and depending on how much they show, consensual sex would.)

The only thing people can do in the US to stop these sorts of things is to shame the companies as much as possible.

Reply

Jason F May 9, 2011 at 8:26 am

1800 is a great alternative.

Reply

Damsel May 9, 2011 at 8:41 am

One irate email- Check.
Sent around to my girlfriends so they can send irate emails-Check.

This is truly ridiculous.

Reply

Alyssa May 9, 2011 at 9:15 am

dude this makes me feel totally awful.
i’ve seen this commercial a bunch lately during the bruins games. it didn’t even make me think of rape at all. i kind of laughed and then thought that that dude had a sleazy bro.
how bad is it that they can market that to us and i just kind of chuckled and thought it was a clever commercial. dudddddde so terrible.
that’s kind of the whole premise of ads though- they’re raping your mind without you even realizing it

Reply

That Kind of Girl May 9, 2011 at 9:52 am

I think that’s part of what makes it so disgusting: rape is already such a gray area, and seeing it treated casually in the media only makes it harder for people to realize when they’re in a rape situation. This one is especially bad, because even if you’re a “yes means yes!” anti-rape crusader, it’s easy to look at this and think, “Welllll, she looks into it.” But only because he’s willfully misled her. To my mind, it’s the equivalent of a dude tyin’ up his lady for a little light bondage then, when she’s blindfolded, sneaking into the room and letting a buddy of his sneak in and have sex with her. Does she think it’s consensual at the time? Sure. Is it actually consensual? Of course not.

Reply

markbiwwa May 9, 2011 at 9:19 am

How disgustingly smug that is. Good on ya for whaling out on them!

Reply

Karissa May 9, 2011 at 9:46 am

I’ll be sending one, too.

I also forwarded this video with to the 100-person listserv from the Women’s Studies program at my old undergrad, along with the suggestion that they write similar letters.

This is absolutely reprehensible.

Reply

That Kind of Girl May 9, 2011 at 9:47 am

Thanks for passing on the word! Doesn’t it just make your blood boil?

Reply

Rae May 9, 2011 at 9:53 am

This is airing in Canada too! I didn’t get the underlying rape message, but did have a strong reaction to the general creepiness of it. My younger brother (16) laughed at it – next time it’s on, I’m going to take the opportunity to try and explain the rape message and lack of informed consent. So thank you, for this (hopefully) educational opportunity!

Also, I’d LOVE to read the response if you get one from this shitty company. I will be sending an email to them too. Not as snarky, but still, it’s worth a shot, so I don’t have to see this commercial ever again!

Reply

That Kind of Girl May 9, 2011 at 9:58 am

If I get a response, I’ll definitely post it! Also, yes, awesome that you’re going to talk to your brother next time it’s on! It’s never too early to start thinking and talking about informed consent. Besides, when he’s an adult, believing in equality and being respectful to women (even — dare I say it? — a feminist) will give him way more luck with the ladies than any creepy frat-boy twin switch maneuvers ever could.

Reply

That Kind of Girl May 9, 2011 at 10:01 am

Also, I can’t stop thinking of how completely unacceptable this mentality would be for any moral situation less hard to define than rape.

Like, imagine two good-lookin’ guys sitting at home, sipping Hornitos and sharing a needle of smack. Then the other guy goes to get more tequila, while our hero puts down the needle they shared and rolls up his sleeve to reveal full-blown AIDS sores. Big cheesy wink at the camera! HORNITOS TEQUILA EVERYBODY! For when you just don’t give a fuck what you do to other people!

Woohoo. Margarita time.

Reply

Chrissy (The New Me) May 9, 2011 at 9:53 am

I’m speechless that this commercial exists and that anyone thought it was even vaguely okay. You’re #4 point is the most salient – just imagining the aftermath of this “joke” is horrifying. The fact that this sort of thing ACTUALLY HAPPENS is even more terrifying. I’m off to write a letter now. Thanks for hulking out and spreading the word.

Reply

Emily May 9, 2011 at 10:15 am

I completely agree with your views and rants on this. I just keep replaying it in my head trying to figure out how: a) anyone thought this was funny; b) it got approved; and c) how some jackass even came UP with the idea. Did he model it off his own life experiences? You can be damn sure there wasn’t a woman on their team. Ugh. Sickening.

Reply

That Kind of Girl May 9, 2011 at 10:32 am

Doesn’t it just absolutely blow your mind?!

Reply

magnolia May 9, 2011 at 11:57 am

we are really living in a time when the culture has decided that it’s totally OK to hate women again. advertising is just one symptom of the overarching disease. there are SO MANY anti-woman commercials out there. the miller lite “MAN UP” ads are despicable. hell, even klondike ice cream bars have a spot where a man is celebrated and rewarded for “suffering through” listening to his wife talk for five whole seconds.

the boyfriend and i got into an argument about this. he thinks advertising doesn’t have any influence or power in society, since it’s so ubiquitous, and thus it’s not worth getting outraged over. he’s an avowed feminist, too, so this surprised me. i could NOT disagree more with that premise.

it wasn’t like this 15 years ago. we regressed so much over the 2000s. maybe the 2010s will be better. they’re not getting off to the greatest start. it’s just really unsafe in this culture to be female right now, and i’m not seeing it get better…

Reply

Lex May 9, 2011 at 12:13 pm

I hope you don’t mind, I sent a link to this post to Jezebel. “Purer than your intentions.” Asses.

Reply

That Kind of Girl May 9, 2011 at 12:14 pm

Oh man, don’t mind at all! Thanks for getting the word out! I’ll have to think of a few other feminist blogs I think might be interested and ping them on my lunch break.

Reply

Dhsu May 9, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Copyranter is dedicated exactly to ads such as these.

Reply

That Kind of Girl May 9, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Awesome! I shot him an email!

Reply

Angela May 9, 2011 at 2:09 pm

I had the same reaction as Alyssa mentioned earlier in the comments – didn’t realize the implications of the ad until you broke it down, and I’m ashamed of that. I admittedly haven’t seen the ad, but am able to think critically about most advertising that wars on women and from your description didn’t understand immediately that I should be upset.

I’m glad you started this discussion and linked to the contact form. I wrote to them about the ripple effect of their take on “mischief” (a word from their comment form). And thinking past the screen time to the ending of that storyline, I have plenty of reason to be upset.

It is so exhausting to be a woman, and to explain over and over to men that things are not “equal”. And it’s a pretty regularly surprising reality to me as well. You’re right about that time machine…

Reply

Aaron May 9, 2011 at 3:19 pm

Hey I stumbled across this post while searching for people writing about this disgusting ad. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and sending this e-mail and encouraging others to do so too. Ugh.

I had the same thought just a moment ago about the banality of this kind of violence in ads. There’s another disturbing ad running during the Stanley Cup playoffs for Miller Light with some sort of squadron of busty white women rescuing dudes from “unmanly” behavior (i.e., obviously meant to be heteronormative). So if you drink the competitors beer, or don’t wanna bang these chicks than you’re obviously unmanly. Ugh. It’s like they were just saying “Drink our beer you fags,” without coming off like the 12-year olds these marketeers obviously are.

Hang the advertising industry, seriously.

Reply

Rick May 9, 2011 at 5:10 pm

Step one in getting these guys to take you seriously. Do not start your letter with the word “DUDES”.

Reply

That Kind of Girl May 9, 2011 at 5:22 pm

They’re not going to take me seriously anyway. Not just me. The people who are going to take me seriously, and be cool enough to send the volume of letters that might get the company’s attention (and who, in fact, have been sending those letters all day) are the dudes who read my blog and know my voice.

Although that was actually the one difference between the letter I sent and the one I posted: the one that actually went to them began: “So, sirs,” with no linebreak between the greeting and the body of the letter. Kind of irrelevant, though; the rest of it wasn’t exactly high-toned rhetoric either.

Reply

You're a dumb cunt May 9, 2011 at 8:27 pm

You are such a moron you stupid whore

Reply

That Kind of Girl May 9, 2011 at 8:44 pm

Dude, there are so many true things you could have called me. You could have pointed out that I’m unattractive or socially awkward or not super good at cryptograms; you could have speculated that I don’t have much of a social life or that I have a secret crush on William H. Macy. If you wanted to make fun of me, there are so many great places to go with that! But alas, I’m extremely intelligent and don’t have sex for money.

Reply

You're a dumb cunt May 9, 2011 at 9:07 pm

Ok, well, you’re NOT extremely intelligent. Nor are you intelligent at all, as far as I can see from your opinions. About you having sex for money, that’s an issue for you and God…

Reply

That Kind of Girl May 9, 2011 at 9:09 pm

Okay, well, that’s cool.

Reply

Dhsu May 9, 2011 at 9:10 pm

What…why…why would you even respond to this guy. It’s like the first thing you learn in Internet 101.

Reply

That Kind of Girl May 9, 2011 at 9:16 pm

Solid point. I just feel sorry for the trolls, what with all their bridges in foreclosure and whatnot. I think it might be especially because I’m really excited that this blog post kind of blew up: it’s crossed the eyes of thousands and thousands of people, inspired other blog posts, made a few people think about the nature of sex and consent and rape culture, sparked some letters to the company. I feel pretty good, going to bed knowing that I raised my voice for something I care about, and that I built something today. Then I think about people who feel the need to get on the internet just to try to rip things down. I feel kind of bad for them, you know? I don’t know where that mindset comes from. I assume it’s frustration because they’re not doing their own working and building toward things they believe in. I have this kind of silly hope that by engaging reasonably with them, maybe they’ll be reminded that they’re humans and feel a little spark of desire to go do something constructive themselves.

I don’t know. I’m probably living in fantasyland with that one. Oooh, also, Dhsu, thanks for the heads-up about passing the link on to copyranter! It brought the level of exposure that lured trolls here, which means that for every obnoxious troll it lured, it also brought a few hundred real people!

Reply

Dhsu May 9, 2011 at 9:28 pm

Any time, dude! I knew that site would be ALL over this.

Reply

Ray May 9, 2011 at 5:35 pm

It’s a great ad and the woman in it is drop dead gorgeous. Maybe if you were half as attractive as her you would actually have a social life and would not be wearing out “b.o.b.’s” and going through dozens of batteries a month contributing to poisoning our landfills.

Get a life, a guy and get laid.

Reply

Sister May 9, 2011 at 5:53 pm

Ray: ah, yes- you are exactly the type of person these ads appeal to. Stop trolling and find a legit counter-argument, punk.

Reply

spencer May 9, 2011 at 8:40 pm

Hey, Ray! How’s life in the Sauza Marketing Department?

Reply

someguy May 9, 2011 at 7:27 pm

Not to stir up a hornets nest, but that isn’t rape being depicted. It’s called “fraud in the inducement,” i.e. that the woman knows she is consenting to sex and with whom, although there has been some misrepresentation getting to that point. This is opposed to “fraud in the fact,” where the woman doesn’t consent to any kind of intercourse – think being at a doctor’s office and he says he’s going to insert a speculum but instead inserts his penis.
Fraud in the inducement can be the basis for some crimes, but it doesn’t meet the standard for rape. Otherwise every guy that tells a girl he makes six figures or that he loves her (when he doesn’t) just to get her into bed would be committing rape. For further reading see: http://law.justia.com/cases/california/calapp3d/163/1224.html

Reply

Sophie May 9, 2011 at 8:35 pm

Dude. She DOESN’T know with whom she is consenting. Imagine waking up to that betrayal. Rape.

Reply

someguy May 10, 2011 at 3:40 pm

Doesn’t she though? He’s right there, talking to her and walking around with her. The “whom” is hard to define, and I would say its more similar to the (below mentioned) guy impersonating an actor than to the (below mentioned) situation where a woman is bound and blindfolded by a lover, who then allows an entirely different man to have sex with her.
One way to look at it: she consented to have sex with the guy she brought home.
Another: she consented to have sex with Mike, not his twin.

I’m not advocating either view, I’m just saying that its not clear cut.

Reply

That Kind of Girl May 9, 2011 at 8:40 pm

That’s an interesting point. Although my understanding is that situations like this are punishable in some states, as “rape by deception” or “rape by fraud”. To me, this seems very different from the normal practice of misrepresenting facets of oneself for the sake of seduction: he’s impersonating a whole different person, with whom she already has a sexual relationship, because she would not give consent otherwise.

Forgive me, because I’m quoting this from somewhere else I commented it, but the concrete similar situation I liken it to (and forgive the second-person; I’m not trying to be hostile. I just like second-person for hypotheticals):

Imagine you and your lady are engaging in a little light bondage. She’s rarin’ to go, tied and blindfolded, then you have to run downstairs to grab the riding crop. While you’re away from the room, your housemate creeps in the open door and starts having sex with your girlfriend. She’s got the blindfold on and thinks it’s you, so she enjoys the sexin’ (well, depending on your roommate’s talents); because she thinks it’s you, she think she’s consenting. Is this actually consensual sex?

To me, because she thinks she’s consenting to an entirely different person than the person who intentionally misleads her into sex, this seems like a “rape by deception” situation. Either way, I think we can both agree that it’s an awful thing to do to a woman, and not something that should be tacitly endorsed or treated lightly by a major brand in a national campaign.

But good point, that the best possible legal term for this might be slightly outside the realm of rape. I’ll have to think about that.

Reply

more law May 9, 2011 at 10:55 pm

Actually, the situation you describe would be a classic example used in law schools to explain that fraud in the inducement is not rape. An example from my book: a look-alike of a famous actor induces someone to have sex with him by impersonating the actor. This is not rape.

Under the Model Penal Code, which is a set of laws that experts came up with and recommended to the states, there’s a less serious crime called “gross sexual imposition” that criminalizes fraud in the inducement, but only when a man has sex with a woman knowing that she mistakenly thinks he’s her husband.

You might believe that fraud in the inducement is rape because of a recent case in Israel, where a Palestinian was convicted of rape because he told a woman he was Jewish and got her to sleep with him. US law is much different. Obviously, it’s still a shitty thing to do, but no one will see a second of jail time for it.

Reply

That Kind of Girl May 9, 2011 at 11:14 pm

Huh, that’s really interesting. I totally should have talked to a lawyerly friend and gathered some thoughts first. It seemed really clear-cut to me — and still does seem obvious to me that the commercial is making a mockery of the idea of consent, and is tacitly endorsing the kind of predatory mindset that can lead to sexual violence — but I forget that laws are so nuanced.

Thanks for commenting. I really appreciate it. And feel badly, because I’m genuinely not usually the dude to bandy about the word rape. You being a law-dude and me being a lowly fiction writer, I’m guessing you’re absolutely right that this couldn’t be prosecuted in court as rape. But I do feel, strongly, that the fact that the commercial plays the scenario off as a “oh you wacky scamps!” brotherly rivalry without considering the horrific implications of the situation for the woman, and that it does so for humor, is repugnant and perpetuates a dangerous, degrading mindset.

Reply

That Kind of Girl May 9, 2011 at 11:22 pm

Also, added a note in the post to acknowledge your insights. Thanks again.

Reply

forthWright May 9, 2011 at 11:33 pm

“Actually, the situation you describe would be a classic example used in law schools to explain that fraud in the inducement is not rape. ”
Obviously there are clear problems with our law then, wouldn’t you agree?

If you’re somehow going to explain away the point of the post with legal terms as to what the meaning of the word “rape” is, please, continue, as you’re doing a great job at being another man that distracts from the entire fucking point.

That’s some of the problem with many of the men that make their way into feminist discussions. Coming from a man.

Further, don’t even try to make this similar to that case in Israel. You’re clearly invoking what’s a case of socially and politically supported bigotry to try to invalidate a totally different problem we have with this ad.

Does it make you feel better to know men wouldn’t serve any time from this? That the only person having to suffer for it will be the victim?

Reply

Peech May 31, 2011 at 2:15 pm

funny that jared rohrig and others have spent more than a second in jail for this very same thing. good on you with your book though.

Reply

more law June 10, 2011 at 5:15 pm

I haven’t heard of Jared Rohrig before, but I looked him up. Every article I’ve found mentions that he was charged with two things: criminal impersonation and rape. They all say that he was charged with rape because (allegedly–I can’t find anything to say he’s been convicted) while they were having sex the woman realized he wasn’t her boyfriend, tried to leave, and he used force to continue having sex with her. That’s traditional rape, not rape by deception.

I haven’t been able to find any article saying he was convicted, or that the trial has even happened yet, so if you know of one I’d like to see it.

Reply

karla May 10, 2011 at 12:34 am

Because she enjoyed it means it stretches consent??? You have to be able to give consent. You can’t trick people into things by deception. There is this weird perception that men need to get their penis wet and women and dripping with desire to accommodate this need. Who is the guy that died of a dry penis that makes this a real need men have? Its a made up concept. You don’t need it. Rape is non consensual sex by definition. Its not fraud. BTW Law School is the end all for law. Lawyers lose all the time.

Reply

more law May 10, 2011 at 1:21 am

You’re right, lawyers do lose all the time. That’s because there tend to be lawyers on both sides. It would be pretty hard for everyone to win.

With that said, the fact is that fraud doesn’t count as rape legally (this will frustrate you–there is a legal term for this kind of fraud, and it’s “seduction”). I’m not saying this is a good thing, I’m saying it’s a true thing. And it would be good for feminists to know the legal definition of rape because then they’d know what changes to try to make in the law. If you just keep labeling things rape without realizing or caring that the law disagrees with you, you’ll never be an advocate for changing the law, and people who do this will never be punished.

Reply

Bef With an F May 10, 2011 at 2:05 pm

You make an interesting point about how to change laws in a very articulate way, & I look forward to doing some more research on this subject.

However, I must ask you why it is important for feminists to know the legal definition of rape- why isn’t it important for everybody to know what it is? Taking care of & protecting people should be the job of all peoples, not just the ones a given law/scenario affects.

Reply

someguy May 10, 2011 at 3:28 pm

I think more law is refering to the importance of language. If you start labeling behavior, which is still morally reprehensible but not (sorry) as bad (sorry) as traditional rape, then the term loses its force and people take it less seriously.

Reply

Centa May 9, 2011 at 7:30 pm

Everyone has basically expressed my opinions of this ad (its awful, shameful, and scary to live in a world where its presented as ok to do this to a woman) , but I have to say, good work on getting so much attention to your post that you got a woman-hating troll. You’re doing it right if you’re getting some dude to tell you how ugly you are like it would actually shut you up. Hah.

Because GASP if I am not pretty to this nameless, faceless dude on the internet then I’m worthless, amirite ladies?

Reply

Margaret May 9, 2011 at 7:43 pm

Well I can’t leave my original comment because your site seems to think I’m a spammer, so I’ll just suggest you check out my wallpost on Sauza’s facebook page. I’ve seen similar campaigns work for change.org on several occasions.

Reply

Seriously? May 9, 2011 at 8:29 pm

WTF?
Are you serious? First of all, rape is about consent. Not necessarily informed consent. Under your logic, if a person sleeps with another person, but does not reveal their entire history, it is rape. If a woman sleeps with a man, or vice versa, because he has millions, but doesn’t tell him, is that rape? The man in this situation is not informed…. Additionally, there isn’t a single scene in this commercial that shows them having sex, mentioning sex or beginning to undress. Kat, it appears that you will go out of your way to find a link between this commercial and sexual assault. This commercial is humorous, not because it could happen, but because it would NEVER happen. Identical twins are not truly identical. There are small differences in every human being. Anyone close enough to sleep with someone should be able to notice those differences.
I would feel horrible for you children, but I can tell by your arguments that your hatred of men will prevent any but the most impotent from sleeping with you.
I wish you the best in your continuing disgust with society and enjoy your future arguments on how Playboy and Maxim objectify women but Vogue and Cosmo don’t.
Keep up the man-hating and allow the rest of the world to find happiness.

Reply

That Kind of Girl May 9, 2011 at 8:54 pm

Things I do not hate: men; consensual sex; Playboy and Maxim (have a stack of Maxims on my shelf, in fact); the state of modern advertising in general.

Things I do hate: a national company endorsing the idea of a man pretending to be a girl’s boyfriend and having sex with her through trickery, because she would not consent to have sex with him under any other circumstances. Look up “rape by deception” or “rape by fraud”.

Imagine the same scenario minus the twin aspect: imagine a girl tied up and blindfolded for some hot (consensual) light bondage with her boyfriend. He leaves the room and his roommate starts sexin’ the blindfolded girl. She goes along with it enthusiastically, thinking she is consenting to have sex with her boyfriend. Afterwards, she finds out it was in fact a dude she had no desire to have sex with, fucking her under the guise of being her boyfriend.

These are very similar situations — the only difference is the physical reason why she does not recognize that the man she thinks is her boyfriend is an impostor. Minus the inherent twin hilarity, though, how okay does that really sound?

And if you can convince yourself that that does sound okay, imagine, in graphic detail, someone doing it to your mother. Imagine someone doing it to your sister. Imagine someone doing it to your future daughter. Does this really seem like a good thing to teach people, by example, that it’s okay to laugh at?

Reply

Bef With an F May 10, 2011 at 12:18 am

I’m gonna go ahead & agree with Kat’s hope that responding to trollers intelligently will make them do something else.

Because really? Why do you have to feel horrible for her children? Why does a discussion about something sexual make it okay for you to make comments about her personal life?

Am I allowed to feel badly for your children, because their parent is a bigot & will teach their child to be bigoted? No. I am not. I don’t really care about your children. Or anybody’s, actually. I prefer to mind my own damn business and keep the discussion on topic.

Reply

karla May 10, 2011 at 12:41 am

Cosmo and vogue are women haters. Interesting read if you can grab it is “Female Chauvinist Pig” …interesting how the male corporate world fronts a woman to model male preferred behavior. Its incredible if a man wrote Cosmo we would be up in arms, but if it comes from a woman it becomes girlfriend sharing??? Strip clubs put a club momma to rule over the girls because she can make demands that if they came from a man would yield a lawsuit. Hello……..all these women are not your friends.

The commercial is offensive and its suggests this male fantasy of easy women that want it….Women’s Vaginas are not imminent domain.

Reply

Christopher May 9, 2011 at 8:59 pm

Rape didn’t even occur to me. But, a very close friend of mine had his brother and wife actually have an affair. This definitely left a nasty taste in my mouth – sort of like their tequila.

Reply

Boston Cube May 9, 2011 at 11:00 pm

I assumed his pencil dog dick would be the dead give away. JOKING!

I’m glad you wrote the company, Dude or No Dude.

I’m still wrapping my head around “Prosperity Theology” this weekend.

Reply

emilyo May 9, 2011 at 11:03 pm

Good for you, Kat. Rape is appalling…and tequila-shilling corporations who use rape to sell rodents are a close second.

Reply

emilyo May 9, 2011 at 11:07 pm

Rodents=products. Damn auto-correct. Foiled again!

Reply

Christian G. Warden May 10, 2011 at 1:34 am

I wrote up a lengthy comment, but WordPress rejected it as spam, so it’s posted here: http://bit.ly/lHv4tK

Reply

That Kind of Girl May 10, 2011 at 1:47 am

Oh man, why did WordPress have it out for that very excellent comment?! My spam filter’s so temperamental. Very interesting questions. I’d definitely have to think about them as well, but I’m very drawn to your idea of a level of reasonable assumption. I think that might be what separates this situation for me from things like lying about income or virginity. The brightline in my head is that instead of embellishing or altering some facet of his own personality, he is fully impersonating another person for the express purpose of having sex with her.

Then again, the celebrity impersonator scenario mentioned above feels significantly less rapey to me than the twin switch. I guess that’s always the tough thing with rape and sexual assault — there are so many gray areas that make it hard to define what is wrong, and hard for victims to be sure when they have been violated.

The more I think about it, the more I realize that the major thing that strikes me as horrific about this commercial is that it focuses so strongly on Dave’s wronging his brother that it completely ignores the fact that he is wronging her on a profoundly deeper level. In fact, the commercial tells the story so convincingly that it’s easy for the audience to completely miss how very deeply he is violating her trust and right to choose whom she does and does not have sex with.

And when we are not seeing — heck, when we’re downright glamorizing — women being deceived and manipulated into sex with people they do not wish to sleep with, we’ve got a problem. I just can’t help but this it’s important for people to look at this commercial and be able to realize: “Oh. This. This is not okay.”

Reply

karla May 10, 2011 at 2:10 am
Anna May 10, 2011 at 2:35 am

Rock on. I’m really disgusted with that commercial.
I do have to admit I did not understand the problem with the commercial until I watched it twice and then read your recap. I chalk it up to being really tired.

Reply

Ken O May 10, 2011 at 4:02 am

As others, I don’t think that is actually rape.

OTOH, how about this as a strapline:-

“Horitos tequila; the dishonest douchbag’s choice!” ?

Reply

That Kind of Girl May 10, 2011 at 8:11 am

I understand it’s not technically rape. Which is why I edited the post to reflect that. But I’m a bit staggered that people want to talk about the legal definition of rape after I acknowledged that I was in error instead of focusing on the morally repugnant content of this ad. She does not want to have sex with him. But he manipulates her into doing so against her will by impersonating her boyfriend. We are talking YEARS of therapy here.

This behavior isn’t just douchey. Many of my guy friends are douchey. Douchey is saying you’ll call a girl but then losing her number, or trying to get with a married lady, or having sex with your brother’s girlfriend with her consent. This is a whole different level of sexually predatory behavior.

The fact that people can have such a casual response to media depict of a man tricking a woman who DOES NOT WANT TO HAVE SEX WITH HIM into intercourse, to me, only proves that the derogatory, dangerous mentality behind this commercial is shockingly prevalent.

Reply

Lew Siffer May 10, 2011 at 9:16 am

Just playing the Devil’s advocate here: Is it ever stated or shown that she doesn’t want to sleep with him? Maybe she finds out between the end of the commercial and the commencement of the sex and goes along with it. For that matter, how do we know that they have sex? All we know is that they are going to drink tequila. What if she finds out and refuses his advances?

Reply

That Kind of Girl May 10, 2011 at 10:48 am

I mean, maybe afterwards they bake each other cupcakes and we realize this is the fiftieth level of Inception and then everybody does the robot. The ad implies they are going to have sex, and that she does not know that she is going to have sex with her boyfriend’s twin brother, whom we know is impersonating him. Any number of fantasy endings could theoretically follow, if you want to catalogue them all, but it doesn’t change the facts that: 1) he is definitely impersonating his brother and at least attempting to engage in sexual acts with her; 2) she is definitely under the impressiont hat the man she’s having a romantic evening with is her boyfriend, and not his twin; 3) the commercial definitely laughs it off as though this is an okay thing for men to do.

Reply

The Ex May 10, 2011 at 4:30 pm

“I mean, maybe afterwards they bake each other cupcakes and we realize this is the fiftieth level of Inception and then everybody does the robot.”
Winning comment. They should teach that rebuttal in logic classes.

Reply

douchegirl May 27, 2011 at 1:04 pm

That was my favorite response in the history of responses.

Also, nothing to add to this. You’ve said everything I wanted to say in a far more eloquent manner.

Reply

Lew Siffer May 13, 2011 at 10:28 am

I agree that it is sleazy, unethical, and not okay. I just wanted to play Devil’s advocate.

Reply

someguy May 10, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Its because this post was reposted on a popular law school blog called Above The Law.

Reply

Richard May 10, 2011 at 10:02 am

Interesting comments on a provocative ad. Probably not much new to add to the discussion, except this question which I have not seen asked yet: What about this ad convinces you that she deos not want to have sex with the brother, which is the lynchpin of your “rape” argument? Clearly, the ad is premised on the proposition that she does not know that the brother is not the boyfriend and that the woman is clearly being deceived in that regard, but there is nothing in the ad that I see to suggest that she doesn’t want to have the sexual interaction that the ad implies (lightly) is about to be forthcoming. Not knowing with whom you are about to sleep does not equal not wanting to sleep with that person, does it?

Reply

That Kind of Girl May 10, 2011 at 10:44 am

Not knowing with whom you’re about to sleep and willingly giving your consent under those circumstances (like most one-night stands, for example) is totally different than thinking you’re giving consent to someone with whom you have a pre-existing sexual relationship, but in fact being tricked into giving consent to an imposter. The latter is a violation of her right to choose whom she has sex with.

She wants to have sex with her boyfriend. She thinks she is having sex with her boyfriend. We are given absolutely no reason to believe she would otherwise give consent. (Or else, duh, skeezy brother wouldn’t have to pretend to be his own twin to hook up with her.)

Reply

Richard May 10, 2011 at 10:53 am

All fair enough, but my point is that we seem to be filling in an awful lot of blanks int eh story to get to a particular conclusion. You say “We are given absolutely no reason to believe she would otehrwise give consent.” But we’re given absolutely no reason to believe that she wouldn’t either. Maybe she’s flirted witht he brother before. Hell, maybe she’s smarter than the brother, knows who he is, wants to sleep with him and is playign along so she can blame the brother for deceiving ehr in the end. Again, depending on how many blanks we want to fill in the story can go either way. Some of the filling in seems to be based on some strongly held biases and stereotypes, to be sure, including the underlying assumption that the woman is the victim of whatever is going on here . . . but in my (admittedly somewhat far-fetched) example, she clearly is not. so why do we all assume that she is?

Reply

That Kind of Girl May 10, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Occam’s Razor, dude. She calls him “Mike”; we have no reason to believe she’s lying about believing he’s Mike. She thinks he’s Mike. They are flirting, touching each other, have returned to his apartment, and Imposter Twin hangs up immediately to the sound of throaty giggling. I trust we’ve all seen enough movies and commercials to understand the contextual clues that media uses to foreshadow sex. This interpretation is the most straight-forward one.

You can come up with whatever far-fetched scenarios you’d like, but google for blog entries and tweets that summarize this commercial. They all reference the straight-forward interpretation that the girl thinks she is with her boyfriend, and that the couple is going to have sex.

We all assume she is going to have sex with him, because it is the most straight-forward interpretation, and the one we are given enough evidence to support. The person who wrote this could have put together a 250-page novel of a screenplay with all the complication and nuance in the world, but commercials are run through focus groups. This is overwhelmingly the popular reading of this commercial; even if in some far-off magic universe, another reading were intended, the company must know that this is how viewers interpret the commercial.

I genuinely don’t understand the point of playing devil’s advocate in order to get someone to explain the literal series of events of a narrative that virtually everyone who has discussed has interpreted exactly the same way. I can’t carry this particular line of questioning on any further because it’s hit my absurdity saturation point.

Reply

Savage Rabbit May 12, 2011 at 3:39 pm

And the basic problem with your responses is that consent is not default. It’s not acceptable to posit that we’re given no evidence that she WOULDN’T consent; consent is an active thing. It is not just “there” if you don’t say no.

Reply

x May 10, 2011 at 10:22 am

Hey men of the world [who beat, rape and otherwise abuse women], can you please stop beating, raping and otherwise abusing women long enough to let me do that?!

This line was in very poor taste. not every man beats, rapes, and abuses women, and you know you could have phrased it to be less universally condemning.

Reply

That Kind of Girl May 10, 2011 at 10:39 am

I’m confused. It was originally way too sweeping and uncool. Which I acknowledged by adding the bracketed clarification that I’m cool with all dudes who don’t abuse women?

Reply

Denny DelVecchio May 10, 2011 at 9:48 pm

Seriously…the ad is creepy as fuck.

And if Denny thinks it’s creepy as fuck, that’s really saying something.

I may be a greasy man-whore with a 6th grade Camden, NJ education, but consent is, and always will be, my mantra when dealing with ladies.

Trolls can suck it.

Reply

Fi May 11, 2011 at 5:36 pm

I checked the laws in Australia – that’s considered rape here (gets it’s own dot point in the sexual assault section of the criminal law consolidation act and everything!)

If that’s not legally considered rape in the US, that’s a failure of your legal system. Because it is rape. Whether there’s a specific law or not, it’s rape.

Reply

That Kind of Girl May 11, 2011 at 8:09 pm

I usually just want to hug a koala, but this makes me want to hug all of Australia. Completely agree that, if this is not categorized as rape, it’s a failure of the legal system. Love that it’s in the books there. (Hate that disgusting things like this happen often enough that it has to be in the books.)

Reply

Savage Rabbit May 12, 2011 at 3:37 pm

Rape law is made by men, dude, fuck ‘em. It’s sexual assault. April consented to having sex with Mike, not Dave. In other words, she hasn’t consented to sex with Dave at all; he does not have permission to place his penis/tongue/fingers inside her. I don’t know why that fact needs to be danced around.

We’re past the point where we can argue that not knowing about a certain deception makes it not-rape, right? ‘Cause otherwise we’ve just regressed 30 years to the point where being intoxicated or unconscious is not-rape.

Ask yourself: would it be rape if someone’s boyfriend blindfolded her and then let his friend stick his dick in her? Why or why not?

Reply

Aurora May 14, 2011 at 1:49 am

About whether it’s legally rape or not, there was a case in Idaho that was somewhat similar to this recently, and it was argued that it was rape due to fraud (a guy, having sex with his girlfriend from behind, allowed another guy to come in without her consent), and under this law this would have been rape (as would this hornitos commercial situation – possibly) IF the woman had been MARRIED to the original guy, not just dating (horrendous law, yes). It’s probable that because of this case the law will be changed to include all individuals. It will probably impact laws in other states as well. Anyway, just thought I’d provide some input here about potential legal implications.

Reply

Alicia May 23, 2011 at 10:42 pm

I don’t think this counts as rape in any definition of the word. “Accidentally” sleeping with someone I thought I trusted under false pretenses is a big deal, and I’d be pretty tore up about it for… like a few days if it happened to me. It’s not something one would need therapy to get past, unless they had some reason to be hyper-sensitive to this kind of thing; ie they had been raped.

That being said, Hornitos seems to have decided they want to douche up their images as much as possible. Everything, from the way the men dress in the commercials to the content, screams total asshole.

Reply

Peech May 31, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Your lawyerly friends are wrong. In many (if not all) states in America, that would be considered rape (by coercion or deception). This commercial perfectly illustrates a date rape scenario. It’s not a douchy thing to do, it’s rape.

Actually, Jared Rohrig did it in real life and there are other stories of one (or both) twin(s) being arrested and prosecuted for this very thing.

Thanks for speaking out about it.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post:

Google Analytics Alternative