comments_image Comments

"Your Mouth Says Yes"?: Advertisers Use Rape to Sell Women Chocolate

This post originally appeared on Shakesville. [Trigger warning.] A few times recently, I've seen adverts, usually in print media, using one of my most loathed turns of phrase: "Your mouth says no, but your eyes say yes." There are a few variations, e.g. "Your lips say no, but your eyes say yes" or "Your mind says no, but your body says yes." Often this yes/no concept is used in advertising to women, to sell something decadent, frequently a food, often chocolate or some rich dessert. You're saying you don't want it, but you know you really want it. If that sounds suspiciously like rape apologia, it's no coincidence. "She said no, but she obviously wanted it" has been used in rape defenses as long as there have been trials for rape. What is victim-blaming based on an accuser's appearance or behavior if not a variation on this very concept? "Her mouth said no, but her short skirt said yes." I could probably write an entire book about the inherent problems in using rape apologia to sell luxury items to women, and the nefariousness of that strategy given what it sells by proxy, but at the moment, I'll just observe, simply: That shit is fucked up.