Dolce and Gabbana – They love a bit of gang rape.

Posted: November 24, 2013 in Uncategorized

Ah, fashion. As someone who owns 3 pairs of jeans, a couple of hoodies and t-shirts that are pretty much exclusively adorned with comic book superheroes (bear in mind I’m 27) I don’t think I’m really in a position to write a blog entry on companies like Dolce and Gabanna and Gucci. However, this blog entry isn’t about fashion, it’s about the adverts used to promote the companies, in particular one advert for one company that has caused something of a stir.

This particular ad is quite a few years old now (2007 I think was the year it was released), but the point I Want to make is, once again, about double standards when it comes to the portrayal of violence towards men and violence towards women.

Now, I’m the first to admit that, when it comes to advertising, I’m pretty simple to please. If you want me to buy your chocolate, create an advert that has someone eating and enjoying your chocolate. Pretty simple, so I’ll never understand those adverts that are so obscure you don’t know what is being advertised until the product shows up. You know, the car ones with the inspirational quotes that make you feel extremely positive about life, until you realise it’s only an ad about a Ford Focus, or the numerous Guinness adverts that (as brilliant as they are) have as tenuous a link to beer as possible.

Fashion ads fall into the latter category, sometimes I can’t figure out why the advert looks the way it does or what the message is, to the point that I very rarely get excited about designer clothes or perfumes. I make good money in my job, but I’d rather spend it on what I feel comfortable in, rather than something that will do my street cred an improvement. Ok, let’s be honest, I have no street cred, so no number of expensive, flashy designer suits is going to change that. Besides, I’m short, fat and have shoulder length hair; I’m really not their target audience.

But, on to the offending ad. There’s already been lots of discussion about this one ad in particular because of the ‘controversial’ nature of it. Apparently, it ‘clearly’ depicts a gang rape. Yep, it’s the Dolce and Gabbana gang rape ad of 2007:

http://i1276.photobucket.com/albums/y472/johnsalmonworld/IMG_2685_zpsc2a5253b.jpg

I’ve already said I find fashion ads a little confusing, and this is no different. Ads like this are always full of beautiful people in various states of undress. While I get the sentiment behind it, it’s not something that I’ve ever found convincing or compelling enough to encourage me to buy their clothes. As I said, I’m not their target audience, so I can look at these ads from a completely detached viewpoint.

Do I think this is implying gang rape? Of course I don’t, you should know better than that after 20 odd blog entries. Unfortunately, not everyone shares my views and, even more unfortunately, the reaction to this ad has been entirely predictable and in such a manner that I absolutely despise.

I said in a previous blog I hate it when people pass off their opinion as facts. I find it arrogant that they assume their views to be so grandiose and insightful that people will just accept them at face value. I try not to do it here on this blog, everything I write here is clearly my opinion (unless I outright state it when I think I’m right, which I’ve done once) and a lot of what I write is responses to already existing internet idiocy. The response to this ad is full of people saying stuff like ‘this advert clearly depicts gang rape’, ‘it’s promoting violence against women’, ‘look at the oppression in this advert’, etc, etc, etc.

I’ve said numerous times before that one problem I have with feminism is the absolute refusal to look at anything in a neutral way. There’s absolutely no desire to debate or discuss anything that they see as questionable. In their mind, there’s only one way to look at something – their way. If you don’t agree with them, or you try to present a counter-argument that is no less valid then you’re in for a monumental battle. A battle you will inevitably lose. Once a feminist decides their opinion on something, that’s it, they’re right, you’re the misogynist areshole who just wants to subjugate and control women like some Neolithic prick. Never mind that your point might actually make more sense or be based more in truth than hysteria, if you disagree, you’re scum. And that’s not just men, feminists are more than willing to throw other women under the bus for disagreeing with their views, they’re awesome like that.

So, back to this advert. The advert was actually banned after people complained. Yeah, that’s a society that hates women for you, they complain about a questionable advert that implies 4 men want to gang rape a woman and it gets banned, The Patriarchy got served, big time!

So, if general consensus is that this advert implies, and perhaps even promotes, gang rape, why do I disagree? Well, first of all, no-one looks too upset about it all. Even the woman seems to be showing little concern for the situation. Plus, she’s thrusting her hips upwards, towards the man pinning her down, who, funnily enough, seems to be the only one of the men who is actually looking at her. The other three seem to be looking in other directions. Possibly the topless man on the right is looking at her, but he could equally be looking at the man who’s pinning the woman down.

Of course, I could be wrong, Dolce and Gabbana, the massive high fashion designer company, could really have decided one day that what their ad campaign was missing was the subtle implication of gang rape, but without hearing that from the company themselves, I’m going to assume they were going for something a bit less rapey and a bit more kinky.

You see, to me, this advert could easily be presented as something altogether more kinky than simply ‘OMG her hands are pinned, it’s rape.” See, for all the shouting the feminists have done about sexual liberation and the freedom of women to be able to indulge in their wanton sexual desires, they still don’t like any women engaging in sexual activities that they don’t approve of. This is a prime example. Have they ever thought that, perhaps, in some weird, off-planet, non-feminist way that, possibly, some, not all but some, women like the idea of being pinned down? Is that not beyond the realm of possibility? I don’t think it is, there are all sorts of stories out there on the internet about women who like being submissive, who like to hand control over to their partners in the bedroom, who like being controlled. Now, I’m not saying that this is definitely what this advert is doing, and I can certainly see why some people might get up in arms about it, but my point is simple – interpretation does not equal fact. Just because I see it as something a little bit kinky, a woman getting aroused by the idea of being controlled and dominated by her partner, or even multiple partners, does not mean I hold the monopoly on that view. It doesn’t mean I can go around and say shit like ‘well clearly she’s loving it.” All I can do is interpret the advert in such a way as to present my views. If someone thinks it’s rapey then that’s absolutely fine, but don’t you dare presume that everyone else agrees with you. It’s a big assumption to make. It’s a false assumption to make.

So I don’t agree with the idea that this advert promotes gang rape for the simple reason that there are too many other interpretations that make as much sense. People go on about rape culture dominating western society, but let me put this question to you – if you are always seeing rape in everything you encounter on a daily basis, even in things that can be interpreted in different ways, are you, yourself, not promoting rape culture? By immediately seeing everything in the most negative way possible, are you not only furthering the idea of rape culture? Are you not so intent on proving rape culture’s existence you are forcing yourself to see it in every little thing? That’s called confirmation bias. If I wanted to be offended at every little thing I encountered it’d be fairly easy to do. That’s what I don’t like about rape culture, it’s a self perpetuating nightmare. People think we live in a rape culture, so they subconsciously force themselves to see rape in every advert or TV programme around, which only furthers their belief that we live in a rape culture. And so the circle continues.

As I was trying to research articles that ‘prove’ this advert is promoting gang rape I came across an interesting image, an image that was obviously taken at the same time as it is the same setting, same men, same woman and yet has a completely different edge to it:

http://i1276.photobucket.com/albums/y472/johnsalmonworld/IMG_2684_zps9636a7a7.jpg

Interesting how there’s no pinning down on that picture and, once again, the men seem to be looking anywhere other than the woman. Now, you could make the assumption that, in the story of the advert, this picture comes first and the ‘gang rape’ picture comes second, which is a nice progression from ‘lets-hang-out-at-the-pool’ to ‘lets-find-a-nice-woman-and-then-gang-rape-her’. But, there’s also the possibility that the woman is the one doing the seducing, perhaps she wants the man to pin her down, perhaps she’s one of those women, the one the feminists hate, who love a bit of kink in their sex lives.

Of course, that could all be rubbish, I could be talking out my arse, Dolce and Gabanna might actually be a set of massive rape-loving twats, but that doesn’t seem very likely to me. What it does seem like is they produced a couple of images that are ambiguously provocative and the feminist army got their panties in a massive fucking bunch and, in order to maintain the perpetual victimhood their movement loves so much, cried rape at the top of their voices.

As I mentioned above, I was trying to find articles that were as black-and-white as they come, and I wasn’t disappointed. These are people who are absolutely convinced this advert is sickening, and basically make the implication that anyone who disagrees is a sick fuck.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/charlotte-hilton-andersen/dolce-gabbana-says-women_b_547268.html

http://peacehopetrees.tumblr.com/post/14504147327/feministblackboard-dolce-gabbana-this-ad-is

http://blog.lib.umn.edu/raim0007/gwss1001/2007/04/dolce_gabbana_fantasy_rape_ad.html

I don’t have time, space or the energy to go through each of those articles in turn, but they all go down the same route – that advert is gang rape, no matter what you think, no grey areas, no ambiguities, no differing interpretations, nothing. Just a sick campaign that ‘reeks’ of violence against women.

And so, we come to my favourite part of this particular blog, the part where I can talk about the outrageous feminist hypocrisy of complaining about adverts like this. You see, in my research I found 4 more images that were of a controversial, provocative nature, and this time I couldn’t find a single objection:

http://i1276.photobucket.com/albums/y472/johnsalmonworld/IMG_2681_zps467627ec.jpg

http://i1276.photobucket.com/albums/y472/johnsalmonworld/IMG_2683_zps06476f0e.jpg

http://i1276.photobucket.com/albums/y472/johnsalmonworld/IMG_2682_zpsffe8e881.jpg

http://i1276.photobucket.com/albums/y472/johnsalmonworld/IMG_2680_zps750c8722.jpg

 

First thing to notice in those ads above – the men are a lot more naked than the woman in the ‘gang rape’ picture. In fact, in my very simple Google search of ‘Dolce and Gabbana’ I didn’t find a single advert that featured a completely naked woman, or even a woman in just her underwear, yet there were a great deal of men either completely naked or in just their underwear. I will state here, pretty late in the blog but never mind, that I have no problem with models being photographed in their underwear to promote a fashion company’s clothes, not at all. I have no problem with nudity being used in the way it is above. What I do have a problem with is the disparity in the treatment of the two sexes in those adverts.

See, not only are the men naked in the adverts above, they are being dominated by the women. If I was to use my own logic I could suggest, quite easily, that these men are also choosing to be in this situation, that maybe these are the type of men who like handing over control to their partners, or multiple partners, and letting them be in control. I’d be absolutely right, there’s every chance that that is the case, every chance that these adverts are as kinky as the ‘gang rape’ advert.

But, there are two distinct reasons why I say there aren’t the same:

1) The facial expressions of the women. In these adverts the facial expressions of the women are a lot more violent and stern than the men in the ‘gang rape’ advert. In that advert the woman and the men’s faces are all passive, showing very little emotion. Some of the women in the 4 adverts posted above are looking anything but passive, verging more on the aggressive than anything else which, when coupled with the fact that some of them are holding whips, presents a much more violent impression than anything in the ‘gang rape’ advert.

2) Look at the body positions on the men. While the ‘gang rape’ ad shows the woman thrusting towards the man pinning her down, the above adverts show the men in a much more victimised light, to the point that in two of the adverts at least, the men are seen either cowering or trying to get away.

Again, I’ll reiterate, this could simply be a case of some kinky BDSM sexual activity where the men enjoy being dominated, it’s not unheard of, out of 7billion people on the planet there must be a few of each sex that like to try something a little different than ordinary ‘vanilla’ sex.

But here’s my point, I couldn’t find any objections to the 4 adverts above, whereas I could find pages and pages of stuff dedicated to how sickening, misogynist and pro-violence-against-women the ‘gang rape’ advert was. So, the ambiguous advert with clothed men surrounding another clothed man pinning down a clothed woman is touted as being an absolute black-and-white portrayal and promotion of gang rape, while 4 adverts that show clothed women stripping, whipping, possibly beating and demeaning naked men are out there on the internet with not a whisper to be heard.

Is it becoming even clearer why I think feminism is embroiled in a battle to maintain their perpetual victimhood? Advert that contains numerous interpretations just happens to have one that is considered bad = misogyny, 4 adverts that contain less ambiguous depictions of violence towards naked men = perfectly alright.

“So why don’t you complain?” I hear you shout. Well, considering the attitude society has of domestic violence perpetrated by women towards men, do you think my complaints would have much of an impact? I highly doubt it. If one image that ‘reeks’ of violence towards women is banned, yet 4 adverts that depict violence towards men are barely acknowledged then what hope do I possibly have of making a difference? It’s going to take more than one Englishman with a blog that constantly criticises feminism to make a difference. Feminism is far too ingrained in society for it to be destroyed by one man with a blog. It’ll take an organised movement, one as powerful as the feminists have created, with every piece of logic and information possible, to dismantle feminism.

I thought I’d try a little social experiment regarding the 4 adverts containing naked men. I typed in “Dolce and Gabbana violence towards men” in to Google and this is the result:

http://search.babylon.com/?q=dolce+and+gabbana+violence+towards+men&s=web&as=0&rlz=0&babsrc=HP_ss

Yep, not a single site on the first page of results that deals with female on male violence in their adverts, every single site is about male on female violence and how D&G ads help perpetuate that. Absolute no consideration of the reverse, something that numerous studies have proven to happen on near identical levels.

Yes, I know this particular advert is over 6 years old, but the idea remains, the feminist movement does not like anyone who doesn’t share their views, even if those people happen to be women. A movement that is for ‘equality’ that only seems to be upset when women are depicted badly hardly seems to be a movement for equality at all. Seems to me more like a movement whose only desire is to maintain and control the perpetual victimhood it holds itself in, so as to allow the perpetual cycle of confirmation bias to continue, to infinity and beyond.

I don’t have a problem with the ‘gang rape’ advert, which means I don’t have a problem with the set of 4 adverts containing men. What I do have a problem with is the constant cherry picking by feminists over which adverts offend them most, and the blatant hypocrisy that pervades their movement. When you claim that adverts are objectifying women and ‘reek’ of violence, and then ignore or pass off equally as objectifying and violent images towards men you are a hypocrite, plain and simple. It should come as no surprise that I find feminism to be loaded with hypocrites, only ever seeing the ‘damage’ done to women by ambiguous adverts that may or may not imply a nasty event is about to happen.

You want me to take your movement seriously? Stop having a crying fit every time you see something you don’t like, engage in debates and discussions with people who don’t share your views and, for God’s sake, acknowledge your own hypocrisy when it comes to everyday double standards that affect men and women.

Have I upset you? Good, your tears are delicious!

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Comments
  1. […] “Dolce and Gabbana- They love a bit of gang rape”. JOHN SALMON’S WORLD The everyday ramblings of an everyday bloke. 2013. Photograph. Web. July 29, 2014. https://johnsalmonsworld.wordpress.com/2013/11/24/dolce-and-gabbana-they-love-a-bit-of-gang-rape/ […]

  2. Josie says:

    You seem to be very keen on presenting yourself as a neutral, objective party. But you’re not. Once again, like the masses you choose to see feminism not for what it is and you stereotype and elevate yourself from all this “fashion stuff” – but believe me, none of us are immune to the influences of media.

    The dolce and Gabbana add sparked outrage because of its suggestions. Little things like pinning her wrists down drew dangerously close concepts to the issue of “lack of consent”

    And further more D&G’s ads didn’t just send out wrong signals – Men too were portrayed in this really warped way.

    The ad was to be seen by millions. And chanced upon by young people. Little things like that change perspectives and desensitise people to the severity of rape. I am sure that you will agree with me that rape is NEVER okay under whatever circumstance and to even vaguely condone or worse, popular use it in modern media is an absolute violation.

    You’re gonna pass me off as some crazed feminist but I mean what I say when I state that FEMINISM IS ABOUT CHOICE. It’s about pointing things out that hurt women or set them back in society. And talk to any modern woman and you’ll realise that ALL of them are feminists in one way or another.

    I am sure that if there was an ad which was even vaguely racist, reactions would be very different. Why not subtly allude ads to slavery or cultural appropriation? What’s the deal? It’s not direct – Well you see, just like this D&G ad it digs up bad blood and a horrid history.

    Think before you blog.

    • johnsalmon86 says:

      Thanks for the comment Josie. You’re right, nobody is immune from the influences of media, but that doesn’t mean people aren’t aware of what those influences are. The whole reason I wrote this blog was because of the very influences you talk about.

      The advert containing the questionable portrayal of rape-like situations caused uproar, yet I couldn’t find anything about the other adverts I mentioned in this blog, the ones that show women in similar positions of power over men. The woman in the questionable ad was fully clothed, the men in the ads I pointed out were all naked and in various positions of weakness.

      You claim I don’t see feminism for what it really is, but that’s exactly why I write this blog. I write this blog because I do see the hypocrisy of feminism and want to call it out.

      The fact is, you say that feminism is a choice then, in the very same paragraph, tell me that ALL women are feminists in one way or another. Do you not see the hypocrisy in that? You can’t say it’s a woman’s right to choose and then take that choice away from them when you talk about feminism.

      There have been plenty of adverts that have been criticised for racism for questionable use of models and themes so it’s not like that’s even really a valid point. If we censored everything because it dregged up bad history then we’d never have films about slavery or the suffragettes.

      You think I don’t think before you blog? How very informed of you.

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