|On October 11, staff writer Genevieve Cato called out Deep Ellum for using a problematic slogan that derives its humor from rape culture.
The eye-catching hot pink van sports the logo for their blonde ale with the assurance that this blonde "goes down easy." This is not the first time this tired, sexist pun has been used to sell alcohol and it probably won't be the last.
In his blog post response, Reardon writes that "it's a literal description of the beer with a blowjob joke." Thanks, and tip your waitress.
The primary problem with the "Goes Down Easy" joke isn't the blowjob pun itself (although, seriously? You want to sell your beer the way Coors Lite and Budweiser have for the past twenty years?).
It's that the beer — or the woman or man — goes down "easy." Easy compared to what? Do other people put up a struggle? If she goes down with some hesitation, what do you have to do to convince her?
As a commenter eloquently pointed out, "At its root, rape culture is all about how society encourages male sexual aggression and, at the same time, objectifies the female body."
No, John Reardon, we uppity ladies don't "link all oral sex to violence against women." But we do think it's problematic to discuss sex as something that all men will pursue forcefully, even when women resist.
In other words, sex jokes in general can be funny, but this particular oral sex pun isn't. Women should be able to "go down" when they damn well please and not be subjected to harassment or intimidation by their partners.
In her blog post, Genevieve mentioned the Belvedere Vodka ad that used the same pun but also included an image of a woman trying to escape sexual assault. "I can agree that this was going too far," Reardon writes, but he fails to acknowledge that the only difference between his pun and the Belvedere ad was an image describing the punch line of the joke: Some women have to be forced into sex, and some women "go down easy."
A solid ground rule for entering into conversations over accusations of sexism, racism, classism, and other forms of oppression and discrimination: Listen and attempt to understand before you become angry.
That rule applies to everyone, but this week, is applies especially to Deep Ellum Brewing Company. Rather than attempting to engage in productive dialogue about their marketing choice, they refused to consider that they were wrong and claimed to be the victims of feminist bullies.
But even if John Reardon doesn't listen to us, we hope he listens to his customers. As one commenter said, "Here's a crazy idea: make good beer, and you won't need to use stupid sexual innuendo or objectification of women to sell it."