Uncategorized — July 9, 2012 at 6:59 am

Bain Capital-owned Domino’s Pizza makes a hah-hah rape joke with its new “NO IS THE NEW YES” campaign


Seriously? Don’t you have any women on your marketing team?

I was with a group of people who ordered Domino’s Pizza this past weekend. When the pizzas came, some of them, called “Artisan Pizzas”, came in a box with the phrase “NO IS THE NEW YES” in large font across the top. Almost everyone in the room of about a dozen people collectively went “WTF?”

Turns out that the Ann Arbor-based company rolled out this new marketing campaign in April of this year. The idea behind it is that they have found some topping combinations that are so perfect that they won’t allow customers to screw them up by altering them. In other words, if customers ask to customize the toppings on these “Artisan Pizzas”, they will be told “no”.

Apparently Domino’s, currently owned by Bain Capital and owned founded by the very conservative Tom Monaghan, founder of the far-right Thomas More Law Center and other Catholic organizations aimed at promoting his religious views throughout society, doesn’t have any women on their marketing team. This new campaign is clearly a mash-up of “_______ is the new black” and “No means no”.

The latter references unwanted sexual advances made on women.

Just a few weeks ago, Rep. Lisa Brown made this statement on the floor of the Michigan House of Representatives, referencing the male-dominated, Republican attempts to restrict women’s access to reproductive health care:

Finally, Mr. Speaker, I’m flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina, but ‘no’ means ‘no.

Brown’s insinuation was that the male Republicans were treading into territory regarding women’s reproductive rights where they were unwelcome. It was less a joke and more a statement that it is women who should have control over such things, control being assumed by men, in this case.

The Republicans were, of course, accused of prohibiting the word “Vagina” on the floor of the House when they then censored Rep. Brown, prohibiting her from speaking and giving her a “time out” as if she were a child.

They responded by saying that it wasn’t the word “Vagina” that skeeved them out so bad. It was the rape reference implied by “no means no”.

See? Even patriarchal, sexist male Republicans in Michigan’s legislature get the reference. “No means no” has a meaning tied up with men making unwanted sexual advances on women.

And Domino’s Pizza thought that was a pretty goddam funny joke. So funny, they incorporated it into their new ad slogan.

By the way, I’m not being an overly-sensitive liberal weenie here. Others have noticed this, too.

I’ll finish with an excerpt of the speech Eve Ensler gave following the reading of The Vagina Monologues on the steps of the Michigan Capitol building last month:

I am over forces who wanna call victims of rape “accusers” and not “victims”.

I am over you having the chutzpah to redefine rape so that a drugged woman or a date-raped woman wouldn’t even be considered a raped woman.

And, by the way, I’m over RAPE!

I’m over rape culture, rape mentality, and rape jokes.

I’m over people not understanding that rape is not a joke and I’m REALLY over being told I don’t have a sense of humor and women don’t have a sense of humor when most women I know (and I know a LOT of women) are really fucking funny.

We just don’t think an uninvited penis up our anus or up our vagina is a laugh riot.

I am over one in three women getting raped in the US military by their comrades.

I am over women still being silent about rape because they’re made to believe it’s their fault and they did something to make it happen.

I am over dudes voting against the Violence Against Women Act when one in every three women on this planet will be raped or beaten in their lifetimes.

Rape isn’t funny. Rape jokes aren’t funny. And Domino’s Pizza is decidedly not funny.

ADDING… In case you’re still wondering what harm this hah-hah rape joke might do, recall that, in 2010, misogynistic boys in the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity at Yale were videotaped chanting “No means yes! Yes means anal!” during one of their functions.

This sort of offensive garbage, simply put, reinforces a rape culture that makes rape fun and sexy and hah-hah. It’s not only not funny. It is offensive beyond measure. I would be mortified if my son were to participate in such misogynistic behavior. As a society, we should reject this hideous shift with everything we have.

That frat, to which both Bush Presidents belonged at one time, was banned for five years by the university.

In my considered opinion, they got off lightly.