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November 2011

My Soda Is More Manly Than Yours

I had to see it to believe it.

I love Gena Radcliffe's "You Are Not a Winner" blog, and as usual she nails it with her analysis of Dr. Pepper's new soda: Dr. Pepper Ten.

"I find it amusing, not to mention profoundly stupid, and if I threw a fit over every profoundly stupid thing I encounter on a daily basis, particularly in the media, the veins in my neck would be permanently bulging," she writes.

Gena is more sane and patient than I. Because I made the profoundly stupid mistake of checking out the Dr. Pepper Ten web site. I couldn't believe it could be that stupid and so blatantly exploitative of homophobia and misogyny without being a Super Bowl commercial.


And now the veins in my neck are bulging.

Do I need to start listing the things that are wrong with this? Beginning with the fact that I adore shoot-em-up action-adventure movies where things go boom and hate 99 percent of romantic comedies, while being decidedly female and even straight? Also that I never thought Diet Dr. Pepper was in any way feminine, just tasty?

I could not find the "game" to which Gena referred on the Dr. Pepper web site, the game where players shoot at "feminine" things like high heels and lipstick. Perhaps someone at Dr. Pepper had a breath of sanity and took it down fast. EDIT: Other columns report that the Dr. Pepper 10 Facebook page actually will not allow women to "like" it. Because the soda isn't for us, you know.

Ellen Degeneres cracked me up with this: "Do you want to offend half the population? The half that probably buys the groceries? What happened? We had it so good there, we were voting and smoking and wearing pants. And now we can't drink soda?"

Huh. Diet soda is girly. Who knew? I guess that means all the diabetic men I know better just give up soda altogether or resign themselves to a horrible lingering death, because heaven knows high-fructose corn syrup is just what God intended for manly men.

Hilariously, the idiots who run the soda industry say that sales are declining among regular sugared soda, so this is a way to drum them back up. The concept that men might actually be smart, and are taking better care of themselves by drinking tea, juice, water and health drinks... well, that's just impossible. We must continue to treat men like no-neck woman-hating grunting apes, and women like boring fluffheads.

Look, if you don't like the taste of diet soda, that's fine. I don't like the taste of high fructose corn syrup, which is why I go for the diet stuff. That's a matter of taste, not gender.

But as Gena says, if you're dumb enough to drink shit that's bad for you because you're afraid people will think you're gay, you're going to fall into a diabetic coma at age 50 and I will laugh at your homophobic corpse, you asshole.

As for the ads... "Women get the joke," they say. Really? Coke Zero and Pepsi Max both managed to create low-calorie, low-sugar versions of their drinks AND market them to the same homophobic, misogynist men without creating an ad campaign so over-the-top offensive people are laughing at the stupid executives who thought this was a good idea.

Well, people who aren't me. I wish I could laugh. But I ran out of laughter the last two times I live-blogged the Super Bowl commercials, and I just can't find the funny in men-vs.-women misogyny. Not in what it means about ad executives' attitudes towards women (which have always been vomit-inducing) or how virulently offensive it is to men.

The men I know? They're smarter than this. And vastly more secure in their sexuality.

In the meantime, I must regretfully set aside my favorite soda for the time being. I love Diet Dr. Pepper. It's okay for me to drink it; I'm a woman.

But I'm not giving my money to the morons who thought shooting at women's shoes was a funny idea for a game.