Today’s guest blog is authored by Scottie Ellis, who doubles as a superstar and our lone employee in Louisville, Kentucky. Like many of you, Scottie is an avid fan of The Handmaid’s Tale and, like many of you, was beyond insulted at what might have been the worst brand extension idea in many a moon.
Here’s her take on the wine that died on the vine…..
Developing a line of ‘seductive’ wines based off of women stripped of their rights and freedom, who are enslaved for rape and reproduction? All in the name of commodity.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you are likely aware of Hulu’s Golden Globe winning series The Handmaid’s Tale, based off of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel. The story has found new life, not only thanks to the show led by Elizabeth Moss, but also, unfortunately, due to our current political state. Audiences have found themselves relating to the story of a futuristic totalitarian state (The Republic of Gilead), which has overthrown the United States government and stripped women completely of their rights thanks to the Trump-era rhetoric, which has become the new norm.
The story takes an extreme stance by designating some women as ‘Handmaids,’ forced to live with a family and reproduce on their behalf due to the family’s inability. To be more frank, the women are raped on a regular basis, and then forced to give up their children to their rapist and his wife. To further degrade the women, the leaders also strip them of their identities through mandatory uniforms and new names.
Horrified at the thought of wine being developed around these characters? Well prepare to need a glass of something strong as you read the disturbing product description:
“Completely stripped of her rights and freedom, Offred must rely on the one weapon she has left to stay in control — her feminine wiles. This French Pinot Noir is similarly seductive, its dark berry fruit and cassis aromatics so beguiling it seems almost forbidden to taste. But it’s useless to resist the wine’s smooth and appealingly earthy profile, so you may as well give in.”
Not only does this copy transform rape into marketing, it also sexualizes and promotes tactics rape survivors often must use to get through their experience alive – and how they must process following their attack. The final statement reads, “you may as well give in?” Well, as a woman, that reads as I have no say or rights when it comes to my body – one of the things I fear most.
Dramatic? Noting that Trump, our president, who has sexually harassed women with no consequences, is working to take away our access to birth control and our right of choice, I see my rights dwindling before my eyes. For women, ‘under his eye’ is becoming more realistic day by day.
Should I drink to that? I’d rather be ordered to the Colonies.
It’s nearly impossible to find educated people in this particular topic, but you sound like you
know what you’re talking about! Thanks
Even in the online age, the ways in which people feel emboldened to practice cruelty, insensitivity and and stupidity never fails to amaze.
I wish I’d read this before lunch.
Good god. Did the winemaker or its agency hire John Schnatter to write the copy?
Great blog, Scottie. Horrific marketing campaign.