Well sort of. The latest ad I’ve seen from the delightful studio of Burger King is for the so-called “polygameat” – a burger made up of more than one kind of meat – the ad can be seen here.
In an ordinary village, a mob is hounding a man whom they accuse of committing “polygameat” – the mob is mostly made up of women (and of course, they are the only ones to actually speak about how outraged they are at this); they are wielding signs saying things like “Stop the meat beast.” A journalist and cameraman are reporting on the furore: they film the man leaving his house, protectively cradling the polygameat burger, until proclaiming that he’s a “man” and can’t be “tied to just one meat,” that it’s “perfectly natural,” that a woman’s bloke probably “fancies a bit of it.” In the end, the journalist asks whether it should be banned or lunch (before looking at the burger, his watch, and making a “let’s go” motion to the cameraman).
It’s pretty damn obvious we’re being invited to make the comparison between polygameat and polygamy. So is Burger King comparing its male customers to polygamists – or bigamists, philanderers, adulterers, or mansluts? Well not really: the line of the ad is that men can’t be expected to be faithful to just one meat type, just as they can’t be expected to be faithful to just one woman. It’s not condemning them, it’s lamenting the unfair burden heaped upon them. What it *is* doing of course is comparing women with meat.
Not in so many words of course; it maintains just enough deniability to satisfy those who want to laugh at such a comparison while pretending not to (or try the “you’re the sexist one for noticing” line). But the gendered nature of the ad, the deliberately similar name, the dialogue evocative of cheater’s justifications – there’s no room for doubt there – men are being pitied for being thought cheaters, and women are being called meat. Again.