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The Heineken “Worlds Apart” Ad Raised Flags, Not the Bar


From Fast Company: “Heineken Just Put Out the Antidote to That Pepsi Kendall Jenner Ad”

This commercial has been getting a ton of love but honestly I found it problematic. The premise of two people with “opposing views” sitting down and sharing a conversation is lovely. Great message.

I would consider the pair in the commercial talking about climate change to have “opposing views”…

…but the duo talking about feminism and the duo talking about transgender people? NAH.

Those aren’t “opposing views,” that’s one person denying the full humanity of the other. This isn’t a political difference. There is no other credible “viewpoint” when it comes to believing that women should have the same rights and opportunities as men or that transgender folx should be able to live freely without discrimination and hate. If you don’t agree, you’re just plain wrong. Misogyny and transphobia is hate. It’s bigotry. Why not pair a white supremacist with a Black person to discuss their “opposing views” while we’re at it?

If you need 1:1 time with a feminist to not feel threatened by all women, that’s problematic.

If you need to sit down with a trans woman before you’ll accept transgender people as people, that’s problematic.

It felt to me like the feminist and the trans woman had to prove themselves to the two men…once again placing the burden of educating others on the marginalized.

I have little space for anyone who doesn’t already believe in the basic civil rights of women and transgender people, who somehow needs to be convinced they are worthy of equality and acceptance. A belief in human rights is pretty much a minimum if you want me to share a beer with you.

Pepsi set a pretty low bar with their Kendall Jenner ad and Heineken actually did little to raise it.

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