How You Know There’s Nothing “Rapey” About the Audi Super Bowl Ad

Thank goodness we’ve got all the important problems dealt with, so we can focus on the miasmic “rapiness” of car ads.

As part of a discussion on the elements of a story (protagonist, conflict, theme, etc), I showed my students — all of whom are girls — this ad. They all saw it during the game of course, and they all thought it was “adorbs” or “presh” or whatever lingo the kids are using these days. One girl, who hadn’t seen it, having missed the game, was more emphatic, saying “I want to be kissed like that!”

The plural of anecdote is not data, so we shall have to rely, for the moment, on a non-empiric proof that nothing “rapey” happened in this fictional scenario.

In the first place, no sexual intercourse occured, so we can’t make the charge of rape. All that happened was a boy kissing a girl, without her expecting it. The best we can do is charge the boy with sexual assault, i.e. say that what he did was “rapey” thus giving our accusation a cutesy, hip flavor.

In the second place, the girl clearly liked and enjoyed the kiss. That means there’s nothing “rapey” about it. The difference between rape (or sexual assault) and romance is the will of the woman. If a man makes an advance, and she rejects him, he must stand down. If a man makes an advance, and she welcomes it, he has done nothing wrong.

It’s exactly that simple. An unwelcome sexual advance can be considered “rapey”. A welcome sexual advance by definition cannot be.

So how can people make the charge that the ad is “rapey”? Two ways:

  1. The girl is trapped in “rape culture”/”false consciousness”, or some other esoteric abstraction which means that her thoughts and feelings do not matter, so we, despite being unable to give or refuse consent to the sexual advance in question, can declare it objectively “rapey”.
  2. Males are filthy beings with disgusting penises, and everything they do is “rapey”.

Of course, only the first way is ever spelled out so explicitly.

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