rich chocolate ice cream

The Dairy Air Ice Cream Company has a cute name, right? There’s nothing wrong with it on paper, but then when you say it out loud it, you get rear-ended (derrière, get it!).  Their menu sticks with the booty theme too. You can order items such as a Backside Banana Split, Oprah’s Favorite Fanny, Sweet Cheeks and Chocolate, and a Mexican Waffle Wedgie. How delightful!

But not everyone in Montclair, New Jersey is happy with this local shop. They’ve recently fielded complaints from a customer who found their name and logo “offensive and sickening.” The logo in question:

It’s grotesque and garish for sure. But is it harmful?

Montclair resident Amy Tingle thinks so. She’s is asking for it to be removed. In an open letter, she opined, “A hyper-sexualized, obviously female cow with her ass upended and poking through a circle, tail raised up, waiting for what? I’m not sure, but I do know that I am repulsed and offended.” She continued, “Instead of making girls and women feel safe and authentic, we are made to feel – by ads and logos like yours – as if we are things for someone else’s sexual use.” Read the full statement below:

And while this is a strange context to discuss sexual agency, you’ve got to admit Tingle has a point. The larger issue with the logo (and, like all of American culture) isn’t so much that it’s sexy, but that it’s filtered through the male gaze.

If you want to be sexy, yay, fine that’s great. But it should be on your own terms and not for the pleasure or gratification of anyone else. Does the cow have any autonomy in how she’s being presented? Or is she just an object on display to sell us her creamy, delicious wares, and thus perpetuating the cycle of gendered exploitation?

Manager Natalie DeRosa apologized for the branding saying,”We take them very seriously and we are acting to change the cow to be more fun and less sexy. Our goal was always fun and not sexy.”

In 2017, this is progress.

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