Women can’t drink Dr. Pepper

I was just watching my TV, and saw a commercial I was shocked by.


At first, I was offended because CLEARLY women don’t like action movies, and only like romantic comedies.

Then, Dr. Pepper Ten is declared a “man’s drink”, which offended me even more (as a man).

And then, as if to top it off, the commercial ends with “Dr. Pepper Ten: IT’S NOT FOR WOMEN”

…I’m so stunned that such blatant sexism is allowed. Boycott sound good to all of you?


Join the Conversation

  • http://feministing.com/members/lynnec2/ Lynne Cordero

    I say a bunch of women buy the drink, head to one of their offices, and drink it. Then leave a nice big pile of empty cans in front of the building with a note saying “Apparently women CAN drink it, and enjoy it too.”

    But that would just be giving them more profit wouldn’t it?

  • http://feministing.com/members/crystalsnowfire/ Ariel


    • http://feministing.com/members/crystalsnowfire/ Ariel

      Oh and btw even the sexist ad has its psychological twist in there. It makes some women who wont take, “you can’t do this” for an answer and therefore cause many women to buy this to drink it to prove the company wrong. It’s used to make women buy the product out of spite. (I’s say just buy sprite but w/e.) I personally like Dr. Pepper. But now that they have sexist ads and are trying to trick me. They arn’t worth drinking. Mug here I come!

      • http://feministing.com/members/azure156/ Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz

        Fortunately, I have the perfect escape from this catch-22: Last night, unaware of this ad, I bought a Dr. Pepper. And drank it down!

        However now that I am aware of this ad, I won’t be purchasing another one. So I’ve established I COULD but now I don’t want to! :)

        (Honestly though lately what I’d really rather drink is horchata, I’m going through this real craving for it lately.)

  • http://feministing.com/members/redpine/ Redpine

    I think the commercial is stupid. But what makes a product targeted at one gender sexist? And when is that sexism important enough that we should protest?
    – O.K. we’ve got ‘Dr. Pepper Ten is declared a “man’s drink”’. Sexist? Yes.
    – What about the Chicago book store featured on this blog last year, “Women & Children First”? Is this sexist?
    – Or the store in the local mall “Justice Just for Girls”?
    – A clinic I went to has a ” Women’s Health” center with its own logo and a whole suite of specialized services and a dedicated section of the clinic (and no this is not the maternity wing). There is no similar ” Men’s Health” center. Is this sexist?
    – What about “Curves Health Clubs and Fitness Centers for Women”? Need I ask?
    – Almost every clothing store I’ve been in has at least a 5:1 greater ratio of floor space devoted to goods marketed to women than men. Is this sexist?
    – Remember Virginia Slims and “You’ve come a long way, baby”? …death marketed directly to women? Sexist?
    When it comes to marketing, do we begrudge a company that tries to market to a particular gender? Is there something unique about this Dr. Pepper commercial that is wrong in how they targeted men? How does it compare to Tab cola which was marketed at women? Should Tab be boycotted, too? What about Luna sports bars? Total or Harmony cereals?
    I know I am often slightly offended by gender-based marketing. But only the health care one rose to the point where I said something (it was a minor and ineffective protest).
    The interesting thing is later I actually had to go to the women’s health section for an exam with a specialized instrument they had. I, I’m male, was ushered in through the back service door. They didn’t want me in the plush looking waiting area since they thought I might make the other patients, the women, uncomfortable. Yes, that’s what I was told. I actually laughed out loud at the idiocy of this. Of course, I know better than to aggravate the person who is about to poke, prod, and squeeze me (“Does this hurt?” “Yes!”), so I didn’t say much. Even now, I admit that I’m too bemused to be truly offended, but it was quite clearly sexist. And, unlike Dr. Pepper, it was consequential.

    • http://feministing.com/members/tashabunny/ natasha

      Some of the stuff you mentioned is sexist. But I’m hoping to make a larger point here. The bookstore you mentioned featured on this website, “Women and Children First”, is trying to convey the fact that they are a feminist bookstore. Women have been marginalized throughout history, and as a result women and feminists have worked to create spaces for women, where women will not have to be pushed to the sidelines once again. It’s different than putting up a sign that reads: It’s not for men. Saying that is in and of itself sexist is like criticizing BET for being racist toward white people for being black entertainment television. It completely disregards context.

      I would also like to point out that clothing stores having more space for women to shop is classic sexism. I’m pretty sure most people on this site are pissed off by that, because it goes along with the stereotype that women love to shop and men hate it. I hate shopping, and my boyfriend enjoys it more than I do, so that’s annoying to us both. The same goes for fitness centers for women, because women are always held to a higher standard of looks than men in American society.

      As for women’s health centers, surely you must realize that this is related to women’s reproductive health. Women have gynecologists, and men have no similar doctor because the medical consensus is that there’s no need for one. A man’s regular doctor is able to provide most reproductive health services, such as the turn your head and cough exam. If the medical community were to come to the conclusion that men needed the male equivalent of a gynecologist, then there would be men’s health centers. However, making you use the back entrance at the women’s health center is another thing, and I won’t defend that.

    • http://feministing.com/members/azure156/ Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz

      Stating that something is “not for” a specific gender IS blatantly sexist.

    • http://feministing.com/members/swartzwelder/ Kirk

      The reason the ad is so blatantly offensive is because it’s telling one sex “no”. It would be different if it was telling men “hey, drink this.” The fact that the tagline of the ad is “Dr. Pepper Ten: It’s NOT FOR WOMEN” as if women aren’t allowed to drink it, that is what makes it so sexist.

      Women can drink this soda just as well as a man. In fact, women might like it. Taste better than diet dr. pepper, and much less calories than regular dr. pepper. Lots of people (both men and women) may like this new product.

      But Dr. Pepper is marketing it as specificially “NOT FOR WOMEN”. This isn’t a matter of “for men” (like the hospital being “for women” or the clothing store being “for women”), it’s the fact that it’s “NOT FOR WOMEN”.

      The exclusionary language is what’s most offensive.

      You could also (easily) argue that this ad is horrifically sexist towards men. I’m a cisgendered male, and you know what? I like “My Best Friend’s Wedding” (a romantic comedy) way better than Transformers (an action movie). I prefer movies with characters and plot, not just explosions and laser-firing snakes (as the ad depicts). The fact that Dr. Pepper thinks that because I have a penis I must automatically prefer action movies and that I’m so afraid to drink a diet drink that they have to justify it as ‘manly’ is not just offensive, it’s plain stupid.

  • http://feministing.com/members/tigerrose13/ Kimberly

    Hi Kirk,

    I saw this commercial during the baseball game last night, and I too found it very offensive. (The commercial, I mean, not the game.) I admit I thought it looked cool at first; I couldn’t hear that much of the dialogue because the sound on my TV was on low, but I did like the “Indiana Jones”-like chase. That was, until the “IT’S NOT FOR WOMEN” tagline at the very end. I agree with you, and I’m joining you in your boycott of this soda. Absolutely no more Dr. Pepper for me!


  • http://feministing.com/members/tigerrose13/ Kimberly

    And I’ve just gone over to YouTube to see what people thought of this ad. I’m surprised that quite a few women who commented on the video actually found it hilarious, not offensive. Andit makes me sick that many other commentors insulted the ones who were rightfully offended by this crap. “Girls are too sensitive,” they said. “You’re making mountains out of molehills, it’s just a stupid commercial, grow up and lighten up, if you don’t like it, don’t buy it, etc.” and the ever-ubiquitous “Bitch make me a sammich.” Just goes to show how ingrained sexism is in our society. Something tells me that if the commercial’s tagline were instead “It’s not for blacks (Asians/Hispanics/etc.)” and people posted comments of outrage over it, there wouldn’t be replies like the ones I listed above. Racism and sexism both hurt and oppress the groups they discriminate against. So why is it that when people speak out againt one prejudice they’re met with passionate support, but when they speak out against the other prejudice they get insults, indifference, dismissal, and even hostility?