Gay crackpots join war on sex

Unbelievable as the above title may seem, I'm afraid it's true.

Reading that I was in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Sean Kinsell emailed me a link to an Amy Alkon post which discusses an unbelievable story.

A local Ann Arbor hamburger restaurant is called "Quickie Burger" and their logo shows a not-even-scantily clad girl riding a hamburger, rodeo style. (Harmless and innocuous stuff by any reasonable standard.)

Incredibly, the logo has upset a gay student group at the University of Michigan, because, claims leader Kolby Roberts, the sign is "offensive" and "objectifies women." So they've started a petition drive to force the owner to change it:

The Stonewall Democrats, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender caucus of the University's College Democrats chapter, has taken offense with the restaurant's logo and recently began circulating a petition to sway the owners to change the logo.

LSA senior Kolby Roberts, a member of the Stonewall Democrats who has led the effort, said he finds the logo's message inappropriate and offensive.

"I have a problem that you take a women riding a hamburger and you put it next to the word 'quickie,' " he said. "It just seems like it's not putting a good message out there for the objectification of women."

Maria Arman, whose family owns the restaurant, said the logo was meant to invoke a cowboy theme.

"We were thinking beef, rodeo, so instead of putting a cowboy, we just picked a cowgirl," she said. "It's a rodeo-style cowgirl riding a bull, but instead, it's a burger. It was put together to be funny and different. No offense was meant to anyone."

Before selecting a logo for the restaurant, which features a maize and blue color scheme with televisions tuned to ESPN on the interior, the owners showed the logo to more than 100 people and none of them objected, Arman said.

"The people who we talked to told us, 'It's a college town and the kids will think its funny,'" she said.

LSA freshman Dan Yeomans said while he wasn't personally offended by the logo, he could see how others might interpret it in a negative way.

"I could see the same people who were offended by the South Quad T-shirts taking offense to this," said Yeomans, referring to a batch of dorm-sponsored shirts that featured lyrics from the popular, but controversial Soulja Boy song "Crank That."

Roberts said he believed the image was distasteful, regardless of the person.

"Basically, what it has is a provocatively dressed woman straddling a hamburger, and she's very busty and its kind of really horrible," he said.

I'd be willing to bet that many anti-porn sex warriors would agree with this gay crackpot. They'd say it was a typical example of how degraded and decadent "the culture" has become, and they'd probably agree about women being "objectified." Like most activists, anti-sex activists have no sense of humor.

Of course, I'm assuming that Kolby Roberts would also object to a sexy man riding a burger in an, um, "objectifying" manner. ("We have nice buns" comes to mind.) Or that the group would be just as upset by the same sign at a burger joint operated by lesbians.

Otherwise, he and his group are simply hypocrites.

But hypocrites or not, they are scolding and judging adult humans for what they do with their genitals -- something I find shocking coming from any gay person.

While it would be a bit of a stretch for me to assert that this "Stonewall" group typifies the sorry state of gay activism today, I can remember a time when gay activism (and most gays) wholeheartedly supported an outmoded concept I still support but which is in ever shorter supply -- something called sexual freedom.

This attempt to bully an honest mom-and-pop business is a grotesque display of heavy-handed, humorless gay Stalinism (a term I think Camille Paglia coined), and I'm inclined to agree with what Amy Alkon said:

Clearly, Kolby spends his nights curled up with Andrea Dworkin (the printed version, that is, since the old cow mooed her last not long ago).
(Doesn't sound very "gay," does it?)

Whatever the motivation of these people might be, it's an attempt to tyrannize a small business owner and it just pushed my buttons, so I thought I'd drive down and check the place out.

Here's the building from the outside, with the "offensive" logo on the awnings:


It "objectifies" no one, and i's not offensive at all. What offends me is that anyone would think it's offensive.

While I arrived in the mid-afternoon (normally a sleepy time for restaurants), there was nonetheless an enthusiastic-looking line inside, and I noticed that the employees were wearing very cool T-shirts with the same design!


Here's part of the menu:


I talked to a couple of the employees, and they told me that the controversy has been great for business, with almost everyone supporting them.

I had a nice talk with the owner, a good natured Armenian American who said his name was "Arman," and whose bottom line couldn't have been expressed more articulately or simply:

"This is America."

He told me that calls of support had come in from all over the country, and that he had no intention of taking down or altering the sign. I congratulated him, told him I was just visiting from Philadelphia, and explained that I supported him and Quickie Burger wholeheartedly, but I'd already eaten. I explained that I had a blog and asked if he could sell me one of the T-shirts the employees were wearing. He explained that they really weren't ready to start selling them officially yet, but he'd made an exception in my case, so he went to the back and got one for me. Thanking him for his trouble, I paid for the shirt and took it back. Here I am, shamelessly modeling the T-shirt in my hotel room for my camera's delay shutter:



Here's their business card:


I hope these activists have helped Arman and his business with their tactics. No revenge is sweeter than success.


(Maybe I should have titled this post "Fighting gay antiburger bigots! Been there. Done that. Got the T Shirt.")

UPDATE: My thanks to Glenn Reynolds for linking this post, and a warm welcome (from the road) to all!

And (via Glenn) Gay Patriot weighs in:

...if he objects to the objectification of woman, he must also (favoring gender equality) oppose the objectification of men. So, therefore, I would assume he's leading the charge against ads for gay bars, sexy photographs in gay magazines and any other media representation of scantily clad men designed to appeal to men like us who find such images alluring. And I trust he's been leading a boycott of Abercrombie & Fitch, given how that clothing company's ads "objectifies" young men.
Don't miss Sean Kinsell's post on this subject:
Please. No gay man on Earth is in any position to be complaining about others' sexually objectifying anyone. Sorry. Just, no. You can complain that it's inappropriate in a given context, but that would require more precise thinking. It would also require thinking about manners and the evolution of beneficial social mores and stuff, and you might end up saying something judgmental.
Read it all. Not that it should be necessary, but Sean (who tipped me off to this outrage while I was in Ann Arbor) also expresses the following concern:
...some of your commenters (not that this reflects on you at all!) are falling into the old "Nutcases who march in pride parades do wacko things...ergo all other queers are just like them!" routine. Plenty of us are self-aware and self-critical like normal people, guys.
I don't blame Sean. I'd also I'd be pretty upset if people assumed I was threatened by an innocuous image of a girl riding a hamburger.

Why, it's a small step from imputing "heteronormative" hamburger paranoia to assuming gays belong on the left!

posted by Eric on 03.28.08 at 06:34 PM


"shows a not-even-scantily clad girl"


I took that to mean "even less than scantily clad" What a letdown. :(

guy   ·  March 28, 2008 6:56 PM

Cute logo. Offensive? No. Offensive is guy shoving his cock up another guy's ass. Offensive is the bottom of this duo subsequently sucking said brownie cock. I find that offensive. What are my rights? Do I have the right to insist your presence, nay, your existence is offensive? No? Then fack off, assholes. Get a life.

Mike   ·  March 28, 2008 7:19 PM

"I don't like homos," Mike ejaculated.

I'm sure he's glad he got that out of his system.

Assistant Village Idiot   ·  March 28, 2008 7:28 PM

That sign reminds me of Slim Pickens in Dr. Strangelove. Had the burger joint used Slim Pickens instead of the cowgirl, it could have been accused of being warmongering, or perhaps of being Texasphobic/Okiephobic for having portrayed Slim as a warmonger, even though Slim was a California native with a Texas/Okie accent.

Liberal guilt is hard to get rid of. Those poor clowns who decided that those burgers were "Burned Under a Bad Sign" have yet to let go of the liberal guilt permeating their souls.

Gringo   ·  March 28, 2008 7:44 PM

well now, you have to admit that "nothing beats a quickie" is suggestive of something other than rodeos. not that there's anything wrong with that. i'm fairly certain that the overwhelming majority of students consider this to be rather retarded, but are too busy trying to find someone to buy some weed from or have sex with, to give a flying burger about it.

the snob   ·  March 29, 2008 10:20 AM

Having been a reluctant witness to a Gay Pride parade, I have always been amused by what gays and lesbians find to be "offensive" and "not offensive".
Cool T shirts. They oughta sell them.

tu3031   ·  March 29, 2008 10:22 AM

"In a related story, gay campus activists today announced they were organizing a Junior Anti-Sex League to 'combat doubleplusungood expressions of sexism.' The activists also issued demands for U of M to include Newspeak in its core liberal arts curriculum, imposition of mandatory 'Two Minutes Hate' at noon each day, and the creation of a 'Vice-Provost of Love' to oversee student sexual activities, suppress vice and propagate virtue."

MarkJ   ·  March 29, 2008 10:33 AM

When you said not even scantily clad, I thought nude. This is reeeeediculous.

buck smith   ·  March 29, 2008 10:50 AM

I think that you should reconsider the phrase "not even scantily clad", you set me up for something that you did not deliver. I inferred naked.

thrant   ·  March 29, 2008 10:51 AM

The owner of the restaurant got it right with "This is America."

But no one should be surprised that the Andrea Dworkinish scolds of the world would find the logo offensive enough to make a fuss.

And of course it's a tacky logo. If I were in the burger restaurant business, I personally would be embarrassed to have anything so lowbrow above my store. (But if it worked...)

But to quote the paraphrase of Voltaire (something we used to hear more from liberals): "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

Now, to the other topic: Of course the logo is pretty tame. Nevertheless, defenders of this store hurt their own case when they focus on how tame it is. By doing so, they implicitly concede to the Scolds that interpretations of the nature of the image are they key aspect of the debate. And then it becomes a debate about the details of this logo, and how sad it makes the Sensitive Scold feel, and how can we avoid these hurt feelings in the future?

Well to hell with the censorship of feelings! Ezra Levant got it right when he argued such as: "I concede I have offended you, and it is my precious human right to do so. Only a fascist could declare otherwise."

DWPittelli   ·  March 29, 2008 10:54 AM

(Of course, Levant is defending himself against the punitive power of the state. It has not come to that yet in this case, although I believe places with locally-approved liquor licenses are sometimes forced to be more circumspect about such things.)

DWPittelli   ·  March 29, 2008 10:58 AM

So, let's see...

Gays cavort about naked, wearing bondage gear during the Gay Pride parade and I am not allowed to be offended

Okay, straight up (no pun intended), gays define themselves 100% on the basis of what they f***. Hetero males are nowhere near as obsessed about their penises as gay males

I define myself by what I know, what I stand for - not by where I want to wet my willy!

GW Crawford   ·  March 29, 2008 11:06 AM

While I was at Michigan, the gay student groups would cover the campus with semi-obscene (or entirely obscene, depending on your perspective) sidewalk-chalkings in honor of National Coming-Out Week, etc. It seemed counterproductive to me, but as long as they chalked it in places where the rain would get it eventually, I was fine with it. This has 'double-standard' written all over it.

Mango   ·  March 29, 2008 11:15 AM

Good on you, Eric. I have so tired of the PC sex police in our community. And the irony of it all is beyond description.

Let's say that was a sexually objectified cowgirl looking for a quickie. So what?! Gay men seeking to impose their sexual morality on others: It's mind-boggling.

Paul   ·  March 29, 2008 11:26 AM

Eric is out of the office today (headed my way in fact) and will be unable to answer your complaints. He is very refined and gentle and would try to avoid hurting people's feelings.

I, however, have no such restraint.

So for those of you hoping for "nudies" or claiming false advertising. Well. FO.

If your mind is manufacturing things that are not there - may I suggest a brain wash. Clean that (you will pardon the expression) sucker up.

M. Simon   ·  March 29, 2008 11:51 AM

Come on, you need to be fair. They should added a BrokeBack Mountain type of "guy" next to the gal and offer a "Bun Smoke" burger alternative for all the sexually
mis-wired out there.

Mary   ·  March 29, 2008 12:05 PM

Two things:
1)If I had spent my "nights curled up with Andrea Dworkin" I'd probably gay, too (Gawd that woman was ugly -- face, body, mind), and;
2) I think they're objectifying that burger.

OTOH, the burger *does* look like it has flames coming out its ass, so . . .

JorgXMcKie   ·  March 29, 2008 1:00 PM

I see. A painting of a cowgirl riding a burger is offensive next to the word quickie. And this from a homosexual. I see.

Have you heard about any homosexual groups (or any other libero-fascist groups) petitioning radical islamists to stop there physical, mental, and emotional abuse of women? Have you seen them circulating petitions demanding that women not be stoned in public, or be physically disfigured, or be the victims of "honor-killings"? When these college-aged, wanna-be activists take the time to address real, actual injustices that affect women, and not some painting at a burger joint that has not "offended" anyone until now, then I will take them seriously. Until then, they are just trying to get some practice at being vocal activists that manipulate and distort the truth when they are, in fact, just being idiotic.

Arturo   ·  March 29, 2008 1:50 PM

I don't understand why gays and lesbians are upset at this. The woman in the artwork is clearly gay. The sign says "Quickie Burger & Dogs". Had she been riding the hot dog...well, that would have been just wrong...but she was riding the BURGER!!!

Thor's Screwdriver   ·  March 29, 2008 2:37 PM

I can remember a time when gay activism (and most gays) wholeheartedly supported an outmoded concept I still support but which is in ever shorter supply -- something called sexual freedom.

That's what makes this effort incredibly sad. The gays used to be about personal and private choices. Even if those choices offended others, they were an expression of individuality and freedom that should be granted to all.

That concept seemed to go out the window when the term "breeder" became a pejorative and the supposedly open-minded began freely using the tyranny of the minority.

One hopes these kids will grow up a little before graduating, but I wouldn't be giving good odds on that.

Uncle Pinky   ·  March 29, 2008 2:44 PM

It being well known that most "activist" lesbians are proudly UGLY, since like women in general, they are not very as concerned about the *appearance* of their partner as much their personality. So indeed the "objectification" of women's sexuality as being blonde, nubile and with an hourglass instead of pear shape figure, quite irritating. That such women are in fact more healthy and fertile, and thus objectively more desirable as wives, and a bigger kick in bed too, just as girlfriends (or as quickies) must really rub gay women the wrong way. It was the gay Andrew Sullivan, during his early blogging days who pointed this out, while theorizing why gay *men* obsess so much about their looks, that being since that's how men in general are hard-wired to select sexual partners: based upon looks. That women know that straight men do this too, that most fat anti-capitalist "activist" type of lesbians have their little egos bruised when they realize they are only attractive to other lesbians so can't strut down the street and get lots of glancing attention from most of the population. So they want to destroy the very idea that sexy girls are objectively attractive to straight men in the very most shallow sense of the term, so indeed it *is* an objectification of this situation, and the word "objectification" fits perfectly. How awful, eh?

NikFromNYC   ·  March 29, 2008 4:55 PM

Whatever would these people think of Booby's in Niles, IL?


With a "Big Boob" on the menu?


How sexist!!! Does Hilary still go there as she did when she lived in nearby Park Ridge? Shouldn't she cut off all ties with this place? WHY ISN'T THE MEDIA ASKING THE HARD QUESTIONS?????

(Hard. He he, he he.)

Jim C.   ·  March 29, 2008 6:42 PM

Hrm. I'm an ugly fat straight woman passed over by men for not fitting the narrow standard of blonde nubile beauty *cough/glare* but I'm not offended by the restaurant or the logo, either. I'm *am* offended by men yammering on about how ugly fat old women are bitter, obsessed, joy-destroying bitches who want to destroy the world.

Mostly I want to know what makes "dirty fries" dirty, because it's bacon and cheese I'm there.

HeatherRadish   ·  March 29, 2008 6:43 PM

Suddenly I crave an In'N'Out Burger...

Steve   ·  March 29, 2008 7:07 PM

How about Bob's Big Boy?

An eatery that featured women on roller skates.

My first mate worked there for a while.

She still likes Big Boys.

M. Simon   ·  March 29, 2008 7:40 PM

You're such a hunk Eric.

Yehudit   ·  March 29, 2008 8:14 PM

My wife's reaction was that for a gay student group to complain about objectification of women when they haven't said anything about drag queens is pretty rank. She is profoundly offended by the drag queen parody of real women.

Clayton E. Cramer   ·  March 29, 2008 11:41 PM

Another protest with nothing to protest. I hope counselors are available to deal with the emotional pain.

This stuff isn't new. I recall pizza places in Los Angeles whose slogan was "had a piece lately?". It was on billboards all over town.

That was about 1960 and they weren't new then.

I think the chain was called Slice Of Pizza.

K   ·  March 30, 2008 3:33 AM

When I heard about this story I envisioned some Daisy Mae-like character salaciously straddling a giant hot dog. Now that I see the actual logo ... what on earth was this all about? I'm probably more sympathetic than many to communities that would like to tone down the general level of vulgarity, but in this case, there's just nothing there.

Hey, was that blue-and-yellow monster house ordered from IKEA?

CJ   ·  March 30, 2008 6:24 AM

I, for one, am offended that the hamburger takes the center stage. Clearly, no one is interested in justice for the humble hotdog. Alternate logo to run along side current. Shirtless man riding hotdog. Now, everyone is represented equally. I'll even provide my artistic vision free of charge.

Jared G.   ·  March 31, 2008 12:44 PM

these people need to get lives

al   ·  March 31, 2008 9:30 PM

Having been involved in various activist causes over the last two decades I can't help but ask "Where's the beef?" here. Are things so tame and boring in Ann Arbor that this is the best that the local gay activists can come up with? If so, then they might as well declare victory and go home. In this case they're obviously bent on finding something/anything to be offended by. This isn't activism, it's political masturbation.

Mikey D   ·  April 2, 2008 1:22 AM

Maybe they should add "Kielbasi in the Can" to the menu.....To appease these Tards

Frank G.   ·  April 7, 2008 12:53 PM

Or maybe a "Cowboy riding a the hot dog" is more tastey for them.

Frank G.   ·  April 7, 2008 12:56 PM

Ahhh, I see now..... Their panties are in a bunch, since the burgers are fried....NOT FLAMINGLY BROILED. lmao Wankers

Frank G.   ·  April 7, 2008 3:36 PM

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