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Thursday, September 03, 2009


In other news...

I see that Ben and Jerry's ice cream have decided to celebrate Vermont's decision to allow same sex marriage in a most entertaining way: releasing some promotional 'Chubby Hubby' ice cream renamed 'Hubby Hubby.' Their chief executive calls the law 'certainly a step in the right direction and something worth celebrating with peace, love and plenty of ice cream'.

I think this calls for some Ben and Jerry's, don't you?

And before anyone says 'It's just a publicity stunt to promote their sales, so no' - well, of course it's a publicity stunt. One that might well lose them some red-state customers, in fact. But even if it is a publicity stunt, this is a good thing. They've chosen to link their stunts to human rights: they didn't have to do that, and if they wanted gay people to remain second-class citizens they wouldn't have; they could have released 'Hetero Hubby' instead.

More than that, a popular brand of ice cream is normal, mainstream, cosy. Those are exactly the things gay-bashers think gay people aren't. If the company wants to throw its mainstream weight behind supporting gay rights, that's great and I don't begrudge them extra sales. Sales are the capitalist equivalent of votes. If a company gets a sales spike by supporting civil rights, other companies will follow suit. It will become in institutions' interests to support civil rights, and that's a real motivator: that will mean money and publicity behind good causes, which will increase their chances of success.

Let's keep writing to our representatives and supporting activism - Protect Maine Equality / Alan Turing petition /write to your MP reminders inserted here - but I think we deserve to vote with our spoons from time to time as well.

I agree. I don't think I can buy any Hubby Hubby (most B&J's flavours aren't available in Canadian grocery stores) but I'll break my no-buying-ice cream rule for a pint of something by B&J soon.
The other thing to remember is that to the best of my knowledge, Ben and Jerry's has consistently rated top marks for equality and GLBT rights. (I want to say that HRC has consistently given them a score of 100/100, but don't quote me on that.) So this particular "publicity stunt" is well in step with their overall policies.

Yes, there are some companies where I'd call this a publicity stunt, and caution anyone who might be inclined to see it as concrete support from that company. But B&J is in a completely different class from those companies because B&J have consistently shown that when it comes to respecting their GLBT friends and family, they have class.

-- Jarred.
It's a shameful publicity stunt! Shamefully delicious, that is!

Alas, my precious Cherry Garcia, we must part ways for now. Another will be taking your place in the freezer for a while...
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